Be an armorer or a maker of crafts
Solely for thy own self.
Should thy armor rend or bow splinter,
Then upon thy own head be it.
-- The 126th Stanza of Hávamál: The Words of Odin, the High One
Crafting is necessary for survival in the brutal and unforgiving lands of Rend but that doesn’t mean it can't be fun too. Over the few short months since Early Access began, we’ve been listening to the community’s valuable feedback on this core game system to make crafting easier to use, faster to master, and altogether a more enjoyable experience. Here’s an overview of the changes we’ve made to Rend’s crafting gameplay as well as improvements to expect in the near future.
Rebuilding a Better Crafting Experience
For a comprehensive overhaul of Rend’s crafting system, we started by redesigning how the core materials encountered in the game are sourced and consumed with the intent of reducing complexity and tedium. Nearly every recipe in the game has been updated to require basic materials as opposed to rarer drops. Every creature in the game now reliably drops one of four resources instead of tiered material types on right-click harvesting: leather, tough skin, chitin, and fur. Many of the creature-specific harvests on left-click have also been removed for the sake of simplification.
Learn more about the four creature families in our Survival Game Modes roadmap article!
We’ve also taken a level of unnecessary time gating out of the crafting system by removing the majority of refined materials. The recipes for these items use raw materials to create advanced, often expensive-to-make components that are only used as ingredients themselves. Examples of removed refined materials include plant essences, lumber, bricks, twine, rope, cloth textiles, and advanced leathers. Recipes that call for the remaining refined materials such as metal bars, adhesive pastes, and explosive compounds will now require 1-2 of each instead of 4-6, making them significantly easier to craft. The rationale for these changes is to simplify the overall crafting system and shift the deeper gameplay towards late-game while fresh recruits enjoy a more streamlined experience in their first hours of Rend.
Much More than Reorganized Recipes
The way recipes are organized has also been wholly reimagined. Crafting trees associated with specific buildings have been split up to provide a better at-a-glance indication of what each is used for: the Construction Building now has a Construction Table for defending bases and a Siege Table for attacking them while crafting at the Mystic Altar is split between a Mysticism Table for spirit tools and refined materials and an Alchemy Table for potions. In the case of the Adventuring Table, its recipes have been divided amongst three new tables: the Weapon Table for weapons and ammunition, the Armor Table for all armor types, and the Gear Table for everything else such as torches, waterbags, and traps.
Additionally, the number of crafting tiers per weapon type has been reduced so each tier presents a more significant jump in damage output and each recipe feels more impactful. This streamlined weapon progression means, on average, a drop from 5 to 3 recipes per crafting tree tier which noticeably reduces a player’s overall time spent gathering and crafting. While armor crafting trees remained largely the same, the way players progress through them has changed: prerequisites for armor tiers are now based off of the same armor piece. For instance, to make a Tier 2 silk chest, you now need to be skilled in or master only the Tier 1 silk chest. This makes it so that players no longer need to craft the previous tier’s entire armor set to gain access the next tier of a specific armor piece, removing an unnecessary gate as not being able to farm the required resources already prevented crafting the next tier.
On the cosmetic side, we’ll be doing an interface clean-up on all crafting panes in upcoming patches including the implementation of progress lines to crafting trees and scaling up recipe icons (and brightening them to be more legible even when the required materials aren’t present). All of these changes are designed to work together in the interest of allowing players to find recipes faster, assemble ingredients more efficiently, and make Rend’s crafting system feel more approachable and fun. We’ll also continue examining how crafting is represented in the game and simplify where it makes sense.
Assemble Your Crafting Feedback
Particularly in Early Access, Rend is a work in progress and its community has the ability to influence the direction the game evolves in. With Patch 6.2 and Patch 6.3 resolving a few lingering recipe issues, we’re eager to hear your thoughts on Discord and the forums about how these latest crafting changes feel as well as areas it could continue to improve.
This feature article is the third of our Early Access roadmap series for Winter 2018: be sure to read up on other systems being introduced or improved in Rend!