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  1. Announcement regarding launch date

    Hello everyone, We have some exciting news and game updates to share with you today. First, thank you to everyone who is participating in our pre-alpha. Your feedback is valuable and helps us to improve the overall game experience in Rend. As mentioned before, we created Frostkeep Studios with the hope and vision of evolving the industry forward, specifically with the survival genre. Our goal with Rend is to present a fresh approach to gameplay and exceed players’ traditional expectations. The excitement around the game has brought our studio an amazing opportunity to take Rend to the next level. With this new support, we are re-evaluating current development plans and exploring ways in which we can deliver an even more robust in-game experience at launch. Our team is incredibly grateful for this new opportunity to make Rend an even better game than we originally envisioned. Given these significant updates, we have shifted the early access launch date on Steam to later this year to factor in time for adding in these new features and mechanics. In the upcoming weeks, please expect ongoing updates to the game. This may include dark periods where the game is not accessible. We will be in touch soon to share more of these updates as they are available. Thank you again for your support – see you in game. The Frostkeep Team read the original article
  2. Another Week, another Reckoning

    Another week another reckoning. So we’ve now had 2 weeks of Reckonings on our test servers. That makes 4 Reckonings over all. There have been some highs from them (the first Reckoning on the NA server had an epic battle between Order and Revenant). A secret room in Order’s base. It seems to be where they store all their valuables! There have also been some lows (we discovered some network issues during the most recent Reckonings which we now have to fix). But what I want to talk about today is base design. Base design was something we were excited to see when we were developing Rend last August. We wanted to see what players would do to beat the waves and also what they would do to combat opposing factions. Whenever we built bases, we made a simple box with some turrets because it was easier. But we were very curious. Before we had Reckonings, I had a chance to see a few bases. They were built mostly for cosmetics (and sadly we didn’t get to test them against the Reckoning to see how it would fare). The most impressive one I saw was Order’s ziggurat. It was awesome looking and one of the most aesthetic bases I’ve seen so far in Rend. The other faction’s bases were also impressive but sadly I didn’t get any pictures of them. A view from the top level in Order’s base. They placed diagonal walls at the top for shooting out. They also placed turrets looking down on the Divinity Stone to kill anything that makes it inside. Then we introduced the Reckoning. The Order built a base that seemed to fare really well. They built mostly a box but they had walls A view from the top level of Revenant’s base. The ramp on the right is used for cover in a firefight as well as providing the ability to see over the wall to shoot out. alternating, it looked like battlements and provided excellent cover. When they went to fight the Revenant, an epic battle ensued at the Revenant base. During the battle, a Revenant player accidentally opened up the gates. Order players hesitated, unsure if it was a trap or not, and charged in, decimating them. This event caused Order to re-evaluate their base design and came up with the one in the pictures in this post. They also decided to put chests in the middle of the foundations since they have a decent amount of health. I don’t know if it’s a good idea, we’ll have to see. The grates looking down at the lower platforms. I love this design. Revenant also had a brilliant idea to put the gate in front of a foundation you had to jump over to actually get into the base. Effectively stops demons from getting in if they bust open the gates. But even more important, if a player gets through the gates, they have to jump over foundation (during which they can’t fire) to see anyone to shoot at. I love it. They also put grates on all 2nd floor platforms so that they can shoot down at any demons below them. They just have to be careful, cause if the walls that support the grates are destroyed, those grates fall also. As always please follow us on our social media accounts (aka Twitter and Facebook) for more updates in the future! Don’t forget to sign up for pre-alpha. EA is coming soon, but we’ll do another invite wave before that! read the original article
  3. Artifacts :)

    Lightning Hammer charging up! If only there were enemies (or friendlies) around to release the destruction on When I played Vanilla WoW, there were two weapons that everyone knew by sight. Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker, And Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros. If you had one of those you were the envy of the entire server. It is how legendary weapons should be, rare and beautiful. In Rend, we wanted to do something similar. We wanted to have weapons and gear that players sought after and made you feel powerful enough to warrant using them. We wanted artifact gear that made you the envy of both your faction and your enemies (especially your enemies). If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve already seen some artifact gear in action, but I’ll be sure to discuss them more fully right now. The first one we’ll talk about today is the one that everyone asks about. The mighty hammer (name coming later) is a one handed warhammer that crackles with some form of purple electrical magic. Even though it’s extremely intimidating just wielding it, charging the hammer is a warning to all your enemies that they should run… immediately! Once you’ve fully charged the hammer, it calls lightning down on all the enemies around you hitting them for TONS of damage (shoutout to Phreak). The second artifact item is also a weapon. The trailer barely shows it off, but it’s currently my favorite. It’s a bow of insane knockback (I’m really honestly clever with names, ask anybody! Except my coworkers… they don’t like my names most of the time). This bow is clearly taken from the horns of one of those beautiful elk that dot the Valleys. It’s bright shining light makes you a target for any enemy especially if you pull it out at night. But it’s true power is when it shoots and hits a target. The bow does an insane amount of knockback. In the trailer you can see it in action when it shoots someone off the side of the wall. The opportunities are endless for a bow like this, and I look forward to getting it and destroying Order with it. The awesome bow of insane knockback (I swear I’m good at naming things). Also, shoutout to EU Order for letting me use their base! The next two items are equipment rather than weapons. The art for these two pieces aren’t quite finalized so I won’t show them off at all, I’ll just describe what they do. The first is a chest piece. This chest piece grants the wearer an huge increase in jump height (combined with the Assassin jump perk and suddenly you are practically flying). Think super man jumping over a building in a single bound. Sure, it’s OP, but if you’re jumping over the opponent’s wall, you better hope they don’t kill you before you land. The second item is a pair of boots. These boots make you sprint super fast. Think of the Flash (huh, I guess we have a bunch of DC fans in the office). They are fantastic for getting to or running from places very quickly. Of course, it comes with a drawback as well. Don’t accidentally run off the edge of the map or you’ll lose your awesome boots. That brings me to my next point. We are a full loot survival game. So if you happen to come across one of these weapons in the hellscape (the only place to find one), you will be extremely powerful. But! If you happen to die while carrying it around, you will lose it to your killer. Having one of these artifacts is beneficial, but makes you a prime target for your enemies. I look forward to hearing the stories of taking one of these “raid boss players” down and finding epic loot on him. It’ll be an amazing story. I know, I’ve only talked about 4 so far. And these 4 are already seen in the trailer. But, we have the systems in place to make these very quickly. We also love to hear ideas from people. In fact we already have a few ideas about artifact weapons from the community that we’re planning on implementing. Rend is all about collaboration with the community. So we’re looking forward to hearing all suggestions, whether it’s on our Facebook, Twitter, or on the Community discord. Don’t forget to sign up for pre-alpha! We’ll be doing another wave soon! read the original article
  4. Getting ready for the Reckoning!

    It happens suddenly, even though you’re expecting it. The night grows cold and an eerie red glow fills the sky. Lightning flashes against the sky, but you don’t see any thunder clouds. You hear shrieks in the darkness sending chills up your spine. A tall slender humanoid figure is suddenly lit up by the red lightning… The Reckoning is here! James made an awesome wooden “murder hole”. Yes, you can walk over it and shoot through it! As your friendly neighborhood dev, I’m here to suggest a few things to prep you and your faction for the Reckoning. No, I’m not going to provide strategy at this point. That’s for a later blog post, but I will provide ideas and guidance. I mean, we wouldn’t expect the Spartans to defend Thermopylae without some form of training. The first thing that we’ll cover is base building. Now, at the moment, Rend has only a few options for walls and base building. To start with, you’ll need to build foundations on the ground. These foundations are what you build walls and platforms on. The current strategy is just a surrounding of the base with foundations and then start building walls from there, and it looks like a legit strategy to me. Once you have foundations down, walls and platforms are next. The coolest looking base I saw was Order’s before the most recent wipe. Crafted by the talented Mathulasa (no relation to the Methuselah from the Bible as I recall), it was a giant ziggurat and looked very impressive from the outside. Of course, it never got tested in a real reckoning (though it did suffer heavy casualties during a surprise reckoning due to a bug). However, most teams seem to move in favor of a more box like structure. One of the designs I saw during the smoketest of Reckonings was a battlement style. This faction has erected walls in a rectangle, effectively doing the box that most factions do. But they put walls at every other slot. It looked a little like battlements. But the clever part about it was that they put ramps up to each battlement which allowed them to have nearly full coverage of all sides without foregoing cover for the defenders. I like that style. One of my favorite parts of working at Frostkeep is the sheer amount of ownership that we each have as a team. When we were playtesting the Reckoning internally, James noticed that he got irritated about not being able to shoot down at the melee monsters attacking the walls beneath him, and he was right! It’s rather awkward. So, he went and made balconies. These allow you to step further out from the wall to shoot at people. But, that wasn’t enough. So at the behest of Mat, he made murder holes. Now, he didn’t know what murder holes were at first (clearly he never played Age of Empires 2 growing up… younguns), but he quickly got the idea. And now we have grate platforms that you can place to shoot down at people (or lost ones). It’s awesome, and a daily reminder of how special it is to work here. An iron murder hole! I think James understands murder holes now! The next thing you’ll have to worry about during the Reckoning is ammo. I know, players always carry an abundance of ammo on them, but I think you’re going to need a lot more than that to take these creatures down. As a dev, I’m highly recommending that you stockpile ammo. I mean, it’s always useful even if you don’t need it during the reckoning! Another thing to remember is that even if you don’t die to the demons, you can be attacked by your opposing factions. That’s a terrifying thought, and should you die, you want to be able to get geared up quickly. I would highly recommend having a chest (and in the future some sort of armory/weapon rack thing) that everyone can pull from to ensure you have a fighting chance even if you just respawned naked a second ago. There’s nothing worse than having an opposing faction infiltrate your base and you can only run around punching them! To sum up, make sure you have plenty of spots to shoot from during the reckoning. Without that, you won’t be able to protect your base at all! But, they don’t have as much health and armor as normal walls, so you can’t make everything an opening. Be strategic! Make sure you have plenty of ammo and supplies. Lost ones can be tanky, and you could find yourself in a firefight with an opponent. You don’t want to be completely defenseless if you die either, so make sure you have a stockpile for everyone. Our first official reckoning is happening on Thursday at 7pm at the respective times for the server. I hope our testers are ready! read the original article
  5. But what about the studio?

    Let’s do a quick update of what’s been going on at Frostkeep the last few weeks. Since we’ve been focusing on the systems in the game, I figure we can take a quick breather to talk about what we’ve been doing. Starting off with the big news. We hired another developer! His name is David Talley, but he prefers to be called Javier*. Both Jeremy and I had the good fortune of working with Jose* while at Carbine where he worked on the server and networking team. I consider myself lucky to have gotten to know him since we would play volleyball on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He had a unique way of hitting the ball back over the net by just sticking his mighty paw out and somehow it would just work. Never seen someone do that before. In his short time of being at Frostkeep, he’s already provided us with some fantastic ideas and suggestions on server systems to greatly improve Rend. In fact, in the first few days he’s been here, he’s improved our production speed significantly! I’m sure all the testers will see his work very quickly in game, and you all will appreciate him when we launch! I’ve been asked a lot over the last few weeks about invites, and let me explain what’s going on here. We have had some fantastic testers in the game right now. They’ve provided us a ton of bug reports, as well as feedback and suggestions on systems that we have in the game. We’ve actually wiped the server once to retest progression after some significant changes. We’ve been seeing the concurrency on the game that we wanted to see to test the current iteration of the system. However, we want to get much This is how James gears up for the Reckoning play tests more testing and many more people in to help us guide Rend into early access launch this spring. The reason we haven’t opened up another server yet is because we want to get the Reckoning into the pre-alpha first. We need the next wave to test progression with the Reckoning to see how that affects everything. We’ve been testing the Reckoning a lot internally, and it’s getting much closer to sending it out to the pre-alpha testers (which is when we’ll do another wave of invites). If you haven’t signed up already, you should go do so now! We’ve gotten a lot done recently. We’re switching up the reputation system to be more of a static bucket size instead of reliant on a bell curve. The reason for this was because the bell curve indirectly put players in competition against each other as faction members. We want to encourage cooperation rather than competition against each other. Another big reason why we made this change is how it’s messaged to the players. Players were having a hard time understanding exactly what was happening and I ended up explaining it a lot in the pre-alpha Discord. This new change will help out a lot. James got a sweet sweatshirt, that I love. Maybe he’ll leave it lying around in the office, and I can borrow it for the day. Sorry this one is so short, I have a more Rend focused one for next week, but wanted to give you all a quick studio update. As usual, check us out on our Twitter, Facebook, etc. We also hang out in Discord, on the subreddit, and on the various community sites around. In fact, a sweet Russian one just sprung up recently. *Jose/Javier is not his real name. But I figured he won’t read this, so he won’t mind. read the original article
  6. Whenever we tell someone about Rend and we explain the faction system, they always ask us the question, “But what’s in place to protect the players?”. It’s a fair question, and one that we analyzed and discussed extensively. In fact, we had to expedite a few of the systems due to some griefers in pre-alpha, so thanks to them for discovering it early! A look at the Conclave base The system that we designed to combat griefers in your faction is called the Reputation system. Since you’re joining a faction, unless you’re on a private server, you will end up with some random people on your team. Some of my favorite experiences in online games are meeting new people, and I’m excited to hear some amazing stories about people meeting others in Rend, but we all know that there are griefers online. It’s our job to come up with a system to protect the faction from the single person hellbent on destroying it. Obviously this system will require an amount of iteration, which our current pre-alpha testers are helping us out tremendously. The first aspect of the reputation system is the permissions subsystem. Your faction reputation level dictates what permissions you have. These permissions allow you to do things that directly benefit the faction. Like placing a chest or building in the mid level, or placing walls in the next tier up, or destroying walls in the top tier. The purpose is to have only the people who have top reputation to be allowed to remove walls. It would be a terrible thing if someone removed a wall in the middle of the Reckoning after all. Not currently implemented, but definitely in the works, is the player guidance system. Basically, players above a certain rep level will be allowed to flag resources that the faction needs. Other players will be able to go look at the warehouse and see which resources are needed. Depositing those flagged resources into the warehouse grants the player more rep for doing so. This will give new players guidance, as well as help the faction work together across different play times. I’m inside Revenant taking screenshots! Your faction reputation level is determined by how many things you’ve done to help your faction. In pre-alpha right now, there are only two ways to gain reputation. The first is to use your own resources to research tech for your faction. Technology is how your faction gets to the next tier of weaponry/gear/structures. Without using your resources to research, you’re liable to fall behind. But it’s clearly a balancing act because your faction will need to spend resources to build the base, craft gear for everyone, and do research. Finding the right balance is key. The other way to gain faction reputation is to deposit resources into the warehouse. While it’s still being iterated on during pre-alpha, the general idea is that anyone can deposit resources into the warehouse for reputation. Then, players who are above a certain rep level, will be allowed to craft faction beneficial items or research tech for the faction. They won’t get the reputation for doing so because they’re using the faction resources. The idea is that new players won’t be able to log in, loot the community chest and immediately log out effectively removing a significant amount of resources from the game. But the warehouse will still act as a community resource deposit so new players don’t have to hide their loot. I wish I could have taken a video of Order’s base. It’s awesome looking. I can’t wait for the Reckoning to blow it all up! At the moment, we’re iterating heavily on the reputation level subsystem. In its current state, the levels are dynamic in size. Using statistics to determine who has “done” the most for the faction over a period of time provides us a bucket. Think of it like a percentile. The top 90 percentile have permissions for everything. The next 20 percentile have permissions for most things, and so on down the list until you get to the no permissions bucket (usually reserved for people who shoot teammates or talk during movies at the theater). But, you can always raise your permissions again using the warehouse. This is one of those systems that has to be iterated on a lot. We’ve already changed a few things about it in the week that it’s been live in pre-alpha. This was one of those systems that we had to design on paper due to the size of our team, and I can’t stress enough just how awesome the community has been in helping us test, providing us feedback and suggestions, and just playing Rend over the last month. I know that a lot of you are chomping at the bit to get in, and we’re sending out more keys soon, go sign up! read the original article
  7. The stone cutter. This excellent example of a refinery cuts stone into square blocks for buildings and walls It’s pretty much impossible to have a survival game without crafting. If punching trees is the heart of this genre, then crafting is the soul. After all, if you’re punching trees, you better have something to do with all those sticks that you collect. I know I’ve already discussed how our skills system ties into our crafting system, but I’ll do a quick overview in case you don’t wanna go read all that again. In short, as you do certain skills, e.g. punching trees or shooting boars, you gain skill experience. When you’ve reached a certain skill level, you will unlock crafting recipes (and other things but that’s part of the other blog). The idea is to have players have a goal to achieve whenever they want. They can open their unlocks menu, take a look to see which recipes they’re close to unlocking and go get those. Personal Crafting Our first type of crafting is the personal crafting. Personal crafting are recipes that can be crafted anywhere (you can even craft while moving!). Recipes in this crafting will be things like wooden ammo, your first buildings, and early resources like boards and fiber twine. It doesn’t sound glamorous, but it’s necessary to survive in the world of Rend. Refineries The first non-personal crafting that you’ll come across are campfires. Campfires are a craft station called a refinery. Refinery means that they will continue to craft even if no one is there. So you put meat into the campfire (and some fuel), select cooked meat recipe and let the refinery do its work. You can go off and hunt down more boars for more meat and your little campfire buddy will keep crafting along until it runs out of fuel or runs out of things to cook. Refineries are very effective way of cooking lots of things while you’re off hunting down the Order, I mean your enemies. Campfires are not the only refinery in the game, just the most basic one. Located in the adventuring building, the loom gives you cloth for armor, while the blacksmith table helps you make weapons. Craft Stations The next type of crafting that you will see is Craft station crafting. Craft stations are placed in the requisite buildings (which we’ll save for a later blog post). Things like the loom and the weapon workbench are found in the adventuring building, while the mystic altar is found in the Mystic building. This is where players will craft the more powerful weapons and really progress their faction. Their only drawback is that they are only placeable in the faction base, which means you’ll have to bring your materials back in order to craft everything you wanted to. Craft stations also open up the faction tech tree. By researching (aka crafting research) players will be able to unlock better craft stations to build better gear or bigger buildings. There are 4 tech trees you can craft in, Adventuring, Mystic, Construction, and Invention. Taking a highest of high looks at these four buildings, Adventuring generally gives you better gear (weapons and armor), Construction gives you access to walls and better walls the more you research, Invention grants you better versions of gear (think sturdy stone ax instead of stone axe), and Mystics give you better ways of collecting whisps and mount stuff. Any questions? You can ask on our social media handles. We’re also very active on the Steam discussion forums, the community discord, the community forum site, and others we find. We’re very excited to talk about Rend whenever so please ask away! Oh and one more thing, we’re still taking signups for the Rend pre-alpha. Please sign up above. If it gets stuck on processing, go to the homepage and try it from there. read the original article
  8. That’s right, ballistae is plural for ballista, enjoy your word of the day. In Rend, players will have access to a vast arsenal of weapons, traps, bombs and siege weapons. Your choice of weapon will have a big impact on your play-style in Rend, from using massive ballistae to assault your enemies, to launching a spirit-world stealth bombing run – there are many choices for players to make. An Order huntress stalking a target with a makeshift bow. Makeshift Weapons In Rend, players start out learning to craft crude weaponry from their environment such as throwing sticks and makeshift bows, and later learn to craft more powerful weapons at their base. While these early starting weapons can be largely ineffective against most creatures, they can be useful in aiding players in defeating weak foes for food early on. Crossbows, Bows, and Repeaters A soldier using a bronze repeater. After getting the requisite station and research up and running, players will be able to craft repeaters, crossbows, and bows. Each weapon has it’s own strengths and weaknesses; the repeater excels in close quarters combat with it’s fast rate of fire and generous clip size, however it lacks in accuracy and can be less effective at medium to long range because of high recoil. The crossbow is a well-rounded, burst-fire weapon that puts out more damage per second than repeater or bow. It is effective at close to medium range, but can be difficult to use at long range due to it’s recoil. The bow is an accurate, low-recoil weapon that deals the most damage per shot of the three weapons, deadly at long range, but difficult to use in close quarters. Spike-Launchers and Shard Blasters Once players have reached the bronze tier, they will have access to Spike-Launchers, accurate, high damage weapons with a powerful recoil. The spike launcher has a very low rate of fire and a modest clip size, and can be effective at any range in the right hands. A player with an Iron Spike Launcher. At the iron tier, players can craft Shard Blasters, a devastating close-range weapon. The blaster fires a single shot per load, and has a long reload time. The blaster fires multiple shards at once, and looses effectiveness quickly the further you are from your target. Bombs The perfect tools for tearing down an enemy wall or setting up an ambush, bombs and traps offer a variety of ways to ensnare or kill your targets. Players will have access to a variety of bombs, such as fragmentation bombs that specialize in shredding players and creatures or siege bombs that devastate structures. Ballistae A trio of bronze defender ballistae angled at their maximum gun depression. Mines are strategically laid out in front of the base. A stalwart display of power, these massive weapons can adorn your faction’s base walls for defense, or sit atop a hill over looking over an enemy base and rain down destruction. There are three variants of the ballista that excel in different situations, the defender, the devastator, and the liberator. The devastator variant of the ballista is a short, light weight siege weapon with the lowest aim times and highest rate of fire. It has decent gun depression, making it a good choice for base wall defense. It has great gun elevation, which helps it compensate in the field for it’s poor projectile velocity when trying to siege from afar. Due to it’s lightweight construction, the devastator ballista is also the least durable ballista. A divinite liberator ballista high atop a base wall. The defender variant of the ballista is well-balanced sized siege weapon with a moderate aim time, and moderate rate of fire. It has the best gun depression of any siege weapon, making it ideal for base defense. It has the worst gun elevation however, greatly limiting it’s effective range when besieging bases. Simple and sturdy, the defender variant is the most durable ballista. The liberator variant of the ballista is a protracted, towering weapon that has the highest aim time and lowest rate of fire. It has terrible gun depression, making it a less ideal choice for base defense, but has value as a counter-siege weapon on base walls. It has near-vertical gun elevation and a high-speed projectile, capable of long range barrages. read the original article
  9. So that was a sudden turn of events, I hope we surprised you all properly. In case you aren’t in the loop, we sent our first wave of pre-alpha invites out to help us get Rend into early access. We’re excited to work with them, and we’re more excited to get more people into the game. Please go sign up right now! In addition to random invites sent out by us, please check the fan run subreddit and the fan Discord for a chance at the giveaways they will do there! We already talked about one of the ways to progress and customize your character in the I punch this tree, I get wood sticks and my lumber skill increases? I need to punch more trees!! talent system. Today, I’d like to chat about the skills system that we implemented to give another progression and customization avenue. Fans of RPGs will find familiarity with our skills system. The general idea is that the more time you successfully spend doing something, the better you become at it (insert Rocky training montage here). A player who only uses the bow to shoot with should be better than the player who picks up the bow for the first time. At the basic level, doing certain things will increase your skill doing that thing. Harvesting skill increases will increase the yield you get per hit, while combat skills will increase your some combat related stat (think damage, reload, recoil, that type of thing). Leveling up your crafting skills could decrease things like crafting speed. The possibilities are awesome. The best part about our skill system though is that there are no game limitations on how many skills you can level up. Unlike the talent paths which have a ruleset where you can only choose a max of 2 archetypes, any skill can be leveled up by any player. It only takes time. But minor passive increases in efficiency aren’t very interesting. So, we added an unlock system as well. Players will have to level up different skills to gain crafting recipes and perks. The crafting recipes is relative self explanatory. As a brand new character, you will have to go and punch a few trees or bushes to unlock the recipe to craft an A preliminary look at the skills menu. axe. Once you have the axe, you can chop trees down much faster, as well as gain woodcutting experience much faster. One of my favorite things about this system is that people who dedicate their time to being the master armor crafter will be able to unlock recipes that other players, who haven’t leveled up their armorcrafting skill, won’t have. This allows for the players who don’t enjoy combat to really help their faction immensely by logging on and doing what they love. You can choose to be either a jack-of-all-trades, or you can choose to specialize down a specific few skills. All it costs is time. The other part of the unlock system is the perks system. At skill levels 5, 10, 25, and 50, a player will get to choose between two different perks that will change his play style in regards to that specific skill. For example, at level 5 herbalist, a player gets a choice between Friend of the Herbs, which increases the yield gathered from plants, and Hunting for the Rare Bloom which increases the chance to get a rarer resource from plants. These are two different valuable perks to have, but you cannot reset it so you have to choose wisely or whichever one you want the most. One of my favorite perk choices is the level 50 bow choice. A player has to choose between the Hunter perk (every successful A screenshot from one of our testers of the Conclave Base hit increases movement speed by % for 5* seconds, maximum stack 5*) or the Sniper perk (standing still for a small amount of time grants a % increase in damage by bow shots to a maximum of 2*%). Two wildly different playstyles from the same weapon. I expect players to find a large amount of replayability within these perk choices. We’re so very excited to flesh out the game more. We recently looked back at our progress over the last month since we announced the project and we can’t believe how much the game has come along. Our friends and family testers have been so invaluable, and we’re really looking forward to inviting more people to provide suggestions and feedback leading into early access launch. We will be doing more waves soon. So if you didn’t get in during yesterdays invite, you have a chance later. Also, if you haven’t signed up! Please do so now! *all numbers subject to balance changes read the original article
  10. Environments

    Today we’re going to talk about all the environments that players will see in Rend. Environments play a huge role in Rend, whether it’s the temperature, or the flora and fauna that you have to farm to increase in power. Valley The Valley is the starting area. Every faction will have a Divinity Stone at the back (away from the World Tree) of the valley. Around this stone, they will need to build up their base to protect it from the Lost Ones and other players. In addition, the base will be protected by an impenetrable shield until the Reckoning. The Reckoning is a pre-scheduled event where the shields drop and all hell breaks loose. This elk is not sure what to do with me The Valley is a relatively safe place to be. Close to the base there are very few boars that will attack you for taking their berries, choosing instead to run from your terrifying visage. Small trees and harvestable rocks paint the landscape so gatherers will always have something to harvest. A player could live happily ever after in the back part of the Valley, if the Reckoning never happened. However, the further you get away from your Divinity Stone, the more dangerous the environment becomes. Traveling to the local watering hole is generally a safe bet, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you should probably be well equipped and bring a few friends. Spiders scuttle among the trees, wolves prowl the hills, and beautiful but mysterious elk look down their regal noses at all the other creatures in the Valley. Plus, if you’re going to climb the hills to explore, be sure to bring something warm. Resources in the Valley are mirrored between all three faction valleys with the exception of the reagents for Bronze. Bronze requires equal parts copper (found in the Order’s Valley), tin (found in the Conclave’s Valley), and Flux (found in the Revenant’s valley). To gain Bronze, the factions will have to get it from their opponents, by hook or by crook. Travel around the Valley is simple. The first thing to note is that there are teleporters up in the hills. Teleporters that take you to opposing factions valleys. You might have to fight a few creatures along the way, but you will eventually make it into the opponent’s valley where all sorts of adventures await. Heading towards the tree will bring you to the Center via a land bridge and you’re in your first truly contested zone. Center The Center at Night. The tree roots in the back are a sight to behold Golden and majestic, the Center is truly a wonder to behold. Home to mysterious crystal and giant bipedal creatures, this environment serves as the first chance to contest resources between the three factions. Towering over the Center is the World Tree, reaching out and clutching the land with its enormous clawlike roots. Giant holes pocket the landscape, so be careful you don’t fall in. Bodies disappear forever after falling into the pits. Resources are scarce and valuable. Every thing found here will help the Faction in some way, so gatherers better start harvesting. But, they shouldn’t go alone, who knows what fauna is lurking around the corn er, waiting to strike. Opponents might also take the opportunity to strike and steal some of those valuable resources off your corpse. Be prepared! And, to make matters worse, sometimes the Creator grants Spirits in the Center to watch the Factions battle over the right to take that Spirit home for a valuable boon. If you keep traveling underneath the World Tree, you’ll come across a mysterious portal, similar to the ones found in the Valley, but this one glows white. Of course, you have to explore inside. Cave Bright white light sears your eyes as you walk into the door. Peering out, you can’t see past the edge of the light. To explore this darkness, you better have brought your torch, or modded your weapon with a flashlight. As soon as you step into the dark, you can see just how perfect a place it is to ambush. If you turn on your light, other players can see you, if you don’t turn on your light, you can’t see anything. It’s a lose/lose situation, The magma wing in the cave! Not pictured, me burning up because I don’t have any heat resist gear so you should probably bring a Mystic with their spectral light ability. Off in the distance you can hear the scuttling of spiders and smell the sulfur emanating from the lava. If the spiders don’t kill you, the heat will. So you better find some heat resistant gear or potions. Maybe you find your way down into the old mines, looking for silver and iron as you go. You might come around a corner and hear the roar of a bear as he punts you with a swipe of his big paw. You still can barely see anything in this light, and these creatures are terrifying. You hear scurrying in the darkness and channel your inner Indie… Rats…. why did it have to be rats… The deeper you go the colder it becomes. What kind of place is this that the closer you get to the center of the earth, the colder it gets. Having a lava spider around right about now wouldn’t be a bad idea. Shrieks can be heard in the distance, but surely that’s just the wind whistling around the rocks. “Where does the wind come from down here?” Your brain asks. “Quiet you!” You reply, knowing that it’s right and it’s just made the situation worse, plus the shrieks get louder the further down you go! Lost Ones greet you as you come around a bend, this could be the end of your group. Eternal Wastes If you make it through the caves past the lost ones, a beautiful portal lies in front of you beaming in the blackness like some sort of alien eye. The coldness of death pours out of it and your bones seem to freeze inside of you. Equipping your fur armor and gathering your group together seems to be the only way to survive going through it, but you know there has to be great treasures in there. A blizzard prevents you from seeing any further than 15 feet. Shriekers seem to just appear in front of you bearing down on your group. You’re slowly freezing to death, but you hope it’s worth it. Legends tell of priceless artifacts found in this hellscape, and you’ll need them to overcome your enemies and ascent to the Creator as victors. As usual, you can find us hanging out in the fan run Discord, the Steam discussion forums, or on our Social Media pages. We can’t wait to get all of you in game exploring these places! read the original article
  11. A high level view of classes

    Just me and a buddy harvesting some whisps! In Rend, we have 4 classes. These aren’t classes in the modern RPG sense though because they aren’t chosen at character create. Everyone starts at the exact same place as everyone else. Everyone has access to the same gear and weapons. Differences happen as they level instead. At level 2 (and every level thereafter), you will gain a talent point to spend in one of 4 class paths (paths instead of trees because they don’t branch). A character can only have talents in a maximum of 2 paths, and will eventually have to choose a primary class and a secondary class. This will slightly change how each player plays. For example, an assassin/soldier will play differently than a soldier/assassin. Talent paths will work like this: you’re required to spend a certain amount of points in the path to unlock different tiers. Each tier can have a maximum of 5 points spent in it, and down the rabbit hole we go. A short disclaimer while we get started. All of these values/abilities are subject to change based on feedback and balance. This is a sneak peak into the pre-alpha state of the classes. Assassin The Assassin is for the players who like to move stealthily and quickly while doing lots of damage. By spending points in the Assassin path, you will do more headshot damage, gain a marginal amount of health, barely increase your carrying capacity, and increase the height at which you can fall. Tiers include things like: increase long ranged damage, increase range, reduce noise generated, and increase jump height. The tier 6 ability will be camouflage, an active ability that lets the Assassin be stealthed as long as he doesn’t move or attack. Soldier We get it, you’re tough as nails and mean to boot. You don’t care too much about those long ranged Assassin’s because you’re so heavily armored their bows feel more like nerf guns. You can carry more weight than the Assassin too, it just goes to show you how weak they are. As you get further down the Soldier path, you get access to doing a ton more damage from close range. Sure, it may be difficult to get into close range with another player, but once you do… they better watch out. Tiers include buffs like: increased armor, increase health regen, increase stamina regen rate, and increase max carry weight. The tier 6 ability will be a huge increase in health and armor for a short duration. Survivalist You’re kind of the do everything type of player. You want to help the faction out as much as possible, so you don’t want to have to worry as much about food, water, overencumbrance, or health. The survivalists are the players who want to be able to last for a length of time away from the faction. If you want the ability to move faster while crafting, or increase harvest yields, survivalist is for you. Their tier buffs grant things like: increase temperature resistances, and faster mounted speed. Their tier 6 ability is forage, which lets them find food and water where other classes are unable to. Mystic This is the secretive class. Somehow they already know about the spirit world and can last longer in there than other classes. But Mystics aren’t just to solo into the spirit world. They are the support class, providing buffs to closeby allies that help them survive better. Tiers include: increased stamina regen for you and nearby allies, increase armor and resistances for you and nearby allies, reduce stat costs of spells, and increase soul collection speed. Their tier 6 ability is called Spectral Light. It provides light to the mystic and the mystic’s faction but no light to the other factions. A group of Assassin’s with a Mystic in the cave will be a fantastic ambush party for the unsuspecting torch bearers of the opposite faction. One of our main goals when designing these classes was to give an actual choice to the player. Each class has a benefit and a drawback, sometimes in the same talent tier. For example, the Assassin’s tier 1 grants 10% increased sprinting speed (sounds awesome!) but also increases the sprint stamina drain rate by 7% (doh!). So, an Assassin can run faster, but for a much shorter amount of time. The Survivalist’s tier 1, on the other hand, reduces the Sprint speed by 3%, but reduces the sprint stamina drain by 15%. They won’t be able to run as fast, but they can run soooo much further. Players could always be an Assassin/Survivalist (or visa versa), but that means they lose out on the flat + armor tier in the Soldier talent path, or the ally buffs in the Mystic tree. The goal is to have the talent paths feel as different as we can get without having a single talent path be the necessary class to be. read the original article
  12. Order – Proud and brutal, they care more about the results achieved than the process on how to get there. Willing to sacrifice anything to obtain their goal, the Order is not a faction to be trifled with. Sorry about the cheesy title, I always have trouble figuring out what to title papers, blog posts, video game companies. It’s harder than it sounds! Now where were we? Oh right, last time I listed factions as a design decision that we came up with, but I never explained to y’all the reasoning behind it. If we’re going to ask why all the time, we should be able to give a good answer for why we designed things the way we did. So let’s talk about factions, and why we decided on designing factions into the survival genre. One of the biggest draws of survival games is the community. I know it sounds backwards, because we’ve all had the experience of encountering another player, and they attempt to kill us as soon as our back is turned to loot our corpse. But sometimes, you find those players who want to work together to accomplish something greater than they can themselves. So you join up and start growing your community. After a little while, you meet another group, and since they’re friendly, you join up with them too. Before long, you have a community that you login to survive with. It’s no longer just you against the world, it’s us against the world. The problem comes for the solo player who doesn’t feel social enough to put himself out there. He doesn’t have a community. With a ready made faction upon character create, he finds a community without having to wonder if someone will stab him in the back for that sweet shotgun he has. Revenant – Sly and cunning, these explorers know that strength in numbers is necessary to survive the brutal environments of Rend and defeat their opponents. They’re lucky, but that means bad as often as good. Survival games have a steep learning curve. It’s one of the things I love about the genre. But for a lot of people coming in, it’s extremely intimidating. Without someone to guide a new player, they feel lost and soon stop playing. Harking back to the community point above, a player joining a faction logs in and gets a wealth of help from their teammates. They’ll get guidance on what to harvest, what to craft, and sometimes the “oh yeah, have some of my spare gear lying around”. They’ll also have a base that they’ve helped build whether by gathering or actually placing the structures, protected by the shield of course. My favorite part about factions (along with some other systems that we have in place) is that there is a spot for everyone to help with. If you don’t want to take part in the Reckoning, that’s great. You can spend the time leading up to it gathering resources and crafting the necessary gear to help the faction survive the night. If your idea of fun is to protect your hunter gatherer’s from roaming bands of opponent factions, then you’re needed for the faction to thrive. Lastly, we’d learned previously that three factions work very well in a PvP game. If one faction is getting ahead, the other two factions can ally together to make sure the third gets knocked down a peg. During the Reckoning, after the waves, Order decides to attack Conclave to knock them further behind. But Revenant also cleaned up their waves early. If Order goes through with their planned attack, that leaves their base vulnerable to a counter-attack by Revenant. Suddenly, PvP becomes much more risk/reward with three equal sized factions. Conclave – Mystical and intelligent, these tricksters are as likely to give you a gift as they are to steal it right back from you. Not to be underestimated, they’ll strategize their way to winning. To make balance easier, we decided not to have gameplay differences between each faction. Each faction doesn’t have a different race associated with it, i.e. they’re all human. Each faction will start in its own valley knowing exactly where each of the other faction’s base is. Each valley generally has the same resources in it. However, we did design bronze bars to require copper, tin, and flux. Copper would be found in the Order’s valley, tin in the Conclave’s valley, and flux in the Revenant’s valley. We wanted to encourage player interaction, and this will allow players to either choose to trade with each other, or fight with each other over the necessary resources. So if the factions are essentially the same, how do you tell them apart? The first way we have them set a part is through the tattooed sigils on every character. Every character has a sigil on their back, left shoulder, and left hand. These sigils glow in the dark, so you’ll want to cover them up when in PvP areas like the cave. Each character’s eyes will also glow in the dark in relation to their faction’s color. Finally, when a character on a faction shoots a crossbow or bow, the tracer will be the color of the shooter’s faction. I love the way we set up our faction system. It allows us to do a lot of interesting things. One of the coolest ideas that isn’t implemented, but we’re planning to down the road, is the idea of “spoofing” your faction. Think of it like the polyjuice potion from Harry Potter. You go out and farm these incredibly rare resources, bring it back to your alchemy bench, and make a potion that temporarily changes your faction. Can’t wait! That about wraps up our discussion on Factions. If you have any other questions feel free to reach out on Twitter, Facebook, our fan-run Discord, or the fan forums. We’re always here to listen and discuss Rend with y’all. read the original article
  13. Fireside chat

    Well, finalizing that content schedule took longer than we expected, but now that we have, expect more consistent updates leading to early access launch and beyond! For this specific post, to make sure that we start off on the right foot again, I’m going to look at Rend from a high level, as well as answer a few questions I’ve seen pop up on social media and other places. So, let’s talk about Rend. How did we come up with this game for our first game as a new studio? Well, we wanted to make a game we were all excited about, and since we had all been playing survival games before we started the company, it seemed like a logical step. Similar to how Mat, Jeremy, and Solomon approached the MMO genre back when they were helping create World of Warcraft, we took a hard look at why survival games were so much fun, and where they lost their luster. Here’s a few things that we found: Survival games promise a great war. Everyone builds their base after starting from nothing, and slowly increase in power until they can knock off a neighbor (whether by alliance or destruction) until they’re the biggest baddest tribe on the server. Unfortunately, what ends up happening is you and a couple of buddies build up a base, make sure it’s fortified, and log off for the night. At 4:00 in the morning, another tribe logs in, sees your undefended base, and proceeds to break it open and take all your hard earned loot. When we raided other tribes like that, we left unsatisfied. When we got raided like that, we didn’t feel like starting the grind all over again. We all tasted that tantalizing battle, but only experienced it very rarely. We knew we had to design to provide that war to the player. The only way to prevent your base from being destroyed while you are offline is to join the biggest baddest guild on the server. No one would dare raid your base now! Well that’s true, instead everyone that isn’t in the biggest baddest guild ends up leaving the server causing you to be stuck there with no one to fight. We knew we had to design balance into the game. An example base made by some of our friends and family testers To solve the second one first, we decided to have the player choose a faction when they create a character on a server for the first time. By only allowing a maximum number of players (currently 20, but will be a server setting) per faction online at a time, we could guarantee that the factions would be equal. When you login, you’ll be joining your faction’s community immediately. You’re not trying to survive alone with no guidance. You’re trying to survive with and for each other. But we still hadn’t solved the first discovery. While we were trying to solve that, we played a great game called Kingdom: New Lands (or Kingdom: Classic). In it, you play as a princess who must collect resources to grow her kingdom to survive demon hordes. The idea was perfect for a faction survival game like ours. Every week at a set time (or more often depending on the server), monsters could attack the base that the faction had created. Well, why didn’t we just use that for attacking players too? And thus our idea for the Reckoning was born. The Reckoning is a set time where every faction’s protected shields drop and waves of lost ones attack each base attempting to destroy the Divinity Stone, i.e. the source of the faction’s power. The waves will only last a percentage of the total length of the Reckoning. Your shields will stay down after the Lost Ones are driven back, and what you do with your time during that is up to you. Everyone’s base is unprotected, which means the great war is possible and is happening. With those three core game designs (survival, factions, The Reckoning), we were excited about building a game around them. Suddenly possibilities for expanding the game came flooding into the office from all of us. “Why don’t we add a skill system? You know, like Ultima Online!” So, we built a skill system. Every task that a player does will help them get better at said tasks. So if you enjoy mining, you’ll get better at mining. If you enjoy PvP, you’ll get better at PvP. If you like deep dives, you’ll get better at … I’m being told that I’m spending too much time on a system we’ll have a blogpost for later. I just wanted to give you all a taste on our process and how Rend came about. On a final note, I want to discuss a little bit about why we decided to launch in early access. Ultimately, it was because we wanted the community and the players to have a say in what Rend will be. We built this company so that the best idea wins out, and that means it doesn’t matter where it comes from. We’ve already gotten suggestions for new systems from the Rend fan discord and on the Rend fan forums. We’ve even already implemented systems that answer those suggestions! As the saying goes, thousands of heads are better than five. So come join us in this wild adventure. It’ll be fantastic. read the original article