Alphas & Betas Category

MMOs in various stages of testing and crowdfunding, playable and… not. Don’t forget to follow our Betawatch and Make My MMO columns for a weekly rundown. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

Betawatch: Dark and Light enters closed testing (June 23, 2017)

One game enters the list and another leaves. Dark and Light has started its closed testing, although there’s a very small number of people currently invited to test the game, so you’re probably not on the list. Meanwhile, Master x Master has entered the shark-infested waters of launch, so it’s now as real as it gets. Hooray for changes on the list!

Boy, I’m so excited I’m just going to launch into several more list items. Come with me, will you?

And there’s still a whole list down below! What fun. Let us know if something in there slipped phases without us noticing, all right? We really like lists, if you haven’t noticed.

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Gloria Victis shows off the results of its combat upgrade

We don’t mean to surprise you, but Gloria Victis involves a whole lot of fighting things. You have various sharp bits of metal that you insert into some living creature or another, hopefully before they can do the same to you. So it’s important that combat feel as solid as possible, hence the new combat upgrade. You can watch the full trailer for the upgraded battle system below the break.

While the developers are still tweaking the specifics, the overall goal is for combat to feel more responsive, intuitive, and just plain fun. Hacking away at enemies should involve more skill and give players more options for how best to take on combat. It’s also worth noting that we are in the middle of the Steam summer sale, so perhaps you should take a gander at the trailer down below and then consider jumping in to do a bit of hacking-and-slashing of your own after all.

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ArcheAge Begins puts a call out for Android mobile testers

ArcheAge Begins’ title is never going to be as appropriate as it is right now. Gamevil’s spin-off of XLGAMES’ well-known MMO sandbox has just kicked off its first global closed beta test and is looking for a few players to give the game a test drive.

The closed beta test is a fairly short one, running from now through July 3rd. ArcheAge Begins is looking at a Q3 2017 release on mobile, so it looks as thought the testing process is ramping up to make way for the launch. The game uses the Unreal 4 engine and contains many features from the MMO, including raiding, fishing, and trading, although it is obviously not the same product.

Right now the beta is for Android players only, so if this is you and you have interest in the game, you can sign up for the program through Google Play.

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How Star Citizen uses science to build out its galaxy

This week’s episode of Star Citizen Around the Verse sees Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts and Eric Kieron Davis bookending Foundry 42, Ship Shape, and solar system segments. From the Foundry 42 Frankfurt office, Development Director Brian Chambers checks in to discuss new hires, level design work, landing zones, atmosphere mapping, buddy AI, enemy reactions, planet surfacing, outpost lighting, environment art, and multiplayer persistent universe gameplay testing (yay!), while Ship Shape is aimed at you motorcycle lovers.

“Being able to see your footsteps in the snow or have your vehicle kick up dust while speeding across the desert are those little details that’ll make you believe that you’re really in those environments and be much more immersive, and you know me – I love immersive,” Roberts chimes in.

The best bit is easily the solar system segment, but I’m biased – I married an astrophysicist. The devs explain how they use the Solar System Ed (SolEd) to build out the parts of their galaxy in the service of the Star Map, making use of volunteer astronomers and other scientists to vet their ideas for scientific plausibility. Fun!

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Hands-on with Secret World Legends: A second chance for a first impression

I would like to start this article by saying that there are a lot of things to like about Secret World Legends, but for me, those good things — despite their being some of my favorite things about RPGs and MMOs — make it hard to overlook what I consider the flaws of the game.

Although there were always weird bits to The Secret World’s storytelling, like the silent protagonist, I’ve long considered it to be some of the best storytelling in MMORPGs. With the launch of Secret World Legends, that has not changed. In fact, I would say that as an introduction to the game, it’s improved. The weak point to the game has always been the combat. There were some very confusing things about it, which have been fixed, and there were some aesthetic issues, which have not been fixed.

I am very torn about how to approach my impressions of the game. I want to come at it as someone who hasn’t played it before because it’s being sold as something new. But at the same time, I have played the game, and I know exactly why I never played it for more than a week at a time. I approached the game from two different perspectives: Would this impress someone who has never played it, and will returning players who didn’t stick with it over the last couple of years be interested enough in the changes to come back?

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Wild West Online asks players what sort of gambling they want to see

It’s just not right to think of the stereotypical wild west without including some gambling. Based on movies on the subject, cheating at poker and the penalties for cheating at poker make up the majority of most people’s pastimes. So Wild West Online knows players want some form of gambling in the game, and it’s going to be in there. The question posed to the audience is what sort of gambling you want.

Obviously, there are some options with a higher degree of historical accuracy, but the goal here is to pick games that are fun to play rather than necessarily adhering to the “right” sorts of games. It’s not a formal poll, so you can feel free to sound off on Twitter with the sort of card game you want to be playing. Although you can probably be confident that poker is going to be in there no matter what.

Source: Twitter

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E3 2017: ARK Survival Evolved on scope creep, Xbox One X, and leaving early access

So ARK: Survival Evolved is going to be the first big survival sandbox not named Minecraft or Don’t Starve to not only make it to launch but to get there from Early Access development. Leaving EA is something we rarely see, which is why readers may notice I’m quite critical of games that ask for your money, sell you an incomplete game, and then spend years defending their EA status while continually making money on an unfinished project. To hear that a company once known for making paid DLC for an unreleased game is willing to shake the security blanket that is Early Access fills me with joy and a little trepidation.

Normally, this is where I’d tell you I’ve written up the interview, which is still true. However, as this was in a small group setting, not only do we have a writeup, there’s also a YouTube video for the few of you who have thirty minutes to wade through the (mostly) raw interview. You’ll see ARK’s Community Manager Cedric Burkes in person, hear daring press try to ask hard-hitting questions, and cringe as my terrible hat hair makes a quick appearance at about the 27-minute mark.

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Secret World Legends’ headstart launches today

Pack up your stuff, The Secret World fans: It’s movin’ day, at least if you don’t care about playing on Steam, as Secret Worlds Legends’ headstart period for veteran The Secret World players and beta testers begins today.

Funcom’s said the headstart hasn’t technically begun just yet — we still don’t know when the flag will drop — but that preloading is underway. [Update: Expect it live at 2 p.m. EDT per Funcom’s latest tweet nope, live at 4 p.m. EDT per Funcom’s latest-latest tweet.]

The studio outlined its legacy transfer system last night; your accounts should already be linked (don’t go making a fresh account) and allow you to reclaim and transfer your patron time, lifetime sub status, cosmetics, mounts, and other bits and bobs. You’ve got until August to take advantage of all that.

Stay tuned for Larry’s impressions and MJ’s stream later today, and in the meantime, check out our roundup of guides, interviews, and news leading up to today.

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City of Titans demos animations in new video

City of Titans has this week posted a new video dubbed “Animation while Holding Objects,” which kinda sounds boring, but it’s a superhero MMO — you’re not gonna get far without some sweet spinning melee moves, right?

“What to Look For: It’s a big sword attack animation, but he’s holding a bow in his other hand,” says Missing Worlds Media. “Proving we can do this opens new possibilities for chaining attacks using different weapons/props. Also, the changing FX – as we explained in our powers update, YOU’RE going to be able to pick which one you get.”

On the other hand, MWM says to ignore “almost everything else. Animations, FX, and props are ours but all else is placeholder/test environment.”

Take a peek — it’s progress!

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Shot Online Golf’s closed beta test has begun

BREE: I can’t believe neither of you pranksters has taken the golf thing to make fun of yet.

JUSTIN: Just par for the course for us, Bree.

ELIOT: That’s a hole lot of assumptions. It’s not like we’re in a club, here.

JUSTIN: Little birdie told me it wasn’t a good story anyway.

ELIOT: With your eagle eyes, you can spot those. You’re good at driving to the point.

BREE: I’m just gonna screenshot this whole thing and run it as the post.

JUSTIN: Yeah it’s getting pretty rough. Putter there, Eliot, you’re a good punster.

ELIOT: Thanks, Justin; that really feels like a hole in one, coming from you.

JUSTIN: A slice of fresh conversation, this is.

ELIOT: Ironing out differences.

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Here’s how you can transfer your Secret World account perks to Legends

Starting Friday, June 23rd, Secret World Legends’ headstart goes live for any veteran TSW players as well as those who have signed up for the beta. While TSW players can’t import their character, they will want to take advantage of what Funcom is calling the “legacy transfer system” to access several perks for their new accounts.

The good news is that Funcom has already linked existing TSW and new SWL accounts, so all you’ll need to do is log in to the Secret Worlds Legends account page this weekend using your TSW credentials and activate a legacy transfer (do not make a new account!). Players who do this will transfer any patron time to SWL, including lifetime subs, unlock every weapon page in the reboot, and copy over cosmetic outfits, pets, and mounts (with a few exceptions). Titles and achievements will not make the jump to the new game.

The legacy transfer system will remain available for players until sometime in August. Funcom still has not addressed what perks patron members will get nor an exact launch time for the headstart.

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Zombie-fighting title Fortnite announces deluxe box edition

When we were kids, we honed our fort-making skills with pillows, couch cushions, blankets, and other impregnable materials. Those skills will come in handy on July 25th when Fortnite launches, since this multiplayer game is all about making a stronghold that is impervious to zombie attacks.

While we knew that Fortnite was launching in early access late next month, one new piece of information is that the game will now offer a deluxe box edition in box form as well as digitally.

There are four editions of Fortnite, varying from $40 to $150 and offering all manner of different goodies for apocalypse preppers to stock on their shelves. What all of the editions have in common is a four-day headstart for early access if pre-ordered.

Check out the recent trailer from E3 after the break!

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Ship of Heroes fires up a red-hot powerset

Meanwhile, in the deep void of space, a fire has broken out on a starship. Jets of flame and a rain of red-hot meteors scour the deck, sending people running for safety. It’s OK, however, it’s just a superhero putting his powers to practice.

Ship of Heroes released a video today showing two interesting elements of the game, starting with the Fiery Blast powerset. It’s a pretty straight-forward pyro build, with lots of fireballs and flame buffs to satisfy even the most hardcore Human Torch fan. This is the first of eight powersets that the team has vowed to show off this year, and the devs stress that the animations and effects are not final.

The team also showed off its signature Justice Corp building, where Bat-person, Superdude, Amazing Woman, Ocean King, Bird Sidekick, Lightning McGuy, Verdant Lampshade, and Venusian Hitchhiker presumably meet to combat evil. On the rooftop is an area where players can test out their powers without worrying about pesky aliens dying or fighting back.

Ship of Heroes is hoping to start alpha testing by the end of the year. Take a trip to the Justice Corps HQ and roast a few marshmallows with the fire powerset after the break!

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