Co-Optimus: The battleframes look intriguing. How are these connected to classes? Do classes depict the battle frame or vice versa. Can you have a tank looking body but put it in a scout battle frame, or can you take a slinky looking female and make her a heavy tank?
James: Battleframes are central to the class system in Firefall. Your character’s class is defined by the equipment that you wear. Each battleframe can be leveled independently, and will grant you access to new weapons, abilities, tech modules and calldowns. All of these items will impact how your character plays and fights.
In addition to being able to trick out how your character plays in a given battleframe, we also want you to be able to customize how he or she looks. For example, you’ll be able to customize the paint job on your battleframe to match your army’s colors or to go lone wolf with your own unique look.
Since being able to instantly read your enemy is so important we will have some limitations on how much you can mix and match the visuals between each respective battleframe. Within a given battleframe, you will have ample opportunities to tweak how your character looks.
Co-Optimus: Being an MMO, how exactly are the co-op aspects of the game going to work? Will there instanced missions for groups of players to take? If not, is there a chance of griefers stealing kills or worse yet, killing you?
James: Firefall at its core is an online multiplayer shooter. We are taking co-op gameplay to a whole new level where you share the experience with hundreds of other people. We have a mix of instanced and open-world missions that you will be encouraged to run with other players.
We truly believe that gaming is better when shared with others. Thus, we’re adding a ton of support to Firefall to make it easy to play with your friends as well as to team up with perfect strangers to run different missions or to compete head-to-head in multiplayer.
Given that much of our co-op experience takes place in a shared open world, we definitely think about ways players could grief others and plan to address these concerns through good gameplay design and tech support. For example, scaling the spawn rate of a certain mission-related creature based on density of players in the area or rate of creature death.
Co-Optimus: What's the maximum group size for a co-op "squad"?
James: First of all, Firefall has two main social groups. Your army is your large scale, persistent team or clan. You can work together with others in your army to advance your army technology which will give you access to new abilities and calldowns, special missions and resource collection improvements. You will also be able to compete as an army in multiplayer tournaments.
Firefall also has smaller, temporary groups called squads. You’ll be able to join up with 4 other players (total of 5), who could be friends or perfect strangers, to run co-op missions, collect resources or complete in multiplayer matches. You’ll share experience gains and advance through missions together with others in your squad.