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]

Cabal 2 has a leather class fetish

Don’t you dare think for a second how strange it is that MMOs segregate the player population not by who they are but by what fashion they wear. For example, leather-wearing classes might not be the toughest around, but at least they can die in style!

Cabal 2 posted a new video today casting a spotlight on the upcoming game’s two medium-armor classes: the Force Archer and Force Blader. The Archer is a great pick if you like to hit several enemies at once, while the Blader is all about the biggest DPS number in town.

Early access for this MMO sequel will begin later this month, but as you wait you might as well watch the character spotlight video after the break.

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Sci-fi shooter Project Genom begins alpha testing

Why can’t intergalactic colonization ever go smoothly? There always seems to be at least one continent-shattering war that has to happen before the first McSpaceDonalds is established. We guess that’s part of the tradition, which is why we’re sure that Project Genom will be a great instruction manual for when the human race ever does start populating the galaxy.

The sci-fi shooter began its closed alpha test today in anticipation for a June release on Steam. Project Genom takes place on the planet of Avalon where human colonists and a territorial alien race are struggling over land rights. The game just upgraded to the Unreal Engine 4 engine and features a flexible class creation system, an in-depth economy, “advanced” PvP, and pets.

You can watch an early gameplay video and teaser trailer of Project Genom after the break!

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Camelot Unchained’s Friday update talks alpha progress, stretch goals, and more

This afternoon’s Camelot Unchained update is a lengthy one, as head honcho Mark Jacobs has a lot to say about topics ranging from stretch goals to new builder tiers to alpha testing progress reports.

CityState is approaching the current stretch goal, which means that the firm is also preparing the next one. “It’s not a hiring stretch goal (yay!), and it’s one that I think will surprise and excite some people,” Jacobs hints. “It’s a clever one that keeps both the spirit of the Foundational Principles and to the statements I have made in the past about what we would like to do.”

On the alpha front, CU has had “a less-than-expected number of bugs,” and other than a troublesome player positioning bug that may affect this weekend’s test, things are going well. There’s a lot more to the update, so be sure and read the full post at the Camelot Unchained website.

[Source: Friday update]


Crowfall unveils the badass lady Champion

Crowfall unveiled the concept art for the female Champion today, and… well, it’s pretty great. She’s huge, she’s visibly powerful, and she’s intended to be threatening. You should really look at the full thing even if you’re not usually all that concerned with Crowfall. Honestly.

There’s also a new video available in which artist Joe Mad and his brother wax poetic about their mutual love of Shadowbane and their excitement for Crowfall, which is much more specific to those of you who are concerned with Crowfall. Seriously, though, that lady Champion concept. That’s some good stuff.

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Previewing Path of Exile’s mind-blowing Act IV

If you thought Path of Exile’s previous three content updates would be hard acts to follow, you clearly haven’t heard enough about the upcoming Act IV The Awakening. Slated for a June release, this expansion makes such a huge impact on the game that it will have its own closed beta test! Along with additional story, new mobs and legendary bosses, brand-new areas, powerful new skills, and plenty of unique gear, Act IV includes a slew of user interface improvements, a complete rebalancing of the core game, and what may be the most shocking announcement for players of this popular OARPG: a modifiable passive tree. On top of that, PoE will launch internationally with localization for Chinese, Russian, and Thai players.

Oh yes, Act IV will be the hard act to follow.

With such major changes coming, we beamed in for a remote press demo hosted by Grinding Gear Games’ Chris Wilson, who is both producer and lead designer for PoE, to get the details on what players can expect once those closed beta doors open on April 20th.

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Cloud Imperium clarifies Star Citizen’s Squadron 42 status

Are you a bit confused about the Squadron 42 component of Star Citizen? So are quite a few other backers, if a mini-brouhaha on the official forums is any indication. Questions about the single-player campaign’s length and accessibility were recently raised following Chris Roberts‘ comments in his most recent 10 for the Chairman video release.

Community manager Ben Lesnick then took to the forums to clarify what’s going on with Star Citizen’s single-player campaign. “Squadron 42 is not any smaller than it was the day we set out to make it. Content isn’t being cut or subdivided or parceled out for extra revenue or anything like that,” Lesnick wrote. “If we mentioned 20 hours in one interview and 50 in another it’s because someone was having two different thoughts about the same amount of content… it’s in no way indicating that we’ve removed anything from the initial pitch, because we absolutely haven’t.”

[Source: Forums; thanks Cardboard!]


World of Warships begins selling pre-order bundles

World of Warships may not be playable by all yet, but it will gladly accept your money now. Wargaming put several pre-order bundles on sale today for fans of the upcoming WWII ship title. If you are planning to buy one of these, you’ll want to do so before the end of the month, as the sale ends on May 1st. Bundled ships will be sold at a further 15% discount through April 12th.

So what is available to buy here? You can pick up ships such as the Tier IV Japanese Cruiser Yubari, the Tier V Soviet Destroyer Gremyashchiy, and Tier VII US Destroyer Sims as well as premium account time and gold doubloons. Wait, were they on the gold doubloon standard in World War II?

The studio says that current beta testers will receive their goods right away while everyone else will need to wait for open beta before the items are delivered.

[Source: Pre-order bundles]


Windward sets sail on May 12

If the sea is calling to you yet you lack the bouyancy to be a truly successful marine conquerer, then it would probably be prudent to live out your dreams in the safety of your own home. Thankfully, we have Windward for that, a sandbox sailing game that works like a cross between Freelancer and Sid Meier’s Pirates!

Windward players can pick from one of four factions and set sail to battle pirates, explore the procedurally generated map, complete quests, and make a fortune from trading. There are options to play both solo and with others, and the team even added an option to play a game free from combat entirely.

The title has been in early access on Steam for quite some time but will be releasing on May 12th. It carries a price tag of $14.99.

[Source: Steam]


Guild Wars 2 will run a 24-hour public Stronghold beta

Are you unable to contain your excitement for Heart of Thorns much longer? Do you need a taste of the expansion right now? Because you can have it… soon. A taste, anyway. On April 14th, Guild Wars 2 players will get a taste of the expansion with a public beta for Stronghold PvP. Everyone will be able to log in and queue up for the new PvP mode, no hoop-jumping necessary.

During the event, the Stronghold format will be the only map available for unranked Arena, although other maps will still be there for players invested in working up the ranks. Want to jump in but don’t currently own a copy of the game? It’s going on sale over the weekend for $9.99 for the base edition or $14.99 for the deluxe edition.

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The Stream Team: Building an H1Z1 fort

It’s survival of the fort-est! A huge part of succeeding in H1Z1 is having a safe place to stash all your survival needs. MassivelyOP’s MJ and her motorcycle helmet-sporting crew have outgrown their meager shack and need to build a larger fort. They are ready to venture out and start construction, but making themselves vulnerable for too long could cause them to lose everything! Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. to see whether they succeed or have to start over from scratch.

What: H1Z1
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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TUG’s 0.8.4 update adds taming, breeding, and spells

TUG’s alpha update 0.8.4 is here, and it brings with it new magic spells, creature taming and breeding, and shield blocking. The game’s latest Kickstarter update post says to “expect a lot more focus on content for the next couple of releases,” as the dev team works on both design and the openGL engine move. The goal behind the move is to hit “much lower machine specs and get the game out there in the hands of more players,” Nerd Kingdom writes.

There’s also a new video detailing the latest patch additions. You can view it after the cut.

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Triad Wars AMA talks co-op, the Sleeping Dogs world, and more

Did you like Sleeping Dogs? I sure did, and so I’m more than a little curious about Triad Wars, the online spinoff from United Front Games that’s currently in testing. Fortunately for me, the devs did an AMA on Reddit yesterday that answered a few of my questions.

Topics include how the new online multiplayer title fits into the Sleeping Dogs world (it’s set just prior to the original game, and players will be “part of the problem that Wei Shen was sent to clean up”), the game’s engine (the proprietary Sleeping Dogs engine “with lots of nifty improvements”), and the addition of female avatars (not yet, but eventually).

UFG also says that Triad Wars is not an MMO, but that it is expanding its multiplayer features to include co-op. The dev team will be answering additional questions on Twitch this Thursday.

[Source: Reddit]



Skyforge outlines the details of Distortions

The world of Aelion has a whole lot of deities, but players in Skyforge will quickly discover that this is for the same reason that people in areas full of predatory cats tend to be good at running. The planet’s been invaded time after time, and some of the remnants of those invasion forces are still hiding on the planet, building up power to make another go at wrecking up the place. They can be detected only by analyzing minor spatial distortions, a lead-in to the Distortions that players will take on as part of the endgame.

Distortion battles take place in a closed arena, with players facing off against four difficult opponents in quick succession. The most recent development post explains a battle against a series of water creatures led by the fearsome Kraken, but there are several other opponents waiting for players once the game goes live. With a 15-minute time limit and a host of strong opponents, Distortions are meant to provide challenging and coordination-heavy content in quick bursts.

[Source: Assaulting Distortions]


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