Rune - Closed Alpha Combat Test in May

Human Head Studios' upcoming action-RPG Rune, initially known as Rune: Ragnarok, will be opening its doors to a number of closed alpha testers this May. To get in, you'll need to sing up for Human Head Studios mailing list, get selected, and then be fast enough to jump into a game while the available servers still have open slots. Here's the game's developers describing how this will work and showing off some PvP gameplay:

And some instructions on how to get started:

Gather your axes, swords, and spears because we’re inviting you to play Rune…with us.

That’s right. We’re ready for you to play Rune. You have given us great feedback on the gameplay videos we’ve posted so far. In an effort to get even more feedback, we’re inviting select members of the community to join us in our Closed Alpha Combat Tests. Our 10th episode of The Rune Recap has the details, but here’s what you need to know to get started:
  • We’re in ALPHA. This is the very first time fans are joining us to test the game.
  • We’re starting the test on one island.
  • First come. First served. We will be randomly selecting users to participate in our Closed Alpha Combat Tests, but we’re limiting the number of servers available. We’ll announce via email and on Facebook when the servers will be up, but they are first come, first served, so make sure you add the playtests to your calendar.
  • You have to be on our email list. Yes, that’s correct. The only way you can be chosen to throw down in our first Viking PvP ceremony is to be selected from our email list. Why? Well, we need to communicate with you via email and we’re looking for loyal fans who want to help us test combat. If you’ve already won a key, you will be invited to join the combat test in addition to participating in our Open World Closed Beta later this summer.
  • You’ll get alpha and beta access. If you’re selected to help us test combat, the key you receive will also work for our Open World Closed Beta Tests later this year. So, if you aren’t able to help test combat, or you are terrible with dates and didn’t make it in before servers were full, you’ll have access to the game in closed beta, too.
  • The test starts in May. We’re only a few weeks away from letting an exclusive group of testers experience the turmoil of Ragnarok. We’re notifying winners via email at the end of April. (So go sign up.)

This post on the game's development blog introduces us to the Redheim island that will serve as the arena for the upcoming alpha test. Check it out:

During our 10th episode of The Rune Recap, we announced that our exclusive Closed Alpha Combat Tests will start in May. (You’ve signed up for newsletter, right?) These brutal, PvP battles will take place on Redheim. (Shout out to contest winner and forum user Harvald Bonebreaker for the island name.)

Redheim is a not-so-inviting locale nestled in our 3km by 3km slice of Midgard where Ragnarok has devastated much of the landscape. But, not all is lost on Redheim.

This particular haven is one of the more verdant looks in the Northern section of Midgard. Surrounded by similar islands, this terrain has yet to feel the full impact of Ragnarok. That’s not to say the entire island is still lush and green. Structurally, Ragnarok’s impact is clear: several villages and ancient runes have been decimated and the power of Ragnarok has infused some structures into their neighboring rock, creating runic symbols out of the two.

On Redheim, you’ll find barren clifftops, dense forests, valleys, and sprawling landscapes, allowing you to seek the most advantageous place to stalk your prey. For you diehard Rune fans, you’ll see callbacks to Rune Classic including abundant climbing opportunities – which are as fun as they were in the original game. We savor the moments where two fearsome Vikings are scrambling for the same frost axe, but one takes the slope route, the other takes the climbing route, and neither is sure who’ll get their head chopped off at the top.

As you valiantly enter our Closed Alpha Combat Tests next month, we encourage you to keep a watchful eye on your enemies. While we have the expected vast, beautiful wide-open areas of traditional open world games, you’ll find Rune to have an open-world where every space feels purposefully designed and optimized for brutal PvP combat. Don’t be distracted by Redheim’s beautiful vistas. Enemies will be stalking you from cliffs, lurking within the forests, or waiting in a valley to lop off your arm and beat you to death with it.

As you envision what’s in store for Rune’s open world, imagine the salty wind in your beard as you sail through treacherous waters from this island to one many times its size…but maybe not as lush. Redheim is a small taste of the wonders you’ll behold as you explore our open world – providing you make it past the sea serpents.