Greetings TG'ers! TG-18th Damion Rayne here with another interview, this time I had the chance to throw a couple of questions at Matt Dewald, also known as Phobos. The Red 5 Studios community manager who was gracious enough to answer what I hadfor him. In regards to Firefall itself, it is currently in Friends and Family Beta and will be transitioning to an "open Beta" state here soon.
What are going to be the minimum/recommended system requirements?
Firefall is still very much in development. We want the game to play on a myriad of systems, so we're still tuning and tweaking as much as we can to get performance increases at various graphical settings. That's basically a long way of saying that we haven't finalized the minimum specs yet. Firefall scales really well, so the better the system, the better the graphics are going to look.
How is the teamwork system going to work (clans/guilds, groups, combination of both)?
Playing games is always better when you do it with friends. That's why having integrated social structures in Firefall is really important. We have an army system, which are very similar to guilds or clans in structure, built into the game. This army system not only allows you to group up with your friends, have social groups, chat rooms, etc. as you'd expect from any modern game, but the army system also allows you to work towards group goals through an army tech tree. By collecting resources and completing missions as an army, you'll unlock new technologies that will make your army better at whatever you've chosen to specialize in.
For instance, you might decide to specialize in resource collection. Your army would focus all resources on getting bigger and better thumpers (mining devices) that would allow you to collect resources faster or collect more resources or collect special types of resources.
What kind of instancing involvement is there going to be or will it just be one huge persistent environment?
When you enter the world of Firefall, you will be entering a specific channel of New Eden. New Eden is the large open-world environment where the last remnants of humanity are making their stand. There may be any number of different channels of New Eden going on depending on concurrent player levels. The goal is to have a single New Eden instance support hundreds of players. The number is still being fine-tuned as we determine what is too much and what is too little to create a fun environment.
Now, once you're in a New Eden channel, that doesn't mean you'll be locked into that channel. Even from the get-go, we'll try to put you into a New Eden channel where your friends and army mates are in, but should you need to change channels, you'll be able to do so.
What kind of PvP involvement will there be, and will it be selective or global (can you pick to play purely PvE if desired)?
We want you to play Firefall in whatever manner you would like to play. There will be no forced PvP. Currently, our PvP is an intense competitive multiplayer that takes place in arenas. We wanted to integrate eSports into Firefall from the start. Allowing armies to compete for rank on ladders and tournaments and prove dominance over each other. If you want, you can level up your battleframes purely in PvP or you can choose to focus purely on the co-op open-world environment.
A lot of games are tieing in out-of-game content (such as forum discussions/storyline/cosplay) to actual gameplay. With Firefall already having such an active forum community, will this be one of your goals?
Who says we haven't already? :-) It definitely creates a more engaging experience in any game to know that you have an impact on that game. Firefall being a completely online platform with a persistent world allows us to do a lot with the story and adding new content over time. Should there be something interesting happening in the RP community, discussions, or suggestions, we will definitely be watching to see what can be included.
Firefall is billed as being a free-to-play game, but are there going to be any micro-transactions in the game in which players will use real-world money to acquire special items or gameplay tools?
Firefall is completely free to play. We want to offer the game up and let people choose to spend money when and if they want to. We will have a micro-transaction storefront. However, Firefall is a competitive skill-based shooter and we don't want to change that. It is very important to us to not offer anything that directly impacts player skill or makes one player more powerful simply through a purchase of an item.
We're still adding and removing items from the list of things we want to sell. That list will become even more refined through beta phases and after launch as the community decides what is or isn't worthwhile to sell in the store.
We understand that you are nearing the end of your "Friends and Family" beta period of the game and will soon be transitioning into the more formal closed and open betas. Do you have any information as to a firm full-release date for the game?
Friends & Family is still ongoing. I wouldn't say we're at the "end" of that phase just yet. We will continue to grow Friends & Family into the closed beta by simply inviting additional people. When that will happen is still undetermined right now. As for a release date, that too isn't set in stone, but we're getting closer to being able to fine tune these dates every day as we work on the game. Once I know the dates, I'll be sure to pass them along.
Expect more coverage of Firefall as we get it.