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]

Camelot Unchained’s talks Friday Night Fights, concept art, and more

Camelot Unchained is currently in the midst of a Friday Night Fights bonus round, but that didn’t stop founder Mark Jacobs from penning his customary Friday update. It features a lengthy section on user stories as well as a full body shot of the Fir Bog who debuted last week.

There’s plenty of fresh concept art in today’s update, too, along with another mention of the team’s plans for next month’s DragonCon and the associated build prep work.


Undead Labs cancels Moonrise, cites lack of projected profitability

Pokémon-like battler Moonrise won’t be seeing the light of commercial release, apparently.

Undead Labs announced today that after several months in early access testing on both PC and iOS, Moonrise wasn’t quite working out the way the studio had hoped and would need to be shelved.

“What we’ve found is that while some people really love Moonrise, there were unfortunately many more people who played the game and then moved on after a few days,” founder Jeff Strain wrote. “For a standalone, offline game that might be fine; but for an online game with significant server hosting costs and an expectation for ongoing development and new content, it can mean a game that not only doesn’t pay for it’s development costs, but might even cost money to operate.”

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The Stream Team: Landmark life is like a box of templates

There’s an old phrase from a movie about chocolates, but MassivelyOP’s MJ thinks that life in Landmark is more like a box of templates. And boy, do you get plenty of templates! From beginner ones to ornate structures and items from friends or the Marketplace, there’s a whole lot even non-voxelmancers can create. MJ has spent plenty of time touring lately, so now she’s settling in to tinker around on her plots — and she invites you to come help her build. Don’t have a beta key? Well she’ll be giving some away along with lots of other goodies. Join in live at 5:00 p.m. and see what things you can create alongside MJ from the myriad of templates.

What: Landmark
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 28th, 2015

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Bless gets an English trailer and a final KCBT date

If you want Bless news, this is your post. If you want a western release date, though, we can’t help you. At least for now. That said, it can’t be far off, since the final Korean CBT has been announced. It starts on September 17th and runs through the 25th. MMO Culture reports that the final phase will add two new classes (Mage and Assassin) as well as more gatherables used for crafting. The site also says that realm-vs.-realm PvP is the game’s “core feature.”

Also, the latest teaser trailer is in English! You can view it after the cut below.

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The Stream Team: Poking around more Project Gorgon

Anyone who has popped into Project Gorgon knows that there are plenty of interesting things to do and no specific order you have to do them in. MassivelyOP’s Justin has recently started playing as a cow! Last time, MJ was learning how to be a werewolf, but the other possibilities really moooove her, so she’s seeking out the many forms. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you more…

What: Project Gorgon
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 28th, 2015

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Project Gorgon is soon switching to Steam and restricting alpha access

With its successful Kickstarter campaign behind it, indie MMO Project Gorgon is forging ahead with plans to transition to Steam.

Elder Game sent out a letter to all backers this morning with a timetable regarding the team’s fall plans. The big announcement is that in a few weeks the alpha server will be closed to everyone except those who pledged funds. Previously, the game had been open to any and all who wanted to try it out. Following the server restriction, Gorgon will make the jump to Steam in late October and require players to access the game through that service.

The team said that there will be options available for fans to buy into the alpha or upgrade their pledge going forward, perhaps with PayPal. Additionally, a preview of the guild system is tentatively scheduled for the next update, which should be good news to the social structure of the game.

Source: Kickstarter, official forum. Thanks to Kanbe for the tip!


MUD’s Ben Walsh on the female character stretch goal and Kickstarter ambition

The sandbox known as MUDnot to be confused with actual MUDs — launched an ambitious Kickstarter this week, provoking the MMO community to do what it always does when asked for money: be skeptical. Of note, many of our readers took umbrage with the idea that female playable characters are be tucked behind a half-million-dollar stretch goal (the published stretch goal chart has since been abbreviated).

We spoke with Pure Bang’s Founder and Lead Designer Ben Walsh about the female character model and the game’s overall campaign.

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Crowfall’s combat testing moves to the ‘Hunger Dome’

ArtCraft has created a “greybox environment” called the Hunger Dome for Crowfall’s pre-alpha combat testing. The aim is to make the testing more fun and meaningful, according to a new video that explains the last-man-standing tourney mechanics. Players will start without gear and must equip themselves via loot chests or their fallen opponents.

The video addresses questions relating to map size, premade team possibilities, statistical vs. cosmetic gear, and why Greg Tapper runs away from his teammates. Hopefully it also addresses who Greg Tapper is, but you’ll have to click past the cut and watch it to find out!

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ArcheAge is launching in China next month

After a couple of delays, it looks as though China will finally be able to join the ArcheAge club in less than two weeks.

Tencent announced that ArcheAge will go live in the country on September 8th. The Chinese version soft-launched earlier this month with a no-wipe state, but any reason for a celebration, right?

Chinese idol group SNH48 has signed on to do the publicity for the game’s release, which sort of but not really explains the bizarre ads that Tencent is producing.

Source: MMO Culture


Guild Wars 2’s PAX reveal leaks early, and it’s a big deal

Guild Wars 2 hasn’t had much luck with its expansion reveal pace lately between dataminers and leaks, and this afternoon, that bad luck continues. A tweet from IGN, apparently entrusted exclusively with the news, blabbed some pretty big Heart of Thorns information, along with a trailer, which we’re going to hide behind spoiler code for those of you who’d like to try to remain innocent. And when I say big, I mean huge.

Click to reveal spoiler
The tweet appears to reveal that Guild Wars 2, currently one of the few buy-to-play MMOs on the market, is going free-to-play, at least with its base game. It also promises raids, which explains the “challenging group content” ArenaNet has been hinting at recently.

Data-mining suggests that the “free” looks a lot like a limited trial, with few character slots, a cap of level 15, rank caps, and limitations on mail, chat, trade, and PvP maps.

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Shroud of the Avatar posts Release 21 features and instructions

The bright side of Shroud of the Avatar being in a test state is that sometimes whole systems can be rewritten as just part of the process. Case in point: With the newest release for the game, the entire progression system is being changed to an on-use system. This makes logical sense (you get better at hitting things with a sword by hitting things with a sword a lot) but it does mean a slightly wonky reworking of the current skill progression, which means that players will need to keep their eyes open for anything strange going on with skills and abilities as they play the newest release.

Crafting revisions have also made it into this version of the game, which now includes crafting skills that improve over time and influence the final result. There are also quality of life changes and some more minor features, like the first pass of the game’s weather systems. Read the full notes to see everything that’s been changed, and get ready to try this build for yourself later today.


ARK’s upcoming additions include a bowling ball dino and angry bird

Just because a dinosaur is roly poly doesn’t mean it isn’t a force to be reckoned with. ARK: Survival Evolved’s latest addition is the Doedicurus, an herbivore that can literally roll itself (and practically its rider) into a nearly indestructible armored ball able to plow through enemies like they were bowling pins, making it a fun mount for exploration. Get a glimpse of this ball-of-fun in the video below.

The same patch also introduced items to enhance your home and base decorating; there’s a spray paint gun and a plant with stinging spores you can grow to protect your abode. Additionally, devs revealed another dino dossier: the leaping Terror Bird. Possibly angry because of its inability to really fly, this quick-sprinting aggressive bird makes a great combat mount.

For those who missed it, last week the team reiterated what activities will net a full ban on all official servers, including third party cheats, aimbots, ESP cheats, anything else that modifies the game in such a way as to give an unintended advantage, and derogatory and personalized harassment. Players are encouraged to send the team reports if they come across these problems.

Finally, ARK is free for everyone on Steam this weekend!

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