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]

BioWare: Anthem will be ‘unlike anything you’ve played’

While not going into any details about the progress of Anthem’s development and testing dates, BioWare nevertheless attempted to prime the pump for fans’ expectations this week.

BioWare General Manager Casey Hudson wrote the first of apparently several upcoming posts on Monday in which he acknowledged the studio’s failures in delivering more stories for Mass Effect: Andromeda while also putting in a plug for a brighter future with Anthem. Hudson said that Andromeda’s DLC stumble led to BioWare “refocusing” its mission by not losing sight of the world, character, and storytelling in its games.

“It’s in that spirit that we are working through production on Anthem,” Hudson said “a game designed to create a whole new world of story and character that you can experience with friends in an ongoing series of adventures. It will be unlike anything you’ve played, but if we do it right, it will feel very distinctly BioWare.”

Source: BioWare

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Defiance 2050 delays its console closed beta event, but the PC event will go on as planned

A couple of weeks ago, Trion announced that it was prepping a big closed beta test for Defiance 2050 across all platforms – this very weekend, in fact. But it appears the test will be suffering a delay, at least for console players.

“The Defiance 2050 closed beta test will run on PC this weekend (April 20 – 22),” Trion’s email blast this morning reads. “In order to best optimize the experience for all players, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the closed beta test are being moved to a later date. We will communicate the updated console beta dates as soon as we can.”

Trion announced the console-oriented reboot back in February; the MMORPG studio has since promised it won’t abandon the original game and can’t support full crossplay but will credit classic Defiance players in the new title. Signups are live on the official site.

Want to know what to expect? We got hands-on with the reboot at this year’s GDC.

Source: Press release

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The Repopulation previews more of its delayed patch

The next big update for The Repopulation has not arrived just yet. It’s the same reason as before; Idea Fabrik wants to use the HeroEngine Live Push system, the game as it’s built right now causes errors with that, and so the team is hard at work hammering at the game until it will work with that system. Lest you say “just don’t use that system,” the developers also reassure fans that the work being done now would have had to be done sooner or later regardless:

Though we have another option to do a full push, this would not help us nor you in the long run. At some point we have to do this clean up so we can begin using the HE Push system as is done for other games.

On the bright side, the latest development update contains a peek at the new art coming with the new tutorial island (which will have no new content, just new art) and improvements to the game’s combat system such as fixing persistent line-of-sight issues and not swapping your target mid-combat. More of the team is apparently working on future content as well, so once the wait for this patch is over, you can hopefully expect more frequent updates. The team is also looking for feedback on the hardware owned by players for future development.

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Saga of Lucimia defends Star Citizen’s slow progress, Shroud of the Avatar’s transparency

One of the challenges for indie and crowdfunded MMORPGs is surely the nature of their development: plugging along without much fanfare, with players seeing only one part of the equation. Saga of Lucimia has a piece out meant to show what that behind-the-scenes iteration looks like in the construction of an in-game asset as it travels from art concept to 3-D model to textured asset to something that’s added to the world by a different team entirely. But then what might be a mundane art blog takes a sharp turn to talk about other MMORPGs and their communities and expectations.

“There’s a major disconnect with some players when it comes to the misconceptions regarding iterations over the course of the game’s development,” argues Lucimia Creative Director Tim “Renfail” Anderson. “We see a lot of anger around the ‘net in regards to how things change over time with almost every MMORPG’s development, with many claiming the developers lied about how something was going to work, or how something was perceived as being a certain way, and then when it doesn’t work out quite the way players perceived, they claim that the developers deceived them, and that the launched product isn’t anything like what was initially discussed during the development process. The perfect example of this is Star Citizen/Squadron 42.”

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Boss Key owner Cliff Bleszinski claims that Epic Games is poaching his staff

If Radical Heights is not a success, it’s the fault of Epic Games, according to Cliff Bleszinski. The head of Boss Key Studios recently tweeted out an accusation that Epic Games (creator of Fortnite and the Unreal engine, among other things) is trying to poach some of his staff, which comes a few months after the co-founder of Boss Key Studios left to join Epic on a heretofore unannounced project. He went on to state that there are still more things to be done in the battle royale genre, but they may remain unseen based on this employee poaching.

Epic has remained mum on the accusations of poaching employees, so it’s hard to be sure whether it’s actually happening or not. One might also want to look at the game’s numbers and its overall playerbase figures following its surprise reveal and early access launch and take that into account as part of this narrative, as well.

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The MOP Up: Seal Online embraces a cartoony spirit (April 15, 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 Seal OnlineTrovePokemon GoSea of ThievesTales of GaiaBattleriteWar of RightsPUBGWorld of WarcraftCity of HeroesWill to Live Online, and Prosperous Universe, all waiting for you after the break!

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Make My MMO: PAX’s hands-on, Star Citizen’s free-fly, and Camelot’s weekend tests (April 14, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen is running a free-fly this weekend, as teased yesterday. The game’s currently testing alpha 3.1.2, which also rolled out last night. (Thanks DK!)

At last weekend’s PAX East, we got hands-on with several crowdfunded MMORPGs, including Pantheon and Ashes of Creation, whose demos our writer thought were solid indeed. We also spoke with Ship of Heroes’ Casey McGeever to catch up with its progress!

As for Camelot Unchained, it’s been working on improving its tech and working on new assets, including “placeable decorations on a plot, new animations, and new scenario gameplay and environments.” Today and tomorrow, CSE is running player tests on the Dragon Fang map, so check those out if you’re a hardcore backer!

Meanwhile, Albion Online patched up its GvG mercenary system, Orbus is planning a free weekend next week, and the EVE Online sequel book has already funded. 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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Betawatch: Radical Heights springs out to predictable lows (April 13, 2018)

Good news, Boss Key fans! After the studio pretty blatantly gave up on LawBreakers, it turned around and quickly launched its next project, a battle royale title dubbed Radical Heights. It sprang to life on Tuesday, and then it… sort of limped right after that. The numbers do look at least slightly better after the rest of the week, so hooray? Maybe?

Looking back, I started that paragraph with “good news.” I’m not sure why I did that.

Other beta news? Hey, sure.

Other beta titles? Oh, listed below, as we do. If you notice something jumped test phases without our noticing, do let us know down in the comments. We really appreciate it.

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Lazarus sponsors a free weekend in order to break its game

What’s the fastest way to ruin your house? Throw a free party to people with no inhibitions, of course. So what’s the fastest way to break an online video game? Drop the price to zero for a weekend and throw the doors open wide.

This is the current plan of Lazarus, the early access space shooter with a Groundhog Day complex. From today through Sunday the 15th, the game is running a stress test with the intent to “break the game” so that the team can prepare it for a global launch in the future.

It might be a challenge to break Lazarus, as the team has made significant server improvements to handle the load. Other recent changes include upgrades to the NPC AI, a streamlined tutorial, and an anonymous data logging tool to help diagnose connection issues.

Source: Steam

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Here’s how to playtest Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset chapter next week

Summerset is closer than you think! The Elder Scrolls Online team announced today that the chapter is expected to hit the test server on Monday. In fact, all of update 18 will be playable there too. Getting in is the tricky part.

“Invites will be sent to a large group of new PTS testers, but if you participated in the ESO: Morrowind PTS beta last year, you’ll be able to log into the Summerset PTS from the ESO launcher yourself, no invite required! Just don’t forget to enable ‘Show Public Test Environment’ from your launcher settings. Note that as always, anybody can install the PTS client, log in, and test the base game changes, but they won’t be able visit Summerset or experience any of the new Chapter’s features unless granted access.”

Do note that the main quest and story are under a strict NDA (agreement, watermarked screenies, the works) that lifts May 1st.

MOP’s Andrew and Eliot got hands-on with the chapter at GDC and PAX respectively, both of them finding it to be basically exactly what Elder Scrolls Online fans want and expect out of a big content dump.

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Star Citizen runs down ships and kicks off a free-fly weekend

On this week’s Star Citizen Around the Verse, I can’t decide whether Sandi Gardiner or Eric Kieron Davis has the cooler shirt, but it also doesn’t matter because internet spaceships! No really, this episode is all about spaceships thanks to the fact that the entire piece is one long Ship Shape segment, sales pitch, and tease for a new ship.

Well, almost the entire piece. If you stick around for the endcap, you’ll note that CIG has laid out a free-fly event all weekend, running through April 16th, meaning that everyone – even if you’re not a backer – can jump into the game and check out the 3.1 patch.

You can watch the whole episode down below, complete with a lot of handwaving (literally) from Disco Lando, plus the chart listing off all the ships (and which ones are actually usable right now) courtesy of Reddit.

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Ashes of Creation looks back at PAX East while promising a Q4 alpha

If the only thing you want to take away from the latest bit of Ashes of Creation newsletter is information you may not have had before today, here it is: Alpha One is due for fourth quarter 2018, and there will be no NDA in place. You can freely talk with anyone and everyone about what you see in the game. That may sound more like a beta to our definition-minded readers, but let’s not quibble.

If, on the other hand, you’d like to see how the game managed things on the show floor of PAX East 2018, you can check out the video just below that cuts together a 10-minute highlight reel of what took place on the show floor. (It might also give you a decent idea of just how crowded said show floor actually is if you’ve never been.) You could also check out our own hands-on piece from the convention, if you haven’t already.

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Conan Exiles begins the countdown to launch with a new trailer

Fourteen months after hitting early access, Funcom is getting ready to launch Conan Exiles for real. Ahead of the May 8th release, the studio has posted up a brand-new teaser trailer to kick off the countdown. It’s just over 24 days, if you’re wondering or bad at math.

“Besides being the first time it’s available on PlayStation 4, the launch of Conan Exiles brings with it a massive expansion of the game world, game-changing new features such as monster invasions known as the purge and an entirely new action-oriented combat system, as well as many other major additions that truly makes this the ultimate vision of Conan Exiles. If you were ever on the fence, or you are just discovering it for the first time, May 8th is the time to join the adventure.”

MOP’s MJ got hands-on with the launch build earlier this month; you can check out her impressions right here! There’s a clipping issue in one of the screenshots – gold star if you find it!

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