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]

Make My MMO: July 11, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Derek Smart reminded everyone that he exists. Not that he’s crowdfunding an MMO or anything, but he did have plenty to say about Star Citizen and its chances for realizing the lofty goals set by developer Cloud Imperium.

And of course MassivelyOP commenters had plenty to say about Star Citizen and Derek Smart. Some other news happened as well, and you’ll find a roundup of it just past the break.

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Here’s the latest Star Citizen FPS update

Cloud Imperium has published another in its ongoing series of weekly updates regarding Star Marine (otherwise known as Star Citizen’s first-person shooter module, if you’re wondering). Senior producer Jason Hutchins is your guide to this week’s progress, which includes a fairly lengthy bullet list full of stuff like running animation fixes and internal launcher tests.

Hutchins says that the module’s current blockers include problems with melee attacks and their animations as well as weapon recoil issues. The update includes a video, too, which you can view after the cut.

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Betawatch: July 10th, 2015

Star Citizen managed to seize everyone’s attention this week. Was it the opening of a new office for the game’s development studio? The latest update from the studio in the wake of delay announcements? Or was it the fact that there’s no way to combine the terms “Derek Smart” and “Star Citizen” in a topic without people paying attention? The world may never know, but my money’s on the last point.

It was a quiet week for betas otherwise, but that doesn’t mean nothing happened. Examples? Well…

And, you know, there’s a whole list of game in testing past the break down there. See something missing or with an inaccurate status? Let us know, dear readers! That’s what the comments are for.

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World of Tanks’ Xbox One beta event starts July 11

World of Tanks is coming to Xbox One for a two-day beta event beginning on July 11. Testers will receive login bonuses that include an American tier three M22 Locust light tank, or 180,000 in silver and a garage slot if they already own an M22.

But wait, there’s even more incentive to log in! It’s called a 2X experience bonus on all battles and 2X on “battle operations to be used later,” according to a Wargaming press release. Finally, everyone who downloads World of Tanks on the Xbox One before July 28th will receive a free premium light tank (the American tier two T1E6-X1) along with a WoT shield emblem and some exclusive camouflage.

Finally, all players who download the game prior to its July 28 release date will receive at launch a free Premium light tank, the American tier II T1E6-X1, emblazoned with an exclusive World of Tanks shield emblem, as well as an exclusive camouflage. WoT’s Xbox One version will include cross-platform play with the Xbox 360 as well as a new “proving grounds” PvE mode. If you’re interested, the beta build may be downloaded as early as July 10.

Source: Wargaming press release

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Camelot Unchained crammed a bunch of people into a zone and it went pretty well

Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs returns with the game’s latest Friday update. He says that it’s a short one on account of a monster update coming next week, but there’s still plenty of reading for fans of the crowdfunded RvR fantasy title.

The recent 72 hours of alpha went “exceptionally well,” Jacobs writes, as there wasn’t a single server crash to be found during the whole event. He also mentions that there was no rubber-banding until 1700 backers and bots were crammed into a single small zone, which sounds even better given that the team hasn’t really begun the optimization process yet.

You can follow the link below to read all about CU user stories, swag updates, and more.

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Black Desert video review rips MMO beta as a ‘shallow game’

When it comes to MMO betas, don’t you usually want to cut through the hype and hysteria to get at the truth of whether or not the game is, y’know, good? YouTuber KineticGTR sought to do just that in his sojourns in Black Desert’s Korean beta test, and while he was initially excited about the game, after he spent some time playing, his opinion soured on it.

“I’m sorry to report that things are not as amazing as they seem in currently in the game,” the author said. “It is what it is: a very pretty but shallow game.”

In the review, KineticGTR concedes Black Desert is “stunning” and “charming,” with a strong combat system. However, he docks the game for lacking robust sandbox features and for being far too easy.

You can watch the full 25-minute review of Black Desert’s beta after the break.

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Skyforge’s producer welcomes players to early access

Skyforge’s Live Producer Aaron Biedma took the time today to welcome players to the game’s early access week, noting the passion that fans have brought to the first 24 hours.

Biedma encouraged players to log reports during this period: “We have great plans for the game as we move forward through early access, into open beta, and beyond, but first and foremost, we’ll be compiling your extensive feedback and bug reports to continuously help improve the game and fix any trouble spots in the open beta. There is a lot to look forward to in the coming months and the team is pumped for the opportunity to go on this journey with the Skyforge community.”

Skyforge will soft launch next week with the advent of its non-wipable open beta on July 16th.

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Project Gorgon preps second Kickstarter campaign, adds day-night cycle

Virtual world MMO Project Gorgon is preparing for a third Kickstarter campaign, its creator tweeted this past week. Eric Heimburg confirmed that the team is finalizing plans to seek funding for current and future development of the game.

It remains to be seen how ambitious a fundraising goal that Heimburg will set this time around. Project Gorgon attempted to raise $100,000 last fall but only managed to get to the $23,500 mark. Since then, alpha development has continued with the occasional update.

Speaking of which, Project Gorgon has put out a few patches lately to beef up the game’s content. These include level cap increases, more werewolf fun, improvements to the newbie experience, and the first pass of the day-night cycle with the intent to eventually develop a full dynamic weather system. Oh, and if you’ve been traumatized by the Omegaspider in the past, you’ll be happy to know that it’s been nerfed to the ground.

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Echo of Soul exits beta, launches first raid

Confused over Echo of Soul’s nebulous launch status? Fortunately, it’s going to be a lot more clear-cut going forward, as the fantasy MMO has left its non-wipe state open beta to officially release as of the beginning of this month.

The launch comes right around a major content patch for Echo of Soul that adds in two additional dungeons and its first raid. The new 10-player raid pits a team against a giant Dryad and comes with a practice mode if you’re looking to learn the ropes. There’s also a raid finder and two difficulty levels for even more options.

The content update also contains a “replay” feature that allows players to record, edit, and upload videos from the game client. You can check out the Echo of Soul raid trailer after the break!

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Trion’s voxelbox Trove celebrates formal launch today

Trion’s voxelbox Trove leaps from open beta to formal launch today, putting that extra server capacity Trion prepped last month to good use. “At launch, Trove features 9 playable classes; challenging procedurally generated dungeons, landscapes, and lairs; a limitless supply of loot; and a deep crafting system,” Trion says in its press release, touting the creation system in particular. “Since open beta, Trove players have created over 160 dungeons, 2000 equipment styles, and 78,364 unique club worlds.” The game’s new Tomb Raiser class goes live today as well.

The game is freely downloadable from the official site. The studio sent us a boatload of new images to celebrate the release; check ’em out, along with the launch trailer and a quick roundup of our recent coverage of the game below!

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Get a bird’s eye view of Guild Wars 2’s new WvW map

As testing proceeds for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, PvP players will undoubtedly be interested in getting some time in with the brand-new desert borderlands map. This WvW map will replace the old borderlands maps and offer a tighter, more exciting experience.

So do you want to see it? One tester has stitched together a bird’s eye view of the entire map and posted it on Imgur. While you can’t zoom in to see specific details, there’s still a lot to be gleaned from what’s on display here, including the zone’s layout, major landmarks, and paths.

Check out what desert borderlands looks like after the break!

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Skyforge early access begins today for founders

Ready to get a jump on all of the other chumps who didn’t buy a founder’s pack for Skyforge? You can do that today. The game’s early access has begun, and owners of the packs can get in before the open beta doors are thrown open in a week. Once the open beta begins, the founder’s packs will no longer be available for purchase, so if you’ve been on the fence, it’s time to make a decision about that.

Players will have no restrictions during early access, and all progress will be retained as the game moves into its open beta and launch. The open beta launches on July 16th, so if you want to be ready and waiting with a fist full of power when everyone else gets to jump into the game, now is your time to shine.

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Overwatch unveils the mysterious Soldier: 76

The big lore dump for Overwatch yesterday did not come from nowhere. Hot on the heels of that article connecting the mysterious Soldier: 76 to the supposed demise of strike commander Jack Morrison, a new hero has been added to the game’s hero roster. It’s the Soldier himself, and while playing him does not include a Reveal Predicted Face Behind Mask ability, he still brings a new skillset to the table.

Soldier: 76 is classified as an offense hero, but his abilities give him a variety of functions. He can sprint in and out of danger, fire his primary weapon in short bursts or unleash a quick rocket salvo, and drop a healing field for himself and his allies. For his ultimate ability, he locks on to the nearest target and swaps between targets as he takes them down with precision. Check out the full ability preview just below.

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