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]

Rend delays early access launch due to an ‘amazing opportunity’

This will come as a bummer to anyone excited about getting his or her hands on Rend this summer: Frostkeep Studios announced yesterday that it is delaying the early access launch for the survival sandbox due to an “amazing opportunity” for the game’s development that was not specified.

“The excitement around the game has brought our studio an amazing opportunity to take Rend to the next level,” the studio said. “With this new support, we are re-evaluating current development plans and exploring ways in which we can deliver an even more robust in-game experience at launch.”

So what’s the new Steam early access release window? Frostkeep is now aiming for later this year to incorporate additional features and mechanics. The studio said that the delay will result in making Rend “an even better game than originally envisioned.”

Source: Rend

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Eminence: Xander’s Tale brings a hybrid CCG/MMO to the beta fields

It seems like some sort of specific and oft-mentioned geek dream game to combine collectible card battlers with MMOs, although actual examples are few and far between. Soon there’s about to be another, however, as Eminence: Xander’s Tale is bearing down the stretch toward release.

This hybrid game, which was funded via Kickstarter back in 2014, entered beta testing this past May. In Eminence, players can explore and interact in a stylized world while battling against opponents by using (of course) cards. You’ll want to be careful how you play because Eminence uses old-school Magic: The Gathering rules — if you lose a match, your foe gets to take one of your cards for keepsies.

Eminence is being developed for mobile, tablets, PC, and PlayStation 4, so chances are you have something (or many somethings) that will play it. We’ve got the beta trailer after the break that shows a bit of the card battling action, so give it a looksee and let us know what you think.

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Black Death is building out some nasty PvP hotspot content

What’s indie survival sandbox The Black Death been up to since it began taking “drastic action” to reorient its early access state this spring?

Pillaging. Specifically, the team has been building a new pillage area dubbed Fort Doom, a revisit of what are effectively risky PvP hotspot. They’re “bottleneck areas that players must venture into, to gain certain key crafting components that are required for the best recipes.” These spots may even eventually include environmental hazards; plague, of course, given the game we’re talking about, is already in, but maybe expect spike bits and destructible walls too.

The game’s latest dev blog also discusses the ongoing progress on its component-based crafting system, the inventory system, and door locks. The latest patch, 0.15, is due out at the end of June, so stay tuned, and maybe someday you too can roleplay as a plague-ridden locksmith.

Source: Dev blog

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Survival sandbox Hellion debuts new cinematic trailer ahead of tomorrow’s update

Even if you never buy multiplayer space survival sandbox Hellion, you gotta agree that its trailers are some of the best we’ve seen all year. Today’s continues the trend.

“Set in a distant future [when] mankind is no longer confined to Earth, the new Hellion cinematic trailer gives viewers a glimpse of the disaster that struck humanity’s attempt to build the first interstellar colony. Beginning with intimate shots of the crew’s quarters—scattered personal belongings floating through the cabins—the trailer hints at the dark force that drove the colony and its inhabitants to the brink of extinction. Set against the backdrop of a looming sun, the odds of survival are made clear amidst the desolation and vastness of space. With humanity’s descent into fear, anger and violence, Hellion’s cinematic trailer suggests that maybe the stars really are better off without us.”

The game is currently prepping for tomorrow’s massive 0.2 update (it’s been in early access since February); it’ll include playable female toons, a new tutorial, improved navigation and flight systems, and a better loot distribution system. The trailer joy begins after the cut.

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Here’s how Albion Online’s open-world raid bosses work

In anticipation of the upcoming launch of Albion Online, Sandbox Interactive has posted a fresh dev blog on the big bads of the game, known as Guardians. Pro tip, they’re guarding the world… from you. Naturally, you’re going to kill them and take their stuff. They were right about you!

“Guardians are the true protectors of Albion, brought alive by the land’s ancient and powerful magic and now tasked to protect its natural riches,” explains the studio. “These big world bosses can be found in Tier 6 resource hotspots and randomly respawn between 12 and 48 hours after being defeated. There is no way to know when a Guardian has spawned, so scout the area if you want to take one down.”

Don’t be thinking you’ll be soloing these; you’re going to need around 10 people at minimum to take them on, but if you bring too many people, you’ll scale down accordingly. It gets worse: You pretty much have a 15-minute timer before the boss enrages, and other players can interfere by attacking you. On the upside, the guardians become resource nodes when they due, “providing a whopping 2,560 Tier 6 resources.”

Good luck.

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Project Genom to release massive testing update next month

Those hoping to see more rapid development and deployment of Project Genom will get their wish next month, according to this week’s newsletter.

“On July 28th, 2017, we will launch a separate PTS game version 0.7.0.0,” the team announced. “This test will be a key step in the development over the last months and a starting point for the fast release of subsequent major patches and the game version update on Steam […] The update will completely change the whole project basis, both technically and visually, but the main purpose of it is testing the network part.”

This patch is going to take the game a major step forward with new network architecture, a server transition system, seamless world transitions, an improved database, updated character models, character customization, better enemy AI, a revamped UI, 40 square miles of redesigned landscape, reworked dungeons, day and night transitions, daily routines for NPCs, and a dialogue system. Seems like a good collection of features for a proper update, doesn’t it?

Source: Project Genom. Thanks Edge_case!

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Osiris: New Dawn introduces the Engineer and Marine

Two new classes are signing up for a tour of duty in Osiris: New Dawn. The sandbox announced in a press release this week that its next patch will include the Engineer and Marine as playable options.

The Engineer uses skills such as “mechatronics” and aerodynamics to save the day, while the Marine is content to wield heavy assault weapons for front-line combat. Tomorrow’s patch is also going to add a new skill tree and a first-person perspective for players wandering around the spaceship and GAV.

While the update was originally planned for June 22nd, a delay is likely. “After a late night power outage, we came to discover that our repositiory has some type of corruption, either from the power outage or some kind of error with an update,” writes the studio this afternoon. “We’re working around the clock (without a lot of sleep!) to get this fixed, and while we are still targeting the 22nd, it’s realistically looking more like the update may be coming early next week instead.”

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Ashes of Creation’s post-Kickstarter pledge store is live

Wallets at the ready, peeps: As promised, Ashes of Creation is following up its massive Kickstarter run with a more local, homegrown crowdfunding effort on its own website, live now.

“We’ve been hearing from the community that many couldn’t participate due to the payment limitations of Kickstarter,” writes Intrepid Studios. “In response to this, we came up with a campaign that benefits both new backers and those from the Kickstarter! This campaign will have new backer goals achievable by previous Kickstarter backers and new backers as they are unlocked.”

Pledges begin at $25 and run up to over $5000, with a whole ladder of rewards for all backers depending on how many gamers jump in. There’s even a trailer to talk you into the deal.

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Crowfall illuminates racial bonuses and abilities in Q&A

There’s no doubt that a lot has been happening recently with Crowfall’s class and race structure, particularly following following May’s announcement that the team is separating race-bound classes to allow players more mix-and-match freedom. There were bound to be one or two questions concerning all of this, which is why the team fielded an hour-long Q&A session yesterday on Twitch.

One of the interesting reveals that came out of the chat is that each of the races will receive their own racial discipline with various bonuses. For example, humans are more versatile stat-wise and can use a side-step dodge move, while Wood Elves are trailmasters who can camouflage themselves while standing still.

The team also talked about cartography (which includes the interesting feature of being able to pickpocket other players’ maps), how it’s working to beef up healers, and what’s going on with Clerics (they’re coming soonish).

We’ve got the full Q&A session for you after the jump, and as an added bonus, we also tossed in a video with the team discussing what’s going on with the Alpha 5 build.

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Dark and Light starts its closed beta test

Fantasy sandbox reboot Dark and Light kicked off its first closed beta test yesterday, but chances are that you are not a part of it. That’s because only a relatively small number of people were invited to participate. However, the team said that more invites are on the way.

“We’d like to thank everyone who showed their support for Dark and Light by signing up for our first closed beta,” the team posted on Facebook. “Our first test is relatively small-scale, but due to the overwhelming positive response for our first CBT, we plan on holding a second CBT in the near future. Anyone who has already signed up with the original survey link will be automatically entered into a pool of potential testers for all future closed beta tests.”

Dark and Light recently boasted about its gorgeous graphics tech at E3, which will allow players to take unparalleled screenshots of the sandbox.

Source: Twitter. Cheers Zander!

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NCsoft MOBA Master X Master launches today

Master X Master is officially launching in the West today, bringing NCsoft’s take on a multi-IP MOBA-with-a-twist to our shores. The twist is the PvE element, which was relatively novel for the genre back when MxM was announced but is now present in a few others. Still, there’s no other MOBA out there where you can play characters from Guild Wars 2, WildStar, and City of Heroes all together!

The floodgates officially open at 1 p.m. EDT this afternoon, but until then, we’ve rounded up all our coverage and streams of the game to now, plus a few of the game’s latest prep vids. Happy launch day!

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Amazon’s Breakaway revamps warriors, confirms more upgrades on the way

Last September, the internet was buzzing about Amazon Game Studios’ big reveals, including Breakaway, which the company teased for weeks ahead of time. It turned out not to be an MMO — we’ve got New World for that fix — but a “mythological sport brawler,” a 4v4, third-person MOBA-lite built from the ground up for streaming. Since then, the game’s run a few alpha tests and put the feedback to work, overhauling the characters one by one. Jarra was first up among the warriors, and now AGS has a huge dev blog out detailing changes to the rest.

For starters, several of the warrior-archetype characters got renames (Spartacus to Argus, Anne Bonny to Kyra, and Morgan Le Fey to Korryn) and style buffs; the studio tweaked power ranges, control, strafing, buildables, text chat, replays, the relic running system, and the gold economy.

“Don’t worry – Breakaway’s still about fast action, strategic teamwork, and dunking on fools,” AGS says. “We listened to your feedback and made changes we believe only refine what makes Breakaway great.”

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Anthem is the start of a ’10-year journey’ for EA and BioWare

At this point, when a game studio says it has a 10-year plan for its online game, do you believe it?

Perhaps unintentionally echoing Bungie just a few years prior, EA’s Patrick Söderlund told the Xbox crew at E3 that BioWare is indeed anticipating a decade-long run for its newly announced mutliplayer online action RPG Anthem.

“It’s a game that we’ve been working on for almost four years now, and it’s a game that […] once we launch it next year will be the start of, I think, maybe a 10-year journey for us.”

So, who’s putting money on Anthem 2 in 2021?

The EA interview segment begins at the 1:39:27 mark for those who want to hear the whole thing.

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