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]

Test fly Star Citizen’s military ships for free this week

When I backed Star Citizen in 2012, I opted for a couple of the $60 pledge tiers. One of these I gave away, and the other I kept for myself. I haven’t upgraded my pledge since then, which means that when I log into the alpha dogfighting module, I’m limited to flying starter ships like the Aurora and the 300i.

For the next week, though, I (and you, if you’re a fellow backer) can test fly the Anvil Hornet, the Gladiator, and the Aegis Gladius without upgrading pledges, thanks to Cloud Imperium’s latest free-fly week that focuses on military ships. “These free-fly weeks provide valuable testing metrics so we can continue to build this game together. Thank you citizens for the continued support and dedication,” the company says on its website.

Source: Military ship test drive

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Betawatch: May 29th, 2015

We don’t usually list expansions in our little master list, but Guild Wars 2 has started doing some testing of its first expansion. In very, very small doses. Another dose of the Stronghold beta is also due for the game in the not-too-distant future, hopefully ameliorating the current lack of information about when the expansion will actually launch.

Other beta news? Oh, fine, I guess we can.

And of course we have that lovely list of games in testing past the break. Did something slip into open testing or soft launch without us finding out? Let us know down in the comments.

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Guild Wars 2’s second Stronghold PvP beta happens on June 2

ArenaNet has announced that it will host the second Stronghold PvP public beta for Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns expansion on June 2nd. The throwdown starts at 3:00 p.m. EDT, and the map will be live for 24 hours, according to the latest website update, which also details the “first ever Stronghold tournaments available on live servers.”

In other GW2 tourney news, the third North American Tournament of Legends is scheduled for May 30th and will boast over 100 teams, each of which will be battling for a legendary weapon prize of their choosing.

Source: Stronghold public beta

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Otherland beefs up its clan and PvP feature set

Progress on the revived Otherland project has been running quiet for most of this spring, but now that looks to change. Today, Drago Entertainment announced some of the improvements that it’s making to the Tad Williams MMO for its beta build.

First of all, Otherland has added in its clan system, with the ability to create guilds, set up a hierarchy, level them up, post daily messages, and transfer leadership. The game will even have a mall vendor that will sell exclusive items to players who belong to a clan.

The other big improvement is in regards to its PvP gameplay. Players now have the option to enter and leave PvP mode at will, enjoying an XP bonus when flagged for a fight. There will be other incentives to PvP, including its own ranking and rewards system.

Source: Drago Entertainment press release

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Catching up with Shroud of the Avatar’s Starr Long

As Kickstarter projects successfully funded via the power of nostalgia have proven, gamer loyalty can burn strong even decades after experiencing titles that make such a profound impact. For a subset of players, the Ultima franchise will forever be one of the most influential RPG series in existence, which is why thousands of them have migrated over to Shroud of the Avatar to give it such an active following during its early access period.

Shroud of the Avatar isn’t merely a game being formed, but a community coming together to live in this virtual world. Massively Overpowered caught up with Portalarium executive producer Starr Long this week to get a status check on the project and to ask a few burning questions about how SOTA plans on being a worthy spiritual successor to Ultima.

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View an Overwatch match through Symmetra’s eyes

What would you do if you could bend reality to serve your will? Probably become a superhero and fight deathmatches against giant gorillas and evil masterminds, right? So you and Symmetra are on the same page then.

Today we’ve got another Overwatch beta video for you, this one showing a match through the eyes of the game’s Indian warrior. Symmetra uses a homing gun, turrets, and shields to give her an advantage on the battlefield — but will that be enough in the ensuing chaos? Check it out in the video below!

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Gandalf kicks ass in new Black Desert trailer

Still keeping an eye on hyperrealistic sandbox Black Desert? Last night Daum posted a new trailer for the MMO, this one focusing on the Wizard and Witch classes, which apparently are slightly different gendered versions of the same class.

According to Steparu, the class is a nuker that scores a teleport, mana shield, and evasion technique. Ice, lightning, and flame appear to be his primary weapons.

Gandalf the Black stars in the video below.

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Greed Monger officially calls it quits

After staff defections and general developer drama earlier this year, there really wasn’t much hope for the future of Greed Monger. Now there is no hope whatsoever, as the team has run out of funds and is unable to even get a smaller title out the door to backers.

Programmer James Proctor delivered the bad news to the community: “With no means of funding and Jason [Appleton] refusing to take GM back from us, we are forced to admit defeat and close GM down […] I’m sorry things have had to end this way and will do everything in our power to make things right in the future.”

Greed Monger raised over $100,000 in crowdfunding in 2012, promising that it would create “a crafting-focused sandbox MMORPG.”

Source: Official forums. Thanks to EponyxDamor and Leilonii for the tip!

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Echo of Soul heads into open beta today (with no further wipes)

Echo of Soul is in open beta as of today, so if you want to jump in and play right this moment, you can. Assuming that you’re at a computer that can run the game and such, of course; if you’re reading this at work, you probably can’t just download the game and play while working. That’s not the point.

As with many free-to-play open betas, there will be no further wipes at this point, so it’s not out of the question to think of this as a de facto launch. We’d encourage it, even. There’s a trailer past the break if you’re interested and want a clearer picture.

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Skyforge’s Pantheon Wars are super-competitive PvP and PvE events

When you’re a minor god in Skyforge’s world, you need to aim for big goals. One of the biggest that you and your friends can achieve in the game is to assault and conquer a Celestial Temple in Skyforge’s Pantheon Wars system.

The team posted a new dev diary to explain this complex feature. Basically, Pantheon Wars is a mix of PvE and PvP that has guilds (pantheons) competing over rare temples through raids, capture-the-flag rounds, and even a dash of king-of-the-hill. Just to get the opportunity to fight for a temple will take a successful bid during a weekly auction, but the effort is worth it, with spectacular prizes and buffs going out to the victors.

You can get a better idea of how Pantheon Wars will function from watching the following video!

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H1Z1 introduces hardcore Battle Royale, now with bears

Odds are good that you’ve had experience with H1Z1‘s Battle Royale gameplay by now if you’ve played the game for any length of time. So how could that mode expand without adding in a bunch of Japanese teenagers killing one another? By going hardcore. A new dispatch outlines the changes of the new Hardcore Battle Royale, which ups the stakes right from the start by adding zombies and bears into the mix. Seriously. “Bears have also found their way onto the playing field and they’re just as deadly as before.”

Players taking part in this gameplay mode will also be limited to first-person view and the matches will take place at night, limiting your ability to look around and know what’s coming. There are also no vehicles around for you to rely upon. Only first-place winners are rewarded by the mode, witch six new items available for successfully taking on all opponents. In short, yes, it’s pretty hardcore after all.

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Dragon Nest II: Legend announced for mobile

Don’t let the Roman numeral two fool you into thinking that this is a sequel. Dragon Nest II: Legend is actually a prequel to the currently operating MMO, taking place 500 years in the past.

Want another surprise? Dragon Nest II will be a mobile title, adding another future contender in the growing field of tablet and smartphone MMOs. The game is being developed in Korea by ActozSoft and EyeDentity Games and is looking to release globally at an undetermined date.

You can watch the announcement trailer for Dragon Nest II after the jump!

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