Complexities in Crafting and Progression: Firefall
OK so now that it's been a a couple weeks in Firefall you have gone out and done stuff and now have a decent amount of experience, crystite and resources with which to start with. You have hopefully had fun roaming around killing chosen and the strange wildlife and are now after a little bit more as the call of progression is still strong. If that's the case you're probably wondering what the hell do I do I do with my battleframe and how does this crazy crafting system work.
Well I'm here to help once more.
My first question would be is this the frame you like? I would recommend focusing on one frame in the beginning as upgrading and crafting really does take a bit of time and effort. You can eventually have a stable of frames to choose from but right now gaining power, health and armor on a single frame will help you progress at an accelerated rate.
Hopefully your frame doesn't look like this anymore but if it does you'll gain the most benefit from unlocking the secondary weapon down to your passive on the right first. These will give you access to your main skills which improve survivability and killing power dramatically. The others can kind of wait as unlocking these will only give you the ability to slot in crafted gear and if you don't have any.. well why waste that exp. When you unlock the abilities you are gifted the specific stock item for the frame, if you own an advanced from you can also change these with certain abilities from the basic.
On the left you have the progression tree for your frame with the categories of Power, Mass, and CPU that will restrain you in the tier and quality of crafted components you can equip, they each give certain bonuses as well. Think of mass like your frames strength, upgrading here allows you to carry heavier weapons abilities and parts. Depending on how much extra space you have will also determine the speed boost you get. Power is another restraint on the tier of gear you can equip but it also governs the damage of your skills. The difference between the yellow bar (amount of power used by gear) and grey (max unlocked) determines the extra power damage you receive to your abilities. Gear will have a certain amount of cores required in order to equip and with each unlock in CPU you get an extra core... it can also make your frame look pretty.
You might have also noticed a little allocate surplus button underneath your power line while upgrading. You can leave it as it will spread out the bonus to everything but if you want you can also allocate your extra power to specific weapons or abilities in order to boost its damage directly. To do this though you need either crafted or dropped gear as stock items wont accept the extra power.
Once you get to the fourth unlock tiers on each of these categories it will start requiring a certain resource as well as the usual experience and crystite. These requirements steadily increase as you go along. An easy way to remember what you might need is that Mass requires metals, Power needs Gas, and Cpu needs Organic materials. Any in these categories is fine for progression but the general rule is to use the lowest quality you have as you gain nothing from quality. As you go it will require greater material quantities and there is a scaling tool in order to use multiple qualities in different amounts.
Once you get to the blue unlocks you will need to equip certain frame specific items that require a huge amount of a particular resource to craft. Here is a handy little chart this from the folks over at Astrek Association with the resources needed for each frame. If you see these out in the world, regardless of quality you should definitely gather them. You will also need to purchase a few extra pieces from the specialty vendors in the major towns that only come out when they are at power level 3.
A great overview to the crafting and refining system is the tutorial video created by Red 5
The first step of course is to refine the resources you have been collecting and this really can take a lot of time. At the lower tiers of refining it won't require too long for a resource to refine but it does require your constant attention with reactivating the order. The first thing I would recommend is researching the higher tiers of refining as this will save you a lot of time and then you can be leave it alone while you continue to thump or do events.
Firefall has a rather deep crafting system and this starts with resources. There are 1o different properties available and each resource type has 1 primary and 2 secondary properties, check out the rawr4firefall guide for a breakdown of these. In earlier betas crafting used to be the most confusing system I have ever seen as it used all three to determine quality, thankfully though as development has continued it has become streamlined and more user friendly.
Items will usually be broken down into individual components that need to be crafted first and then combined to make the finished product. The red highlighted points are necessary components and blue the optional purchased components which increase durability and decrease power/mass/cpu requirements. When starting out with Tier one items you probably don't need to worry about these but later on you will definitely want to purchase them from the specialty vendor in order to keep your items from breaking and get the most out of your frame.
Now that crafting only uses a primary statistic there is a lot less to be worried about and there has been a lot of iteration on the crafting panel in order to make it easier to understand and use. The resource property that is needed will display in the panel for the components where you place in resources, the resource you placed in is above and the quality of the required property below. To make it easier for people the drop down list will always have the best resource for the component up the top but be careful, you may not want to use the higher quality resources as sometimes the higher quality resource might be using its secondary stat instead of the primary which is a bit of a waste.
As you can see in the picture, technically the purple Biopolymer is the better resource and was on top of the list but you can see the difference between it's quality and the quality of the resilience needed. Just a little bit down was Regenics which has resilience as its primary stat and is probably the better resource to use.
In the beginning it is pretty easy to craft what you need as it requires minimal resources and what you can use is very broad. The crafting and research times are minimal as well so you can put yourself into tier 1 items rather quickly. The further you go though the more resources and time is required, and it will even need certain specialised materials like dna from animals and enemies and crystite seed which comes from refining. It is a complex system that requires a bit of time and effort to succeed with but the end result feels like something that is more rewarding.