Rend Early Access - How Em8er can learn from it!

PIghead Elderberry

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Jun 4, 2017
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#1
I have been doing Rend a ton since it moved to Steam.

I am enjoying it AND am finding it hugely different from anything I have ever done in many ways - just like Em8er will be unique as well (but in different ways).

It seems well worth studying how Rend game play informs us on what works and does not work well wrt what Em8er will become.

Three points In particular come to mind as I play:

1) Rend has base building.

We discussed this a bit before for you Em8er might want to do it, but here is Rend doing it.

They have a mix of things players control (like the whole mechanic of building a personal base) completely, to things players don't much control at all (the main base buildings).

Does Em8er want it more like the personal bases, where players can construct things at a high level of detail?

Should it be more like just the main base? That has problems (for example the buildings upgrade to be so huge they break game play).

Players gather/research and the base "builds itself" vs. players gather resources and build the base bit by bit however they want.

The "build however we want" in Rend seems the most fun and works quite well AND does not have the problems which are now happening with things like giant buildings wrecking the main base, the main base space constrained etc. etc.

2) Rend has base defending against AI NPC assaults.

I thought of Em8er obviously during a Rend Reckoning event. It was really pretty lame as it turned out because the AI was pretty stupid and we just slaughtered them from the parapets mostly.

However, it was still fun and it was a very good dynamic to have some people down repairing damaged walls as fast as they could while others fought to protect the base.

Having that kind of real-time repair dynamic in Em8er would be very nice!

3) Rend has "drop in" grouping (sort of).

It is interesting to see how Rend (in spite of not being MMO) gives a vision of how there can be a good informal grouping dynamic where someone can join a game and be dropped into a clan of folks they may not know and have a common goal and then work together without there being a formal guild system or anything like that.

I dabbled on two servers, and left one and am 100% on the other one now. With nor formal introductions and without knowing anyone in advance we all seem to be working together well.

I think Em8er will have a lot of this aspect, as we are all going to be having to informally group together to build bases, go thumping in dangerous territory, and defend.

So even though Rend limits the players on each server, the kind of dynamics are very thought provoking for Em8er.

I recommend people go try it out and consider how Em8er might learn from Rend's mistakes and successes.

Please comment more if you have tried it!

p.s. I have not touched on the way they are implementing gathering of resources, etc. etc.
 

PIghead Elderberry

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#2
Playing another 1000 hours of Rend in the past 1000 hours of my life is bringing home the massive problems of mixing PvP into a PvE craft/build/gather/fight game. It sounds like a good idea, but there are huge problems now beginning to happen just like in old FF where PvE and PvP are BOTH trying to be balanced without much success.

There also is now a bigger and bigger problem on account of the PvP aspect where players are making Alts and going in and destroying from within a team for which they create the Alt (making the Alt to log into an opposing team and destroy materials etc.).

The point of the game on the one hand is to happily grind to build bases, work as a team to upgrade things... on a good team this is a wonderfully rewarding thing. Adding some fair PvP seems like a fine addition, but it has immediately been dragged down by the lowest common denominator types who are breaking the game play mechanics - due to the PvP aspect.

Playing and watching the discussions in and out of game for Rend make it clear to me that Em8er is on the right track!!

Go Em8er!
 

PIghead Elderberry

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Jun 4, 2017
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#3
BASES / BASE ATTACKS / BASE BUILDING

Been doing more Reckoning events and everything else...

In Rend there is on each server at scheduled times (so you know in advance) a think called "The Reckoning" where there is PvE attack to a normally shielded base for about 10 minutes and then PvP after that.

We won't have PvP, but we'll have PvE attacks on the bases.

The way most everyone (partly because the main bases are somewhat determined by the game itself) has their main base is like a square walled castle where during The Reckoning PvE event we stand up on the battlements and shoot at the waves of mindless spirit creatures that come at the base.

Some thoughts:

1) Having the kind of big fat fort as the base makes the event simplistic.

It would be a lot nicer if the base was open like the bases in FireFall were, where the enemies could enter them in many places quite easily and we had to fight to keep them away but also fight them within the base. I hope Em8er will keep this kind of FF vibe for the bases to keep combat fluid and mixed.

I am certain Em8er will have a good variety of smart attackers who behave in a variety of ways to make things challenging and fun AND different in every assault event. The key is NOT to just have the same mindless waves of dumb aliens to the same big fat fort.

I am sure Em8er will be better than this...

That said, however, it is fun to be up on fortified elevated positions and act as a group to run to the section of battlements together to combat a pod of attackers from above.

2) Big Fat Fort vs. Personal Bases

A) Big Fat Fort

Rend has by default for each Faction a main base which is (can be changed with parameter to turn it off entirely on your own server) protected by a shield until the attack comes. This has buildings for crafting in set places which get upgraded, but largely the players are forced to just make this a rectangular shaped fort and as big and fat as possible. This is blah.

Building the main base bits is done by contributing resources to each individual building and even individual wall sections, boxes, crates... floors...

That actually works pretty well, as anyone can help to contribute to make the base better.

The problem is the game making this "game provided" base so mundane. The mechanic of upgrading it works well.

I know we discussed something bit like this for Em8er. If Em8er does it this way, we should make sure that we do not end up with Big Fat Fort syndrome.

B) Personal Bases / Clan Bases

While the main bases is by default a Faction base (and really a clan base), one can also build one's own personal base and/or Clan base.

I have not played in depth Ark (dabbled when it was new). I did play that other PvE survival game where you had to build a base and then got attacked every night (Eden Star - I forget the name).

I find that the way Rend implements the personal base building is very very flexible.

Most importantly, it not only has been easy to build a structure up quickly from nothing, but it lends itself to any shape and style base anyone want to create - with for the Clan bases the same mechanic for letting everyone contribute to the upgrade and creation of the base.

I don't know if it would be possible for Em8er to have this style of base creation, but it seems like it would be nice.

For the player built bases one can choose the material, build the structure rapidly from scratch, and fill it with things like storage containers, crafting areas and the like as one wishes.

Then, folks can all work to keep improving the elements by a couple game mechanics - directly putting resources into the item to be upgrade and putting a different sort of resource into research trees and the like.

The way they have implemented the Co-op aspect of the base building and updating seems to me smooth and works well.

C) Base Attacks / Repairs

One thing I had not thought about much wrt Em8er is repair of bases. In Rend as the base walls (or other base bits) are being damaged they can simultaneously be repaired by players.

That makes fights interesting, even in the Big Fat Fort emplacements because some of us are doing the combat, but we can't keep all enemies away. Inevitably, some damage is occurring during the fight. So... Other players are doing repairs as fast as they can.

In the Big Fat Fort model of base, this is not as interesting as it would be with a more open style of base and/or one where the walls (if there are any) are readily enough breached by the Tsi-Hu that we ALWAYS have some Tsi-Hu in the base and rampaging about. I believe we will have that.

It also would be nice if repairs were implemented in such a way that if something is being repaired it makes the player doing the repair vulnerable and more importantly able to be interrupted in repairs by the Tsi-Hu. This would make a nice dynamic where we have to keep the Tsi-Hu off the base components themselves, but we also must protect players who are trying to do repairs during an attack. Like in the classic Zombie movies where one person is nailing up new boards to keep the Zombies out while the hands are reaching through the planks and being chopped at by others!
 
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Pandagnome

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#4
It also would be nice if repairs were implemented in such a way that if something is being repaired it makes the player doing the repair vulnerable and more importantly able to be interrupted in repairs by the Tsi-Hu. This would make a nice dynamic where we have to keep the Tsi-Hu off the base components themselves, but we also must protect players who are trying to do repairs during an attack. Like in the classic Zombie movies where one person is nailing up new boards to keep the Zombies out while the hands are reaching through the planks and being chopped at by others!
I like this idea and hope that it would happen it gives more responsibility to not only cover your team mates but to also know when to retreat if the repair output cannot exceed the damage taken.
 

PIghead Elderberry

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Jun 4, 2017
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#5
PvP Toxicity in Rend

I am in the forums there at Rend to post bugs and feedback, and the level of toxic flaming and vitriol on account of the PvP aspect of the game is growing and growing and growing...

It seems that while they had good intentions by mixing in the end-game/win mechanic into the survival PvE genre AND PvP is having severe growing pains.

Having the win mechanic also is creating big conflicts even within player teams.

I hope all works out well for them!

Part of the problem is exactly the problem FF had in trying to balance PvP and PvE in the same game. The research and gear up for PvP makes the PvE trivial too fast on the standard (default values for parameters of how game works) Official servers.

So, if PvE is too soft, make it harder, right? Well, if the PvE is made harder, then the PvP people complain...

There are for example folks who complain that the PvE is too aggressive - when on the Official servers with default settings you have to go and punch a wolf in the face to get him to attack you it seems.

It is reinforcing to me the right choice Grummz is making to keep Em8er PvE only, as it seems proven once again you can't mix PvP with PvE without creating a nightmare of work which may well fail regardless or by having the PvE mostly window dressing and not much fun on its own account.
 
Aug 14, 2016
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#6
The thing about games that let players build their own bases is that some of us know how real life bases and forts are made. So using real world ideas and designs often become OP in many games, unless you put unrealistic limits on the base and defenses. For example having a bastion on every corner or side of the base with overlapping fields of view. Or building false paths and kill zones to lure enemies into places there you want them to go before you do a killing blow. In one game I played I designed one of the walls of my base to break knowing that most people would focus on it to enter the base. Not knowing that I set up a number of kill zones inside the base itself. And because the inside of the base was like a maze by the time they realized they was in a kill zone they couldn't get back out in time. In Em8er, I'm sure that given enough time some of us will work together to make bases that are just living death traps waiting to happen.

And for the people who don't normally build bases in games. Here are a few tips. lol
 

Pandagnome

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#7
The thing about games that let players build their own bases is that some of us know how real life bases and forts are made. So using real world ideas and designs often become OP in many games, unless you put unrealistic limits on the base and defenses. For example having a bastion on every corner or side of the base with overlapping fields of view. Or building false paths and kill zones to lure enemies into places there you want them to go before you do a killing blow. In one game I played I designed one of the walls of my base to break knowing that most people would focus on it to enter the base. Not knowing that I set up a number of kill zones inside the base itself. And because the inside of the base was like a maze by the time they realized they was in a kill zone they couldn't get back out in time. In Em8er, I'm sure that given enough time some of us will work together to make bases that are just living death traps waiting to happen.

And for the people who don't normally build bases in games. Here are a few tips. lol
I wonder if the enemy decided that instead of breaking the walls they would climb it or drop from above hmm

What about if they had a digger type enemy that would dig under the ground to attack from beneath?

Could we have options for more stronger foundation and roofs?
 
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#8
I wonder if the enemy decided that instead of breaking the walls they would climb it or drop from above hmm

What about if they had a digger type enemy that would dig under the ground to attack from beneath?

Could we have options for more stronger foundation and roofs?
The funny thing about enemies that can dig under wall is that in ancient times the protectors of a fort or city would let them do that. This is because they would build pits and tunnels themselves and full them with toxic gases that was heavier than air. So when the enemy tunnel hit one of these pits or counter tunnels their tunnel would be flooded with toxic gases killing them. And than the protectors could use the enemies own tunnel against them if the gas cleared out.

Again, using real life tactics in games would be OP most of the time. Because people would make traps for enemies that no only kill them but make them think that they was winning until the last moment. "Oh great, you broke into my base. Good for you. Now you are right where I want you to be. Die."
 
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#9
The thing about games that let players build their own bases is that some of us know how real life bases and forts are made. So using real world ideas and designs often become OP in many games, unless you put unrealistic limits on the base and defenses. For example having a bastion on every corner or side of the base with overlapping fields of view. Or building false paths and kill zones to lure enemies into places there you want them to go before you do a killing blow. In one game I played I designed one of the walls of my base to break knowing that most people would focus on it to enter the base. Not knowing that I set up a number of kill zones inside the base itself. And because the inside of the base was like a maze by the time they realized they was in a kill zone they couldn't get back out in time. In Em8er, I'm sure that given enough time some of us will work together to make bases that are just living death traps waiting to happen.

And for the people who don't normally build bases in games. Here are a few tips. lol
Yes, but the strategy and tactics are what the game is about, at least to me. Fight smarter, not harder (until you have to!)
Don't dumb the game down for the sake of the uneducated. Let them pay the price for their education.
 
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#10
B) Personal Bases / Clan Bases

While the main bases is by default a Faction base (and really a clan base), one can also build one's own personal base and/or Clan base.

I have not played in depth Ark (dabbled when it was new). I did play that other PvE survival game where you had to build a base and then got attacked every night (Eden Star - I forget the name).

I find that the way Rend implements the personal base building is very very flexible.

Most importantly, it not only has been easy to build a structure up quickly from nothing, but it lends itself to any shape and style base anyone want to create - with for the Clan bases the same mechanic for letting everyone contribute to the upgrade and creation of the base.

I don't know if it would be possible for Em8er to have this style of base creation, but it seems like it would be nice.

For the player built bases one can choose the material, build the structure rapidly from scratch, and fill it with things like storage containers, crafting areas and the like as one wishes.

Then, folks can all work to keep improving the elements by a couple game mechanics - directly putting resources into the item to be upgrade and putting a different sort of resource into research trees and the like.

The way they have implemented the Co-op aspect of the base building and updating seems to me smooth and works well.
I really, REALLY like this section! The co-operative effort of putting resources towards the two common goals (research and construction) sounds like a winner to me!

The combat repairs section is good, too. Repairs should probably require stored resources in order to complete.
 

Pandagnome

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#11
Don't dumb the game down for the sake of the uneducated. Let them pay the price for their education.
Vote for a simulator area of some kind that provides tips/advice to try out stuff like a holodeck from star trek then people can play around with a new layout to see if its ok against say a class 3 kaiju etc etc
 
Aug 14, 2016
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#12
That about the idea of some having a day and night cycle effect things. Like how in real life some animals only come out in the day and others only come out at night, while there are some come out any time they feel like it. It would add a layer of the design of things because how you also have to think about things like lights and shadows when building the base. As some animals seek the light and others seek darkness. Do you risk turning on the flood lights in the middle of the night because you think you heard an odd sound, knowing that it would attract somethings or do you use the small spots light to try and see what it was even if it is less effective?

In one game I played not only did the say and night cycle effected what monsters spawned but even the phases of the sun and moon effected things. As some things got more powerful at solar maximum and others at solar minimum just like some things got more powerful on the full moon and others on the new moon. This not even counting things like solar eclipse or lunar eclipse. I remember how even the bosses in some of the dungeons would change backed on the time of day and the phase of the moon. As some bosses would go into hiding when it was the time in cycle they was at their weakest letting an other monster rule the area until they got their power back.

And you could also use light and shadow as a weapon. For example, let's say you are fighting a monster that only comes out at night and doesn't like bright lights because it hurts their eyes and things like UV light burns their skin. Than having you base turn on some UV flood lights (like the kind people use to get a tan) would make the monster run away to avoid the light seeking a dark place to hide. But you can make to know the only dark place in the area is trap and/or a kill zone.