This week in survivalboxes: Valnir Rok, Hellion, Next Day Survival, and ARK

It’s time for another survivalbox roundup! What’s new in the world of eternal building, unbuilding, ganking, ganking buildings, and consuming adequate food and water so you don’t keel over dead from all the fun you’re having?

Valnir Rok

Viking-themed survival sandbox Valnir Rok is currently conducting closed alpha rounds, having opened up new servers in Asia, South America, and Russia for this weekend’s test event.

“Looking back, it was a good decision to make another closed alpha weekend before the launch,” wrote the devs this week. “Although the player’s feedback was very positive overall, we found several bugs and some serious problems. We managed to fix some issues over the weekend and patched a few performance problems. Now our task is to fix severe bugs, which influence gameplay, to have a successfull launch. Nevertheless, we are looking forward going in Early Access by the end of September.”

What else have we got here…

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Betawatch: Fortnite rolls out a free-for-all mode that’s free for all (September 22, 2017)

Remember when Fortnite’s whole thing was that it was going to be about co-op survival gameplay without any PvP aspects? That clearly didn’t last, as it turns out the game’s new Battle Royale mode is going to be free-to-play and seems to be getting an unexpected share of the game’s development. Oh, and the game accidentally turned on cross-platform play before turning it right back off, so that was great too.

In unrelated news, we bid farewell to Guardians of Ember as it has actually, like, launched now. It’s not in early access any more! It’s just access. Guild Wars 2 has also dropped its second expansion, and The Elder Scrolls Online has its latest DLC up on the test server.

More beta news? Yes indeed! Including titles you might not have seen this week otherwise.

  • All right, Pantropy, do you really think that the only thing you need to seduce someone into survival sandbox games is to include a bunch of stompy mechs? Because you are very possibly right.
  • The stress testing for MU Legend is running on September 23rd, which is the server equivalent of packing tons of college freshmen into a phone booth and daring them to fall out. Taking part will earn you 500 Bound Redzen for use in the future, so if the simple joy of stress testing isn’t enough, do it for the bribery.
  • You’ve missed the first alpha testing weekend for Closers, but there are several more weekends coming up, such as this weekend. Would you like a whole schedule for the next few weeks? You’ve got one.
  • The closed alpha weekends for Survived By are starting very soon, with several closed alpha weekends planned over the next several weeks. Exact dates aren’t given, unfortunately, but considering that there are only so many people being invited, that seems at least moderately sensible.
  • Around 350 players took place in the second OrbusVR closed beta, and you can catch up on the notes from that second beta right now. It’s a good chance to keep an eye on the game when you’re not keeping both eyes in the headset.

And as we always do, there’s a list of titles in testing and early access just below, because that’s how we operate. Did something hop to another phase of testing without letting us know? Fix that oversight in the comments. You can also use the comments for other comments, of course.

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ArcheAge’s mobile edition hits app stores next month

Need a little of that ArcheAge magic on the go? You won’t have to wait long; starting next month, Gamevil is going to roll out the mobile version of the MMORPG to players worldwide.

ArcheAge Begins is slated to hit the Apple Store and Google Play on October 25th, offering a different take on the established (and ever-so-controversial) sandbox. Developed with XLGAMES’ help, ArcheAge Begins gives players the choice of 30 heroes and has them battle their way through the world using a “flip card” system. There’s also PvP because why wouldn’t there be?

The main claim to fame here, other than the relation to ArcheAge, is the mobile’s advanced graphics, which are rendered in the Unreal Engine 4. Gamevil is specifically targeting the North American and European markets, saying that these regions showed a “high participation rate” in the game’s testing.

It looks as if most of the official discussion and reveals for the mobile MMO are being posted on Facebook. Check out the trailer and gameplay after the break!

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War Thunder enters the Cold War era with its latest update

While you weren’t paying attention, the Cold War crept up on us all. Again. War Thunder entered a new era — or E.R.A. — this week, introducing vehicles and technology from the 1960s and 1970s into its mixed vehicle environment.

Players can now secure Rank VI vehicles from the more recent past, which includes nearly three dozen new and revised tanks and planes. Some of these vehicles will enjoy the new composite and reactive armor to help them survive during battles. And while flying about over the battlefield, pilots can also hop into turrets and experience them from a first-person view.

The team also introduced a new maps with Update 1.71: the disputed German farmland of the Fulda Gap, picturesque Japenese Imperial Gardens, and an air battle above the Hürtgen Forest. Get a full overview of all of the features and changes below!

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World of Warcraft Senior Producer Stephan Frost leaves Blizzard

One of the MMORPG industry’s more prominent designers is leaving one of the MMORPG industry’s more prominent games. On Friday, World of Warcraft Senior Design Producer Stephan Frost announced that he is departing from the title and the studio for an unnamed opportunity.

“Bittersweet day ahead of me today, it’s my last day at Blizzard,” Frost tweeted. “There’s a big opportunity I felt I had to take, but I’ll miss the people.”

Frost worked his way up to prominence at Carbine Studios, where he eventually became WildStar’s game design producer. He left in 2014, spent less than a year at Amazon Game Studios, and then joined up with Blizzard in 2015 where he became a senior producer on World of Warcraft.

In addition to game design, Frost is a voice actor (he did the WildStar “dev speak” videos) and the creator of a comic book called Mortifera.

Source: Twitter

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World of Warcraft audio drama shows what happened to Alleria and Turalyon

The open question of “where are Alleria and Turalyon” was bouncing around in World of Warcraft pretty much as soon as players got to Outland and didn’t see them. Now they’re finally in the game, but the game also offers only hints and rumors about the transition between being in Outland at the end of Warcraft II and where they are now. We know they’re part of the Army of Light and that they’ve had some adventures, but what were those adventures?

Well, why not listen to about two hours of audio drama below? That’ll clear things right up.

Titled “A Thousand Years of War,” the audio drama gives a comprehensive look at what happened to the ranger and paladin when they first encountered the Army of Light, how they reached their current place, and what several of their offhand references to past events really mean. It’s a lengthy listen, but if you’re a lore fiend, you’ll probably enjoy all of it. Check it out just below, and don’t worry, as long as you keep listening, you don’t need to watch the actual video.

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Dauntless gets better at dodging monsters, not its community’s feedback

With a ways to go before its launch, multiplayer boss slayer Dauntless is trying to use the time afforded to it by an open beta delay to shore up some of the game’s more noticeable weak spots. One of these problem areas, as identified by the community, is improving collision between monsters and their killers.

“We’ve gathered and analyzed community feedback on issues impacting combat,” the devs wrote, “and are implementing changes to improve the mechanics of collision and the feel of dodging. These changes will make fights feel tighter, better reward skill, and allow you to continue practicing the way of the Slayer.”

To assist in this endeavor, the devs are tightening up hitboxes on characters and mobs, helping players move better while dodging, and fixing some bugs that were giving an unfair advantage to the giant behemoths.

You can read this week’s patch notes for the closed beta on the site.

Source: Dauntless

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Snail Games is launching ARK Park for PSVR in December

ARK Park has a release date. Well, a release month: December. Yep, it’ll be out by the end of the year.

“We have just announced the launch date for ARK Park at Sony’s TGS 2017 Conference! A brand new VR experience based on the world of the popular survival game ARK: Survival Evolved, ARK Park will be launching in December this year on Playstation VR. ARK Park will support both controller and PlayStation Move, and supports English, Chinese, and Japanese voiceover and subtitles. ARK Park also features online play for an exciting online multiplayer experience.”

We’ve previously covered the Snail Games-led VR-oriented spinoff of ARK: Survival Evolved; the studios have touted the title’s 10 maps, dino breeding mechanics, multiplayer activities, a puzzle-like crafting-and-discovery system, and a battle mode. What, you didn’t think the dinos were going to just let you stare at them through the glass in peace, did you?

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Amazon continues to flesh out its Lumberyard engine

As it will be powering MMOs like New World and Star Citizen, Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine deserves attention as it continues to be built and improved. Amazon released a development update to shed light on just how far Lumberyard has come and what is being worked on for the future.

“Simply put, our focus for the next few releases is to make Lumberyard easier, more powerful, and more modular,” the company said. “A lot has changed since we first launched the beta: We’ve replaced over 60% of the original codebase, switching out older, redundant systems (e.g. CryEntity) for more modern, performant ones (e.g. Component entity systems).”

Improvements on the way for Lumberyard include a new visual scripting language, a revised animation system, more integration with Amazon’s other tech (like Lex and Polly), the ability to store games in any location, better optimization, a new shader system, and Mac support.

Source: AWS

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The Stream Team: The MOP team dives into Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire

The power of Guild Wars 2’s expansion Path of Fire is so great, it brought Massively OP’s Bree, Tina, and MJ together! That’s right, all three are going to be exploring the expansion goodness that just launched today. And with this trio, there’s bound to be a few shenanigans, plenty of hijinks, and maybe even a little folderol, so join us live at 2:00 p.m. for the fun. MJ even made a new Norn ranger for the occasion.

What: Guild Wars 2
Who: MJ Guthrie, Bree Royce, and Tina Lauro Pollock
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 22nd, 2017

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Star Citizen is down to only 7 must-fix issues before alpha 3.0 goes to the Evocati

What’s that sound? That’s the sound of Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 creeping ever closer, as the teams say they’ve made “substantial progress.”

In the latest edition of Around the Verse, Chris Roberts says the dev team is focused on “clearing out the remaining blockers,” while “the dev-ops team is going through the process of preparing the build for distribution.” They’ve cleaned up 19 more must-fix issues, with 7 more to go.

The feature for this episode centers on air traffic control, which sounds like a weird and boring thing my kids would play, but nope – it’s actually pretty important to landing ships in an open-world MMO, as it’s critical to help players land in a spot that’s actually big enough and actually empty. Otherwise, you’d be landing Serrenity II on top of my Millennium Falcon IV, and we can’t have that. The whole episode is below.

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Overwatch: Fan designs an awesome Thai character, competitive bans start soon

Overwatch’s next great character isn’t a product of Blizzard’s labs at all but the imagination of a masters student who whipped up a Thai hero named Tara as part of a school project. The result is a 40-page document with concept art and design specs for the hero, her abilities, her outfits, her weapons, and even a Thailand-themed map called Arun Town.

“I created a female character as a support hero,” the student posted on the forums. “Her name is Tara (meaning ‘water’ in Thai). The character’s theme is a fish, a Siamese fighting fish to be specific, and a plaited bamboo fish which is a local product in Thailand.”

In response, Game Director Jeff Kaplan said that the project was “amazing!”

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