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 hits the almighty reset button

Destiny 2 tells a brand-new story. What happens when a world full of superheroes loses their powers, their history, and their home?”

The big almighty reset button is coming to the Destiny franchise with its sequel, and in a new gameplay video, the devs show off snippets of the title while setting the scene for the story to come. A new villain, Dominus Gal, arrives in the solar system with his Red Legion, looking to take the Light away from Guardians. Players begin the game stumbling, shorn of their abilities, and without a friendly base to protect them.

Reclaiming your powers and taking back the City is the overarching goal of Destiny 2. “It’s a fresh start for all players,” promised the team.

Check it out after the break!

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Here’s when Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind will launch around the globe

Turns out that a fifth of you are already deep in The Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind head start early access period thanks to your having preordered the game on PC. You are dismissed from reading, though you might want to listen up anyway to learn just when the masses (another fifth of you) will be joining you in Vvardenfell: It’s June 6th as planned, at 5 a.m. EDT in the morning. Yes, the literal crack of dawn (or earlier!) for those of us here in the US, and smack in the middle of the work day for Europeans. And yes, there will be a “maintenance period” for consoles ahead of the launch.

“Retailers worldwide will allow players to purchase the game and pick-up pre-orders in advance to allow for pre-loading,” ZeniMax noted today. “In North America, customers will be able to pick-up ESO: Morrowind on the evening of June 5, beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern time. In Europe, the game will be available when retail stores open on the morning of June 6.” Check out the map to figure out when to set your wakey-wakey alarm!

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Rootin’ tootin’ saloons confirmed for Wild West Online

What would a western MMORPG be like if it didn’t include the classic saloon? A darn poor game, that’s what. Fortunately, Wild West Online confirmed that these taverns will be part of the game, although it’s uncertain what features they will offer.

Wild West Online is going to have saloons,” the team said on Facebook. “Rootin’ tootin’ saloons. That much we all know. While we have our own ideas that we’re developing and working on for what actually goes on in those saloons, we want to know what the community at large wants to see. Will there be gambling, drinking, music, dames, brawling… what?”

Another small reveal this week was that Wild West Online will ship with three biomes, with more variety and larger maps to come as the game is expanded post-launch. Check out concept art of these saloons and biomes below!

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Secret World Legends: UI changes, blade combat, and City of the Sun God

The latest Secret World Legends dev stream dished out another serving of information as closed beta continues through the fourth phase. Along with showing off UI changes and combat with the blade, the team offered a number of other tidbits related to City of the Sun God, levels, dungeons, and more.

The UI had many adjustments, including simplifying player nameplates by removing faction, rank, and such (they are a part of the inspect system now). Folks who don’t like the obtrusive reticle will be happy to know that it can be changed to a dot as well as be moved to an over-the-shoulder view. More customization is in the works, including an option to make it disappear completely. First-person view has likewise been added.

Funcom also demonstrated combat using the blade with its specialization, spirit blade. On a related topic, players will also unlock a special capstone ability upon unlocking all weapon abilities; this capstone will increase in level for each additional weapon capstone that is unlocked.

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Rockstar delays Red Dead Redemption 2 to 2018

Rockstar Games announced last night that it’s delayed Red Dead Redemption 2 to spring 2018 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, a result of the fact that it’ll be Rockstar’s first rodeo on this generation of consoles and “some extra time is necessary.”

“We are very sorry for any disappointment this delay causes, but we are firm believers in delivering a game only when it is ready,” writes the studio.

It’s an interesting time for the game to be making headlines again. Rockstar began teasing the title last autumn, originally setting a fall 2017 date, releasing a trailer, talking up the “online multiplayer experience,” and leaving PC fans to fret they’d been forgotten. In just the past few weeks, it’s seen the rise of a challenger in the previously barren American West MMO subgenre in the form of Wild West Online, which is embracing both its MMO nature and the PC platform.

Take-Two’s stock closed 9% down yesterday; its quarterly earnings report from this morning, however, shows the parent company has little to worry about, thanks to net revenue increasing by 26% over the period.

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The Stream Team: Wandering the wilds of Conan Exiles

Some days Massively OP’s MJ has a detailed plan she wants to execute. Other days, she just wants to wander around and explore. Today is an explore kind of day in Conan Exiles. There are still places MJ hasn’t investigated yet, so MJ is going to just wander a bit — and try to stay live in the process. You never know what wondrous sights or scary dangers she might discover! Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. for her latest walkabout through the exiled lands.

What: Conan Exiles
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 22nd, 2017

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Shroud of the Avatar polishes up the desert, teases a moondial

What’s that up in the header screenshot? Is it Conan Exiles? Nope — it’s Shroud of the Avatar’s Sequanna Colossus map and my favorite kind of biome, and it’s due for “uncloning” and customization post-Release 42, complete with the colossus itself, desert ruins, the requisite oasis, mesas, stone arches, and the bleached skeletons of long-dead behemoths.

Sequanna is spotlighted in the game’s latest newsletter, where Portalarium is also talking up the recently released Bloody Bay, the ongoing May free trial, and the summer telethon slated for next week on May 31st.

Finally, the devs have released a video feature on the truly stunning moondial launching in R42 — the only bummer is it’s a cash-shop item. Check out that video and all the new screenshots down below!

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Worlds Adrift’s closed beta begins Wednesday

Make your last farewells to the Worlds Adrift alpha servers: They’re going dark tomorrow. That’s because the game’s closed beta is about to begin, sooner than you might have anticipated since less than a month ago Bossa Studios was tiptoeing around a delay.

“Starting Wednesday May 24th, at 6PM BST / 7PM CEST / 1PM EDT / 10AM PDT, we’re proud to say we’ll be starting the Closed Beta for Worlds Adrift!” says the studio. “As previously announced, the start of the Closed Beta will be accessible in limited batches to players so we can make sure we fully manage any queuing problems, server instabilities, lost progress and other issues that large multiplayer games might suffer from at launch.”

The staggered-entry beta is expected to last up to four months before transforming into an open beta for everyone, after which Bossa will wipe the servers. “But beta players will be able to keep special items that will not be available again after the reset,” Bossa wrote earlier this year. “They’ll also get a bit of a headstart for being a part of the closed beta!”

Wanna hop in earlier than that? The game’s Island Creator is still free and openly accessible on Steam.

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Conan Exiles on environmental siege effects, pets, trade, and Zelda-like climbing

In case you missed the Conan Exiles Twitch stream Friday, and you probably did because who stays home on a beautiful May Friday to watch 50 MMO companies doing video game streams, then you can catch the recap video. Funcom’s Joel Bylos, Jens Erik Vaaler, and Nicole Vayo spend quite a bit of time lobbing exploding orbs around, showing off temporary effects (water is on fire at the moment, but eventually it’ll douse existing fires!) and oil bombs that’ll make sieges really interesting.

The team also posted up a new Q&A on Reddit this weekend; Bylos notes that the planned list of pets might be cut down to fit the development timeline, hostile NPC camps are taking a back seat to The Purge, an installer tool for community mods is on the agenda eventually, proper trading isn’t in planning at all, and the climbing system is a “game changing system” that will shift how people build, siege, and explore:

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Ashes of Creation aims to be biggest MMORPG Kickstarter of all time

“I think in a couple of days we may be the number one Kickstarted MMORPG ever.”

Dream big, Intrepid Studios! As Ashes of Creation bears down on its crowdfunding home stretch with 10 days to go, the fantasy MMO just crossed the 12,000 backers line (granting exclusive dyes to all backers) and already has $2.23 million in its virtual pockets. Upcoming stretch goals include the Underrealm race ($2.5M), unique mount barding (13,500 backers), and an in-game stock exchange ($3M).

The developers aren’t keeping to themselves during this crazy time. Intrepid team members were on hand this past weekend for an hour-long livestream during which they answered community questions and showed off more Ashes of Creation gameplay. We’ve got that video after the jump (the gameplay starts at the 29-minute mark) as well as a new environmental video from the project!

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LawBreakers announces $29.99 PlayStation 4 edition with new Blur trailer

With the resumption of LawBreakers development chatter last week and the recent NDA-free closed beta round last weekend, you might have guessed that Nexon and Boss Key had more planned, and if so, you were right: The studios announced this morning that LawBreakers is coming to the PlayStation 4, launching “simultaneously” there and on Steam for PC users later in 2017.

LawBreakers will be enhanced for PS4™Pro and promises to challenge even the best players to bring their skills, get off the ground and deliver death from every angle as they experience thrilling fast-paced, omni-directional gunplay with innovative movement systems and combat abilities. From the mind of [Cliff] Bleszinski, LawBreakers is set in a brand new futuristic world where the laws of gravity have been turned upside down. A war between the Law and the Breakers rages across a variety of iconic locations such as the boiling oceans of the Santa Monica coastline to the gravity-ravaged Grand Canyon and beyond.”

We’ve also gotten our first peek at the game’s proposed business model, with a $29.99 sticker price on the base game.

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Dean Hall on his third attempt to build a space station sim with Stationeers

Stationeers, an upcoming multiplayer survival sim, marks Dean Hall’s (DayZ) third attempt to create a space station title. In a recent interview with PC Games N, Hall seems confident that this one will make it across the finish line.

“The other day we set a record of 28 players playing, with excellent bandwidth usage,” he says. “It was fantastic. It was the first time we’d run a playtest with a large number of players that had no major errors, so that’s putting us on the road to release.”

Hall talks about the features that are going into the game, the ones being adjusted, and the ones being left out due to resource limitations. He’s hoping that trading between stations will make its way into the game at some point, but Hall is more concerned with creating a “great core game loop” that was present in other successful early access titles like Prison Architect and Rimworld.

Stationeers is slated to come to Steam early access some time this year.

Source: PC Games N

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Legends of Aria charges straight at the Knight prestige class

What is a skill-based, freeform character system doing with classes? While it might seem like an oxymoron, Legends of Aria says that it has good reason for including optional prestige classes in its skill-based MMO, which is that it offers more choice for enhanced playstyles without destroying the game’s balance. To tell the truth, the explanation for all of this seems a little murky after the team’s strongly worded diatribe against classes, but we’ll hope they know what they’re doing.

A new dev blog goes into depth about the “defensively minded” Knight prestige class, including its skills. The Knight has an AoE taunt, can bash opponents with his shield, and can activate a “vanguard” mode to become an unmovable pain-returning champion. Right now the game is limiting players to a single prestige class each, with these classes only sporting three abilities, although this is expected to change.

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