Big changes are afoot in the world of Firefall, and the March milestone due this weekend will cause a big shakeup. We’ll have more detailed guides available to the new and changed content and mechanics after the patch goes live, but in the meantime, here’s a look at what’s changing, and what you can expect from Firefall this weekend.
First, a minor change: the “garage slot” system is being discontinued. You no longer need to juggle slots or buy new ones.
For existing players: If you’ve spent red beans on garage slot unlocks, they’ll be refunded.
Next, the old Tier system is going away for good. You’ll no longer have to grind through and unlock a Tier 1 frame to get to the Tier 2 frames you’re interested in. Instead, as you unlock abilities in your frame, you’ll earn tokens, which you can then use to purchase another frame. Fully unlocking one frame earns you 12 tokens, and a new frame costs 10 tokens. (Frames can also be purchased with Red Beans instead of tokens.) All frames are equally accessible.
For existing players: If you’ve unlocked a frame before the milestone, you’ll have that frame after the milestone. All XP will be refunded and available to spend on the new progression mechanic.
All existing weapons and modules, whether stock or crafted, are being wiped, and players will start from scratch in levelling up their frames again. Existing players will be refunded the XP they’ve earnt on each frame, allowing a headstart on unlocking the new battleframe abilties.
Battleframe constraints are returning and changing. The new constraints are Mass, Power and Cores.
- Mass affects movement speed, and is a balancing act between mobility and survivability. Surplus movement speed allows you to move faster than your base speed.
- Power affects the damage and effectiveness of weapons and abilities, and is a balancing act between the different power needs of your various modules. Surplus power allows your abilities and weapons to deal more damage.
- Cores affect the number of abilities you can install, and improved/advanced abilities cost more cores. Surplus cores allow you to reduce the other constraints of your equipment.
Battleframe progression is also changing radically. Say goodbye to the old, convoluted tech trees. The new tech trees are streamlined – each frame has three paths (one for each constraint) and each linear path has ten unlocks. All unlocks cost XP, and the second half of each path also requires resources for each unlock. Each unlock increases your limits on the constraint for that path, allowing you to install more powerful or advanced equipment.
For existing players: The new progression system will cost more XP than the old system, so some frames you’d “finished” under the old system will still have unlocks to earn in the new system.
This milestone introduces a split between PvP and PvE frames. Each PvE frame has a PvP equivalent, and if you own the PvE frame you’ll automatically have access to the PvP version as well.
The PvP frames are considered “stock” battleframes, with preset ability and module loadouts. This change is intended to level the PvP playing field, and allow greater diversity in PvE frames without being constrained by PvP balance.
Existing resources will not be wiped, but are effectively obsolete. Current crystite will transform into a new resource called beta crystite, which can be spent on rewards such as crafting recipes and consumables. Current hybrids will no longer be used in crafting any recipes, but can be refined into beta crystite. There has been no official information on how Sifted Earth will be treated, but fan consensus seems to feel that it will be wiped or turned into beta crystite.
In the meantime, the milestone will introduce an entirely new resource system. Instead of fictitious, abstract resources like “coralite” and “azurite”, thumping and surface deposits will yield more realistic resources like iron and copper. (There’s no official confirmation of any new specific resources; iron and copper were mentioned on a Firefall Live broadcast as a hypothetical example.) And creatures will drop organic resources, instead of ore and minerals.
Each resource will now have three attributes instead of the current five, and the set of attributes will be specific to the type of resource. Each resource will “specialise” in one of its three attributes, while generally being inferior in the others.
For existing players: Your existing crystite hybrids can be converted into beta crystite, for specific rewards. Crafting will now require totally different materials, so get out there and thump! Also note there has been no dev information on the fate of sifted earth, melded animal scraps, or crafted intermediate products like brimfuse strips, azurite terminal cores and so on. Crafted consumables are confirmed to survive the wipe.
You will still be able to craft custom versions of modules and equipment for your battleframes, and the stats of these items will still be affected by the attributes of the resources you use.
Crafting will be a more intricate process; end products such as battleframe modules and weapons are likely to involve several intermediate crafted components, so ultimately the stats of a crafted item will be affected by multiple factors rather than the choice of just a single material.
There are few specifics known at this stage about the crafting system, as the devs have only been talking in general terms so far, so we’ll be focusing on the new crafting system as soon as the patch goes live to bring you more detailed information.
The devs have not yet confirmed that item decay is part of this milestone, but it is confirmed as a definite change and has been discussed in the same breath as the other changes in this milestone, so it seems likely.
Equipment will now have a durability value which will diminish as it’s used, and when the equipment is repaired its maximum durability will decrease. As a hypothetical example, imagine a weapon with a maximum durability of 1,000. When it loses all its durability and breaks, the owner repairs it to maximum, but the maximum value then decreases to 950. Eventually diminishing returns will see the item decay into uselessness, necessitating a replacement.
This has been the most controversial of the upcoming changes, and Red 5 have described it as a necessary mechanic rather than a fun one. It is intended to keep the crafting economy vibrant, to keep items turning over, and to prevent players from finding the hypothetical “perfect gear” and then wearing the same equipment for the next year with no changes.
For More Information…
If you’re interested in further reading about the upcoming changes, check out the following links:
- Firefall’s New Progression System: dev blog post
- Firefall Live – February 15: watch for the Matthew Cucuzza interview, where he discusses the new crafting system
- Firefall Live – February 8: watch for the Cameron Winston interview, where he discusses the new progression system
And, of course, don’t forget to check back here at Astrek Association after the patch goes live for more detailed information and a guide to all the changes.