We also had a chance to leap into the game during CMA Live, with experienced Firefall-ers turning out in droves to take me on a whirlwind adventure through some of the game's most intense dynamic content. Overall, it's been a fun week of crushing Ares missions, repelling Chosen invasions, and of course, thumping the heck out of some resources.
But there's plenty left to do.
More than just thumping
One of the most frequently echoed criticisms of Firefall is that there isn't any PvE content beyond thumping for resources. For those of you not familiar with the world of Firefall's (read: not EVE's) New Eden, thumping is a method of resource collection that involves a protecting a giant machine as it gathers minerals, beset on all sides by angry inhabitants of the world around you. It's a necessary part of the game and one of the primary mechanisms for getting what you need to craft items and upgrades.
The mercenary style
Voters gave our convict character a mercenary personality in that he doesn't roll with any specific group and instead works primarily for his own gain. I've tried to play as such, moving from event to event, thumping group to thumping group, working with whichever seemed to be most rewarding in the short term. Our convict has forged no bonds of trust and doesn't belong to any player organizations, and that's probably the way he likes it.
- Incursions: Incursions revolve around pushing back a small contingent of Chosen and destroying their Warbringer device.
- Meld Thumping: Thumping is integral to the Firefall experience, but thumping near the shimmering purple curtain of The Melding summons more powerful foes and offers a greater challenge.
- Stage III-IV Ares Missions: Stage III and IV Ares missions cannot be completed alone due to the number and difficulty of foes. These missions are best executed with the help of a trusty squad.
- Watchtowers: Firefall's New Eden is home to a number of watchtowers that are constantly under siege. Defending and capturing these watchtowers is no small task.
- Invasions: The Siege of Sunken Harbor (or Thump Dump) is a specific world event in which The Chosen summon massive artillery cannons and work to seize control over one of New Eden's cities. If they're not repelled in time, the city is lost to The Melding for three hours.
- Melding Tornados: Melding Tornados are hectic events that involve a spinning cloud of death and a temporary bubble in The Melding that allows for the collection of valuable resources. Dangerous and beautiful.
We're now four weeks into my Choose My Adventure run, and I'm having a blast. Firefall has turned out to offer far more activities than I initially expected. Still, I'm curious to see what it is that keeps people playing. Since all content is essentially accessible to everyone and there's not much in terms of vertical progression, what exactly are we all working toward? What keeps us playing once we've shot a few hundred villains and are looking for something else to do?
I'd love to hear your thoughts, Firefall-ers. And of course, I'd love to have your votes so we know what to do next!
See you in New Eden.
Mike Foster is leaving everything up to you in Choose My Adventure, the Massively column in which you make the rules (and hopefully take the blame). Swing by every Wednesday to help guide Mike along this fantastical internet-ready series and to read up on his latest triumphs and gaffes in the game you demanded he play.