For those of you who don't know, FireFall is an upcoming team-based shooter, which combines Action with MMO characteristics to create an engaging Free-to-Play experience. We sat down with David Williams, lead-class designer for FireFall to take us on a guided tour through the world of quests, guns and customization.
FireFall, like many shooters and most MMOs, is a class-based game. In most class-based games, you’re stuck with the class you pick, unless you create another character. This is not entirely the case with FireFall though. Your class is determined by the battleframe you wear. At the moment, we know of the Medic, Assault, Recon and Engineer frames, with the fifth to be unveiled later this year.
Throughout the world, and on the instanced multiplayer maps, there will be stations where you can choose a load-out. Back in town, you can adjust what these load-outs will be. You can decide on having three different frames, for example an Assault, Recon and Engineer frame, available for yourself at the aforementioned stations. Alternatively, you can make three different variations to the Assault frame. It's up to you to decide what role you take on the battlefields of FireFall, with the ability to customize these sets in the Forge helping to create your own unique configuration, from assigning which weapons will fill the two slots you have to changing the abilities you can use, with the Recon frame making your character much more nimble than when they are wearing an Assault frame. Although we didn’t encounter any while playing one of the multiplayer maps, David told us that there are also modules you can obtain which you can use to customize your weapons at forging stations which will increase your rate of fire by a modest percentage for example. Once used, those modules are permanently placed in your weapon, almost like assigning orbs to swords in various fantasy games.
Your value in battle, or e-peen, is not only measured in a decent kill-to-death ratio, but assists as well. Making support classes like the Medic for example more appealing to play. Assisting in combat and resuscitating overzealous Assault frames on the battlefield isn’t the only thing a Medic frame is good for as some of the weapons that come with it, pack some serious heat. Rewarding people playing a support class will be of importance as well as the game will launch as a fully-fledged e-sports title with ladders and tournaments available to those who are planning to take their experience a little further than to just log in and have a good time with some friends.
Though vital to the way you experience gameplay; weapons, speed and durability aren’t the only things that a change of frames will incur. All frames have some special abilities that are on a cool-down that have somewhat of a wow-factor coming with them. Using an Assault frame you can really boost the rockets on your frame and ‘swoosh’ into a direction of your choosing (including up) to get in, or out of something, quite quickly. Launching yourself up in the sky and combine it with an ability where you slam down on the floor, doing some serious damage with the shockwave you produce resulting from it. The Recon frame is not as bombastic but not one bit less devastating. Throwing a well-placed mine over a long distance is effective, but that was surpassed by using a teleportation beacon which can be tossed equally far as the mine.