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]

E3 2018: Hands-on with the superb (and hopefully Switch-bound) Black Desert Mobile

While I’ve had kind words to say about the potential for mobile in the past – particularly MMOARGs – I just haven’t been able to get into mobile MMORPGs. The point of view, the auto-follow, the lack of chat, and a generally cheap feeling leave me feeling a bit ill. However, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on Black Desert Online’s mobile port this year at E3, which might just change my mind.

Now, let me preface this by saying I am not an active player of the PC version of the game, and my brief time with the console version of the game only confirmed to me that Pearl Abyss has competently adapted controls and UI for console, but oddly enough, the work on the mobile client stood out to me as particularly superb. And as Pearl Abyss CEO Kyungin “Robin” Jung told me during our interview, the company is indeed considering porting the title to the Switch. While it sounded interesting (and a bit odd considering Nintendo’s general status as an online-outsider), it wasn’t until I personally played BDM that I seriously started to consider the possibility.

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E3 2018: Hands-on with Funcom’s upcoming Mutant Year Zero

Apparently, GDC was good to Funcom, The Bearded Ladies, and Mutant: Year Zero. The teams had originally thought to skip E3 this year, but after the reveal led to even one developer’s mail attendant in Sweden fanning out a bit, it became clear that an appearance at the Expo might be in order (and to maybe not wear developer t-shirts in public).

The Bearded Ladies developers said that they’ve received nothing but positive comments so far, and I can’t say I’ve been able to give them more critical feedback either. Part of that is because my tactical RPG experience is limited to super casual Fire Emblem outings that never end with my finishing the game. Admittedly, I also didn’t have a ton of questions to bring with me this time because the guys were just so open at GDC. It’s probably for the best, though, as I was finally able to get my hands on the game. Spoiler alert: Not only did I fail my mission, but so did almost everyone else!

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Rend is moving faction bases as its alpha rolls on

Everything is moving in Rend. That much should be expected, of course, because the game is still early in its testing cycle. In this particular case, though, the faction base is moving from the prior location to a spot closer to Yggdrasil. This has a number of benefits, as it gives players a taste of what to expect during the first journey to the base, provides clearer movements to the other biomes, and offers the developers a chance to change the map a bit further.

This also helps adjust the overall balance of the game by setting creature movement speeds to account for the new location, and since the game’s taming system is arriving in the same update it addresses multiple issues at once. None of the changes impact the overall timeline, so you can look forward to seeing the results of these shifts yourself sooner rather than later. Our own Andrew got a chance to see how the game is coming along on E3, so you can also take his word for it.

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Chronicles of Elyria brings its world to life with player chat and adorable bunnies

You just couldn’t resist the bunny post, could you? The bunnies were there and your mind goes, “Aww, fluffy little hoppity hoppers!” and now you’re reading a post on Chronicles of Elyria. No, no, don’t leave, you might as well finish it while you’re here.

Anyway, the world of Chronicles of Elyria is coming together as the team prepares for the pre-alpha test. First up for this month’s efforts was getting the chat interface working for the VoxElyria client. “Chat in Chronicles of Elyria is a more complex beast than you might find in your typical MMO,” said the team.

The developers also worked on creating a stable and well-performing hardware platform and fleshing out the world with those adorable bunnies, shrubberies, oxen, and various bits of lore.

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Bless Online cuts back its influencer program following conduct mishaps

Neowiz is on a downsizing streak for its Bless Online emissary program, reducing the number of player ambassadors (read: influencers) for the game as some have violated the studio’s code of conduct. Some players have accused Neowiz of doing this to cull participants who haven’t been overly positive about the MMO.

The full statement from the studio is as follows:

“Due to both outside community feedback and internal observations and issues, we have decided to make some adjustments to our emissary program to ensure that it is the best it can be. Our first step in these adjustments is to reduce our community leaders and content creators to a small group (for the time being) to better ensure close and secure communication. This does NOT mean everyone being removed violated the emissary code of conduct, though some did. This is just the first step towards a better emissary program, and we apologize to those in the program who feel they were unfairly impacted by the shifts. We will adjust our official emissary post on our website to reflect the changes later today. We care deeply about the future of this game and community, and hope that going forward the emissary program can do more in support of Bless.”

Source: Reddit

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Fallout 76 gives the beta edge to Xbox One and drives tourism to West Virginia

One of the perks of pre-ordering Fallout 76 is that you’ll be automatically included in the pool of B.E.T.A. testers. However, life is not always equal or fair, and as such, Xbox One players will be the very first to get their hands on this survival sandbox MMO before their PC and PlayStation 4 friends. In fact Xbone players can pre-download it right now.

Speaking of perks, PCGamesN has a look at how the character customization system will work through stats and special traits. According to the site, all perks and skills are tied to collectable cards, and you will only be allowed to have a certain number of perk cards active at any given time. Perk cards also can be shared within your party as group-wide buffs.

Meanwhile, Bethesda continues to try to answer questions about the Fallout 76’s mechanics, including stealth, player C.A.M.P.s, and the integration of stories and quests.

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Gran Skrea brings an indie sandbox MMO to early access

On the prowl for an undiscovered indie MMORPG these days? You might want to check out Gran Skrea Online, as it just went into early access this past weekend.

According to the team, Gran Skrea “combines a desire for new player-defined MMORPG mechanics with influences from classic RPGs like RuneScape, Ultima Online, and The Elder Scrolls.” It’s $9 right now through June 23rd, which isn’t the most exorbitant price we’ve ever seen, and there’s an official Discord set up already.

The sandbox MMORPG sends players “to create their own destiny in an original world of medieval fantasy.” This apparently means a mixture of quests, “ruthless” PvP combat, guilds, and economy. There are already quite a few features in place, including player housing, a criminal flagging system, lots of crafting, and a game world with plenty of lore. There’s more to be added in the early access program, so features such as territorial warfare, auction houses, and naval warfare are still in development.

Get an early look at Gran Skrea after the jump!

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Cuisine Royale is the goofy reskin the battle royale genre deserves

Be careful what you wish for! Apparently, Gaijin (you know it from WarThunder) ran an April Fools’ day joke mode for online shooter Enlisted that proved so popular that the company spun it out into a standalone battle royale game. But this one takes the PUBG frying pan and runs with it. Literally.

Cuisine Royale is an all-kitchen-warfare Battle Royale game with the most honest system for Loot Boxes ever,” the devs write. “Dinnerware will finally be able to show off its true potential: Use a colander as head protection, equip a wok as a formidable breastplate, or strap on a massive waffle maker to be protected even against the largest calibers of weapons.”

Gaijin says the game will start off free-to-play and will “probably will become paid later to cover servers maintenance costs.” It’s also promising “the most honest system for loot boxes,” with free-to-open, fully transparent boxes “scattered around the battlefield.”

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The Stream Team: Building a base in Outpost Zero

Massively OP’s MJ learned about many dangers (the hard way) in Outpost Zero. Now, she’s ready to build up her base. It’s about time she has some robots on her side to counter that insufferable A.S.S. always telling her what to do. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to see how far along she can get.

What: Outpost Zero
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 18th, 2018

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E3 2018: Hands-on with Ubisoft’s open-world pirate PvP game Skull & Bones

So, you want to be a pirate, but Sea of Thieves isn’t your cup of tea? If the issue was PvP, well, you’re probably out of luck, as Ubisoft Producer Karl von der Luhe emphasized at E3 this year that one of Skull and Bones chief strengths is that it lets you decide what kind of pirate you want to be: the kind who backstabs and murders his fellow buccaneer, or a wolf running with a pack. There’s no room for pacifists who just want to share Earl Grey and crumpets, alas.

While von der Luhe admits that Ubisoft admires what Rare’s done with SOT, it’s been clear for a long time that the two games are different enough to co-exist. They’re different takes on the pirate lifestyle. Even with the new hideout system for off-ship… um, town interaction, my demo of the open PvPvE area, the hunt grounds, further confirmed my feeling that Ubisoft’s game is more about the ship than it is about the pirate, something that surely has its own audience.

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Gloria Victis gives players a real reason to cook and eat food with this week’s update

Who’s hungry? Not Gloria Victis characters – if they know what’s good for them, anyway. That’s because the game’s most recent update introduces a brand-new cooking system as well as a compelling reason to eat the stuff and even bring a chef along with you when you’re out doing crimes and ganking enemies. Food is serious business; you’re not going to last long without it.

“Check out dozens of new meals and recipes and keep in mind to eat regularly to preserve your strengths for a battle. Also, take care of what you eat – good meals will increase make you stronger! And the last but not least – warm meal is a real blessing, so better have a field cook in your warband!”

The patch also adds new zones for PvP, implements new quests therein, moves a few castles and forts, and rolls out a new guild ranking system that measures how many enemies guilds slay in the open world.

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The MOP Up: Skyforge’s PvP revolution (June 17, 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 War of RightsClosers OnlineWorld War ZOld School RuneScapeThe Black DeathOrbusVRReign of GuildsSkyforgeAlchemiaStoryPath of ExileGrim DawnRevelation OnlineDefiance 2050, and DDO, all waiting for you after the break!

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Dual Universe’s latest pre-alpha patch adds markets, scanning, and mining

Let’s all take a moment for an appreciative round of applause to any studio that is considerate enough to post monthly round-ups of games in development. This is especially helpful for titles like Dual Universe, as there is so much going on that it gets easy to miss updates.

So what’s going on with Dual Universe this June? The team reviewed its pre-alpha 0.10 patch, which added scanning and mining gameplay, several new gameplay videos, a dev blog on the revamp to piloting mechanics, how it’s handling player feedback, and some new concept art.

Speaking of the patch, another major feature just added to the space sandbox was its oh-so-necessary market system. The devs urge that you familiarize yourself with the market UI in order to make the most efficient use of your time and effort. Check it out below!

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