REND Interview: Learning From World of Warcraft, Console Version and More

By   /   Apr 18, 2017
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Frostkeep’s REND is hitting PC later this year but there is not much we know about the new game. Time to change that as we had a nice chat with REND developer who revealed some intersting details about the game and their vision.

REND Interview – FrostKeep

SegmentNext: Rend combines fantasy and shooter elements with survival, how do you intend to balance these elements so that one element does not feel dominant over the other?

The way we see it here at Frostkeep is the fantasy is the skin for the game. It’s what drives the visuals and thematic of the game. The shooter element is the primary form of combat in Rend, while survival are the elements you do outside of combat. All three are very important, and we understand that all the elements need to work together to make something cohesive. One of our mottos here at Frostkeep is, “Will it benefit the player?” Being players ourselves, the decisions we make are solely based on what’s best for the game. If we think a certain element needs more attention than another, we will pivot and give more attention to it.

SegmentNext: The game will soon hit Steam Early access do you have plans to launch the game on consoles if Rend is successful on PC?

We are currently focused on the PC early access launch for Rend. We love console gaming here at Frostkeep, and it’s something we will look into in the future.

SegmentNext: Given that Rend is an online game that pitches three faction against each other and each faction having 20 players. Many competitive online games implement a sort of penalty for those who leave the game mid-match to keep them committed to the game.

Will there be a penalty system in place for Rend given it will be 20v20v20 and at any given time of the week, the shields will drop and every player is important for victory?

Unlike MOBAs, where teams are established in the beginning without the option of backups, Rend is more like a battleground from World of Warcraft. Factions on a server can consist of more than 20 players. If you’re playing Warsong Gulch a 10v10 battleground, and 2 people drop, those players are replaced by anyone waiting in queue. Players also choose a time for when the Reckoning (shield drops) occurs. Much like when a guild schedules a time to raid. This helps maintain the needs of the population per server.

SegmentNext: There are a lot of competitive online games in the market specifically in the PC gaming market. What makes Rend at its core different from other competitive games out there as there are also Free-to-play games too?

We will be offering an experience to players that they don’t usually get with the survival genre. In this genre, there’s often a promise of war that most players don’t get to experience. After playing for some time, players will log back on one day to find everything they worked towards is gone or destroyed.

We are taking our learnings from World of Warcraft where we asked why things are done the way they are. You find answers you either accept or try to find a different solution. We decided to shake up the genre a bit more by adding factions that add a sense of community to the game. Players need to work together towards a common goal to survive the world of Rend. We think players will be driven to compete – having waves of creatures attacking players’ bases at pre-determined times – similar to horde mode found in other games – having a goal, a win/loss condition and by showing players which faction is in the lead. These elements will provide the fantasy of war, most players usually miss out on in this genre.

SegmentNext: How do you intend to keep a long term engagement from players? As I said before, there are other online games out there and more releasing every week!

We are gamers ourselves and think it’s great when players play other games. If everyone is doing well and providing great games, it’s better for the industry as a whole. That being said, we hope players will be engaged playing Rend and will continue to come back to play. As players, the best we can do is provide an experience that players will enjoy. It’s not about keeping the player indefinitely. It’s about creating an experience that players enjoy coming back to, again and again. By adding RPG progression elements to the survival genre, players can experience the game in different ways, every time they start a new game. They have the ability to customize their avatar based on their play style through our skill system. Players will have a choice on how they want to improve their avatar. Also, with leveling, we offer players choices to make regarding what type of class they want to be. Giving players more choices is one of the reasons we believe players will continue to play Rend.

SegmentNext: Games such as LOL, Dota 2 and Overwatch feature a diverse roster of characters for which the devs also create Lore and players are also fon of these games.

Rend, on the other hand, does not seem to have any hero system but it is more like Ark Survival Evolved in which player starts with nothing and progresses forward.

SegmentNext: Don’t you think Rend could benefit from featuring heroes, given that the team at Frostkeep Studios consists of developers who have worked on World Of Warcraft and LOL?

We love MOBAs, shooters, or games that utilize the hero avatar system. With Rend, we wanted players to choose the direction they wanted to take their avatar in a meaningful way. Having a pre-built avatar doesn’t allow for much when it comes to meaningful, customizable choices during play. Not only do we have the RPG progression elements I mentioned above. We have the survival staple of players crafting and itemizing their gear. We wanted the player to feel like they’re creating their own hero, instead of playing one that was made for them. That being said, we do have named NPCs that may be considered hero-like, that add to the lore of the game. These NPCs will need to be recruited to gain whatever benefits they can offer to your faction.

SegmentNext: Can you tell us anything new about the game? A screenshot of progress on the development 🙂 Or a small clip, for our audience ^

We are currently all hands on deck, working diligently to have Rend ready for early access on Steam. We’ve been adding more and more content; whether it be creatures, props, UI elements, progression design, etc. You name it, it’s being worked on. We have Neal Acree who wrote the music to our trailer, who is writing music for the game. When you mention what’s new, honestly, it’s all a blur. 🙂

Rend is releasing later this year on PC.