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]

Revival’s tags support ‘elements of role playing that many still believe are impossible in an MMO’

Just in case you thought Revival was all sex and gore, IllFonic’s latest dev blog is here to discuss something relatively dry and technical: tags.

Interestingly enough, the tagging system is also one of the most simple systems in the game. It’s a “moment of beauty” for a designer when a elegant solution to a problem is found and tags was one of those moments for us. You see, at their heart a tag really isn’t much more than a word, with a macro attached to it, but that simple thing makes possible elements of role playing that many still believe are impossible in an MMO – things like having a legitimately personal story, or making it possible for everyone to experience content others won’t ever experience or see in the same way. Tags really are the source of Revival’s magic.

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Valiance Online moving into alpha development

On September 25th, the Valiance Online developers announced that the game was soon moving into its alpha testing phase with non-combat power use, crafting, more character customization… lots of stuff. Lo and behold, the alpha testing has begun! Unfortunately for would-be players, the testing is currently all internal, but players will be updated as there’s more information and should be able to start testing on Steam before too much longer.

Valiance Online is one of the several fan attempts at a City of Heroes revival following that game’s shutdown, in case you had forgotten. It aims to replicate many of the features of the original along with player alignment and player-run stories.

Source: Official Facebook; thanks to Robert for the tip!


Guild Wars 2’s first raid boss is downed and the beta weekend gets extended

Bugs are a natural part of any beta experience, so it’s not exactly surprising that Guild Wars 2 would experience some bugs during the Heart of Thorns beta testing. What is a bit more heartbreaking for players is that the bug in question kept raids entirely disabled for a good chunk of the test weekend, and it wasn’t an encounter bug. It was just a problem with the squad UI that was causing issues and required the content to be disabled. The good news is that the bug got fixed, and a world-first kill of the first raid boss in the game took place.

While you might have lost out to world first status due to the disabled and then re-enabled raids, you still have a little more time to play, as the development team is keeping the beta weekend running until 3:00 p.m. EDT today as a form of compensation. This doesn’t help much if you’re at work now, but we’re sure someone can use that to organize an impromptu Vale Guardian hunting party.

Source: Reddit, Twitter via Dulfy; thanks to Kieran and Siphaed for the tips!


Gloria Victis patches for kicks

The latest pre-alpha build of Gloria Victis went live this past week, and it’s all about the most deadly attack of them all: kicking.

Scoff if you must, but kicking is actually an important attack in the game, allowing both players and NPCs to interrupt the enemy. Players can also feint to interrupt their own attack and throw an enemy off his or her guard.

Moving on to fortifications, characters can construct and upgrade walls, towers, and gates in towns that their nation controls, giving them a defensive line against an enemy incursion. Plans are in the works to expand fortifications even further with player houses and siege machines.

Source: Patch notes


Make My MMO: Pantheon’s seed financing (October 3, 2015)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, fans of Brad McQuaid’s Pantheon fantasy MMO got some good news. It seems as if Visionary Realms has raised a round of seed financing that will allow development to continue beyond what’s already been accomplished by a team of volunteers. Pre-alpha is currently scheduled for later this year with beta testing slated for 2016.

The rest of this week’s crowdfunding news roundup can be found after the cut.

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Albion’s September state-of-the-game covers gameplay and art

Sandbox Interactive posted an Albion state-of-the-game update on its website this week. The info is broken down into art department and gameplay sections, with art director Marcus Koch and game director Robin Henkys chatting about their respective domains.

On the art side of things, Albion devs have been perfecting the world map, tweaking spell effects, implementing emotes, and overhauling the armor system. On the gameplay side of things, SBI has been working on Albion’s combat including various rebalances and an expansion of the skillshot system.

Source: September SotG


The Stream Team: Exploring ARK’s new snow and swamp biomes

With this week’s introduction ARK’s two new biomes, the planned boat races are off! At least until MassivelyOP’s MJ can remap the route. To do that, she needs to explore the swamp lands and face the gangs of crocs and snakes that reside there, and she’s bringing you along — for moral support, protection, whichever! After that adventure, she’ll be hitting the slopes: The new snow biome is a harsh but beautiful place. Tune in live at 11:00 p.m. to tour these new biomes and check out the new wildlife (frogs and wolves).

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 11:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

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Camelot Unchained announces early 2016 beta test

Camelot Unchained looks to be moving into beta testing in early 2016.

In a livestream yesterday, City State Entertainment revealed that the beta should kick off before the end of this winter. The studio also said that all plans are subject to change in the interest of making the best game possible: “We will not rush nor cheapen beta by cutting out features, or having a lackluster beta simply for the sake of getting into beta.”

The team also revealed the first class trio based on player voting, which was a healer/mage hybrid called The Devout. The Devout will be divided into three flavors, one for each faction: Abbot (Arthurians), HelBound (Vikings), and Blessed Crow (Tuatha Dé Danann).

You can watch the beta reveal livestream after the break.

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Betawatch: October 2nd, 2015

Bad news for fans of elegant turns on the dance floor and all of the delicious accompanying politics that Ever, Jane promised – the game’s beta is being slightly delayed. Not massively so, but it turns out that the end of September was a bit too ambitious. The closed beta transition is now planned for sometime this month.

Other news in which betas did or did not go off as planned:

And of course, the usual suspects beneath this particular preamble. If something skipped phases or so forth in the list below, please, do let us know.

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The Stream Team: Let there be Landmark keys!

While seven-day trial keys for Landmark’s closed beta are great for trying the game, what about folks who want to get in and play permanently? That’s where MassivelyOP’s MJ comes in! Thanks to an awesome anonymous donor, she’s got a full-fledged, no-expiration beta key to give away to a lucky viewer. She’s also got more codes for outfits, elevators, brooches, and more. While she’s bust throwing gifts at you, MJ will also be meandering across the islands checking out any builds and caves that catch her eye. Join us live at 6:00 p.m. for your chance to win!

What: Landmark
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, October 2nd, 2015

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Tree of Savior preps for larger closed beta

Tree of Savior’s English beta is about to get even more intense, with a larger test being readied to launch sometime in October.

The second English CBT will run for a month and include both prior testers and an additional 5,000 players. This will effectively double the population from August’s initial beta. If you want to shoot for a key, the best advice we can give you is to register on the official site, as that is where the studio drew its testing pool last time around.

Wondering if Tree of Savior is for you? Check out a 10-minute gameplay video after the break to get a feel for the game’s crafting and adventuring.

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Watch harvesting and crafting on an industrial scale in Divergence Online

Sometimes you don’t really need to say a lot more, you know? There is a video here. It’s 14 minutes of crafting and gathering on an industrial scale in the current test build of Divergence Online. During the course of the video what you get to see mostly consists of a gathering apparatus along with lots of menus and click-through dropdown lists.

If that’s the sort of thing that makes you super excited and you want to see more, there’s more to see! Go ahead and watch it. If you’re hoping that this is a spoof and at some point a giant monster attacks, sorry, but you will be disappointed.

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Camelot Unchained’s newsletter looks at the state of the build and more

Camelot Unchained’s 14th newsletter has been sighted in the wild. It says that there will be a beta-focused livestream on Friday, October 2nd, followed by a backer Q&A session. It also sums up all of September’s news and introduces new programmers Marc Hernandez and George Davison.

Additional topics include a look at iterative design, a look at the art department’s progress on human models and armor, and a state of the build update from Brian “Psychochild” Green.

Source: #14


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