Well, I got to take a plunge back into Firefall yesterday during one of the brief periods the servers were up. It was a nostalgic return to a game I really liked, and it felt good returning to one of the very first games I made a video series for. Unfortunately, it was also a play session that really showcased that the game was on it’s last legs.
The first apparent issue was that the servers are constantly up and down, leading to uncertainty about the company’s ability to keep paying for them. It seems like it could be the beginning of the end. We’ve had barely any communication on the matter and it does look bleak.
However, you are still able to play.
Upon starting the game and logging in, I was greeted with a collection of rewards for revamps to battleframes (classes) and the like. It was nice getting several million experience for my last hurrah in Firefall, levelling my character to 44.
Exploring the world felt very much like it used to when I played years ago, with Chosen appearing about the place, bandits and other random encounters that made going from A to B so much more of an adventure. I did a few quests around the place, taking out some big aliens and the like, and that was fun though the rewards feel underwhelming. That might just come down to the fact I know the items I’m getting will have no future purpose because I fully expect there to be no game very soon.
Firefall has some amazing things going for it that made it unique. Along with it’s unique handcrafted world and lore, Firefall had an extensive resource gathering and crafting system, with quality of resources and components affecting the qualities of the finished item. Resource gathering was an adventure in itself too. You were required to set out in the world and use trial and error to locate the best place to mine for a specific resource. From there, you call a thumper –which can vary in size– that falls from the sky to your location. It will then slowly collect resources from below ground. However, the noise from the thumping will attract enemies who will attempt to destroy it, and it turns into a wave defence mini-game of sorts.
Now, I have learned the crafting system was removed from the game for some reason, and thumping resources are practically gone. From what I saw there might be a chance of finding a Crystite (The currency of the game) deposit in the ground, but nothing else. This removes any incentive to thump, from what I can see.
These particular features were a major selling point to me, and to see them gone just makes me feel ill. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever played a game that has shut down and will become completely inaccessible. I loved the ideas it tried to implement and though it went through hardships with development issues and other such stuff, I always hoped it would pull through and establish itself as a solid title in the MMO-verse.
Firefall had a lot to offer, and it all blends together to form a game like no other that I can think of. It really disappoints me to see all that potential go to waste. At least I got to have one last run through Sertao. It was a pleasure serving for the Accord, and I can look to the horizon with a small glimmer of hope in my eye.