Rune 2 got off to a very rough start last year, including a dispute over possession of the source code, but despite all of that it's still alive and kicking, and actually now in the process of getting some major improvements. Publisher Ragnarok Game announced today that the first part of the game's "Narrative Update," from new developer Studio 369, is now live on the Rune 2 PTR.
The update is a complete rebuild of the game's first chapter that replaces repeated gameplay loops with linear progress through "Ages of Ragnarok," each with a different boss to fight, although for the moment they're all still Loki. After each boss is defeated, the Age will advance, ultimately leading to a showdown with Loki, the big bad guy, in the final age. There are also multiple main quests and side quests, including some that will be found by speaking with villagers or exploring the world.
The tutorial has also been overhauled based on player feedback and now covers everything from the basics of equipping items to crafting gear and repairing weapons and armor. All buildings are destructible, the respawn system has been changed, the game now pauses when the inventory, map, or adventures menus are open, and it's no longer possible to blow the Gjallarhorn until a specific quest is complete, which I assume makes sense to people who know the game better than I do.
The Rune 2 PTR is open to all owners of the game on the Epic Games Store, but Ragnarok Game strongly recommends creating a new character for it. Instructions for accessing the Rune 2 PTR are available here, and the PTR patch notes are below.
- Added Chapter 1: Age of Awakening of the overhauled story to RUNE II.
- Chapter 1 includes a new narrative, new quests, a new critical path, a new core loop, and more!
- Ages of Ragnarok will now traverse linearly.
- Each Age will have a different boss to fight within the VP (for now they are all still Loki).
- When the player successfully defeats the Age boss or gets ejected, the age advances.
- Player will win the game when beating Loki in the final age.
- Removed Agefall quest in Chapter 1: Age of Awakening.
- Added multiple new critical path main quests.
- Added multiple new side quests.
- New quests can be discovered by speaking with villagers and exploring the world.
- Gjallarhorn cannot be blown until a specific quest is completed.
- God villages cannot be built until quest prerequisites are met.
- Fixed an issue where opening quest dialog would play over the intro video.
- Added Redesigned Tutorial to the main menu.
- Redesigned tutorial removes everything but Old Wotenkeld island from the world map.
Bifrost Gates and Player Respawning:
- Removed the ability for players to choose which bifrost gate they spawned at upon dying.
- Changed the respawn system >> Bifrost Gate Attunement\
- If you are not attuned to a gate, you will spawn at age specific player start
- Interacting with a gate that you’re not attuned to will “attune” you.
- “Attuned” gates show up highlighted in yellow on the map and become your active respawn point.
- When dying or relogging, you automatically respawn at attuned gate
- Fast travelling to a gate will not automatically attune you, you can choose to do so upon arrival.
- When losing a fight in the VP, you are specifically attuned and respawned at heimdall’s gate.
- When winning a fight in VP (i.e. Age change) your attuned gate is reset and you spawn at the Age-Specific player starts
- Teleporting to a Bifrost Gate via the Map now costs 1 teleport rune
- Added player spawn points at different locations per specific ages.
- Fixed an issue where players couldn’t spawn if save data or attunement wasn’t correctly found.
- All buildings have been overhauled and can now be destroyed!
- Buildings have multiple states of destruction: Built, partially built, damaged, destroyed.
- Added particle effects to building destruction.
- Added sound effects to building destruction.
- Added temp voiceover dialogue for all new characters and dialogue.
- Updated ambient sound in Age of Treachery
- Fixed distance attenuation for thunder
- Added attenuation for dragon
- Updated sound cue for dragon w new attenuation settings
- Updated sound class and volumes across multiple STORY audio files (chapter 1)
- KNOWN ISSUE: Heimdall dialogue ignores volume sliders.
Villages and Villagers:
- Increased the landscape around existing villages.
- Added new Heimdall village with additional villagers.
- Added the Seer.
- Increased building and god statue health.
- Mead barrel now gives mead once every 2 minutes.
- Whet your whistle!
- Villager NPCs now look at the player when focusing on them.
- Updated villager wave animations.
- Updated villagers to be visually unique per village.
- Fixed an issue where foliage would appear in built buildings.
- Fixed an issue where villagers could greet the player while giving a quest.
- Known issue: Protect the Statue quest may fail to be acquired if Viveka grants the quest outside of the Village.
- Dying in the Loki encounter will now send you back to the previous age and set your attuned Bifrost Gate to Heimdall’s tower.
- Successfully completing the Loki encounter will send you to the next age.
- Fixed an issue where the mead mead dwarf and deer wouldn’t flee.
- Updated AI behavior when blocking and circle strafing. There should be less waiting in between stuff.
- Made enemies better at attacking structures and god statues without looking out of place.
- Added new roaming elite and quest enemy variations.
- Updated Villager taunts, waves, idle, and walks
- Updated double-tap dodge animation blends.
User Interface and User Experience:
- Removed artifacts screen.
- Game now pauses in Single Player when opening the inventory, map, or adventures menu.
- Background is desaturated while game is paused
- Progress bar on consumable inventory slots stays “filled” until the game is unpaused and the item is used.
- Added side quest tracking.
- Show the current selected sidequest task in the left hand quest panel.
- Show side quest waypoints on the map and in the world.
- Updated compass UI to make it more prominent and larger.
- Show main quest and side quest waypoints in the compass.
- Updated HUD icons for main and side quest tracking to match ingame waypoints
- Increase the size of the main quest widget, and use a different texture for side quests.
- Changed the color of sidequest waypoints to blue to distinguish from the green main quests
- Updated UI for Side Quest Complete
- Added rebuild UI to player HUD when a structure is damaged but not destroyed.
- Reposition camera for character paper doll
- Adjusted damage number sizing.
- Significantly increased various text sizes throughout the UI
- Updated Rune of Teleport description to state that it’s a currency for fast travel in Midgard.
- All “toast” and “feedback” events now use the same UI widget popup system as item pickups
- Updated dialogue speaker icons with villager faces.
- Added teleport rune particle when a gate is successfully attuned to.
- Added tooltip for horde mode
- Updated localization entries for tips and FTUE keys to be more correct with our new features.
- Fixed an issue where the inventory UI would flicker
- Fixed an issue with incorrect gate colors on the map.
- Added Seer Hut building
- Optimized character textures.
OWEs and Open World:
- Removed Old Wotenkeld island from campaign map.
- Players may experience unintended side effects when playing multiplayer.
- Quests are tracked per player.
- We are looking at changing this system in the future, after the narrative update is completed.
- Reworked artifact functionality.
Ages of Ragnarok:
- Removed all repeatable Ages.
- Completely removed The Ragnarok Timer.
- Increased optimization on graphics, sound, and engine.
- Implemented save versioning for world save files, which will also nuke all old world saves for people.
- Dodge roll now always corresponds with actual travel direction, and you can’t jump while staggered
- Fixed an issue that caused old character data to persist after dying.
- This could result in an unwanted collision with Bifrost Gates or respawning under the map.
- Added a preview of [REDACTED] mode to RUNE II.
- Added a way for players to find [REDACTED] mode inside of RUNE II.
- Find it for yourself. Good luck!
- Heimdall dialogue ignores volume sliders.
- Protect the Statue quest may fail to be acquired if Viveka grants the quest outside of the Village.
- Weapon icons may show incorrect elemental effects.
- Villager dialog may use the wrong voice over.
- We are investigating a rare edge case issue where AMD processors may experience performance issues for a few moments.
- May experience compatibility issues with old save files. Creating a new character is STRONGLY recommended.
PC Gamer Newsletter
Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors.
Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.