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!

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!