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]

Ashes of Creation’s city halls will be the center of player politics

With a strong focus on player government and politics, Ashes of Creation is giving careful consideration with how it will structure the leadership of each city. It won’t be hard to figure out where to go if you want to vie for power and position, as the city hall is being designed for such hobnobbing and meetings.

“Our government system is really all about letting players take control of the world they make,” the team wrote in this week’s dev diary. “The first step here is deciding how the city should feel, what laws should be in place and how it’s run.”

At the city hall, player leaders can meet together to make key decisions for the local town. Possible rulings include making people of a certain node “enemies of the state,” what to build, what to tear down, declaring war, forming alliances, activate festivals, and even create quests for other players.

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The Stream Team: Exploring the wilds and wildlife in Conan Exiles’ great white north

There’s much of the land from the expansion that Massively OP’s MJ has yet to explore in Conan Exiles, and she aims to correct that. She has invited a friend along to wander all over the north, poking into the nooks and crannies — and hoping nothing pokes back! Who are we kidding, have you seen the wildlife? Those antlers?! We’re not taking bets on how long the pair survive, but join us live at 12:00 p.m. to see if they can.

What: Conan Exiles
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, November 18th, 2017

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Betawatch: Ascent: Infinite Realm is already heading to Korean beta (November 17, 2017)

Let me tell you, I’m really glad that Ascent: Infinite Realm already has a publishing deal for the west, because otherwise I would be figuratively biting my nails about the game’s first beta test in South Korea. I only just learned it existed, sure, but it’s a game about steampunk mechs and airships. If we get superheroes and cats, that’s pushing most of my buttons right away.

More beta news? Sure, what the hey!

That’s a lot of questions followed by shouted responses, but we assure you there is less shouting in our list of games in testing down below. You can still respond to us in the comments, though; we like to hear from you. Especially if some game swapped test phases without us knowing about it. Those are useful responses!

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Paladins goes full auto with Vivian

Would you rather have a trove of ancient technology at your fingertips or a modern arsenal of rapid-fire weaponry?

Paladins’ newest champion, Vivian, doesn’t have to make this nail-biting choice. The multiplayer title’s 14th character comes onto the scene toting drones, deflector shields, and a no-nonsense machine gun. “Vivian’s abilities are all about outwitting her enemies with ancient technology then destroying them with a relentless barrage of firepower,” the team posted.

Vivian arrived in Paladins’ Open Beta 63 patch this past Wednesday. The update includes an improved daily quest rewards system, a new type of victory spray that shows off your stats, and a new category of chest that allows players to roll to obtain full skin collections.

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Pathfinder Online drops a small patch to protect mules and fix other errors

At long last, the vicious mule exploits of Pathfinder Online have been addressed. No longer will players group up with their friends and attack their own mules for… some reason. Actually, it probably wasn’t an exploit in the first place, it was just a minor issue from the last patch that has been fixed now. Regardless, in-game mules can breathe a bit easier now.

The patch also brings out various other bug fixes, like no longer making ammunition messages permanent floating fixtures if your character could not fully restock and preventing the housing maintenance cost window from closing in error when paying ahead. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but players who enjoyed the various elements brought out with the last patch will doubtlessly be happy to see the array of fixes correcting issues.

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Dauntless steps back from constant stability upgrades for a major patch

If you’ve been playing Dauntless since it first released to test audiences, you have probably gotten accustomed to having a large number of patches for the game at a pretty rapid pace. December is going to involve something different, though; there’s going to be one big update dubbed Sharpen Your Skills, and it will hopefully make a major difference in the way that you play Dauntless. The team will still be revealing teases of what’s in the patch, but you’ll have to wait a little longer to actually get it.

The first preview on progression is already available, showing off new randomized Behemoths to hunt, new progression mechanics, and new scheduled targets to give players more reason to keep venturing out into the world. The update will also include a progression wipe, so you’ll be starting over from the beginning to see how the game feels with improvements. Hopefully better, although it does mean you won’t want to worry too much about progression until the update arrives.

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Crowfall’s action harvesting has all the swirly sparkles and powerful pips

Now that Crowfall fans have a little longer to wait before the game’s soft launch, they have time to fully absorb this lengthy article on action harvesting. Yes, ArtCraft has been pushing this vision for harvesting for a couple of months now, but there is a good chance that you still don’t know what it means other than imagining a character wildly swinging away, missing a large chunk of ore on the ground, and causing self-inflicted wounds with a pickaxe.

Basically, action harvesting refers to a more involved process of material gathering, complete with its own skill bar and special effects. The studio has continued to iterate on the system, having emerged from brainstorming with “pips” as a resource, 11 harvesting disciplines (including, we kid you not, Grave Digger), 30 powers, and a universal “energetic harvesting” skill. There’s a pattern to swinging your implement, and as players build up more pips, their energetic harvesting skill will proc different effects.

“Because all the buff durations and the pips are so quick to generate, this creates an opportunity for the player to weave a variety of different buff combinations based on their current need,” the studio explained.

Source: Crowfall

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Star Citizen’s Around the Verse on the tech behind procedural cities

If you lost your mind over Star Citizen’s procedural cities reveals at CitizenCon a few weeks ago, you definitely need to tune in to this week’s Around the Verse, where city tech is the star of the episode (if a bit backloaded).

“We are just working on human cities at the moment,” CIG’s Wai-Hung Wan explains. “I would love to see how we tackle alien cities. Is that going to be completely random? Are we going to have some or a greater degree of refinement by hand? I don’t know yet. I would hope even on an alien civilisation they have some degree of control and they would make logical, intelligent choices about where they would place specific buildings – even recreational facilities – so each time you visit that location it will look exactly the same as you left it.”

Studio Director Eric Kieron Davis says the team has checked in over 700 updates since last week (with 197 total issues, not bugs, remaining to address 3.0). “We are making steady progress to get [the 3.0 alpha] into your hands as quickly as possible,” he says.

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Blade & Soul grants character boosts, Blade & Soul Revolution struts its stuff on mobile

With only a few weeks left before Blade & Soul drops its “biggest patch ever,” NCsoft is gifting players a bundle of goodies to prime the crowd for Dawn of the Lost Continent.

Anyone who logs onto an account that has at least one level 10 character will receive a free Lost Continent Explorer’s Pack. This bundle contains a voucher for an instant level 50 character, gear, cosmetics, consumables, keys, and currency. While you can claim the pack now, you won’t get the benefits until the update drops on December 6th.

Shifting gears to Blade & Soul Revolution, we can report that this mobile spin-off is attempting to impress the gaming public at G-Star this week. Steparu noted that it played much the same as the recently launched Lineage 2 Revolution (which makes sense, as both were developed by Netmarble), complete with auto-running and auto-questing. Take a look at Revolution’s trailer and gameplay footage after the break!

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Shroud of the Avatar’s early R48 update focuses on launch priorities, polish, and performance

Shroud of the Avatar has rolled out Release 48 as of early this afternoon, which may just upset your internal clock a bit, since usually they happen at the end of the month! Holidays are pushing the schedule up, however, which is good news for anyone who wanted to actually play through Thanksgiving week.

R48 reflects Portalarium’s focus on its launch priorities checklist. “We continued to make strong progress on load time reductions, story polish, and creation of new scenes,” the studio’s Starr Long says. Expect updates to the in-game map, UI, holiday items, item decay on death, load times, lighting, all four story paths, artifacts, loot, and worldbuilding passes, including new mines and scenes, although not the rebuilt Novia additions, which have been postponed. Check out the screens below for a tease!

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Survivalbox roundup: The Black Death communicates, Hellion revamps, and Life is Feudal soft launches

Once you recover from the drive-by scorching of MJ’s ARK: Survival Evolved critique, perhaps you’re wondering what else is going on with survivalboxes in other regions of the genre.

The Black Death is making a concerted effort to connect more with fans by bringing back the weekly Q&A series and expanding its presence on social media. The team also is asking for gaming feedback from its community via a survey.

Space sandbox Hellion is working hard on its next update, which will mainly focus on reworking and rebalancing several key systems, such as power supply, life support, and the user interface. The team is excited to announce that Discord integration is coming to the game soon as well.

And with Life is Feudal’s soft launch tomorrow, you’ll definitely want to get hyped up for this semi-MMO by watching the release trailer below!

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Worlds Adrift discovers a bird-obsessed culture

With airships and an Indiana Jones attitude, a large part of Worlds Adrift’s gameplay will be on exploration of the unknown. After all, the sky is literally the limit when it comes to skipping between floating islands and seeing what remains of past civilizations.

It doesn’t mean that players will only discover ruins. Active cultures with their own unique styles are out there for the seeking, with the second of these revealed this week. They are the Kioki, and they sound like they have style. To accommodate this culture, the team has added 450 new building pieces to the island creators and some additional tech that allows creators to put together grand structures.

“Kioki marks the second culture to be added to Worlds Adrift, and the differences between them and the Saborians couldn’t be more stark. A prosperous society, they favoured opulent surroundings, including brass domed roofs, intricate embellishments, and brightly coloured textures… not to mention, had a strange obsession with birds”

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Sea of Thieves trailer dares you to ‘be more pirate’

All other studios, it’s time to pack it in: Sea of Thieves has won the Trailer Olympics, at least for 2017.

In Rare’s newest video, the team crams a shipload of awesome into a minute-and-a-half as it challenges gamers to “be more pirate.” While the trailer doesn’t reveal anything new, it does a great job showing off the various activities and demonstrating the overall tone of the game, bouncing from crew teamwork to swimming with sharks to, er, “banana crunching.” Also, a buccaneer throws up on the camera lens. Give that team an award!

OK, it might not be Oscar bait, but this continues to get us completely hyped for Sea of Thieves’ launch in spring 2018. Anyone want to join the crew of the S.S. Mighty MOP?

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