In part one of this interview expect to see the reasons for the Summer Milestone changes, plans for eSports, balancing, and a look at duels.
What is the most fun you have had working at Red 5?
It’s been a long road for me, before this I had been running fan sites. Red 5 is really a different company. The group and crew are amazing. Coming in, testing, and working those late nights has all been a roller-coaster of awesomeness.
Were the changes we see in the Summer Milestones planned or were these organic changes?
It’s really all about creating fun. Our motto here is “Change everything, create fun”. We really want to strive and push ourselves to make the game we all are proud.
As a small company we can really be agile and flexible to change things up. So when we implement something that we think would be fun and we send it out to the beta testers. They try it out and we see that it didn’t work out so well, so after retesting and working with the beta over these past few months we realize we really need to get the core combat down.
FireFall is first and foremost a shooter.
It might be good to have the best story in the world, the best maps, the best PvE but if the core of your game isn’t fun, then you’re in trouble.
We really sat down as a team and threw out any preconceived notations and really thought if we are going to start over, if we are really going to do this, how are we going to fix these issues?
Being a small company we each broke off into smaller teams each team tackling different problems. Some of those changes from each team are coming online. Others are pushing their content into the game and we obviously have a lot of bug fixing to do with this new content but really it’s all about creating a fun game.
With all the changes coming to Firefall, will eSports still be a part of FireFall?
FireFall is many things to many different people and eSports is one of them. Making sure the core combat is fun, engaging and it really supports competitive players and that high skill ceiling is our goal.
There is a lot to learn for players and there is teamwork involved making sure that competitive level of play is still there.
On top of that we are still working on open world PvP and we plan to do more on those aspects.
But not only does the game play have to be fun and engaging but the tools we are adding to support the eSports community has to be there, which we will be releasing details later this year.
It’s fine and good to release a game like Starcraft and Quake with no tools where the community built them but it is really important in this day and age to have those tools in order to be able to call yourself an eSport title.
You have to build tools into the game at the start in order for those communities to live without having to build all these things from scratch.
Unfortunately in this day and age there are too many products coming out for gamers to put their time and effort into something if it is not really good to begin with.
We are trying and we are definitely getting a lot of feedback on building competitive play. Some of the changes we are making are based from competitive players saying your combat is not there, here are things you can do or here are some ideas for things you can do.
Can we possibly see a spectator mode for eSport matches down the road?
That’s a great idea. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had a spectator mode in the game? Maybe, we might see something like that quite soon.
How is balancing being handle between players and teams in the recent changes?
One this milestone is not about balance. So for all the people reading, when we release this update expect there to be an imbalance. A lot of that balance players expect comes from hammering the game in live.
When it comes to internal balancing and figuring out how they match up we don’t do one on one. We don’t expect a Recon to go one on one with a Dreadnaught. That just doesn’t make sense. It is a team game so we expect team compositions to go up against each other.
So what is it like when two Recons and three Assaults versus two Dreadnaughts, a Biotech, and two Engineers fight? What happens with those compositions? Are there interesting tactics people can use together to counteract some of the more powerful things that other battle frames have.
This is what we look at.
Every class should have its strength that it’s good at but also a weakness.
It’s really about being in the situation, with the weapon that you have and the abilities equipped, how this class will face this other class.
It is an interesting dilemma and it probably will never be answered but it is something we will work on. It comes down to the community telling us what they feel and us looking at our data/stats to make sure we can find the best solution possible.
Given the addition of Duels, do you think it will boil down eventually to skill between players?
How awesome does it feel to be the Recon that duels a Dreadnaught and kicks his ass in front of everyone.
I think you will see a lot of Assault one on one duels because the Assault is kind of the generic class that is good at pretty much everything but not a great at any one thing. We do a lot with Assault and that is my favorite class.
I have dueled against Recons who have gotten me to a sliver of health and if I did not get in that lucky shot in … the combination of abilities can really push the limits of what’s possible. The feeling and elation you get when you defeat somebody you thought was impossible and everyone is watching is where it’s at.
Really it is just for fun. There is no xp; you don’t get anything for it but the bragging rights.
Make sure to keep to stop by tomorrow for part two of the interview and drop a comment below on your thoughts about FireFall.