Player counts for survival sandbox Rend have hit severely anemic levels

    
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The multiplayer survival sandbox Rend pretty much depends on lots of people being active at any given time, what with its factional structure and reliance on players working together to build up their centralized base. So it’s pretty bad news when the total player count on any given day hits no more than a baker’s dozen.

According to Steamcharts, Rend player numbers have gone into terminal velocity, plummeting from over 5,000 players at its absolute peak mid-2018 to just 13 at a 24-hour peak. At the time of this writing, there are only nine people playing the game.

Further digging on the game’s Steam page seems to suggest that most people believe that developer/publisher Frostkeep Studios have given up on the title, which has prompted reviews warning people not to buy the game. These warnings appear to be heeded, as even positive reviews remark that the game is effectively dead. One positive reviewer even hoped that Frostkeep would turn Rend over to someone else to keep things updated.

Was Rend abandoned, though? If you recall our interview with Frostkeep’s Jeremy Wood and Michele Cagle from this past spring, it was apparently always the team’s intention to release the game in a fully launched state. Wood even went so far as to argue that players didn’t want additional vertical content added on because it “ruins the specific focus and flavor of this game.” As for Frostkeep itself, it has been demonstrably growing its team over the year, and the studio is working on a new title that’s “completely unlike Rend.” The game’s official Twitter, meanwhile, appears relegated to simply retweeting Frostkeep’s tweets.

It’s a pity that Rend is simply dying on the vine. Our own preview of the title’s alpha last year was impressed at the truly social nature of the otherwise open PvP title, and the few who have had nice things to say about the game have touted the camaraderie it provided. That, however, all appears to be fading away.

sources: Steamcharts, Steam, Twitter (1, 2)

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kajidourden
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kajidourden

You mean another survival game in an already heavily saturated market didn’t make it? Say it ain’t so!

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Jim Bergevin Jr

At the end of the day, it just goes to show that the vast majority of gamers do not desire open world sandboxes. Cry and moan all you want, but it’s obvious when given the opportunity to play such games, even ones with a solid design, people just choose not to partake.

And gamers STILL wonder why we get all these cookie cutter games and no developer attempts to take a risk and think outside of the box. You can find the answer by looking in the mirror. SMFH.

micedicetwice
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micedicetwice

outside of the box

Open world PvP sandbox is hardly thinking outside the box. It is the fucking box itself, just like WoW-like theme park is. “Taking a risk” that played out is Warframe, for example, they pursued their desire to make sci-fi mmo shooter for many years, even though publishers didn’t want to have anything to do with it. Now it seems perfectly normal game, but it wasn’t when they started creating it.

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Bruno Brito

We don’t desire open world GANKboxes.

Please, don’t insult our inteligence. You’re better than that.

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Kross Vilalobos

^ this

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Very sorry to hear this for those who really want PvP sandboxes. There have been so many in the last few years and only a few (none?) have gotten any traction and managed to deliver.

Frostkeep’s “Hi, here’s the game, have fun with it, bye” approach in a multiplayer game just really doesn’t work. Multiplayer games need to be nurtured. You can do that with a single player game, but not with multiplayer for the very reason that lack of dev involvement spells abandonment followed by closure in most gamers’ minds.

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Kero Kero

Not sure why people keep trying to make b2p titles that rely on a critical mass of players to funciton. PvP games aren’t fun if there’s nobody to fight.

laelgon
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laelgon

I rather enjoyed the game in it’s alpha, before it went to Steam early access. I think that’s because the game relies on your team all working together in order to be fun, and when it was invite-only and closely monitored by the developers, that was the case. People worked together to build their bases help each other. At the time I thought they figured out how to make a survival game that wasn’t just griefing and screaming slurs.

But once you release it to the general public, you end up with the more typical crowd of survival game sociopathic trolls who just want to ruin every one else’s time. People who steal and horde the team’s resources, or otherwise sabotage their own team. It degrades quickly. Why participate when it feels like half your team is actively working against you?

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Doesn’t surprise me. People seem to think we want sandboxes so people can throw dirt at each-other, whereas what we really want in games is more freedom/devs to stop trying to ‘control’ us.

Our own preview of the title’s alpha last year was impressed at the truly social nature of the otherwise open PvP title, and the few who have had nice things to say about the game have touted the camaraderie it provided.

‘Social’ and ‘PvP’ is amusing. The point in PvP is that if someone ‘offends you’ you can just kill them, so those kind of interactions are causing people to hide their true motives, and you’re getting fake facades/personas shown to each-other, not how people really interact. So sure, if you want ‘social’ lies you find a game where you have to fight..

(I have not tried this game, mainly because when I read about it, I read PvP and was like ‘nope’…even though I was looking for a new sandbox to play in.)

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Arktouros

It’s really not just social lies, however.

In many ways PvP environments are very much like Thomas Hobbes “State of Nature” where there are no rules governing social interaction yet. Some people certainly take advantage of this, eschew any kind of societal role and simply see other players as prey.

However by banding together for mutual protection it becomes a strong reason to form bonds and social ties such as guilds. Thus you give up your personal freedoms to kill anyone to conform to the society you joined and adopt their politics (IE: friendly targets, enemy targets, etc). There need be no lie because together you are stronger than alone.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Up until you have those players within your group who ‘hatch a plan’ to steal everything you’ve ‘all’ worked for, and join another faction/taking all ‘your’ stuff with them, who didn’t include you in their plan and you’re left with nothing. I spent 4 years on a game with ‘political intrigue’ like that…and it wasn’t ‘fun’ for those involved (On the ‘losing’ side.)

{As one example, a person who was very fond of animal husbandry had spent probably a year cultivating a herd of horses…and a guild member/alliance mate went through and slaughtered all of their horses. That’s game-ending for some players…}.

Personally, I enjoy ‘stealing’ from NPC’s because though they may get uppity in the moment (Yell at you, chase you down/etc), it really doesn’t ‘effect’ them as they aren’t a real person, whereas if I was stealing from a player…they are crushed when they notice things missing that they needed/liked. (And I’m that player who waits for the perfect moment to snatch something of value, even if it takes waiting a long time or till all cone line of sight is off you/you’re in stealth…just spent a glorious week thieving in ESO during their free trial.)

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Arktouros

Such occurrences can happen of course however such is relatively rare. Such are the advantages of a game where your actions have consequences as once you’ve spent your reputation and become known as a traitor people simply won’t trust you anymore. At that point you’re either left to obscurity or you have to be strong enough to stand alone as who would ever trust you again?

For example a group of us were once invited to take over a group’s land/assets. Apparently not everyone was cool with this but they acted all very friendly right up until the point we all went to bed, they betrayed us and took everything and reformed their own group retaking everything back. They talked a lot of shit and rode quite high as we were left back to nothing as we slowly crawled our way back up we waged an unending, unrelenting war upon them. We literally hell camped them and attacked relentlessly at all hours of the day in multiple shifts as they slowly bled off and quit the game one by one. They reached out to many groups for aid, but no one would come because who could trust them not to just betray again?

But that’s just one example of an occurrence I’ve seen maybe a half dozen times over the last 20 years. Most groups will honor agreements when there are consequences to do so. The minute you remove those consequences then people suddenly lose any obligation to not be self serving and backstabbing because what can you really do about it?

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Hikari Kenzaki

My reasoning for not getting involved in this game was that it very clearly relied on a large population of helpful people. Not something that is exactly prevalent in a PvP survival game. These games have to either be huge and stay huge or they just don’t work.

And as was pointed out, Rend’s developers were pretty clear that the released product was the final product. They weren’t going to be adding more.

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Schlag Sweetleaf
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Armsbend

Great news – too many games out there no one wants to play. Slash and burn > onto the pile.