The moment-to-moment gameplay is the standard survival sandbox. Cut trees, rocks and animals, fight monsters to get food, medicine, items and to build a base while defending yourself from other players or preying on them for loot. We’ve seen this from H1Z1 to ARK.
But this game has an overarching goal: to gather 100K “spirits” before the other factions do. That gives an in-game reason to fight the others. This gives competition: your group might win or lose, because when one group reaches this value, the server ends and it’s game over one way or another. Winners get some permanent rewards, may that be only cosmetic or some few percent boosts.
Done well, this can be the next big thing. The survival MMOs have a great moment-to-moment gameplay, but after a few hours you start asking “what’s the point”? Here you have a good point, something that keeps you log in to defend your base when the shields are down or to farm off hours or to attack enemies.
But I’m afraid it won’t be done well, so I stay away until it leaves early access and have all the features done right. The problem is metagaming that every group PvP MMOs suffer from. They can generally grouped into two questions:
At first, what stops a player to hop between factions? If there are many servers and there is vacancy on some (and there must be in order to welcome new players), a player can just delete his character and roll a new one in the winning faction on some server. Only newbies who don’t know better join losing factions, making them lose more.
The second is spies: alts placed into the enemy team with the purpose to sabotage it. In Rend the way to sabotage looks obvious: as only 20 players can be online per faction, if you are online and not helping, the rest of the team will be at disadvantage. Since there are 3 teams, the alt can damage even the one he’s not at: letting the main faction farm resources on the alt, they get stronger against the third.
The first is easier to fix, by a proper league system. There are aplenty “bronze” servers where everyone can join the winning faction. If you win in a season, you get a silver pass, which allows you to start on the silver servers next season which are limited in numbers, just enough to house everyone with silver passes. You can only join at the start of the season, sure you can quit, but can’t join a new team that season, you can only go back to bronze. Winners of silver get gold pass for next season, second bests get a silver pass, the loser team gets back to bronze.
The second cannot be fixed without formal faction leadership. I mean if a player can join a faction without applying to the existing members and cannot be kicked, there is nothing they can do with a spy. Sure, GMs can get rid of an open saboteur, but a smarter one, who participates and helps the faction except “screwing up” in the worst moment cannot be distinguished from a bad player. Ergo, bronze and custom servers can operate on “wherever you apply” basis, probably even the silver servers can work that way (or simply by random faction assignment), the higher leagues surely cannot. In gold and above, the teams must have a leader who can hire and fire players at will.
I’m afraid such measures won’t be implemented and the game will just be launched with a bunch of identical servers which will be dominated by one faction from day 1-3.
PS: in World of Warships as the enemy DD was capping the point, I sneaked by the sideline to the back of the enemy. A plane spotted me for a second, so they realized what I’m up to. So a Montana, a Greater Kurfurst and an Ibuki thought it’s a great idea to turn away from the battle and chase me to the corner.
[narrator voice] it was not a great idea: