Zero Punctuation: Firefall - Proof That Jetpacks Make Everything Better?

Yahtzee Croshaw

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Firefall - Proof That Jetpacks Make Everything Better?

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews the free-to-play MMO shooter Firefall.

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Evonisia

Your sinner, in secret
Jun 24, 2013
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I wouldn't put it past the British Channel 4 to actually put on that show, if I'll be honest.

And that's a shame about Firefall ending up like that. Then again it's free to play, so unlike some other MMOs it's not exactly demanding that you play it for years now is it?
 

MoltenSilver

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Feb 21, 2013
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I have to admit I'm really tempted to take a look at this after hearing these thoughts on it, but as soon as that thought enters my head it seems to drag with it all the other time's I've been burned by MMO's (looking at you, NCSoft and Nexon)
 

C14N

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May 28, 2008
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Oh dear, this idea of filling waterballoons and getting washing up liquid is getting me hot under the collar.

I'm kind of like Yahtzee, I also spend strictly $0 on F2P games. I also spend strictly 0 minutes with them as well though so I won't be playing this, even if it is fun.
 

Aeshi

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Dec 22, 2009
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From the sound of it, Firefall hasn't changed a bit since I played it. Kind of a pity, I'd go back to it in a heartbeat if it had some more stuff to do.
 

Jman1236

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Jul 29, 2008
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This came out of nowhere. I tryed it myself last week, yeah it was alright. Something tells me I should login again soon to see how players abuse the flitters for their names, that and I didn't get very far into it since I just got addicted to gmod at the same time.
 

Jman1236

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Aeshi said:
From the sound of it, Firefall hasn't changed a bit since I played it. Kind of a pity, I'd go back to it in a heartbeat if it had some more stuff to do.
From what I've heard the game completely rebuilt over the past year.
 

Kenjitsuka

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Sep 10, 2009
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No way! I started playing this last week, and am having barrels of fun for free...
And then *you* pick it up and like it too!

*Looks outside to confirm the moon hasn't fallen down*

It's a great game, and I don't find it too repetitive, cause you can do a bunch of different stuff when you want later on.
And you get a damn MOTORBIKE, next to the JETPACK and the GLIDEY WINGS. For free :)
I am allergic to milking stuff for cash that's supposedly free, and have not seen it whine for cash once.
If you think Destiny will be good, just play this for 0 bucks instead. CAUSE OF JETPACKS.

Man, so much capitals in this post, guess I like this game more than I realized!

One nitpick with the review...
They didn't roll "Asteriod" for apocalypse.
It's first few small asteroids with super materials in it, then "Folly of man: building a space folding super spaceship".
Then whoops! We ripped dimensions and now a toxic dimension full of aliens with big guns and monsters is spilling in.

So you have to deal with that; "A literal dimension encroaching on you, aliens and mutants."
Recap: Folley of man, followed by alien dimension. Not too shabby and reasonably original for a video game plot.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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Jun 5, 2013
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So how do Free to Play games stay open? Whose paying for the servers? The maintenance? The staff?
I always thought FTP meant free to join, but everything is a micro transaction.

Seems like a fun game but I'll never have the time/patience to play an MMORPG.
 

Errickfoxy

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Silentpony said:
So how do Free to Play games stay open? Whose paying for the servers? The maintenance? The staff?
I always thought FTP meant free to join, but everything is a micro transaction.

Seems like a fun game but I'll never have the time/patience to play an MMORPG.
Those people who buy the cosmetic items or the VIP boosts or the fancy cash motorcycles or what have you are who keep it running. Even the people who just buy some cash shop currency to trade for the auction house currency to get gear faster, they're also paying for the game so the "I won't ever pay money for a F2P game" people can keep playing.

And even those people are, indirectly, paying for the game, if they're buying VIP or unlocks or what have you from other players who paid real money for those items to sell for the credits.
 

geldonyetich

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I'm under the opinion that FireFall deserves as many players as it can fit on its giant instanced server, but I do wish the game did more with its world events than it does.

Right now, you might have to wrest a tower back from the chosen, go over to "OCT" and defend it, encounter the occasional cave full of one of about five or six activities, repair a thumper, repair an LCV, or place your own thumper. That's not a non-existent variety, but still little enough that I have to go scurrying off to a mission board like a WoW apologist who is in desperate need to get his punctuation mark fetish satisfied. They had such plans in beta... but unfortunately they fell through due to mismanagement.

Combat is fun, which is important, but I suspect that the early burnout you're experiencing is less a result of it being too much fun and more to do with the fact you've only about 4-10 abilities per battleframe, weaponry and callsdowns notwithstanding, so good luck grinding 40 levels on that. The only MMO that I can readily recall which gave you less toys to grind with was Defiance.

Funny enough, it seems the end game consists of getting level 40, then starting over with another class and getting level 40 again in order to unlock those juicy "Perks" which are essentially passive bonuses of various kinds, some of which can be slotted on any battleframe. Got all the perks you want? Then you're done, because it's not like the battle with The Chosen is going anywhere anytime soon.
 

rennagade

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Jun 27, 2013
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Firefall is undoubtedly a fun game, but the flat out removal of arena pvp killed it for me(it was the only thing I did because running the same aeres missions over and over got boring, and thumping is just a repetitive mess). And also the "lets completely scrap this system" thing that happens every month has left me with terrible gear, and I really don't have the patience to defend thumpers for another 20 hours because my resources are no longer valid >.>

Haven't tried the latest build though, maybe they fixed the "your old amazing gear is now useless" thing that they kept on doing to me, and maybe the open world pvp is exciting enough to keep me playing for a while.
 

geldonyetich

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rennagade said:
Haven't tried the latest build though, maybe they fixed the "your old amazing gear is now useless" thing that they kept on doing to me, and maybe the open world pvp is exciting enough to keep me playing for a while.
Maybe. Now they have it balanced so that the rarer gear is good for far longer. So white is trash, green is decent for level, blue you'll be struggling to find a decent replacement for 10 levels from now, and you'd better get used to seeing that purple thing you found in your inventory for a long time.

There's not as many overall gear slots as there were in earlier phases now. You've got primary weapon, secondary weapon, a battleframe core, three abilities, one hyperkinetic super ability, and the amps you slot in weapons and abilities. That's it, unless I'm forgetting something.
 

Rakschas

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Jan 7, 2013
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wow that as an unexpected positive review of a game on pc i never visited. i might actually give it a try on a rainy day. we happen to have a lot of them recently.
 

Adeptus Aspartem

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Jul 25, 2011
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I was pretty displeased with Firefall. It looked nice on a first glance but revealed itself as pay-to-play and ultra mega repetitive.

Combat is boring, because it is just a shooter with basically 1 gun and no ammo issues. Special abilities have little impact and cooldowns higher that the Everest. Also once i had my 3 skills all i found later on were diffrent upgrades of the same ability but no new ability.

And also gear etc. didn't really drop that much. After 3 hours of play i found 2 items. A gun and a core.
The crafting system looks nice at first glance because you have: Dismantling items for parts, builiding items out of these parts and a tech tree.
The tech tree seems to put a new twist on the whole crafting system but falls flat - even though i cant fully judge it of course.
Guns for example have an idividual tech tree each and each tree looks like this: Gun X lv 1, Gun X lv 2 .... Gun X lv 99
For each gun. And every class has like 3-4/20 guns they can use. So if you level the plasma gun you can craft awesome plasma guns but you can't switch to another gun because you've not teched it.
And it's useless anyway, because by the time i could craft a certain gun i've gotten a better one anyway. Since the crafted guns aren't really better than the ones i've found.

It felt pretty hollow because all i could do was unnecessary. It didn't felt like i'm getting something out of it i couldn't get otherwise - and that is a big mistake most MMO's make imo.

In the end it was ok but nothing i'd write home about. Kinda like the Neverwinter MMO which did alot right, but just not good enough. Sofar Hellgate London was the most promising Shooter/RPG/MMO combo i've played but even that fell on it's nose very hard.

And i won't start on the horrible F2P-Shop system they have because with the exception of a few games everyone does it wrong, so that wasn't a big surprise.

tl;dr
It's ok, but just not good. And very repetitive even for an MMO.
 

UberPubert

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Jun 18, 2012
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I played Firefall for a bit, also as the Assault class. The game play reminded me a bit of tribes, combining jet-pack maneuverability and an AOE weapon like the disc thrower into some fun and fast firefights. Unfortunately it appears to have some hp/damage scaling issues, and killing bullet sponge enemies who deal extreme amounts of damage back becomes tedious.

I also unfortunately found myself still doing the same thing twenty levels later and my waning patience for the server instability turned me off. Maybe there's more to see in the other battleframes but after putting so much work into my assault one the idea of retreading the same exact old missions at a lower level is highly unappealing.
 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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Oh man, I love watching stellar bodies go at it.

Silentpony said:
So how do Free to Play games stay open? Whose paying for the servers? The maintenance? The staff?
I always thought FTP meant free to join, but everything is a micro transaction.
Some are like that. They're generally called "pay to win." Some make a free game with extras that support the service. Some just run on good will and unicorn blood.

It really depends on the model and the people behind the scenes (assuming their people; I suspect most F2P games are run by goblins).
 

geldonyetich

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Zachary Amaranth said:
Oh man, I love watching stellar bodies go at it.

Silentpony said:
So how do Free to Play games stay open? Whose paying for the servers? The maintenance? The staff?
I always thought FTP meant free to join, but everything is a micro transaction.
Some are like that. They're generally called "pay to win." Some make a free game with extras that support the service. Some just run on good will and unicorn blood.

It really depends on the model and the people behind the scenes (assuming their people; I suspect most F2P games are run by goblins).
I seem to recall that some F2P developer released the stats of their F2P game (not FireFall), and it's something like 95% of the players don't pay anything, but the remaining 5% of the players end up paying so much that they more than make up for it. Here's a link [http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/192899/Heres_how_much_whales_spent_so_far_this_year.php] about an example of a cell phone game microtransaction model, which is a similar situation.

It would seem F2P games work because of wealth disparity. For some people, they have so much money that the idea of dumping $250 on micro-transaction goods has no impact on them. Microtransactions are flexible in this regard; monthly subscriptions alone can't exploit that market.
 

gamegod25

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Jul 10, 2008
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That was a surprisingly positive review considering the generally meh scores its been getting from other sites. Honestly I was expecting him to really tear it a new one though glad he didn't because I do enjoy it and it's free to play so it's not forcing you to make a commitment unlike some games.