Updated: 26 September 2013 for Patch 0.7.1710
The melding pockets are accessible via arcporters from Copacabana, Thump Dump and Sunken Harbor, and feature new environments, creatures and events. Here’s a look at what goes on in these areas.
First, just a quick refresher. There are three Melding Pockets, each associated with and accessible from a major city. You can use the local arcporter near the SIN tower to travel to that city’s pocket, provided the SIN Tower is at Level 3 power and you have the key for that pocket. (If you don’t have the keys yet, check out our guide to Accessing the Melding Pockets for more information.)
The Nature of Melding Pockets
Each pocket is a small area of land far away from New Eden, carved out of the Melding and accessed only via arcporter. When you first arcport in, you’ll arrive in a protective bubble which contains an arcporter to return you to New Eden, and a Battleframe Station where you can change frames. (There are no Battleframe Garages or Molecular Printers in any of the pockets; you’ll need to return to New Eden for those.)
The melding pockets are very different ecosystems from New Eden and from each other, and as a result they contain a lot of new wildlife – all of which, naturally, wants to eat us interlopers. There are more wandering hostile animals in the melding pockets than you find around New Eden, so whatever you’re doing, be prepared to defend yourself.
- Pyre Wasps: fiery variants of New Eden’s culexes. They have a laser-like fiery attack that will explode soon afterwards.
- Scorchers: hissers on fire, with an attack that radiates blasts of flame from their body.
- Ash Dragons: large fiery reptiles, modeled on salamanders. They charge, and stand on their hind legs to breathe fire.
Be careful of the lava in Diamond Head – it will, as you’d expect, set you on fire if you step into it.
- Scorpion Culex: these are effectively a tougher version of New Eden’s culexes.
- Sargasso Thresher: these are like New Eden’s Spitting Threshers, but deal much more damage.
- Toxic Varants: a poisonous version of Diamond Head’s Ash Dragons; Varants charge their opponents, and leave very deadly clouds of lingering poison around the place.
Sargasso has no major environmental hazards, but keep an eye out when you’re gliding – there are updrafts that will give you a big boost. They’re generally helpful but if you’re not expecting it, they can send you gliding right into the Melding.
- Glacial Aranhas: these are large aranhas with a ranged attack that thrusts spikes up from the earth.
- Rimehunters: these are wild canines much like the wargrim, and they can burrow to attack from underground.
- Wooly Brontodons: these are hostile cold-weather versions of New Eden’s brontodons, and they attack by throwing big rocks and swiping with their tusks.
The frigid waters of Antarctica are harder to escape than water in New Eden – you’re much more likely to be dragged under and it’s very hard to jumpjet your way out.
As well as the wildlife in each melding pocket, you’ll face opposition from the Chosen and from Tanken Raider squads. They’re attracted by most activities in the melding pockets, so keep an eye on the map for their red icons. If there are Chosen and Tanken in proximity and you leave them alone, however, they’ll fight each other. They’ll also fight any nearby wildlife, which can be a lifesaver.
Activities in Melding Pockets
The melding pockets aren’t just for sightseeing; there are several reasons to visit them.
Thumping for High Quality Resources
You can thump for resources in all three pockets, although parts of the map won’t let you call down a thumper. Thumping in the melding pockets is basically the same as thumping in New Eden; your thumper will attract waves of local wildlife, and you can greatly improve your chances of a successful thump by placing your thumper in locations where you can control enemies before they get to it. (If you’re not experienced with thumping, you may wish to check out our Thumping Guide.)
Thumping will also attract occasional Raider Squads and Chosen Drop Pods; defeating them is necessary to the survival of your thumper (and Raider Squads also provide event rewards for beating them).
Thumping in Melding Pockets will yield Melded Crystite as well as resource rewards, and Melded Crystite will show up when you’re scanhammering. It doesn’t need refining, and you’ll need Melded Crystite to power the other events and activities in the melding pockets. (You can also get Melded Crystite in New Eden, from creatures and thumping near the northern Melding wall, and you can use it there in the repulsors to push the northern wall back.)
Enemies also drop Melded Crystite, and destroyed Chosen Drop Pods leave a lot behind. However, be aware that unlike crystite and resource drops, Melded Crystite drops are not shared between squad members.
Each pocket has at least one melding repulsor. Activating it will push back the Melding wall to reveal a new area of the pocket. The repulsors are powered with Melded Crystite, and will run for 5 minutes for every 1000 Melded Crystite you use, although you need to make a larger initial deposit to power it up. You can extend the running time of an active repulsor at any time, just by adding more Melded Crystite.
Be warned, however – Tanken Raiders and Chosen will periodically attack active repulsors. If the repulsor is undefended, they’ll sabotage it, which reduces its running time.
- The Chosen set up an energy bomb which must be disarmed within a time limit – otherwise it will explode, destroying the repulsor and allowing the Melding to return.
- The Tanken use an energy siphon that slowly drains power from the repulsor, invisibly reducing its running time. This only stops once you disable the siphon and repair the repulsor.
Diamond Head has one repulsor, which takes 4000 Melded Crystite to activate. Sargasso Sea has two repulsors; the first takes 4000 Melded Crystite and the second takes 3000 Melded Crystite. Antarctica has three; they require 4000, 3000 and 1875 Melded Crystite respectively.
There’s a display at the top of the screen when a melding repulsor is active; it will show you the remaining duration before the repulsor deactivates. However, there are a couple of things to be wary of:
- The display only shows the duration of the latest activated repulsor, so if you’re in a pocket with several repulsors you’ll need to keep checking back with the earlier repulsors or risk them deactivating.
- The display does not update to reflect the new shorter duration if the repulsor has been sabotaged by the Chosen or Tanken. Adding more Melded Crystite will refresh it correctly.
When you push back the Melding using a repulsor, the revealed area will have coloured resource crystals (which look like those from melding tornado pockets). Diamond Head’s crystals are red; Sargasso Sea’s are green, and Antarctica’s are blue. Destroying these crystals will spawn small amounts of melding pocket resources. The crystals don’t respawn while the repulsor remains active, but will reappear after the area has been covered by Melding and then revealed again.
Melding Pocket Events
Each melding pocket features a major event. They’re activated by players rather than being triggered dynamically, and are designed for a squad or more of players. (They’re quite challenging for most players if you only have one squad’s worth of people.)
Each event is situated in the final repulsor area of each melding pocket, so you’ll need to reveal the map far enough to reach your objective. All the events follow the same basic pattern: a central item is activated (using 1000 Melded Crystite), which triggers waves of Chosen and/or Tanken who are trying to destroy several nearby items. It’s the players’ job to protect these items; the more of them that survive the event, the greater the rewards. If all the items are destroyed, the event fails and stops.
These events also have a random chance to award a fragment of the key for Blackwater Anomaly – protecting more event items improves the chances of receiving the fragment. If one person receives the fragment, all participants do, which means you won’t be stuck trying to get your fragment after the rest of your squad have all got theirs. For more information about these BWA key fragments and why you might need them, check out our guide to making your keys.
Here’s a quick look at each of the events in more detail.
Diamond Head – Tectonic Agitator
The Tectonic Agitator causes the nearby volcanos to spit out forgotten debris for us to loot.
You need to defend five Agitator Power Generators from the attacking Chosen, and from lumps of falling rock. Circles on the ground mark the rocks’ landing spots, and they hurt if they hit you. You’ll want to activate the Power Generators’ shields as the rocks are landing, to cut down on the damage.
Strategy tip: put a few people on the ridges overlooking the combat area, tasked with taking out the Chosen Snipers – the snipers spawn fast and in several locations, and can easily take out your whole team if left to themselves.
Sargasso Sea – Mag-Lift
In Sargasso Sea you’re using the Mag-Lift to dredge up a sunken Chosen Darkslip ship and retrieve its cargo. You’ll need to defend five Mag-Lift Generators from Chosen attackers, and it’s just a straightforward fight around the water’s edge.
Strategy tip: the Generators are arranged in a U-shape and most of the attacks will come from the ends of the U, so concentrate your defense there. However, some of the Chosen will come from the middle of the U, so stay alert.
Antarctica – Arcport Anchor
Here you’re using the Arcporter to retrieve some Chosen cargo stolen by the group of raiders who used it last.
The players defend five Caches of Chosen Tech from waves of Chosen and Tanken attackers. The combat area is quite restricted and divided into narrow corridors, and the attackers have to approach from a long way away, so it’s not too hard to pick them off. Be careful of jumpjetting up to the ridges above the area, as some are quite narrow and you may fall off backwards into deadly water.
Strategy tip: be careful not to follow the attackers too far down any one of the corridors, else you can be lured away from the centre without noticing and enemies from another approach can do a lot of damage.
Resources in the Melding Pockets
The resources in each pocket differ from each other and from New Eden, and each pocket has a tendency to provide high level resources from a particular group. You’ll generally find high-level minerals in Antarctica, high-level gases in Diamond Head and high-level organics in Sargasso Sea – if you want to dig into this in detail, check out our article on Resource Pools and How They Work.
However, there are currently some issues, and some activities in the melding pockets award New Eden resources instead.
- Surface deposits and Raider Squads both give resources from the New Eden resource pools – it’s unclear whether this is intentional or not.
- Thumping generally gives resources from the melding pocket’s pools. However, sometimes you’ll see a New Eden resource appear instead. This is likely to be a glitch, but we don’t have official information yet.
- Resource crystals and the major events yield rewards from the melding pocket’s resource pools.
There was previously a bug where several resources did not spawn in thumpable veins in the melding pockets – Carbon, Methine, Octine, Radine and Biopolymer. This bug has now been fixed, and you can find these resources like any others.
The Future of Melding Pockets
Currently the melding pockets are merely a taste of what’s to come, with a limited area and only a few activities. However, we know that in the future, the melding pockets will eventually become full zones. The melding pockets, in their current form, are the Accord’s first footholds. As the storyline progresses, we’ll be helping to reclaim these areas for humanity. You can read more about this process on the official Firefall site.