Usually games grow during beta but Firefall developer Red 5 Studios is chopping out a big component of the MMO shooter: player-versus-player. Red 5 revealed today that they're going to remove PvP while they try to redesign that side of the game.
"As you know, Firefall started with PvP. We have gone through several iterations, and for some time, pursued the controversial e-Sports route," Red 5 honcho Mark Kern said in a letter to fans. "As many of you know, its not working very well."
The initial PvP offerings were the staples of any multiplayer shooter: team deathmatch, capture/defend and territory battles. Red 5's most recent release was Jetball, a 5v5 mode based loosely on basketball. Each team tries to take the ball and shoot it through a hoop while fighting off their opponents. It's a high skill game designed with an eye toward eSports. Unfortunately, the player base hasn't embraced it. Kern says that Jetball makes up less than 3% of PvP in Firefall.
Though Red 5 has tried to fix PvP, Kern says they can't give it their full attention because players want them to shore up the player-versus-environment side of the game. Firefall's PvE offers players an open-world with missions they can undertake alone or with friends. This side of the game is apparently far more popular than PvP than the present time so Red 5 has to prioritize its development.
"People want more content, fewer bugs, and more polish on these world systems. For these reasons, we have made the tough decision to suspend PvP and take the system offline so that we can rethink it and relaunch it. PvP is an important part of our game, and we want to get it right. So we’re going to regroup, rethink, and deliver the best PvP system we can that can be enjoyed by everyone. We don’t have a timetable for this, but at some near future point we will shut off the PvP aspect of the game, which we feel does not represent Firefall at its best, and relaunch that part of the game when its ready."
Added Kern: "Thank you for your understanding. We only want to deliver the best experience that entertains all of our players, and we feel that by taking the time to completely rethink our PvP and re-implement it to the highest standards, we can do much better."
Firefall's open beta launched in July. You can download the game client at the official website.