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]

Ship of Heroes discusses milestones and communication, plus we’ve got new day/night screenies

The transparency that comes with crowdfunded and indie MMORPGs is awesome – when everything is going to plan. But what about when it isn’t? That’s what Ship of Heroes has addressed in a new forum post today. Heroic Games’ Casey McGeever explains that the studio’s milestone schedule is an internal tool, helping the team figure out what to do next when it gets ahead or falls behind. And fortunately, he doesn’t think the players freak out when the schedule goes awry.

“We don’t feel a lot of negative feedback from the community when we miss a milestone,” he writes. “And of course, we try to set the milestones so that we can achieve them. But we have missed a few — We’re late right now on delivering a new powerset and our date for the login test is slipping into June because we have people who come into and out of the project. Our core is a group of unpaid volunteers, supplemented by committed contractors. But people, resources and technical issues arise in every project — even if a big firm like Google or Microsoft is doing the project. The point of our schedule is to communicate to you all of you, our community, what we are trying to do and to enable you to understand what is happening at any time. To show what we are focused on at the moment.”

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Wild Buster will reboot as Champions of Titan under new owners to get back on Steam

Back in February, Valve took action on MMO studio Insel Games, which published hybrid MMOs Wild Buster and Guardians of Ember, booting the company off Steam having determined that the company had tampered with reviews by coercing employees to buy and positively review the game. While Insel Games denied any wrongdoing, its games have been accessible to new players only through its official website for the past few months. For Wild Buster in particular, updates had been scant.

Now, an update has finally arrived. Insel Games told the Steam community that Wild Buster had “failed to attract enough players to provide a sustainable service and a big enough community to enjoy the game.” Rather than shut down the game, however, Insel Games says it’s transferring publishing rights to IDC Games, which will relaunch the game as Champions of Titan with new accounts and a server wipe. Not coincidentally, this will also allow the companies to get the game back on Steam.

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Bless Online details its massive taming system and 660 tame-able critters

One of the three core content pieces in Bless Online is its taming system, though it was only lightly on display for press during our most recent hands-on. Neowiz has a new video out this morning featuring the system ahead of its early access beta launch later this month. And yes, you can tame monsters.

“Almost all of the existing monsters in Bless can be turned into either mounts or pets – when Early Access begins you will find 660 unique creatures available for taming. Each region in Bless has its own type of creatures. Depending on the type of environment, you can meet monsters of all sorts: some are cute and friendly, while others are wild and fierce or even ridiculous! If you happen to stumble upon an elite monster as you journey around the Bless world, try to tame it! Although it may be difficult, if you are successful in taming it you will gain a special companion.”

The brand-new taming video is below.

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The MOP Up: Old School RuneScape puts the finishing touches on Theater of Blood (May 20, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from HellionReign of GuildsSkyforgeOld School RuneScapeWar of RightsLineage MHeroes and GeneralsAurcus OnlineARK ParkDark and LightWild TerraCitadel: Forged With Fire, and Hearthstone, all waiting for you after the break!

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Legion: The Eternal War’s evil magic pits Elves against Humans

Here’s an indie MMORPG that you may not have known about before this week. Legion: The Eternal War is a small title that’s been in development for a while by Nexus Division, but as of late the project seems to have picked up pace.

The setting of the game involves a world where formerly united Elves and humans have become bitter enemies thanks to the introduction of magic by some sinister crystals into the world. “The game will be filled with entertaining stories, rewarding progression systems, and refined mechanics,” the team wrote. “All of this is presented to produce a memorable experience highlighted by social interaction and nail-biting tension.”

The dev team is staking the game’s future on systems such as player housing, an expansive fantasy world, PvP, character customization, a wide array of magic, wars with guilds, and alliances. Last December, the team showed off a few prototypes of the different biomes that players might find in the game.

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Make My MMO: Albion Online hits Steam, Camelot Unchained tackles crafting (May 19, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, buy-to-play sandbox Albion Online, which launched back in 2017, formally landed on Steam, bringing its blend of PvP warfare to a totally new audience. While the game never ran a Kickstarter, it did raise close to $10,000,000 from a quarter of a million backers through website crowdfunding and preorder packages prior to its release last summer, making it one of the higher profile crowdfunded MMORPGs to actually make it to launch and keep on producing content.

In Camelot Unchained – you’re still keeping an eye on the upcoming beta one, right? – the devs are busy sending early backers into the test server this weekend to break things. Among the bits and bobs CSE is working on? The crafting system, a major environment bug, character creation rendering, new ambient music, scenario maps, trait icons, animations, and “a new template for the home islands.”

Meanwhile, the Pantheon team sat down for a stream and revealed the first of its three classes, Ship of Heroes posted gobs of new screenshots to its Instagram, Elite Dangerous proposed making its factional combat mode entirely open PvP, and Legends of Aria patched in some good stuff, including the first iteration of secure trading.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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The Stream Team: Returning to Radical heights before it ends

Even though Massively OP’s MJ is not a fan of battle royale, she was amused by the atmosphere of Radical Heights. And since the game can shut off at any moment now that the studio has closed, she wants to get one last session of crazy ’80s in. Join us in live at 6:00 p.m. for what could be the last day ever for…

What: Radical Heights
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 19th, 2018

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Betawatch: Worlds Adrift launches early access for airships and actual airships (May 18, 2018)

There are only a handful of games you can celebrate launching by releasing an actual airship into the sky, but Worlds Adrift is one of them. And fortunately for the lighter-than-air flight crowd, that’s exactly what the studio did. Of course, it’s just an early access launch, but hey. Points along the way.

More beta news? I guess, all right.

  • There are hints of more details coming about Amazon’s New World. Which is good, because boy, sometimes the beta field is thin upon the ground.
  • Speaking of things getting thin upon the ground… yeah, if you had invested in long-term stocks in Just Survive, you may want to unload those investments. There’s another patch coming, but removing all paid lockboxes doesn’t scream “and good news to come.”
  • Do you want to drive cars around? The Crew 2 will let you do just that when its closed beta starts up on May 31st. There are probably other mechanics, but… cars.
  • The subscription plans for Bless Online have been adjusted and unveiled, but you shouldn’t call them subscriptions. Call them something else, like… happiness payments! Something light and airy, you get the idea.
  • Last but not least, let’s just enjoy some stats from the Defiance 2050 closed beta. Stats are fun.

There are no stats included below in our testing list, but there is relevant and important information you can analyze, so that’s a good thing. Why not duck below and check it out? Of course, if you notice something that we missed, please do let us know down in the comments, whether it’s a changed test state or just something that soft launched without us noticing.

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Crowfall shares its 5.6 patch notes from the future

There will be two sorts of reactions to the idea of sharing patch notes from the future for Crowfall. One group of people will be adamant that you can’t share something from the future, that as soon as you share it that’s part of the present even if it pertains to the future. The other group will just be excited to hear about the stuff in patch 5.6 which only a small group of players get to test right now. These two forces will struggle eternally, if “eternally” means “not at all.” But the patch notes are here! In video form!

The video covers things like race and class powers, keybindings (you can now use ESDF instead of WASD if you haven’t developed years of reflexes for one and refuse to change), the command skill tree, and other options. It also covers even minor things like the changes to Sprint and Jump to make them immediate client-side powers so that the abilities feel less delayed; the team is looking into other powers to ensure that you feel like things happen when they ought to rather than “in a quarter-second.” Check out the full video just below.

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Star Citizen: Around the Verse covers shopping as the community debates pay-to-win

This week’s episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse is all about shopping, and I mean the fun kind of shopping where you spend pretend money in a video game, not the kind where you spend real money on a video game. The episode deep-dives the in-game shopping kiosk, which has to feel immersive as the player is using it as well as informative without being information-overload. The team says base functionality is already there, as a branch of other types of kiosks, but of course, it’ll continue iterating the item kiosks into their own unique experience.

Meanwhile, Star Citizen fansite Relay has a provocative piece out on whether or not the game is pay-to-win. In recognizing the term’s definition isn’t widely agreed upon, author CommanderLlama settles for simply examining “how much wealth inequality from the real world are the developers allowing to leak into the game world” and whether “the real-money-paying player [is] in an advantaged position compared to the non-paying player.” Ultimately, he concludes, while Star Citizen isn “somewhere on the pay-to-win spectrum, it isn’t “an egregious example yet” in spite of the fact that the game would’ve been untenable without the ship funding model. “But the final structure is also non-existent, so we can’t exactly place it,” he concludes.

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Daybreak promises a patch for Just Survive – but it’s also ending lockbox sales

When Daybreak’s Columbus Nova fiasco and layoffs were hitting last month, most of the company’s MMORPGs resurfaced without missing a beat, reassuring their playerbases that the patches would continue and the titles would see ongoing support. That wasn’t the case for the survival half of the original H1Z1 known as Just Survive. The lack of communication and information had prompted many players to assume the game would be “Landmarked” – that is, finally released from early access/beta to earn a little launch money and then quietly sunsetted.

But late last night, Daybreak finally tossed its fans on Reddit a bone. Technical Director Mitch Evans apologized for the silence, saying that he still has a “small yet passionate team” working on the game.

“Right now, we are focused on making sure you continue to enjoy the game, so the majority of our resources are spent mostly on maintaining game stability, fixing game-breaking bugs, and improving anti-cheat methods,” he writes.

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Skull and Bones delayed, The Division 2 to arrive in the next year

With a strong fiscal year under its belt, Ubisoft’s future looks bright indeed. The studio posted its earnings report this week, stating that it made $2.04 billion in revenue and $164.7 million in net income — both a sizable increase from the year previous.

The earnings call gave us some indication as to the release windows of two of its future online games. The Division 2 is expected to come out before April 2019, which means that at the worst, we have slightly less than a year wait to go. The studio revealed that the first Division title racked up over 20 million players to date.

Players will have to wait longer than expected for Skull and Bones, however. Ubisoft announced that it will delay the launch of the multiplayer pirate game to April 2019 at the earliest “to offer players an even more engaging experience.”

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Pantheon reveals its Ranger, Rogue, and Monk classes

This month’s Pantheon newsletter is a doozy for folks eagerly awaiting the details of the game’s classes. Visionary Realms has revealed three: the sneaky Rogue along with the versatile Ranger toon, though fans of classic D&D-inspired MMORPGs may be most interested in the Monk.

“[The Monk’s] internal flow of Chakra is held back by a series of six gates, like water behind a sequence of dams. The Monk must learn to open these gates in order to wield their Chakra without limits, releasing it in a torrent of punishing damage, or in the form of powerful defensive and self-healing abilities. The 6 gates are known as: The Gate of Anger, the Gate of Peace, the Gate of Sorrow, the Gate of Joy, the Gate of Balance and the Gate of Release. In combat, Monks will constantly generate Chakra as a percentage of the damage they deal. In addition, certain abilities will increase a Monk’s Chakra by a certain amount when used.”

Racial combos, armor types, weapon types, and even a partial list of abilities are all included with the reveals, so they’re worth a click-through. VR says to expect more class details throughout the summer. The newsletter includes a deep-dive into the Orc tribes, as well.

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