Red5 outlines the upcoming split into PvE and PvP specific gear.
Red5 Studios, the studio behind Firefall, has announced that they have finalized enough of the design decisions behind the battleframe and tier changes to outline the changes and why they were needed. "It is not possible to provide a balanced and entertaining experience in both PvE and PvP," the recent blog post states, "if both realms use the same gear."
"Players can, through time and crafting, gain a significant advantage over other players – this is not desirable in PvP. The outcome of a PvP battle should be determined by skill and teamwork, not by which team spent more time and/or got luckiest in the open world."
It wasn't just the gear that was causing the problems in balance. With the ability for players to mix and match abilities, Red5 would see some players combining abilities that worked too well together while others would unknowingly be combining abilities that didn't work with each other at all. "It becomes exponentially harder to make sure that all possible combinations are both balanced and fun."
To solve these problems, Red5 is creating a separate and balanced "Regulation" PvP gear that will automatically be equipped when you enter a PvP instance. When open world PvP is introduced later players will still wear the unlocked and crafted gear; it is only within instanced PvP that the new regulation gear will be used.
Along with regulation gear they will be redesigning the ability bars. With these new PvP battleframes, the ability bar will have 3 "separate-but-useful mechanics" that fit the theme of the battleframe. The example given is if the first ability is a skill-shot nuke like Shockwave then the other two abilities would not be like Shockwave. The other abilities might be defensive, AOE, automatic self-buff, or a movement ability. Along with the 3 abilities each battleframe will have a unique passive effect:
"A working example that we’re testing right now is on the Raptor Recon frame. Every time a Raptor Recon lands a shot, he gains an electrical charge. At 3 electrical charges, all of his abilities become “empowered” and have an added secondary effect when fired (which then consumes the 3 electrical charges)."
Lastly, with all of these changes there will only be one tier in the PvP queue. "The tier system has its merits, especially in open world/PvE, but the primary problems we’ve observed PvP-side are that it’s not good for our community (at least at this point) to be separating them in different queues." Red5 said that they will lean on the matchmaking system to separate the best players from the new players. With removing tiers Red5 has plan for other types of progression that may be available in PvP, but that the decisions were not finalized to the point that they could talk about any of those progressions.
Matt "Mattsta" Adams