Frostkeep, a brand new independent studio founded by 3 former blizzard developers (Jeremy Wood, Solomon Lee and Mat Milizia ) has just announced its maiden project Rend. Planned to hit Steam’s Early Access in spring, Rend is described as a team based survival game with Fantasy RPG flavours.
The team at Frostkeep originally met 15 years ago working on World of Warcraft and reunited again at Carbine Studios to work on Wildstar. They are taking the same approach they had when creating W.O.W in that they are looking at the strengths of current multiplayer survival games in order to emulate them, while also looking to remove the major drawbacks such as offline ganking and server domination. They also hope to create a game with larger scale than previously seen before.
It is still early days, but the developers already envision great things for Rend and want to give players the chance to achieve the ‘mecca’ of survival gaming:”Players working together to create a cool castle and then fighting another faction on an equal footing.”
Each game will be a competition between 3 different factions of 20 players. The core gameplay being a mixture of scavenging resources for building, research and crafting, battling the A.I faction called The Lost Ones and disrupting opposing player factions in their efforts to do the same. Each faction called the Order, Conclave or Revenant, will strive to reach ascension by building a base within a protected area before a weekly event called “The Reckoning” removes the protective barriers and activates waves of attacking A.I to defend against. This also gives opposing factions the opportunity to try to wipe each other out, that is of course only if they aren’t already attempting to survive the onslaught themselves. With each week, or Reckoning, that passes, the A.I hordes get stronger till eventually your faction achieves ascension or falls victim to doom and despair.
Features and Gameplay
Base Defence: Outside of ‘The Reckoning’ your base will be protected from opposing forces and the armies of the Lost Ones (A.I). During The Reckoning you must decide whether to focus on home defence against the hordes or attempt to raid your opponents in the hopes of plundering their loot.
Character Progression: Talent and Skill systems allow you to fully customise your character and tailor their capabilities to suit your play style.
Explore, Craft and Research: You and your faction will need to venture away from the home base to collect resources that allow you to upgrade your factions’ technology. You can craft powerful weapons and armour to help you defend your base or improve your chances of success in attack.
Conquest: Hidden within the hellscape of the Eternal Wastelands there are several powerful artifacts that can aid you in battle. In order to retrieve them you must enter sealed tombs (dungeons) and kill the denizens defending them. These dungeons appear to be accessible to all and therefore forces your allies to promptly decide whether to venture in now or later. It also appears that these artifacts can be re-stolen from dead factions, we assume by defeating the faction that holds it during The Reckoning.
Currently the developers are guesstimating that server resets will occur approximately every 2-3 months with ‘The Reckoning’ taking place at the same time each week. This would be ideal for the ESports and Streaming community!
At this stage Frostkeep has a small core team of 5 working on the project with the plan to recruit carefully as and when demand dictates. The studios moto of ‘ Making games the way we always dreamed we would when we were kids’ could be an encouraging sign as they promise to do what it takes to create the best game possible.
If Rend sounds like your kind of game sign up for pre-alpha here.