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]

Chronicles of Elyria nears its funding goal and talks stretch goal plans

The Chronicles of Elyria Kickstarter is going pretty well; as of this writing, it’s just about 80% of the way to funding with 24 days left to go. That means that the developers are thinking about how to handle stretch goals. Is it better to expand the scope of the game at the possible costs of delays and other issues, or is it better to just add more backer rewards? The developers are going with a little bit of both, but mostly the latter, as explained in the latest Kickstarter update.

Some major systems for the game were trimmed out to ensure that the game could hit its minimum viable funding, such as wards and mounted combat. Those systems are going to be added back in, but the overall focus will be on adding more rewards to avoid feature creeping delaying the game. You can also find out more about the ongoing development in a community Q&A video just below, although you should be warned that it’s an hour long.

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Tree of Savior has officially launched

Tree of Savior is officially free-to-play and ready to download on Steam as of today’s maintenance. “This means that our DLC products will no longer be available for purchase,” says IMCGames. “Instead, we will be launching a series of TP bundles on a date TBA.”

The launch will include a new South East Asian server. IMCGames plans to open more servers across the regions “should the number of players in another server justify it.” So far, that seems likely; as of this morning, the peak playerbase has already tripled in size from last week to today.

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Shroud of the Avatar raised another $67K in last week’s telethon

Did you tune in during the last Shroud of the Avatar telethon? If not, you missed singing, dancing, and the live footage of a dinosaur being born (that last one might not have happened). You also missed the developers raising more than $67,000 and hitting several milestones for future in-game rewards for everyone who pledged. It’s good news for anyone who likes dragonfly pets and developers looking absurd on video, or just for people happy to see a little bit more money in the SotA war chest.

If you don’t care about all of that, though, the latest development preview still has something for you in the form of many in-development landscapes. You can take a closer look at Brittany Fields, examine the halls of Valhold, and then dive into the depths of the Halls of Artifice, all without having to actually move anything other than your mouse. Which is probably all you would be moving if you explored all of these locations in-game, too, but that’s not the point.

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Worlds Adrift’s deserts aren’t deserted

Don’t fall for the mistake of thinking that all deserts are boring and vacant wastelands. In both reality and in the hands of talented game devs, deserts can hold an astonishing array of beauty and features.

Worlds Adrift Environmental Artist Klaudia Kovacs showed how she’s been making the desert biomes for the game, and by the looks of her progress, players will have a lot to discover on these islands. “We want some of the desert islands to have some kind of vegetation and foliage. Eventually all of these plants will be tinted in the Island Creator to give each island a different feel,” she wrote.

Kovacs noted that there will be different types of desert islands — including tropical and savannah — and that players will encounter long-buried ruins while exploring them. You can see how she uses little tricks like shading and lighting to change the look and feel of these areas.

Next up for the art team is work on Worlds Adrift’s jungle biomes.

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Paragon’s GRIM.exe hero is no gentle giant

Epic’s MOBA Paragon has revealed one more hero ahead of its early access launch this week: the robot GRIM.exe. The video begins as a tongue-in-cheek advertisement for the adorable gentle giant, then morphs into a sinister demonstration of his pew pew cannon.

“This new playable character is a ranger at the controls of a turret robot that obeys the finger and the eye. His pulse cannon provides extensive damage to minions and other enemy Heroes, but it can also slow down or reverse using his shield. Its Targeted Gyro Force Orb target enemies and pass through objects and other units outside of Heroes. For a clean and responsible war, opt for GRIM.exe!”

Paragon hits early access tomorrow; founder packages run from $9.99 to $89.99 US. Open beta — which will be free — is still planned for the summer.

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Trinium Wars drops new Puton update and price

What SPF sunblock works best in irradiated lands? The early access sci-fi MMO Trinium Wars just opened up a harsh, barren land of scorching heat and radiation filled with dangerous monsters for players to level from 30 to 40 in. Called Puton, this area has new quests to complete and new items to acquire. These quests spin a tale of sabotage and treachery as well as involve giant apemen. If this all sounds like something worth checking out, the game is on sale on Steam for 50% off all week; players can pick it up for just $4.99 and dive into the war.

Source: Trinium Wars press release

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Surprise: Overwatch gives an extra day of open beta to all

Has your Twitter feed been inundated with talk about Overwatch this past weekend? You can thank Blizzard for making the game’s beta open to all. And it looks like you might have to put up with it for a little while longer: The studio announced that it’s giving an extra day of open beta fun to its fans.

“As a small way of saying ‘thank you’ to our community and the millions of players who’ve logged in so far, we will be extending the open beta by one day on all platforms,” Blizzard posted. “This means the beta will now conclude on May 10th at [1:00 p.m. EDT] in all regions.”

Overwatch will go dark after the 10th in preparation for its May 24th launch.

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Fragmented patches in localization, optimization, and siege

A good portion of the latest Fragmented patch will be invisible to most players. That’s not to say that it isn’t a big patch, because it is; the patch notes boast that it’s the largest patch to the game since it first hit Early Access. It’s just that much of it won’t be visible whilst you’re just out and surviving. Localization for Spanish and Chinese players? Invisible if you don’t speak those languages. Improved network optimization? Important, and potentially noticeable, but hidden deep within code and not always clear.

That’s not to say that players aren’t going to be experiencing anything new with this patch, of course, as the game does return PvP siege to the game so that you can knock down your neighbor’s house with impunity. Said neighbor will be able to explore the improvements (and new restrictions) to base-building as well, or perhaps he’ll just head out into the wild to find some of the rare loot now dropped by various NPCs. And then he’ll come back and knock you down. At that point, you would probably like to be invisible yourself.

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The MOP Up: Setting a VR world record (May 8, 2016)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we’ll look at a world-breaking virtual reality record, Trove’s musical charity work, a welcome change for Allods Online customers, and more!

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Make My MMO: Chronicles of Elyria might be the biggest MMO Kickstarter we’ll see all year (May 7, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, the story-driven MMORPG Chronicles of Elyria stormed Kickstarter Keep and is still going strong. It raised a third of its goal in its first day; as I write this, it stands at $588,390 pledged of its $900,000 goal with 26 days left to go. The MMO is promising relatively unusual mechanics like character aging, offline leveling, and a death system that is uniquely tied to the business model. Soulbound Studios’ most recent update explains to players that the game’s three-month story-development phase — the devs are calling it “Exposition” — will itself be divided into three phases: one with no ganking, one with ganking but no siege equipment, and one where “the gloves come off.”

Meanwhile, Mars-themed survivalbox ROKH launched its own Kickstarter, hoping to raise $114,803 US (€100,000) to speed up and enhance production of the game. “We hope to get your support to add more resources to the project and ship it with a larger feature set,” studio Darewise says.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!

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Build the best base for Fragmented’s screenshot contest

The Repopulation’s survival sandbox spinoff Fragmented is neck-deep in its early access testing phase now, which makes it the perfect time for a base-building contest to show off just what the game can do.

Above & Beyond has put out a call for screenshots of “creative, original, interesting and/or beautifully located” player-created bases inside the game. The studio is accepting multiples entries per player as long as they’re uploaded into the appropriate thread with location information. A&B will pick the five best, and players will be voting for the top choice from among those five.

Prizes include gift keys for the game, resources, and weapons and tools.

Source: Steam

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The Stream Team: Adopting ARK’s puppies and capturing centipedes

With new dinos out in ARK: Survival Evolved, you just know MassivelyOP’s MJ has to head out and try to tame some! She’s especially eager to get a Lystrosaurus, ARK’s prehistoric version of a puppy; you can pet it and love it and name it George! Even if the team doesn’t find one to tame, she has an egg to hatch. But before the cute and cuddly, MJ will be heading into the caves to try and capture an acid-spitting centipede. Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. to see which creature hunt is more successful.

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 7th, 2016

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Betawatch: Chronicles of Elyria racks up the funding (May 6, 2016)

On May 3rd, Chronicles of Elyria started its Kickstarter campaign. On May 4th, the developers were already hitting significant funding milestones. On May 6th, the game passed the 50% mark. If this pattern continues, by the end of the Kickstarter campaign the game will have all of the money and will go into beta five minutes later. Don’t you tell me that’s not how patterns work.

And yes, there’s plenty of other beta news this week, to boot! Everyone gets to have some fun.

And, of course, there’s a handy list of games down below with running betas that we know about. Did something jump phases without us catching it? Let us know down in the comments. Were you disappointed or impressed by a beta that’s not under NDA? Let us know down in the comments. Have you had a taco recently? You don’t need to let us know down in the comments, but it’s still good to hear.

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