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]

Dead Maze unleashes the zombie apocalypse today

Where will you go and what will you do when the zombie apocalypse hits? You better figure it out real fast, pal, because it’s already here.

Dead Maze, the multiplayer zombie survival simulator, officially launched today. Its 2-D free-to-play offerings shambled its way onto Steam, where players can see if they really can make it in the end of the world. Apart from its presentation, Dead Maze sets itself apart from most other zombie titles by putting the focus on social cooperative survival instead of PvP conflict.

“We want to build fun multiplayer games that players around the world can enjoy together,” said Atelier 801 Co-Founder Mélanie Christin. “With Dead Maze, that meant looking at how we can approach a zombie themed MMO game that feels fresh and new for the genre, where cooperation is key. I believe we achieved that with Dead Maze thanks to its unique art style, deep crafting system, and our growing community of players.”

More story campaigns and a player map editor are in the works for future updates. Check out the launch trailer below and see how MJ fared when she was thrown headfirst into this savage world (she’s trying her hand at it again today at 3:00 p.m.!).

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Black Death patch 0.24 lets you drag and drop to your heart’s content

Yes, it’s true, the latest patch for Black Death adds lots of drag-and-drop functionality. Want to drag something onto your new quick slot bars? You can do that. Want to drag and drop items to buy and sell? You can do that, too. Of course, it also features a lot of other upgrades to the game; you can drag your hopefully not beplagued body around with the help of the game’s new movement system, which makes it easier now to sprint all about and move organically.

The game has also updated its combat mechanics for various weapons; things like daggers should now attack faster than large weapons like greatswords, with animations and combat stances shifting accordingly. There’s also a number of new more intelligent AI systems in place, with more vicious enemy AI waiting in more dangerous regions, and there are new procedurally generated rats spawning and scurrying about all over. Read through the long list of patch notes to get a full sense of the scope of the changes contained therein.

Source: Steam page

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Fireflies and flocks of seagulls: Worlds Adrift adds beautiful touches to island creation

With the island creator toolset, players have been able to build new content for Worlds Adrift right alongside the dev team. The best of these projects have been taken and absorbed into the official game as a benefit of crowdsourcing. And now, these island creators have a few new options to add beautiful touches to their works.

The developers gave a quick animated preview of several visual effects that are in the works for the island creator toolset. These include flocks of birds flying about in the sky, drops of water, fireflies dancing about, and rocks and dust falling.

Bossa Studios said that the game recently saw “a massive spike in players” as it gets ready for Patch 0.1.7’s release. Other upcoming projects include the alliance system and fixing bugs that are impacting the client, inventory, and scalability.

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Camelot Unchained’s beta will launch on the 4th of July; we interview Mark Jacobs

You can go ahead and order extra sparklers because you’re going to need ’em this July 4th. That’s the auspicious day that Camelot Unchained’s beta one will finally launch after three years of delay, City State Entertainment has now announced. The studio has further confirmed that the “feature lock” date for the crowdfunded RvR MMORPG will be June 12th – at that point, everything for the beta will be set, save bug-fixing. And yes, everything that has been promised for the beta will make it for that launch (that doesn’t mean everything going into launch will be in beta – expect more builds going forward over the expected year of this beta).

CSE’s Mark Jacobs spoke with us just a few weeks ago to announce that the company had taken on a large external investment to speed up development of the game; he’s done the same this time ’round to answer our questions about beta and what to expect between right now and the 4th of July when those beta gates open. Read on!

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Shroud of the Avatar on R51’s vendor changes, new maps, and bears

As Shroud of the Avatar surges toward its formal launch later this year, the devs are continuing their stream of weekly newsletters. This week, they’re talking up their updates to the South Midmaer Way, construction on new map South Fetid Swamp, and bears. Kind of a lot of bears. In fact, all the bears have been “completely rebuilt.” Bears bears bears. OK, I’ll stop. They are pretty cute!

In patchy news, Portalarium is also working on the planned player vendor revamp coming in R51. “The first thing we will try to improve is visual variation,” Starr Long explains. “Long term we plan to support customization of vendors via equipment choice but for now we are focusing on providing that visual variation through our pattern system. These patterns will include a female version of the current vendor, a completely new outfit based on Victorian shopkeeper uniforms (with gender and skin tone variations), and a cash register that will act as a fully functioning player vendor (even though it does not appear as an NPC).”

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Free-to-play Korean import Soulworker Online launches forums on the road to the west

Back in November, MMO gamers were bummed to find out that Soulworker’s western rollout had been delayed into the first quarter of the new year. But the Smilegate/Gameforge machine is now finally cranking up: A tipster noticed that the game’s western forums (featuring English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Polish) have just launched.

“As ever, we’re hard at work on SoulWorker. We’re making great progress and we will soon be able to give you more information on the start of the open beta!” says the forum team. “The game is free-to-play and will also be available on Steam starting with the Open Beta. It will feature Korean voices (original voices) and text in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Polish. It is currently not planned to include Japanese voices. It is our goal to provide PvP content and new characters like Jin Seipatsu or Iris Yuma in the future, but at this point we unfortunately can’t confirm when exactly this content will be available.”

Server names for seven western servers have also been published – it looks like two of them will be in English, one for North America and one for the UK.

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Bless Online interview: Soft launch plans, why Gamigo bowed out, and avoiding pay-to-win

Bless Online is one of the biggest MMORPGs we’re expecting to launch in the west in 2018. Over the last six years, we’ve watched it blossom in South Korea, switch publishers, and even go back to the drawing board for a revamp before Neowiz pushes it westward. That’s left a lot of gamers, including us, with questions about the game’s future. And to get answers to those questions, we spoke with Game Director Jae-hoon Jeon all about the game’s planned monetization, early access, and just what sets Bless apart in a field of high-quality import MMORPGs. Read on for the details!

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Project Gorgon explains the upcoming changeover to Steam and beta development

It’s an exciting time for Project Gorgon as the game heads toward Steam! It’s not happening right now, of course; the game will be submitted for final approval in a week, and it’ll probably be live on the service in two. But when that happens, the whole way you play the game is going to change, and thus the developers have outlined the whole process from now until the game is live on Steam.

Players who have pre-purchased the game will received their Steam keys in the mail after it’s live, while those who have just taken advantage of the game’s free testing will have to actually buy it. Players will still be able to log in with the alpha client for about two weeks after the Steam launch, with the option to link your previous test account to the game so that you can unlock any rewards and the like. You also won’t suffer any data wipes, so don’t be worried about that.

Curious about how the game plays? Well, we’re covering it right now in Choose My Adventure. Hint, hint.

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Ashes of Creation shows off 52 minutes of pre-alpha gameplay

Open world dungeons, node tending, and other pre-alpha adventures were all part and parcel of Ashes of Creation’s developer livestream last week. The team showed off 52 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay that included exploration, various features, and a ton of action combat.

The team answered many community questions on the livestream, including how the current build was tailored specifically for testers: “We wanted people who were coming in to test to actually be able to kind of do stuff solo. So, it’s not what it was really built for. All the group content right now is just in our dungeons. And that’s totally going to change when we go live.”

Other topics discussed was Ashes of Creation’s stealth system, account-bound player housing, caravans, diminishing returns on crowd control, animal husbandry (woo), and cosmetics. Check it out below!

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Grimdark multiplatform 2-D MMORPG Mad World hits Steam this fall

Mad World first popped up on our radar last summer, when we learned it was a HTML5-based Korean action MMORPG vying for your attention on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. This week, studio Jandisoft announced plans to launch the game on Steam this coming fall. It’s touting story-driven quests as part of a cute but grimdark storyline, along with crafting, guilds, and other MMO necessities. Interestingly, there are no classes here – just weapon skills.

“Clad in unique hand-drawn 2D art style, Mad World stays true to the classic MMORPGs but with a few tweaks. Leaving the MMORPG’s standard combat style, the game’s Target and Move style makes the combat more dynamic, and its classless weapon-based skill system gives more options when using skills.”

We’ve got the latest “mood” trailer down below!

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The MOP Up: Black Desert’s Ninja arrives in Southeast Asia (February 11, 2018)

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!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Vendetta OnlineWorlds AdriftMonster Hunter WorldHellionRustSkyforgeBlade and SoulPortal KnightsFinal Fantasy XIDreadnoughtPUBGHyper UniverseCrossoutBlack DesertDark and LightH1Z1DauntlessRobocraftFortniteWar of RightsCosmos InvictusUltima Online, and Vendetta Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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Staxel is a cozy multiplayer sandbox now in Steam early access

You know what I like? Hearing about a new game for the first time that I can actually buy right now. Of course, this one’s in Steam early access, so maybe you’ll want to hold your wallet. I’m talking about Staxel, which dropped on my radar this week thanks to a couple of my favorite readers. To me, it looks like a cross between Stardew Valley and Trove, with that voxel Minecraft look but sandboxy content that’s more focused on farming, fishing, and growing out the village with your own customizations than on mass-murdering mobs.

“Put down your roots and settle into life as a newcomer to the village. Starting out with a run-down, old home and farmland reclaimed by the wilderness, it’s up to you to turn the place around. Plant seeds, carefully tend to your crops, take care of your animals, and expand your farm. Don’t forget: take care of your farm, and your farm will take care of you!”

It’s not a formal MMORPG, but the Steam page says it was “designed with multiplayer in mind from day one,” hence custom online servers and online multiplayer capability. Anybody tried this one out?

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Make My MMO: Dual Universe’s second crowdfunding effort and Massively OP’s third birthday (February 10, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Dual Universe is still zooming along in its pre-alpha, and it’s addressed just that in a new AMA this week. The studio acknowledges that the game’s development has become delayed (you’ll recall it was originally supposed to launch a full alpha last fall) but that money isn’t an issue. “Don’t worry, we are OK,” Novaquark tells backers. “We are going to publish a roadmap before Summer. For the 24/7 [testing], this is a high level priority, and we hope to be able to get you there in a few weeks. It won’t be full time however, but more like full week-ends to start with.” The studio also says it’ll launch a second crowdfunding effort later this quarter.

On a more meta note, today marks Massively OP’s third birthday as an independent MMORPG website, and the plain truth is that wouldn’t be here today without the generous donors who contributed to our original Kickstarter back in 2015, our Patreon and PayPal donors, our Twitch subbers, our Amazon clicky-clickers, and you lovely folks who whitelist our ads. You and we are living proof that crowdfunding can work! Thank you all so very much from the whole team. Here’s to three and many more!

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