Firefall Dev Talks Game Balance, Beefing Up Medics

on November 22, 2011 9:30 PM

Balancing a competitive game is a tricky proposition. You want to hit the right balance of intriguing gameplay for many character classes without overpowering one and nerfing the other. It’s something Red 5 Studios’ Dave Williams talks about in the newest developer diary for the upcoming Firefall.

Williiams says one of the things he wanted to do for the free-to-play title was create moments in which players felt empowered because they had just the right conditions for victory.

“What we really want to do is create heroic moments, heroic opportunities” Williams said. “And what that means is that for any particular battle frame, there’s a situation, there’s a moment, that is suited perfectly for your battle frame — your capabilities, your weapon and your abilities — and you’re going to be able to just absolutely wreck face.”

Check out video of the game in action after the jump.

He also went into detail regarding the developer’s wish to make the medic class more useful in battle than the same role in many other shooters.

“We also want the medic to be able to be an offensive threat,” he said. “We needed to make sure that you could play the medic as this combat medic, but not necessarily be as much an offensive threat as the assault, which isn’t capable of being a support class.”

Seems like these guys have a pretty good grasp on what they need in order to make a fun experience that challenges what we expect from our first-person shooters. And the fact that it’s free to play makes me want to give it at least one go (of course, there’s an in-game market where players can buy items with real-world currency.)

I can’t imagine how tough it would be to try balancing a game to be fun as both a person-vs-person and person-vs-everyone experience. At least franchises like Street Fighter and Super Smash Bros. have minimal variables they have to take into account when building characters. I guess we’ll just have to wait until the game’s December release to find out.

Looks fun to me. What do you think?

 /  Staff Writer
Eder is a journalism major at the University of Oregon and copy chief of Flux, the School of Journalism and Communication's flagship magazine. When he's not playing video games or writing about them, Eder enjoys going to concerts, walking the UO campus with his trusty iPod, James McCloud, and climbing steep hills in running shoes. His favorite games include Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong Country 2, Bioshock and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.