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: The Riverborn (Riverside Refuge Preview)

Hi all! I’m Foucs, the designer guilty of spriting Asgard, the Gelatinous Palace, and a bunch of other stuff. Weekly devlogs are a pain joy for the team to write, and it looks like I’ll be your host for today. In this blog post, we’ll show off the Riverside Refuge biome, inspired by the original Riverborn event from legacy RotF.

welcome to the refuge.

The Refuge biome itself is a thick swamp, filled with frogs, tree bugs, and other ⭐ m a g i c ⭐ inhabitants. Everybody knows that frogs are a staple of good biome design. More frogs means better game (obviously). Take a look at these friendly froggy foes:

them jump

Now, I know what you’re thinking: those frogs will be really lonely without some friends. We agree, imaginary reader! While navigating the marshes, you might stumble upon a fascinating creature, an impostor (ඞ) of sorts. These are the River Striders and Lurkers, also known as the Living Brushes.

Next up, the River Serpent, aka Flying Snake Boyo. His bubbles are tricky, so watch your toes.

What else might you find in a magical swamp? The giant water-dragon-snake-beast with a hunger for humans, of course! For the first time since legacy, meet the Riverborn, Lord of the Refuge.

what a beauty

Like other Lords in RotF, to challenge the Riverborn, players will explore the realm, and search for his home waters. This Lord has some tricks up his sleeves (…wings?), so approach cautiously! While you’re slowly wading through the water, the Riverborn unleashes torrents of wind.

him spinnnnnnn

In addition to spawning watery disasters at will, the Riverborn possesses another innate skill: diving. Watch as he plunges underwater, stalks players while submerged, before popping back up (and popping your health bar too).

him dive

In this section, I’m supposed to talk about what I worked on in more detail, but I’m sort of already out of ideas. So… let’s plug socials! BQ and I both stream on twitch (at and respectively). Come on over, and tell us why the frog to regular enemy ratio should be 1:0. We’ll agree.

We’re excited to show more stuff from the Medium-rank areas, so keep your eyes peeled! As always, we’ll update this post in 15 minutes with some CT keys. Lastly, a big shoutout to the RotF community for staying chill and supportive. You guys rock. And the most important thing: this post has a frog rating of two 🐸

We’ve got another CT key puzzle, brought to you by Skilly. Check it out here.

Use at Good luck!