Rend recently entered into early access and, as such, GameRVW was lucky enough to be able to drop by the Frostkeep booth to discuss where the game is now, and what the future may hold for it. One thing that was made very clear from the beginning of the conversation was how important the Early Access period is for the devs. During the discussion it was made evident to us that the response to community feedback is, arguably, the most critical period of all in the development cycle.

An example of this attentiveness is the win condition. Players of the game were unhappy with the idea of dropping into a server they had no chance of catching up on, so a server cycle was introduced. Furthermore, the removal of spirits from PVE looting helped to increase the emphasis on PVP combat, which was evidently why most were playing in the first place. Other adjustments, including further changes to PVP combat, chiefly that spirits no longer have to be looted and deposited, to avoid the loss of huge amounts of effort and instantaneous large gains, and longer lived targets containing more intrinsic value.

Frostkeep have also tried to avoid catchup mechanics for individual players by limiting the power advantages that levelling up provides. Theoretically, a level 1 player can kill a level 60, if they have the skill to do so. This makes for a purer gaming experience, with the only power advantages coming via the technological advancements made as a faction. Griefers have, and will continue to, suffer at the hands of the game’s creators, with the option to kick players, first temporarily and later permanently, from their faction. Generally this will happen if anyone is found to be stealing excessive amounts of loot that players have spent considerable time accumulating. Once this happens, the player becomes an “outcast”, with their in-game appearance changing to match. It is possible to earn your way back into an alliance, but only if one can prove their worth.

There are also some really exciting gameplay features being implemented at the moment, and in the future, which should keep players coming back for the foreseeable future. Dynamic weather and season cycles, for which the player will need appropriate armour, seems really unique and exciting, whilst new areas, like the particularly claustrophobic Dwarven mines, offer an environment you can’t find anywhere else in the game.

The last thing the dev really wanted to emphasise was how archetypes are not meant to intrinsically grant greatly increased powers or damage, but rather alter your play style to make your character as effective as possible. An analogy we were given, which does seem fitting, was that they should be more readily compared to Tracer from Overwatch, rather than the Fire Mage from WoW.

Rooted in Norse myth and styling, Rend really does look incredibly promising. It is available to get hold of now via Early Access, and with the developers listening as intently as they seem to be, make sure to provide feedback going forward. You never know, one of your ideas may just make it into the final project which, as of now, does not have a release date.

GameRVW will be present at Gamescom for the entirety, so make sure to stay tuned for in-depth content on upcoming releases, as well as breaking news.