Firefall Needs Some PvE Love Too

In the last few days, I was collecting information on Firefall, which I got a beta key recently. Because the beta servers are, currently, running 24/7, I could check the game in and out — but then I got the Torchlight II key and things went downhill.

With the TL2 key in hands, I kinda let Firefall slip a bit. But I was, from time to time, putting thoughts together on how to explain Firefall, what it does right, what I think it doesn’t fit or feels weird… and then Red5 drops this:

Basically, what they are saying is “the base is changing”. With the base changing, I can’t really say if things work or not. Surely, I’ll write my take on it once the conversion is done — ’cause, you know, Firefall beta test is now going 24/7 — but I didn’t hear a word about the PvE part of it.

Sure, I understand that the main focus of Firefall is PvP and the PvE is there as training ground. I didn’t do any PvP yet in Firefall, to be honest — not that “it’s not my thing”, as it was the only thing I was doing in WoW, but I’m the kind of guy that first have to understand how to play before jumping into PvP. People usually understand that you’re a noob and some things you may not understand straight away — at least, in the betas, good luck trying that in a LoL match — but I really don’t like to jump into a PvP match and end up with the feeling I didn’t really help my team ’cause I didn’t got the mechanics right. Sure, people will punch their desk and go on, but if I end up with the feeling that I didn’t actually fit the shoes I chose, I ruined other people’s game. Also, what kind of shoe I want to wear is something I want to find by myself instead of jumping into other people’s game and trying to find it there[1].

Personal insecurities aside, I spent all my Firefall time so far in PvE. The story, as I remember watching, is that you start in Fortaleza after some weird thing that made all nature larger, but you keep fighting and expanding the “known world”, and keep protecting it from being taken over again (and some sort of “human bad guys” group, which I only saw when I got in). That sounds like an awesome “thug-of-war” combat and, for those that are not that into PvP, it would give a larger meta-game to go after.

But, so far, PvE consists of a single daily quest: Thumper collecting. Thumper is a device added to the game to collect minerals, which currently you need to improve your gear (emphasis on “currently” ’cause it may change in the future). So you’re playing a medic, you buy a blue print — or find one, dropped by one of the mobs — for a better gun and then you have to collect the materials to build said gun. That’s where the thumper comes in. And, as I said, the only mission currently after you complete the tutorial quests that explain how combat, research and build works, it’s all you can do: Collecting 400 of one mineral and that’s it.

And the mob variation is absurdly small. On the top of my head, I can count 6 models (one of those which is pretty much a normal/player model with a different color), with some varying textures and sizes. And, that’s all you see around. It gets really boring seeing the same thing over and over again. “Wait, didn’t I just killed 20 of those already?”

Yes yes, I know, the focus is in PvP. I said that myself. That’s where Red5 is focusing right now and what they want to complete first and then focus a bit in the grand scheme of PvE. I just think it shouldn’t be forgotten ’cause even LoL in its matches against bots can be interesting if you want a quick pass time.

Side note: Beta is beta, that’s not the current focus, my laptop is not, in any stretch, a gaming machine (heck, it’s a MacBook Pro, for fucks sake), but in the matter of graphical engine, the engine is pretty slooooowww. In order to get something near 30 FPS, I had to put in the “extremely low” setting — which could also be one of the reasons I didn’t venture into PvP yet: How am I supposed to engage in fast combat when the game is so slow? Again, beta is beta, that’s not the focus of the team yet, but it’s a kinda a put off at the moment, ’cause you watch any video around and the game looks so beautiful and then, when I run it on my machine, in the low settings it looks so bland and boring.

[1] Who am I trying to kid? I’m usually the healer/support guy.