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Monday, July 15, 2013

[Firefall] Learn to Thump in 5 minutes or less

Thumping, not just a euphemism for the kids anymore, is the primary means of getting specific and the highest quality resources in Firefall. However due to the new, unique (compared to other games) interface it can be a little daunting at first, so I wrote this quick guide to get you from zero to thumping as fast as possible.

So what is Thumping? In one sentence, you drop a thumper at a location, it knocks the ground for about 4 minutes, and in that time you have to protect it from all manner of angry things it stirs up. A bit like being the guy who announces he's handing out flasks before a WoW raid.

So you're standing in Copacabana, enjoying your pina colada and you decide to go out for minerals. You press "M" to open your map, then press tab and you're confronted with the screen below.
So many minerals, so little time.
What does this say? Well if you look closely you notice the vague outline of circles on the radar with the words in the middle of them. That means that a vein of that material is located somewhere in that circle or touches it in some way. It can just be the very edge, so when you see the same mineral in two places, it might also imply that the mineral is near where they two intersect (though there can be two veins).

Each mineral is spawned as a vein, which has a finite amount of thump-able resource, meaning that your main reward for using bigger thumpers is more material per minute. So you fly out to the circle where you think the vein is and break out your scan hammer by pressing "C" then scrolling with your mouse wheel to the little white crystal icon (that is labelled as "Resource Gathering" to the left of the icon). Scroll to "Scan Hammer" then press "5" to smash it into the ground. It will throw a wave of color across the screen. If you then jump jet upwards you should get this as a result (if you did not, it is because there were only trace elements, so nothing to mine there, go somewhere else!):

They can be a bit hypnotic
Note the brighter blue lines moving from bottom left to upper right...those on the screen should be moving in a direction, and that direction is pointing you towards the peak of the vein; where you'll get the most Resource per thump (these are listed as if you get 50% Carbon, 50% Sifted Earth, you'll get those proportions when you send your thumper home). Using those lines as a guide, hammer until you find this:
Ignore the color change, usually elements are the same color, I just ended up on a different peak!
That peak is where the vein is most concentrated.* Now you just press "c" again, scroll with your mouse wheel through the Resource Gathering set until you find a thumper of appropriate size for your group (for new players, this typically means a Stock Personal Thumper, a Personal Thumper 1, or Personal Thumper 2 in ascending order of difficulty and rewards) and when you are ready, press 5 and it will create a blue hologram of the thumper.

Convenient tutorial popup!
Place that over where the peak was and click...a few seconds later it comes crashing down like so...

Literally crashes down
Congratulations! Now all you have to do is guard that sucker for about 4 minutes while it sucks that sweet sweet ore out of the ground. The dinner bell has been run! The waves of enemies get progressively more difficult as it goes on. Once it's finished (the game will say "Thumper Extraction Complete" and the holographic card next to it will read "100%" capacity. The screenshot below is an in-progress thump.

My rule: If the thumper goes below 20%, send it back, they can die fast, especially at the end of a thump.
IMPORTANT: You see two numbers on the screenshot, the top is Capacity, the bottom is Integrity (read: Health). If Integrity reaches zero your thumper is destroyed, you have to make a new one, and you lose out on the resources it had collected. Don't let that happen! If the thumper is low, run up to it and press E when looking at it from close range to send it back. You also press E while looking at the thumper to send it back when it's full.

Good luck! Happy Thumping...remember, thumping is best done with friends.

* It is not required that you thump at the vein peak, it just provides the best resource proportion and usually the most resource/minute. Don't be afraid to take locations with lower ratios if it means a strategic advantage (and thus the ability to use tougher but more profitable thumpers).

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