Firefall’s been in closed beta for a good while. Occasionally it opens its doors to the public for a weekend of jumping up and down on the bed to see what breaks, but always kicks everybody out before its parents get back on Monday morning. No longer. From July, Red 5 will enter “the most important stage of Firefall’s development” – the bit when they open the floodgates and let the players flow in unchaperoned.
Red 5 write in their FAQ that open beta will mean expanded servers, and a way to “test upcoming content with a larger audience for broader feedback and heavier load on our infrastructure”.
Once the beta has begun, the team plan to refocus development around new PvP and event features, more dynamic missions and an episodic story campaign. Red 5 vice president of development James Macauley said he was “incredibly excited” to get started:
“For us, Open Beta isn’t a traditional ‘marketing beta’, but rather an opportunity to include many more players in our community-driven development process,” he said. “We’re looking forward to welcoming these new players into the community and continuing to build an amazing game together.”
New updates will continue to be spliced into the game ahead of the beta, with “major milestones” planned for May and July. Current closed beta players will benefit from a final stage of testing which will make Firefall’s open world more dynamic and more rewarding.
That begins with new City Power Levels. Players will receive bonuses for upping the power level of the game’s major cities via local missions and encounters, and consequently be able to unlock dropships – the only way to explore pockets of the dangerous and therefore exciting Melding energy storm that surrounds New Eden.
Similarly, pushing back the Chosen threat in side quests now has an endgame – battle instances in which players take the fight to the spiky humanoids. Elsewhere, Red 5 plan to push out improvements to their crafting system and Battleframe progression – the game’s term for class development.