Posted on 09.27.18 in News
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Rend Developer Letter: Fall 2018

First and foremost, we’d like to express our thanks to the Rend community: you have helped bring the game to where it is today. It’s been quite a whirlwind year for Rend between kicking off our Alpha in early Spring to launching our Early Access on Steam only two months ago! It's hard to believe that just two years ago, Rend was a concept project by a trio of developers. We're now 18 staff members strong and just recently deployed our fifth major Early Access game update for Rend along with a number of interim patches and hotfixes (on a near weekly basis!) thanks to your valuable feedback and participation. Since day one, we have always said we're making the game for you - the players - and we're excited to share more about how it will be evolving over the next few months with our Fall-Winter Early Access roadmap.

A New Content Cadence Designed for Larger Releases

As a small independent developer, it’s vital that we plan out our team’s bandwidth wisely given the finite resources we have available. We have found during this initial phase of Early Access that a weekly patch deployment is resulting in smaller patches and taking focus away from quality content that requires more time to design, test, and implement. After hearing more about what’s most important to the player community, we are shifting to a patch cadence of every 3-4 weeks that will ultimately lead to larger, more significant releases for Rend.

This change in timing will allow us to make impactful updates to Rend’s core gameplay influenced by our community’s constructive critiques and our own player experiences in sagas. Once these adjustments are in place, we can demonstrate the additional game modes we have in development: we’ll introduce them on some of our existing official servers. Rest assured that we’ll continue to deploy hotfixes as needed, the next of which is planned for this week and applies ready-to-deploy bug fixes related to Master quality weapons.

Our Roadmap for Fall and Winter 2018

Much like the Alpha roadmap we published this past summer, this feature list provides an overview of what is coming to Rend in the weeks leading up to mid-December.

  • Comprehensive Combat Improvements
    • Tightens up the gunplay to bring it in line with modern shooters.
    • Enhances the aesthetics of combat, making it feel more impactful.
    • Updates all creatures with new abilities and behaviors to make interacting with them more interesting in and out of combat.
    • Adjusts all biomes to feel more robust and challenging.
  • Streamlined Features
    • Overhauls game aspects such as crafting, storage, and much more with the intent of making Rend more accessible.
    • Introduces a new way for players to store and share resources intended for faction progression: the stronghold warehouse.
    • Adds account-level settings, allowing players’ Ascension Points to no longer be bound to individual official servers.
  • Legendary Artifacts
    • Introduces epic items from Norse mythology, including unique weapons and armor, that can shift the balance of power within a saga.
  • Dynamic Siege Combat
    • Makes raiding faction strongholds a more engaging experience.
    • Adds new siege weapons and tools such as catapults and personnel flingers.
    • Additional siege gameplay including bomb counterplay and delay timer for repairing damaged structures, and damage feedback from Divinity Stones.
    • Communicates faction progress towards win conditions more prominently.via Yggdrasil.
  • Refined Social Mechanics
    • Shifts decision-making power from Elders to the faction through permission requests and voting.
    • Applies force-fields that repel enemy players to faction stronghold doorways, mitigating griefing.
    • Allows players on a faction to form parties and play more cooperatively in PvE and PvP combat.

Each of these abbreviated topics will be matched with deep-dive feature articles written by the developers who worked on them when introduced in a game update. With game development being a fluid process, consider this roadmap a living document that serves as an overview of what’s planned for Rend, but isn’t final or set in stone: the features may change or shift order before reaching live servers.

In parallel with this roadmap, we’re in the process of updating Rend from Unreal Engine 4.19 to 4.20 to be able to take advantage of the engine's latest improvements such as smarter actor replication (more efficient servers) in future game updates. A Rend mod kit is also being worked on but our focus is primarily on producing and implementing the important gameplay improvements listed above. Game additions such as biomes and creatures are similarly being held until these improvements are in the game to allow players an opportunity to provide feedback independent of new content.

Track Your (Least) Favorite Bugs on Trello

We’ll also be launching the Rend Community Issues Trello board next week, supplementing our other official communication channels. This board will serve as an at-a-glance view of our progress investigating and fixing top gameplay bugs and balance issues reported by you, the Rend community. We'll populate the board with new issues and update existing ones as they progress through internal development, crediting threads posted by players that helped us identify and resolve them. On that topic, be sure to continue sharing your Rend feedback with us on the forums, Discord, Reddit, and Steam and to follow Rend on Twitter, FacebookYouTube, and (soon) Twitch for the latest game updates!

The team is just getting started with what's in store for Rend. Between the new Fall-Winter Early Access roadmap and Rend Community Issues board, we look forward to keeping you up to date on developments through the rest of 2018 and beyond. Again, we cannot thank our community enough for their diligence and dedication. From all of us at Frostkeep Studios, we're glad you're with us on Rend's journey to launch.

The Rend Team