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]

Destiny 2 launches on PC and console September 8, 'and there will be a ton of loot'

As teased and prodded and hinted at all week, Destiny 2 is official, and we've finally got a trailer to go with it. Expect the game to launch on September 8th on Xbox One, PS4, and yes -- PC -- retailing for $59.99 on up into the stratosphere for collector editions. Beta arrives this summer.

"In Destiny 2, the last safe city on Earth has fallen and lay in ruins, occupied by a powerful new enemy and his elite army, the Red Legion. Every player creates their own character called a Guardian, humanity's chosen protectors. As a Guardian in Destiny 2, players must master new abilities and weapons to reunite the city's forces, stand together and fight back to reclaim their home. The official Destiny 2 reveal trailer, Rally the Troops, shows two of the Vanguard, leaders of the Guardians, inspiring the people of the last city in an impassioned (and occasionally sarcastic) call to arms. In Destiny 2, players will answer this call, embarking on a fresh story filled with new destinations around our solar system to explore, and an expansive amount of activities to discover. There is something for almost every type of gamer in Destiny 2, including gameplay for solo, cooperative and competitive players set within a vast, evolving and exciting universe."

I feel as if Bungie is hitting a nice chord here between "Forth Eorlingas!" and Guardians of the Galaxy in the new trailer, while also getting right to the point of what video games (and for that matter, war) are really about. Check it out!

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Take a look at Crowfall's massive Eternal Kingdoms system

We're just going to put this out there: Crowfall's Eternal Kingdoms are more than just the "social backbone" of the game; they're one of the core mechanics of persistence that make Crowfall a true MMO. So it's worth paying attention when the devs at ArtCraft spill more info on just how the EKs work, which is exactly what they've done in a new video today.

The Kingdoms are basically persistent player-controlled groups of parcels that are placed and then built up by guilds, separate from the constantly changing, multi-ruleset battleground areas. The bigger and richer the guild, the better-equipped its Kingdom will be.

Within the Eternal Kingdoms update, players can expect the following content:

  • The ability to plan and reshape their Eternal Kingdoms by placing mountains, valleys, rivers and forests, constructing buildings and strongholds and creating the greatest cities.
  • The power to dictate the law of their land as a true king and ruler, including a wide range of PvP rules.
  • Dedicated servers to host their own kingdoms, complete with the ability to control access and admin rights for other players.
  • The ability to invite others to visit or join the kingdoms and become permanent vassals there, fostering alliances and social interplay.
  • In order to build up their Eternal Kingdoms to their fullest potential, players will have to gather and use a wide range of resources, the best of them which can only be found in the dangerous environments of the Campaign Worlds."
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Stardust adds an amusement park inside Revelation Online

If you weren't sure before that Revelation Online's open beta is really a soft launch, does the fact that the game is getting a massive new update convince you?

It's called Stardust, which is adorable, and in fact I thought it might be an early April Fools' Day joke based on the pics alone until I read the text. It's not a joke, but it is for fun!

"This update includes the new Guild vs. Guild map Starshatter Island, the long-awaited Faerie’s Funland map, localization refinements and various gameplay enhancements. Revelation’s new Funland is an amusement park that offers leisure activities and is the magical place where players can become part of a living board game in which the tiles represent various games within the game. Roll the dice, complete the minigames and challenges and walk away with the latest rewards!"

FFXIV's Golden Saucer, anyone? My.com is dubbing the new content as endgame content and saying it's coming "soon." Check out the trailer below!

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Heroes of the Storm introduces Diablo II Amazon, major progression and leveling update

"It's a whole new era for Heroes of the Storm," Blizzard has declared in its new HOTS dev video today. That's because the game is currently in the midst of a month-long test of a huge progression patch the studio is calling Heroes 2.0. Level caps are being nuked; your level cap will now basically be account-wide, and leveling will be much more quick across the board. Blizz is also adding loot chests out the wazoo as you level and meet certain accomplishments. It's going to look pretty familiar to other games across the MOBA genre and in Blizzard's own stable.

The studio has also introduced a new hero today: Cassia, the Amazon, brought over from Diablo II. The best class! In HOTS, she'll function as a ranged assassin with high defenses while moving, flung javelins and lightning plus cone javelin stabbing. Sorry, bowazons.

Check out the pair of intro vids down below.

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Bless Online's Korean version is getting a massive content injection

Bless Online's Korean version is in the midst of a massive content update expected to launch in several waves over the course of the next couple of months and beginning with a preview of the Urdata War Fortress, which itself arrives on April 11th. There's a giant graphic to accompany the announcement below. More info is apparently due on Friday -- and it's all good news for the Korean edition of the MMORPG, which has undergone multiple rounds of server merges since its launch.

As for the Aeria Games version that we'll be playing here in the west someday? It's still under construction - don't expect it anytime soon.

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Enter to win a copy of Guardians of Ember courtesy of InselGames and Massively OP

Guardians of Ember [official site] has today updated its early access with a brand-new class: the wicked poisoner known as The Dark Knight.

"The Dark Knight represents the sixth and final class being added to the Hack’n’Slash MMORPG Guardians of Ember. Born out of the desperation and hopelessness that befell Olyndale, the Dark Knight is a merciless fighter who uses both black magic and toxic attacks. Players utilize his or her skills to their advantage by poisoning groups of enemies in one strike, sucking them dry like a leech. Because of their cold nature, Dark Knights are extraordinary lone fighters, who trust in their strength alone. This affords them magnificent attack capabilities but gives them the disadvantage of not being able to heal their allies."

In honor of the launch, InselGames has granted us some lovely Steam keys for copies of the whole game to raffle to our readers, open to anyone who is capable of purchasing and playing the game on Steam. Read on to enter to win!

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Post-apoc MMO Edengrad will enter Steam early access April 4

Fallout-inspired post-apoc MMO Edengrad is one step closer to launch today as it's announced it'll hit Steam's early access program on April 4th, following a day-long stream. Expect it to run $12.99.

The Polish game was Kickstarted last year to the tune of $56,000 and was originally expected to hit early access last fall. We originally dubbed the game a survival sandbox, but the devs are calling it a "survival mmorpg" specifically.

"Gameplay rests on mechanics known from Sandbox productions, in which players have no set down destination, but everyone freely chooses interesting quests and take their paths," Huckleberry Games says. "At the beginning, player’s everyday responsibilities include collecting firewood, building shelters, hunting small game and hydrating the character’s body. This phase finishes after finding fellow travelers and formalizing an acquaintance through formation of the fraction. Creation of micro-communities guarantees all members benefits inaccessible to a single player. [...] A non-linear gameplay and dynamic turn of events will keep every player engrossed in the world of Edengrad for long months."

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Project Genom updates fans on a big dump and other behind-the-scenes progress

Technical issues are preventing Project Genom from updating the test version of the game at the moment, but while the developers work on fixing those code issues, the game is still being developed. The latest newsletter from the studio shows off a number of things that the staff has been working on, including an enormous dump. The Dump dungeon is about 70% finished, and it definitely looks like a varied and interesting pile of trash for you to adventure within.

New idle animations for NPCs have also been added in, along with several new facial builds for male characters and new beard options. There's also a preview of some of the game's high-level armor, which features hovering plates that can reconfigure to defend the wearer. It's not quite as good as a patch offering players access to all of this stuff, but it's a good sign that development is still rolling forward despite patcher issues.

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Chronicles of Elyria recaps development over the month of March

It's been a busy time for Chronicles of Elyria as the development team has worked on putting together a portion of the game to show off for GDC and PAX East. If you've missed the recent developments, the game's official newsletter is the place to get caught up on everything from the addition of female models into the game to the presentation offered to crowds in a Boston auditorium. (You can also catch that below the break, if you'd prefer.)

The studio is also planning a live Q&A session streamed online on March 29th, so if you're eager to find out more about surviving in the game world you may want to tune in. (It contains more valuable information than just "don't let your health bar empty," presumably.) There's also more information planned on the prologue area showed off at PAX East in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled if you're wondering what specifically makes this dank abandoned mine more interesting.

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Gather 'round for a peek at ARK's retooled inventory UI

ARK: Survival Evolved has  a number of cool features that players like, but the UI isn't necessarily one of them. Take heart, survivors: A change is on the way! Studio Wildcard's Jeremy Stieglitz tweeted a peek at the revamped inventory UI, saying it has lots of new functionality, including what he says will be better organization for remote inventories. This UI also includes a streamlined character profile, but perhaps what players might appreciate the most is the fact that the window will no longer block the entire view of their screen (making it easier to notice those critters and enemies that are sneaking up on them!). Take a gander and tell us what you think of these changes!

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The Stream Team: Hot-rodding around Osiris: New Dawn

What's more fun that barreling across an alien landscape in a hot rod? Not much! Massively OP's MJ can't wait to get behind the wheel of a rover in Osiris: New Dawn. She's also built a crazy spider crab contraption she can wander the wilds in. The big question is deciding what to drive! Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. for a chance to see more of what this space survival game has to offer.

What: Osiris: New Dawn
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

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Mu Legend will soft launch across the globe with an open beta summer 2017

Webzen formally announced this morning that the global edition of Mu Legend -- i.e., the version of the hack-n-slash sequel our readers are most likely to care about -- will hit open beta in what looks to be a soft launch this summer for all regions, excepting South Korea, of course, where the game has already launched.

The studio says that "the last remaining months of development will be dedicated to the fine-tuning of the new features added to the open beta, such as the trading NPC, the 3v3 PvP mode and more." In response to players complaining about the length of the testing period, Webzen's Facebook rep said, "We think it's better to take time than rush. The first closed beta was only starting 5 months ago. We'll make sure players don't wait too long. More news in the coming weeks."

You can indeed still sign up for the beta on the official site, though it's not yet clear whether there will be another closed round of testing between now and the open beta.

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Shroud of the Avatar's new 'outskirts' maps should be a big help for newbies

Shroud of the Avatar's latest newsletter -- its 220th for those keeping track at home -- got a fresh coat of paint to celebrate, and as usual, it's stuffed full of screenshots. Some of those pics feature the Verdantis Mines, a gemstone-studded underground area, and the Kas Ruins (Helm's Deep, anyone?), both being built for Release 41 or 42. There's also a spotlight on a player-owned town, Owl Sky City, and a ton of videos on Obsidian Cabalist weapons.

What caught my attention, however, was the Solace Bridge Outskirts section, as its entry marks a bit of a design shift for Portalarium. "For several years now our backers have been providing us feedback that the first few hours of our game have several major issues," explains the studio. "Those issues include too many loading screens, scenes that are too small, and starting towns that include player housing / vendors. As we shift our focus to improving the New User Experience (NUE) and as we are able to measure new player progress through events like our recent free trial we realize that we must address these issues sooner versus later."

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