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]

Here’s an early look at Crowfall’s keeps

A lot of Crowfall is going to come down to the environments. That might seem a little bit odd or silly, but if you consider it for a moment, you realize that it’s absolutely vital for players to have structures like keeps be exciting places to attack or defend, not just straight rushes from an entryway to a goal. So the latest video showing off the greybox form of the Keep is pretty relevant for players of every stripe.

This early model doesn’t feature textures or detailing, just the raw form of what the building may look like. It also already features plenty of places for defenders to repulse attackers and chokepoints for dramatic showdowns. The whole video is about 10 minutes long, but if you’ve got a bit of time to see what’s been built thus far, check it out below.

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Black Desert’s Korean beta servers will be merged into one this month

Black Desert is exiting its Korean open beta this month. Developer Pearl Abyss and publisher Daum will be merging all the game’s servers into a single megashard “and perhaps a multiple channel system,” Steparu reports.

He goes on to summarize his experience with the fantasy sandbox after nearly a year of playing its various beta stages, and it’s not all positive. “Class balancing is horrible,” he writes, while the enchanting system “is starting to become pay-to-win because you can now break down cash outfits for tokens that give enchanting bonuses.” Steparu also says that Black Desert features no group PvE content, and that most of his gameplay involves PvP.

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Make My MMO: June 6, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Das Tal continued its Kickstarter info dump and it invited everyone into its alpha test for one day only. Voxelnauts posted a new Kickstarter video and achieved a critical mass of Steam user support by getting greenlit on Valve’s ubiquitous PC platform.

Elite: Dangerous released its long-awaited Powerplay update, while Star Citizen delivered another one of its gargantuan monthly progress reports. Click pas the cut for the rest of this week’s crowdfunding roundup.

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Star Citizen’s massive monthly report recaps May’s progress

Star Citizen’s monthly report was released last night, and in typical fashion it’s a huge info dump that covers much of what Cloud Imperium’s globe-spanning dev collective accomplished in May. It’s broken down by studio, so expect to read about CIG Santa Monica’s work on the game’s first passenger ship, CIG Austin’s work on the Pioneer occupation, and Foundry 42’s work on Squadron 42’s conversation system, to name just a few highlights.

Source: May report; thanks Bjørn!


Betawatch: June 5th, 2015

It’s always nice when a game finally launches after a seeming eternal beta. Assuming it doesn’t, you know, die shortly thereafter. Trove is the latest “hasn’t that already launched” title to go into a full launch, and we wish it well, even if it’s not pulling the launch trigger until July 9th.

What else happened this week? Oh, you know, stuff.

Like we always do it, there’s a whole list of other titles just below. Did something slip into release or functional release without us noticing? Tip us off in the comments!

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Overwatch shows off the turret-building gameplay of Torbjörn

Torbjörn, aside from having a name that’s very satisfying to type when you’re familiar with Unicode inputs, is a simple kind of guy. He doesn’t rush into danger, he doesn’t dance around, he doesn’t dual-wield guns. He just fires molten metal and builds turrets while upgrading them with the scrap from fallen enemies. In other words, he’s solidly defensive, but as the latest Overwatch gameplay video shows, there’s a long gap between “defensive” and “passive” in this game.

You can see all of Torbjörn’s abilities on display in the video and get a good idea of his approach, setting up a turret in an ideal location while moving back and forth to collect scrap and take out enemies. If you’ve been thinking that the character you’re really waiting for is the pseudo-dwarven mechanical genius, jump on down below and check him out in action.

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Skyforge previews the Kinetic class

The Kinetic is a class all about understanding the gravity of the situation. More specifically, it’s about manipulating and utilizing gravity to fling boulders and/or enemies around. If you like ripping rocks from the earth and throwing them into your enemies at high velocities, congratulations, you’ve found your class, and you can read all about Skyforge‘s gravity manipulators in the latest class preview on the official site.

As a ranged class, the Kinetic has a variety of abilities to disable, stun, or otherwise control enemies. It also has the aforementioned ripping of rocks from the ground along with a high degree of mobility as well as unleashing a great deal of damage in a close-range situation. The class excels at being mobile and versatile, which you’d sort of expect from the class name, but it still has some surprising tricks up its sleeve.

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Tree of Life persecutes thieves and stymies griefers

Since landing on Steam early access last week, Tree of Life has been patching frequently and furiously. The team is not only working on the underlying hardware but also adding several features to make players feel safe and secure in this sandbox.

Now players can lock up their goods in an effort to thwart robbers. And if those thieves abscond with hard-earned materials? Why, they’ll find themselves branded a criminal (apparently, stealing didn’t trigger this before now). The team also fixed a bug that allowed the worst of the worst evil players to shed their criminal status by being bad for 600 hours.

Other changes that have arrived include improved walls to shut out griefers and a nerf to the destructive efforts of the wildlife.

Source: Steam #1, #2, #3. Thanks to Sorenthaz for the tip!


See Overwatch’s Reaper in all of his dark, billowing action

Reaper’s life in Overwatch is pretty difficult. His whole schtick is being dark and mysterious and wraithly and so forth, but that can’t work well for him when, say, he just needs to stop at a fast food joint and pick up some burgers because he’s hungry. Or when all he wants to do is just kick back and watch a comedy movie. Being that creepy all the time takes a lot of energy. But the newest gameplay video for him isn’t focused on him as he’s trying to shop for swimsuits in Target; it’s about how he shoots people on the battlefield.

While he has some range, Reaper is indisputably a close-range fighter with his twin shotguns; the upside is that those shotguns pack a lot of force. Swapping into a wraith form and using a short-range teleport allows him to close and create distance as needed, while his ultimate ability explodes outward with damage for all nearby enemies. But don’t take our word for it; check it out in the video just below.

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Voxelbox Trove is officially launching on July 9

This is it, Trove fans. The finish line of beta and the starting line for the official live game. Trion Worlds announced that Trove will be launching for real on July 9th.

Game Director Andrew “Avarem” Krausnick addressed the timing of the launch: “Why now? To put it simply: it’s ready. If you log in today you’ll play Trove the way we envisioned it when we set out to make it. There’s a ton of classes, massive worlds, a huge variety of activities and collectibles, and a great community. It’s time to bring our game to the masses. Not quite yet, of course; we have another big batch of additions and polish to add to the game, but soon. Real soon.”

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Guild Wars 2 unveils the leafy goodness of the Revenant’s Ventari legend

After a few days of teases, another legend has been formally revealed for Guild Wars 2‘s upcoming Revenant profession, and it’s all about healing. Yes, these dark knights of the Mist have a Legend that’s devoted to being a beacon of health. It makes sense when you consider it’s a legend based around the venerated centaur Ventari, considered a spiritual ancestor by the Sylvari. Plus, you get to heal people by smacking other people in the face with a staff, so that’s satisfying.

The new melee utility-based nature of the staff is meant to go along with the Ventari legend, but the Legend itself centers around summoning and making use of Ventari’s Tablet. Players have to summon the tablet first when the Legend is assumed, at which point the tablet can be directed from point to point, healing allies it passes over and creating defensive barriers. Check out some screenshots of all this in action just below, and take a look at the full article for more details in getting some legendary healing into your Revenant.

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World of Warships details the dockyard, achievement systems

Wargaming is shining a spotlight on World of Warships‘ achievement system. The dev team is aiming for a system that allows for actual gameplay utility instead of the usual badge collection minigame. For example, players who die as a result of magazine detonation will receive an achievement as well as a corresponding crate that rewards a signal flag.

The flag then functions as a consumable which grants the player 100 percent protection from magazine detonation.

In other WoWS news, a new video came out this week that explains the dockyard, which is basically your home port that allows you view your ship collection and customize your boats for battle. View the clip after the cut.

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PlanetSide 2’s boots will hit the ground on PlayStation 4 on June 23

The countdown has begun for PlanetSide 2’s invasion onto the PlayStation 4. Daybreak announced today that it will be releasing its MMOFPS on the console on June 23rd in both North America and Europe. The title has been in beta on the console for the year to date, with “tens of thousands” of testers putting the game through its paces.

Don’t have a PlayStation Plus membership? Don’t know what that is? It’s no problem; PlanetSide 2 can be downloaded and played on the PS4 with no other requirements. Members will receive a discount on store items, however. PlanetSide 2 has been modified to work with the console, including utilizing the DualShock 4 controller to great effect and allowing players to hit the “share” button to capture awesome moments.

Daybreak said that it has plans to expand the launch to other regions in the future.


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