Rend wants to fix the fatal flaws of survival sandboxes


It should be quite obvious that the developers over at Rend are huge survival sandbox fans, because why else would you make a game in a particular genre? And in being great fans, the team has had plenty of first-hand experience into these games’ strengths and weaknesses.

In a new fireside chat, the devs talk about two key issues that many other survival sandboxes have, namely a promise of a great PvP war that never comes and an imbalance between player groups. To rectify this, Rend will force players to choose a population-limited faction from the start and then unleash a regular “Reckoning” in which all faction base shields drop to expose these structures to threats both PvE and PvP.

The chat goes on to say that once these core systems were in place, the team exploded with ideas on how to make Rend better, such as including an Ultima Online-like skill system. The decision to launch in early access was also defended, as the team said that the desire to generate as much feedback as possible prompted the move.

Source: Rend

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Pedge Jameson

Oh wonderful,
you know some type of game play really hits it big when a company claims to be the big savior of (MMO,s MOBA’s Etc.)

“We’re gonna fix it so wahh on you other guys.”

So juvenile.

And I really am sick of the word “sandbox”, just hearing a dev say it now makes me embarrassed for them. It’s just a bait word now.


To rectify this, Rend will force players to choose a population-limited faction from the start

Which will drive off players that are unable to join the already capped faction their friends are in.

and then unleash a regular “Reckoning” in which all faction base shields drop to expose these structures to threats both PvE and PvP.

Which creates arbitrary “all hands on deck” moments not under the control of the players, making anyone that can’t play during those “reckonings” far less useful for groups.

That being said, it’s a worthy attempt. I just don’t think it will be nearly as successful as the devs seem to imply.


good luck. steam EA pvp community will eat you alive. :D


I mean honestly when you get down to it they aren’t wrong, but they aren’t wrong for the wrong reasons. One of the biggest issues in Sandbox games is a promise of a great PvP war but that gives way to the reality of offline raiding. I’m sure Funcom saw some epic siege battle going back and forth when they added their Trebuchets but all that has happened is at 3am some offline raider solo breaks into your base using a Treb. PvP vulnerability windows, however, aren’t a new solution and recently were introduced with Conan Exiles for servers that opt for them to have it on.

Robert Mann

Yep, a solution that has been around a long time. The PvE raids is a cool idea for those who want something like that, though.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

So, unable to solve for the creativity and tribalism of human beings, they attempt to make the game invulnerable to both.

Robert Mann

AKA what every other game has essentially done in MMO space with regard to PvP.

Pretty much with PvE outside very rare cases as well.

I would say that the first game that actually comes up with mechanics that really adjust the entire game world to player actions and create dynamic events and gameplay will have a huge impact… but that promise remains nothing more than smoke and mirrors at this point.

Dug From The Earth

The “flaw” with most sandboxes, is that “sandbox” is a game mechanic, and alone, doesnt make up a complete game.

The problem with most “sandbox” games, is that 99% of the game, is the sandbox mechanic, and nothing else.


As I suspected the primary fatal flaw of many survival sandbox games wasn’t addressed: ecocide and how the more popular a server/world becomes in multiplayer, that the less sustainable it becomes for 99% of the genre. Rends only remote way of addressing this is to put in wiping mechanisms which really are a bandaid on a brain tumor. Conan exiles is implementing similarly in this trend and they’ve lost 80% of their player base in the 2 months since launch. Rend devs whole game thus is built on a completely unsustainable premise that makes them no different than the rest of the games in the genre.

Robert Mann

Aye. I do know a very few of the upcoming indie sandboxes are looking at player population points for map expansion, bringing in more resources and area to allow room for newer players or groups wanting to move. Still, economics is far too easy for the most part.

Sadly, offline raiding is a problem that needs addressed, as is the idea that settlements should be easy to overtake or destroy. A good sandbox game that includes PvP should, in my opinion, be moving toward a method of making the world have a little semblance of law and order. The biggest hurdle there, I believe, is characters not really losing much when they die.

There’s a ton more to that, of course. But at the least there’s an attempt at some ideas to change things. Rather than the stagnation that is all too common in the MMO genre overall.


We’re talking the survival genre, not the mmo one though. Two different creatures really and though a few have attempted hybridizations there of(poorly implemented), Rend isn’t one of them.

But ecocide, ie the ecology dynamics of a game being unsustainable due to player interactions in conjunction with the server/map limitations has many different forms not just limited to resource limitations.

But the premise holds: the more popular a map/server becomes in these, the more it cannot be sustained until it reaches a critical point and has an adverse effect on the server and the considerations by the players on it.

Jonny Sage

Thats not very sandbox. Imagine if EVE did this.