Everything you’re about to read is an early preview of changes being worked on by the Firefall development team. All details can, and probably will, change as development continues.

Mobility has always been an important part of Firefall. Between jump jets, gliders, and vehicles, there are a variety of options for travelling through the air or over the ground. However, short of calling in a dropship, there hasn’t been a good option for those looking to travel across large bodies of water; until now! Scientists at Lab 16 have worked tirelessly to deliver a brand-new method of transportation that allows anyone to glide across the waves with style. Introducing the Omnidyne-M Stabilized Upright-Ridden Floatation Board, more commonly known as the SURF Board:

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The SURF Board’s state of the art design utilizes currents and waves for propulsion, meaning that skilled SURF Board pilots (often referred to as “SURFers”) will be able to travel across the water for long distances.

Using a SURF Board (SURFing) is as simple as slotting it in one of your calldown slots, approaching a valid body of water (sorry, no SURFing on small ponds or rivers), and activating the SURF board. After a small pause while the character’s battleframe is removed* (we all know what happens when battleframes meet deep water), it will be replaced by new form-fitting water-resistant garment known as a Specialized Water IMmersion Suit (or SWIM Suit for short). Once the SWIM Suit has been donned, the SURF Board will be spawned in the water with the character placed on top in a prone position. While in this prone position, propel the SURF Board by “paddling” (left and right arms controlled by the A and D keys respectively) in order to move through calm patches of water until a current or wave moving in the direction you’re attempting to travel is reached. While in the prone “propulsion” mode, the SURF Board's maximum speed is limited; in order to reach full speed enter “riding” mode (activated by pressing LShift). Once in riding mode, the real fun begins! 

* Note: To ensure the removed battleframe is not stolen or tampered with by bandits or other undesirables, it is arcfolded to Lab 16 for safe-keeping. SURFers must return Lab 16 in order to equip their battleframe once again. Omnidyne-M will also offer a delivery service to the nearest Battleframe Station for a sum of Credits.

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While in riding mode, the speed of the water you’re riding on will determine forward momentum. Steer left and right using the A and D keys. Since the battleframe is not equipped while on a SURF Board, regular combat and mobility abilities will not be available. Omnidyne-M has fitted each SURF Board with movement-based abilities that can be used while in riding mode.

  1. Cutback: Perform a sharp 180 degree turn while retaining forward momentum.
  2. Hang 10: Positions the SURFer on the nose of the SURF Board and grants a short speed boost. Initial testing shows that there is only a 45% chance the SURFer will wipe out, which is extraordinary for Omnidyne-M standards!
  3. Handstand: Perform a handstand on the SURF Board. This doesn’t actually do anything useful, but it does look AWESOME.
  4. Shoot the Curl (HKM - charges continuously while in riding mode): Spawns a large wave in the current direction of travel, providing a significant speed boost to the user and any other nearby SURFers for a short time.

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Handstand in action

The SURF Board itself is cool and all, but this wouldn’t be a “Looking Forward” blog without some additional information regarding its future in Firefall. By granting the ability to safely travel across the water, the playable space in Coral Forest and Devil’s Tusk will effectively be increased. The world building team is working on building out an array of modular floating platforms that can be spawned dynamically, opening up new locations to spawn new dynamic content tailored for SURFing.

In addition, the Live Team is working on a new Live Event known as the SURFing Challenge. In this spiritual successor to the LGV and Glider Challenges, there will be a series of obstacle courses set up off the coasts of Coral Forest and Devil’s Tusk which award points for factors such as successful completion of each obstacle and the amount of time taken to finish the course, with bonus points available for style. All scores will be tracked on a global scoreboard, and at the end of the event, the players with the highest single-run scores in each of the obstacle courses will receive the exclusive “Big Kahuna” title and warpaint. In addition, players ranking in the top 10% of the highest total points from all obstacle courses (counting only their highest single-run scores) will get the opportunity to SURF head-to-head against Cognac, the undefeated SURFing Master, for a chance to claim the title of undisputed SURFing World Champion.

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We hope you enjoyed this look ahead at this new transportation method being added to Firefall! As with everything in this “Looking Forward” series, the changes discussed won’t be making their way to the live servers for quite some time, though we hope to have them on our Public Test Server soon. Until then, we look forward to hearing what you think of these additions in the forum thread linked below!

Discuss this on the forums

Firefall is the free-to-play sci-fi MMO shooter from Red 5 Studios. Play for FREE on Steam

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