Rend aims to boost its survival sandbox community with three-faction PvP

Oh, this looks safe.

Frostkeep Studios has another dev blog out this week explaining how Rend will improve on traditional survival sandboxes. How? Factions.

The studio’s Jordan Leithart argues that “one of the biggest draws of survival games is the community,” which is great and all for super social people and extroverts. But a lot of potential players will find themselves overly intimidated by a game where most of the people who meet would rather kill them than take the time and risk to become BFFs. Consequently, the studio is adding joinable factions — three of them, in fact, which’ll sound familiar to MMO players who consider themselves Dark Age of Camelot and Camelot Unchained loyalists.

“My favorite part about factions (along with some other systems that we have in place) is that there is a spot for everyone to help with,” Leithart writes. “If you don’t want to take part in the Reckoning, that’s great. You can spend the time leading up to it gathering resources and crafting the necessary gear to help the faction survive the night. If your idea of fun is to protect your hunter gatherer’s from roaming bands of opponent factions, then you’re needed for the faction to thrive.”

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Francis Baud

“Consequently, the studio is adding joinable factions — three of them, in fact, which’ll sound familiar to MMO players who consider themselves Dark Age of Camelot and Camelot Unchained loyalists.”

It may sound familiar to DAoC and CU fans, but it’s likely going to feel very different with a population cap of 60. At best, some 60 players skirmishes could happen if every single player on the map decided to join the fight simultaneously.

What makes RvR PvP so thrilling imo is its massiveness: those games are designed to foster confrontations between armies of players that rely on coordination and tactics to prevail (+ logistics in CU).

I’d be more interested in this game if they had a population cap of 600 rather than 60.

Kala Mona

I was so hyped to this game until I learned of this 60 person cap. I simply don’t get it.

Oyjord Hansen

The worst word to hit MMORPGing in the past few years? “Survival.”

Ima gonna lose my @&$# the next time I hear of a new “survival sandbox” game.

John Mclain

Welcome to what it was like for me over the past several years and hearing that godawful term MOBA every other day on these websites, at least that awful fad is starting to slowly die out, what a total waste of years of game development making that crap.

Robert Mann

Personally I agree, but there’s people who like them. To them not having any effect on the games I want to focus on, I say go ahead and make some MOBAs devs… just don’t make ONLY those.

Loyal Patron
Skai R

First all the studios got on the MMORPG train, then it switched to MOBAs, and now it’s survival sandbox.

No original ideas left in the industry. They all try to get the next piece of the pie once a new genre hits it big.

Robert Mann

Yeah, it wouldn’t be so bad… if most of them weren’t trying to just be the same old litterbox design with minimal survival elements. I have to agree with John Mclain and Skai R though, this is the status quo. Only the first handful of games aiming at adding these had much original thought involved… the rest are just doing the standard bandwagon thing.

Robert Mann

Three faction: Aka… two factions who team up together against a third faction to dominate and occasionally bother to trade blows when bored.

There are possible solutions to that, but that’s what three faction usually boils down to. I’ll get interested in faction based PvP at all again once there’s at least a dozen factions fighting, with far slower cap mechanics for changing control points, and with high importance on trade between regions thus making reason for political trade and non-aggression moves. Until we have at least that, I fully expect any game with factional PvP to return to one biggest alliance dominating everyone else and occasionally having a rare power shift. Booooring!


I really hope having three factions isn’t the only measure against faction imbalance. Three factions can slow the fall from balance, but it alone is powerless to prevent it.


Here’s all you need to know about Factions: