Revenge of the Fallen: Primal Effects, but Good This Time

Hello! In this devlog, we’re going to look at some early iterations of Primal Effects (and by proxy, Primal Items). As we demonstrated with our Reworked Runes and new classes (more on that soon), we’re trying to create dynamic abilities that encourage players to lean into a gameplay fantasy. With Shatter Strike, you can become an AoE, damage dealing madman. With the Warrior’s shield (their class ability) and Mirror’s Edge, you can become a brute, face-tanking hundreds of shots while bulldozing through enemies. All of these runes and abilities were designed with the goal of enabling a gameplay fantasy.

With Primal Items and Effects, we want to add another component that can push players even further towards their fantasy. With that in mind, I’m excited to show off four (4!) primals in this post: Bel’s Decapitator, Wall of Gore, Draupner, and the Book of Thoth. Let’s have a look!

1. Bel’s Decapitator

​Returning from legacy, Bel’s Decapitator is still the waraxe that deals massive damage.​​‌‌​​​​​‌​​‌‌‌​​‌​​‌‌‌‌​‌‌​‌​‌​​‌‌​‌​​​​‌​‌‌‌‌‌ Its Primal Effect, however, has changed: “Necropolis Waraxe: Upon taking damage from any source, create an orbiting axe that deals damage equal to a primary shot (25% chance). Each axe can proc on-hit effects, such as Shatter Strike.”

Here’s a small preview image. You can click the image (it’s a link) to see the ability in action!

the axes move with you, so good positioning can net you tons of damage. click here (or on the image) to see the gif.

We’re still experimenting, but since each projectile can proc on-hit effects, we think it could be pretty strong.

2. Wall of Gore

Another returnee! In legacy, Wall of Gore was fairly useless. That changes now. Wall of Gore is the first item to use the new Shielding system. In addition to generating a ton of Defense while channeling, here is Wall of Gore’s Primal Effect: “Flesh Buffer: While channeling, build up a shield of up to 35% Maximum Health. The shield is lost immediately when the channel is canceled.”

The image below shows a fully charged shield. Click on the image to see it in action:

oh you meant like a real shield (click image to see gif)

Admittedly, it might get a bit confusing to have both Shields (the Warrior ability) and shields (the HP buffer)… We might have to work on the terminology a bit.

3. Draupner

Draupner is a ring that drops from Asgard. Equippable by Mages, and with stats that are only slightly above average, Draupner’s magic lies in its primal effect. “Ring of Odin: Upon casting your secondary, summon a circle of nine Draupners. After a short delay, each Draupner will fire at its nearest target, dealing damage based on Wisdom and Mana (20% chance on ability use).”

draupner sonic speed ?

Pretty cool, right?

4. Book of Thoth

Another newbie! The Book of Thoth drops from the Gate to the Underworld. Its Primal Effect makes it a useful defensive tool, and explains why the item is a shield: “Egyptian Knowledge: Upon casting your secondary (or starting shield channel, for Warriors), summon two books. These books orbit your player, blocking/consuming any projectiles they contact. Books expire after 2.0 seconds, detonating into a flurry of projectiles, based on how many projectiles were consumed.”

Here’s a preview:

ignore the green detonation projectiles. they’re placeholder 😉

We’re really excited to show more Primal Effects (and eventually, show the new Legendary Effects), but we think this is enough for today! There’s still plenty more to do—in pretty much every category—but we’re definitely ramping up towards a CT2. Keep the feedback coming!

Also, with the reveal of these four items, we’re also going to give out FOUR Closed Testing keys! We’re doing something a little bit crazy this time: Skilly did a little self-imposed 24h gamejam. Some doodling, coding, and (cough) voice acting later, and he had created a platformer with four levels, and four keys to earn.

Here’s the link: Beat any of the levels to earn a key!

If you manage to earn a key, use it at Good luck!

Revenge of the Fallen: Realm Rework (Progression Overhaul)

Look everyone! It’s another Miniguy post! It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to write one of these. Today, we’re going to take a look at a core gameplay system: Realm-ranking. This is all about improving the core progression loop. Check it out:

i am learning to youtube clickbait. i have acquired the red circle. now i am unstoppable.

We’ve mentioned before that we’re explicitly ranking content in terms of difficulty. Part of the reason we’ve started doing this is to support the new progression system.

If you can’t watch the video right now, I’ll also explain the new system a bit in text, by quoting from the video:

In legacy, the core progression loop encouraged new characters to 1) skip early-game content, 2) do a 50/50 teleport into high-level content, and 3) try to survive a difficult area where your character didn’t belong. If you died at this point, no problem: you could just make another new character. But when you inevitably lived, you’d effectively start the game at level 20.

The result: there was no early-to-mid-game. There was just endgame.

ouch. players got us figured out

In new RotF, we explicitly designate content as one of the three difficulty ranks: Easy, Medium, or Hard. You may have noticed these designations on our content blog posts: for example, Gate to the Underworld, which is Hard-rank, or Riverside Refuge, which is Medium-rank. Each Realm portal gets assigned a difficulty.

assigned difficulties? hmm…

When you make a new character, you begin in the Easy Realm, gaining access to the next-level realm by clearing a realm of your current level, or by clearing a single dungeon of your current level. This progression system promises that there will always be people running content of all difficulties, so it’s a double win: you won’t be lonely while leveling up a new character, and the early-to-mid-game content that we design will actually see usage. Stat maxing fruit will also be a relatively common drop in early-to-mid areas, so it should feel rewarding to play through on a new character.

let me in!!

We want to make sure that encouraging players to play early-to-mid-game doesn’t conflict with our promise to make a high-speed, fast-paced bullet hell, but we also want to make sure that we make good on this promise deliberately, and not by keeping the broken progression system from legacy.

Thank you so much for reading. Watch the video if you get a chance—Google’s magic algorithms will hate us less. We’ll update this post with Skilly’s CT key puzzle in 15 minutes, so check back soon for a chance to get a key!

Edit: Skilly’s key puzzle is here! As always, there are three keys to discover. Use at

Revenge of the Fallen: Masterwork Runes, the New Nexus

Hey all! Today, we’ll show an overview of the Nexus, which was finally revealed during Closed Testing, and then we’ll walk you through some of the work we’ve been doing on Masterwork Runes.

sorry for literal static mic. i’ll have a real setup soon, promise!

The Nexus has dedicated areas for the:

  • Market (Manny)
  • Runemaster (Nero)
  • Guild Liaison (Luther)
  • Alchemist (Minerva)
  • Blacksmith (Alastair)
  • Stylist (Amir)

But for now, let’s focus on the Nero, the Runemaster.

this old man still knows a few tricks.

In a previous post, we talked about the new Skill Tree system, so check that out if you haven’t already. When we released that post, the last component that we needed to finalize was the function of Masterwork Runes.

Here’s what we’ve worked out since then: Masterwork Runes are unlockable runes that are equipped to a specific rune slot (much like Rune Cores, which reside on the innermost ring). Masterwork Runes should cause more meaningful changes in playstyle than the simple stat nodes surrounding them.

While the video demonstrates some of these Masterwork Runes pretty well, here’s another in-game sample that we think looks cool.

above: Astral Thorns (Arcane), Mirror’s Edge (Chrysalis), and Shatter Strike (Impact).

There’s still a lot to do before this system is ready. While the Nexus is fairly far along in development, Masterwork Runes are still highly work in progress.

And by “highly work in progress,” we mean that nearly everything is an experiment: most of the Cores and Masterwork Runes, for example, will likely switch places. Runes that have as high of a mechanical impact as Astral Thorns should clearly be Rune Cores, while complementary runes, like Perfectionist, should clearly be Masterwork Runes. But differentiating between Masterworks and Cores won’t be a priority until we’ve built enough runes that every class can find variety in their builds.

Mike and I have been trying to build things that feel satisfying to play. For now, that means they’re really unbalanced. They’re also missing sprites. But as with the last Skill Tree post, I still hope that this gives some insight around our intended direction with these systems.

it’s balanced!

The work is ongoing. Hang in there!

More keys! We’re skipping trivia this time, but we’re still doing some random fuzzing to make sure that bots don’t snatch up these keys. As always, good luck!

  • JV[1]X-HFJ[2]-VM[3]7-AI[4]G
    1. Replace with Q
    2. Replace with X
    3. Replace with B
    4. Replace with 4
  • HV[1]V-TS[2]U-9B[3]W-P[4]8M
    1. Replace with D
    2. Replace with S
    3. Replace with 0
    4. Replace with Z
  • 1L[1]L-M[2]JM-[3]4IM-[4]RR3
    1. Replace with X
    2. Replace with B
    3. Replace with Y
    4. Replace with X

Thanks for sticking with us! ❤

Revenge of the Fallen: March Roadmap

Hey all! We’ve been working on a lot of stuff behind the scenes. There’s still plenty to do, but we hope to be able to share more details about what we’re working on in the coming weeks.

Until then, we figured it might be nice to give you guys an idea of precisely where our time is being spent. So let’s look at our tentative March Development Roadmap.

hey, where are the dates?

As we’ve said many times, RotF still has a lot missing. We have design docs for a total of six Easy Rank, six Medium Rank, and six Hard Rank dungeons. Out of those docs, only two (2!) of the six Hard Rank dungeons were available during Closed Testing (along with the Easy Rank dungeons, which have been done for a while). Our immediate focus is on finishing the rest of the planned biomes and dungeons, because many of our other pending tasks (such as exciting loot drops and effects) depend on those boss fights and pieces of content. You might also notice that the roadmap is… rather vague about specific deadlines or dates for each deliverable task. There are a number of reasons for this.

Firstly, many of these tasks are worked on asynchronously. While Mike and I work on the graph logic for the new Skill Trees, Quaximi may be working on the 3D assets for a new area, and Patrick may be working on the scripting for a boss fight. We all have individual, target completion dates, but we sometimes need to pull resources from each other to finish off a specific task.

Secondly, it is notoriously hard for game studios to anticipate how long some tasks will take. This is especially problematic when trying to solve engineering issues (as opposed to gameplay or design issues) that may not have been solved before. Luckily, this month’s plotted tasks don’t involve much new tech, but we try not to put pressure on ourselves to deliver something before it’s ready, and publicizing specific task deadlines directly opposes that goal.

trello boards leaked!!!

It’s also worth noting that some of these tasks have already been started, and thus may take more (or less) time than you might think. “Hard Rank Dungeon I” has essentially all of its mechanics done (thank you patpot), and is just waiting on the actual production process, while “Hard Rank Dungeon II” requires less production work than the first. The tech for Masterwork and Core Runes was finished a few weeks ago, so the Rune tasks just involve creating a very large number of Runes that use that aforementioned tech.

Anyhoo. Our Discord chat has been re-opened in the wake of the first testing phase, so if you left it before, now is a great time to come back! Come hang out with us @ 🙂

We’ll put some keys up here soon. Thanks for reading!

The characters within these keys have all been shifted +1 (A -> B, B -> C, Z -> A, 1 -> 2, 3 -> 4, 9 -> 0). You’ll need to shift each character -1 to get the real keys!

Ciphered Keys:

  • P3Y8-4SRI-6CY0-Y9R0

Shift the keys back, then use at Good luck!

Revenge of the Fallen: Closed Testing First Impressions

Hey, look! It’s another Saturday post. The first phase of Closed Testing has begun, and we’re really happy with how things are going. As we mentioned in the announcement post, this first CT phase was meant to be an experiment for us to see how server stability holds up. Yes, we’d also be using data and feedback from CT to inform content, balance, and gameplay decisions, but we mostly wanted to understand how the server might break under load, and look for fixes early on. I’m going to sprinkle this post with fun CT clips from the community so that I can show their first impressions, and I’ll also share some of my initial thoughts.

oh, it’s already open! let’s– SLAM

RotF is still early on in development. From our roadmaps, I’d put us at around 35% complete—and the reason for this has to do with how development is split up. In our eyes, there are several different sections where we can make progress each day: tech (stability), content, game systems, and balance.

The difficult thing about building a multiplayer game is that the last three sections (content, game systems, balance) all very much rely on the first section (stability!) in order to function. We wanted to build out our tech, and we wanted to do it well. Once we had tech that we thought was pretty good, we started working on some early content and game systems development—dungeons like the Magician’s Hideout, Soul Harvest, and Asgard, along with an early iteration of the skill tree system, are products of that work.

But before we worked on any more content or game systems, we needed to make sure that the foundational stuff (the boring stability stuff) was working properly. Thus, Closed Testing began on the 24th, and we began to collect a lot of data about stability.

you had it… YOU HAD IT PETEY

Being honest, the results far exceeded our expectations. We found one (1!!!) projectile desync, identified the cause, and fixed it. We’ve found one (1!!!) cause of server lag, and identified some possible solutions, which we’ll deploy soon. The server has otherwise had no problem handling the load. This is really good news for us.

there’s no joke here. honestly, it’s so cool to see people learning the fights we’ve been working on.

But this doesn’t mean we’re done. This means that the foundation works, and now, we need to work on everything else. The plan is to have six easy dungeons, six medium dungeons, and six hard dungeons, complete the class + subclass system, the realm system, the skill tree + runes…

So hang in there. We’ve been reading all of the feedback, and one thing that I’ve noticed is that a lot of the criticism is around things that simply aren’t done. This is actually a good thing. The criticism isn’t about oversights, it’s about missing features—many of which were already on our backlog. If you thought that CT was a good first showing, great! But if not, that’s okay. We’ve got a lot more to do before we’re satisfied, and I’ll bet that by the time we’re done, we’ll have something that you’ll like, too.

Thanks for everything, guys. Have some keys.

  6. 5OMS-9V8P-V4QT-R8H2

Revenge of the Fallen – Closed Testing: Start!

Hey all! The end of the month is fast approaching, and, yes—that means CT is starting. When, you ask? The first phase of Closed Testing begins on Wednesday, February 24th. So let’s talk about what that means.

stolen from inspired by osu’s patcher.

We’ve been working on this for nearly two years now, and this is the first time we’re going to get to throw some of what we’ve been doing at you guys. Closed Testing is an opportunity for us to get an initial feel for stability, balance, and game “feel” (more or less in that order). MMOs don’t truly get tested until they’ve experienced scale, and this will be rotf2’s first exposure to a concurrent playercount over ten.

What I’m trying to say is, I expect things to blow up. Hard. But I also think that we have a good team, a good community, and a (very eager) group of Closed Testers to help us fix everything. We’re committed to making something that we ourselves want to play, and we expect to be doing a lot more before we reach that goal.

made in the source engine

For the initial round of CT, the plan is to run an intense, 2-3 day server stability test, with real players. During this time, we’ll be monitoring everything that works (and everything that doesn’t), and pushing out rapid fixes and improvements as things come up. We’re currently looking to test the easy, early-game content, so we’re setting up the playable realms and dungeons accordingly.

As we’ve mentioned (like, a lot), despite how long we’ve been working on this, rotf is still very early on in its development. MMOs take a long time to build. While the default assumption should be that nothing you see during CT is final, I’d like to specifically point out that these features are incomplete or missing entirely:

  • General balance (can’t balance effectively until players join)
  • Stat/skill trees (masterwork nodes not done)
  • Rune choices (only a few implemented atm)
  • Tutorial (completely missing)
  • Progression explanation (what is “easy/medium/hard,” what does HST do, etc)
  • Enchanting (not ready yet)
  • Realms (missing of a LOT of polish)
  • Classes (bare minimum for CT is enabled, but the Subclass tree + many class abilities are not ready yet)
  • Item storage (a barebones “vault” system is implemented but not available)

I could go on, but at some point, we have to put our pencils down, and see how things look. We’re both nervous and ecstatic to see what people think of this early-stage preview of rotf2.

For those of you that don’t have a CT key, hang in there! We’ll be funneling more players in as long as stability looks promising. For those of you that DO have a CT key, you’ll get an email from us (using your sign-up email) on the 24th, with information on how to download, play, and provide feedback.

We’ll update this post with a key in 15 minutes. If stability is good, we’ll also begin distributing keys to content creators, so if that’s your thing, keep an eye out (spamming our DMs is not a great way to get a key).

Anyhoo. This should be fun.

Closed Testing key: MW[1]Z-T[2]9V-QS[3]2-O[4]YV

[1] The first letter of the name of a once-proud spear-man in legacy rotf.
[2] The first letter of the name of the boss that dropped a primal Soul Bottle.
[3] The first letter of the alternate name for the Market. The “_ _ _ _ _ _ _” House
[4] The first letter of the name of the water-based dragon event in legacy rotf.

Revenge of the Fallen: Runes + the NEW Skill Tree

Hey all! This is a sort of “backstage” post about the new Rune + Skill Tree system in rotf2. We started designing components of this system back in September, but this is the first time we’ve had something in-game that we can show off.

some of the early concept designs for the new skill tree.

After talking to a lot of players about which design they preferred, one thing that we heard consistently was that the stat preview in design #2 should definitely be in whichever iteration we decide to use. With that in mind, we started building out the skill tree’s layout in the editor.

it’s… alive…? dear god

So, yikes. But that was (obviously) just a first attempt at figuring out where everything should be positionednot how everything should look. Making the lines appear at the correct positions, even, was a challenge…


But we got there eventually.

we did it we did it we did it we did it

We’re pretty proud of how it’s going, and how well we were able to follow our original design goals, but we ‘re definitely not done with this thing. Some things to note:

  • Runes slots now have names! Arcane (blue), Chrysalis (green), Impact (orange), and Adaptive (clear).
  • The Overview tab on the right allows you to live-preview your build as you develop it. The All Stats button will give you a more detailed overview (including things like primal effects on items, and reactive effects from runes), but we’re still working on that.
  • Masterwork nodes literally don’t do anything yet. We’re still figuring out how we want to keep the choices thematically exciting (i.e. matching their core rune), without taking away too much variety from the build system. Their sprites are also completely placeholder (lol).
  • You might have noticed a mini-node for Hastethis is a cdr-like stat that should be relevant for some classes, since many abilities now have cooldowns (as opposed to just mana costs).
  • Runes don’t have tooltips yet, but they will. The UI in general is still WIP.
  • The sword and shield in the video are not actually UT. The tier system from legacy won’t be returning as-was, and we haven’t had a chance to finish implementing the new system yet.
  • what’s this new area we’re standing in o_O

We’re hoping that the new skill tree system will continue to encourage players to seek out diverse builds and playstyles. We think it’s going to be pretty sick, especially when combined with the Class Tree (more on that some other time).

For now, another Closed Testing key! Use at

(Post will be updated in 15 minutes with the key to give you time to read the post. EDIT: Here it is!)

Closed Testing key: [1]V2E-[2]TXR-O0[3]U-X[4]NO

[1] The first letter of the blue rune in legacy rotf that gave increased loot chance for rare drops, but prevented you from looting any other items.
[2] The first letter of the stat in legacy rotf, scaling with speed, that gave you a % chance to dodge an incoming attack.
[3] The first letter of the boss of the legacy rotf Showcase dungeon.
[4] The first letter of the realm event in legacy rotf that threw playing cards everywhere.

Revenge of the Fallen: Thor & Heimdallr, Asgard Dungeon Preview

It’s Saturday, and you know what that means: it’s time for another devlog! I’ve been looking forward to this one, since I think exemplifies our “core design” principles for dungeons and fights in rotf2. The video preview is a bit long, but I really hope you watch it in full—the playthrough is a bit insane.

Take a look:

these are only the first two bosses…

Like with our post about Nyx, the Molten Mistress, I’ll highlight a few areas from the dungeon that we’re particularly excited about.

Here’s a shot from the Bifrost. Worthiness seems to be a rather prominent theme throughout Asgardian lore, so players need to pass through the Bifrost to continue the dungeon.

just dodge lol

Players that fail to reach the end of the Bifrost to help defeat Heimdallr will be beamed all the way back to the Observatory. They will be unable to complete the rest of the dungeon.

i didn’t make it to heimdallr. i wasn’t worthy.

But that’s a bit further ahead. The dungeon begins in a spiraling mountain. We’re still mastering the use of verticality in rotf2, so if you see any oddities, let us know! That said, this climb at the entrance of the dungeon is one of the many benefits that the new engine affords us. Quaximi is smurfing on art, as always.

the second ring of the mountain.

There’s a lot of other juice here that you might notice see when you watch the video (screen shake, anyone?), and we’ll continue to look for ways we can add flavor to our worlds. This dungeon includes work from practically everyone on the team, and I think it shows!

This post will be updated with a CT key within 10 mins of its publication. You know what to do: refresh, refresh, refresh!

Closed testing key:


[1] The number of realms in Yggdrasil, not including Asgard.
[2] The first letter of the name of Thor’s brother, the god of mischief.
[3] The first letter of the home of the frost giants.
[4] The first letter of the source of the mythology that inspired this dungeon.

The start of closed testing is coming up soon. Are y’all excited?

Revenge of the Fallen: Website Overhaul

Hi all! It’s Miniguy again. This is going to be a fairly quick update. As we continue development of in-game content for Closed Testing, we realized it was time to revisit a (fairly overlooked) portion of our code: the RotF website.

it’s so… purple..?

Don’t get me wrongI’m proud of that thing! But I also made it in, like, 2017, and I’ve since learned a lot about programming and design. I’ve also learned, regrettably, that as much as I like the color purple, the legacy rotf website may have been a little bit excessively purple.

admittedly, none of these people were actually talking about the website in these messages, but i promise people have been complaining. which makes sense. the website is ugly.

So, we’re overhauling it!

wow, vignette!

I’m still learning how a lot of these webdev tools work, so if things blow up, please let me know! I’m pretty proud of how everything looks, though.

is this a fungal abode spoiler?

I hope you guys like the new look! The new website is live now at, so go check it out 🙂

As always, this post will be updated within 10 minutes of its publication with a Closed Testing Key. Hit those F5 buttons!

Closed testing key: TA7[1][2]PEJ-JZ[3]W-[4]9Z3

[1] The first letter of the legacy rotf class that used shurikens.
[2] The first letter of the name of the first dungeon in rotf to drop primal items.
[3] The number of times you could get the “First Born” fame boost in legacy rotf. (lol)
[4] The first letter of the legacy rotf rune that would give several buffs after consuming HP/MP potions.

Use at Good luck!

Revenge of the Fallen: Nyx of Fire (that demon lady from last week!)

Hi all! This is a (very late) Miniguy post. In last week’s devlog, Shmitty walked us through some of the animation, spriting, and general design work that they’ve been doing for the newest world boss. We also asked for name suggestions, since internally, we’d been calling her the Demon Lady. After a lot of great suggestions (and a lot of perhaps objectionable ideas), we’ve finalized her name as Nyx of Fire. Congratulations to Flurry for coming up with it!

Today, I want to give you a small preview of how Nyx’s fight plays out. We’re not done with her, yet: her animations are still being finalized (i.e. some of her minions animation timings are still being fixed!), we’re still working out how we want the world’s transformation to look, we still need to pad out the fight with smaller bullet hell patterns… but it’s nice to put our pencils down for a bit and see where we’re at! Have a look below:

You should definitely watch the full video, but I wanted to highlight one of the things Mike and I had a lot of fun working on: Nyx’s evil player phase! In this phase, she recruits a player to help fight for her. I’m pretty sure I killed Mike at least twice.

that demon lady is just so fine…

I’ll also point out a newer projectile pathing system that we just finished writing. It’ll be used in the GTU lord fight that patpot’s been working on, but you can also see it used during Nyx’s fight (see the clone that jumps in from the left):

she jump

Thanks for checking out today’s post, even though it’s a bit later than we intended! As always, we’ll update this post with a closed testing key within 10 minutes of its publication. Hit those F5 buttons, y’all!

Here’s the promised second key, apologies again for the late post!

[1] If you were interested in a certain iconic high range sword from a realm event in legacy rotf, what is the first letter of the name of the event boss you’d be farming?
[2] For those dedicated base fame farmers there was a certain rune you could equip which would increase your fame gain but stop loot from dropping, what is the first character of the second word of the name of this rune?
[3] There was some speedy characters in legacy rotf, if you wanted a boost in your evasion stat to make this even stronger what is the first character of the base skill tree master node you would choose? (For clarification, the first node you have to choose for a skill tree before going into generic stat nodes)
[4] The first character of the name of the person who’s perspective you watch in the Nyx of Fire – World Boss Preview video.


[1] The first letter of the class of boss mentioned in this post!
[2] The first letter of the dungeon that dropped Enchanted Uru Sword.
[3] The number of times rotf has been delayed so far.
[4] The number of world bosses we’ve shown publicly.

Use at Good luck!