Posted on 06.19.18 in News

Developer Letter: Rend Alpha Update

Time sure does fly when we’re all having fun! Feels like just yesterday we were kicking off Alpha, relaunching the Rend website, and opening the official Rend forums. Since that time, we’ve published our Alpha roadmap, kicked off multiple article series, and attended E3 2018 to meet with top press and content creators. But most importantly is what’s coming up next for Rend: our biggest game update yet along with our largest test invite waves to date!

This is Why We Test!

Through Alpha’s first six patches, we’ve fixed haywire turrets that attacked their creators, tamed a torch that made those who wielded it invisible, and quieted a stacking warcry buff that permanently increased player run speed. Oh, and grunters don’t fall up into the sky any more. The first two Alpha roadmap features have also been added: the Reckoning update has just been deployed and player insights have already guided us in adjusting Control Points to make them into more frequent skirmishes while keeping the capture rewards compelling. It’s through the gameplay experiences and diligent issue reporting by our testers that we’ve knocked out more than 100 new bugs in a very short timeframe: our sincere thanks to all of our intrepid Alpha warriors!

Player feedback is also to thank for the game’s next major change: pack up your placeables because we’re moving the faction base!

Charting Rend’s Updated Map

The faction base is being relocated to a spot currently occupied by the large second lake closer to Yggdrasil and neighboring biomes. We’re also adjusting the relative size, shape, and difficulty of the Stagswood and laying out clearer paths to the swamp, highlands, fungal grove, and beyond.

This presents a number of important gameplay and testing benefits:

  • Improved New Player Experience
    • As new arrivals traverse Hearthhome, they’ll make their first armors and weapons, fight their first beasts, and begin learning gameplay essentials before reaching the faction base.
  • Clearer Map Progression Paths
    • We’ve implemented more pronounced dirt paths and clearer sightlines guiding players towards the lake, faction base, and surrounding biomes.
  • Reduced Run Times
    • Centering player activity around a faction base that is physically closer to neighboring biomes and portals to enemy faction map sections translates to shorter travel times.
  • Mount Speed Insight
    • With the Taming System being introduced in the same game update, we’ll be able to balance relative creature movement speeds for the new faction base location.
  • Better Setting for Reckoning PvP
      • The new location is surrounded by more strategically compelling terrain. We’re hoping players will enjoy using the features of this new location as an advantage in siege warfare.
    • Removed Lake Redundant
      • The second lake had nice views but didn’t add anything new or strategic to Hearthhome.

    This new map will arrive in a future Alpha update and be paired with a server wipe to make for a clean testing environment before we add thousands of new testers. Note that this off-roadmap change hasn’t impacted our Alpha roadmap timing nor our stated Early Access window: you will be playing Rend later this year!

    Speaking of Early Access

    This is a perfect opportunity for us to reiterate what Early Access means to Frostkeep! Alpha will continue until Rend is ready for its next major development milestone. Our standard for entering Early Access on Steam is simple: the game must be in a state such that if we were to never touch its code ever again, Rend would be considered a finished, complete game worth its buy-to-play-only price. We believe this was the original vision for Early Access and we will hold ourselves and our games to that standard. You should too.

    We’re looking forward to inviting everyone in the Rend community to take part in Alpha before it ends. Be sure to join us on Discord, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Steam for the latest game updates!

    The Rend Team