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]

Secret World Legends still hopes for a spring release, will expand beta to include Egypt soon

Our latest glimpse at the reworked universe of Secret World Legends came yesterday courtesy of an hour-long livestream on Twitch. For those of us on the outside of the NDA-slathered beta, it’s pretty much the only glimpse we have into what’s going on as testing continues.

A post on Reddit contains a helpful summary of talking points from the stream. Funcom confirmed that it is still aiming for a spring launch, saying that the testing pool will be widened with more invites and that Egypt is coming soon to the beta. The team discussed the fluid nature of testing changes, including reticules (which can be adjusted), quality-of-life improvements, hints of a “clothing closet,” dungeon lockout timers, and the elimination of the least-used combat skills. Rewards for subscribers (patrons) are still being figured out, so no official word on that yet.

You can watch the stream after the break!

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The Stream Team: Watch and win SMITE Tactics beta access

Tired of being left out of betas? Want the satisfaction of prying a set of beta doors open so you can get in? Massively OP’s MJ has a crowbar right here to help you get into SMITE Tactics! She’ll be playing and giving away a bunch of beta codes, so tune in live at 10:00 a.m. for your chance to get in and check the game out for yourself.

What: SMITE Tactics
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 10:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

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Betawatch: The Elder Scrolls Online heads off to Morrowind (April 21, 2017)

Good news, The Elder Scrolls Online fans: Morrowind is now in beta testing! It’s in closed beta, so you probably don’t get to take part in it, but if you do, you still can’t tell us about it. You can, however, tell us about any and all funerals you are holding for your Templar. A moment of silence will be observed.

Other beta news? Aw, shucks, why not?

  • The next Starfall Tactics test starts up on April 24th. It does not, in fact, feature any tactics based around falling stars, because physics does not work that way. Instead, it has character creation, limited progression, and a new ship class.
  • Everyone gets a prize for participating in the SkySaga Alpha 10 test! You get a prize! And you get a prize! The prize is probably not a humpback whale, but you never know.
  • The next round of testing for Life is Feudal‘s MMO side of things is starting on April 26th and should run for around 10 days. Clear your calendar for Wednesday, then.
  • Project Gorgon is looking good these days. Seriously, the latest round of graphical updates makes it like that nerdy but shy girl from school who suddenly turned immensely hot, or something. You know your movie cliches, fill them in on your own time.
  • Want to hunt some trolls in Saga of Lucimia in an early test version? That’s a thing that’s happening. No word yet on whether or not they’re actual in-game trolls or more general trolls, but make sure to designate someone as “torch-monkey” if you’re going out at night.
  • Last but not least, the Marvel Heroes console version is starting its beta today, and it features local co-op. That’s unlikely to ever come to the PC version, although why you would need it is a different discussion altogether.

For those of you not delighted by the above stories (and those who are delighted), we also have a list just below. Isn’t that lovely? Let us know if there are errors within the list down in the comments. Or let us know what betas you’re playing and can be discussed without an NDA. Or let us know if you want to buy the Laser Prime redeco from the most recent Transformers box set. We have an extra.

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Darkfall: Rise of Agon is free to try for the next few days

As you might recall, Darkfall: Rise of Agon is set to launch in early May, which means that its beta program is currently winding down. Before the beta ends entirely, the team is inviting anyone who wants a look at the game to try it out for free. All you have to do is to create an account and download the game through Steam, and free play is yours until the beta shuts down on Monday, April 24th.

Free access isn’t the only topic on the table, not by far. Rise of Agon’s online store is now live, with subscriptions and currency on sale at 10% off. The standard subscription is set at $9.99 for 30 days of game time, with discounts for multiple months purchased. Players who previously purchased a Legend pack can now reserve their character name for the May launch.

Finally, the launch trailer and overview video are here, so give them a watch after the jump and see if it kindles your interest in the MMO reboot!

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Japanese closed beta starts up for Bless Online on April 28th

Still waiting eagerly on the North American localization of Bless Online? Japanese players don’t have to wait. Japanese players get to take part in the game’s first localized closed beta on April 28th, although that doesn’t help people who don’t speak Japanese. Or maybe it does; we currently don’t know if the beta will have an IP block, so it’s possible that you can slip in and take part in the test despite not being Japanese.

Of course, you’ll still be faced with a game that isn’t translated into your language, but that’s the challenge you live with. The beta should be running until May 4th. Of course, there’s still no news to report on the NA localization, so perhaps slipping into the Japanese test and trying really hard to read that is actually a good idea. You’ve got about a week to learn the language. Study hard!

Source: Bless Source

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Sea of Thieves’ limited resources will force you to make interesting choices

One of Sea of Thieves more RPGish concepts is that of “limited resources.” Basically, each player has access to certain unlimited items, such as a bucket to bail water out of a boat or a musical instrument to play, but then has to forage around islands for certain limited-use items. These include food (to replenish health), cannonballs (for ship battles), and wood planks (to repair ship damage).

Because health doesn’t regenerate and ships don’t magically heal themselves, the devs see limited resources as a way to make the game more strategic and pepper it with interesting choices for players. When and where you use these items is important, as is taking side treks during voyages to see if you can find any more useful items on islands.

Get a feel for limited resources in the new video below!

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Ashes of Creation plans May 1 Kickstarter, demos ‘Metropolis’ player city system

We already knew Ashes of Creation was going to run a Kickstarter for funding, but as of this afternoon, we have a date: May 1st. And the devs put out way more in its update today than a save-the-date note; there’s also a huge trailer and infodump that rounds out our knowledge of the game’s node system, specifically as it pertains to the player cities known as Metropolises.

“The Metropolis is effectively the culmination of the Node system – it’s the biggest thing that players can bring into being, and the final level of civilization’s development on this forgotten world,” says Intrepid Studios. “The Metropolis requires a large amount of resources to develop and maintain, and because of how Nodes relate to one another, there can be no more than five in existence at any time. […] Each Node can be developed into one of four categories: Scientific, Economic, Militaristic, and Divine. The Economic ones are ruled by Oligarchies, while Scientific ones are ruled by democratically chosen leaders. Military nodes are run by those with the mettle and might to prove their worth, and the Divine are run by the players who seek to help others and dedicate their time and effort to that city.”

Check out the blog post on the official site, point your eyeballs at the brand-new trailer and metropolis images down below, and get your wallets ready.

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The Soapbox: Lessons Secret World Legends failed to learn from Final Fantasy XIV

I’ve mentioned many a time that I like Funcom quite a bit. I want to like Funcom quite a bit. Heck, I want to be excited about Secret World Legends, but every day or so I get reminded that such a course of action will be very difficult at the least. Because quite frankly, Secret World Legends seems to want me not to be excited about it, as evidenced by… oh, every single thing that Funcom is doing around it.

Which is odd, because Funcom literally has access to a playbook for a large-scale reboot.

Secret World Legends is coming off of The Secret World, which was a cult MMORPG classic with a mighty fan following. Final Fantasy XIV was coming off of… well, its initial version, which had a fan following full of people who admitted that it was halfway to Stockholm Syndrome. And yet that game managed to get people excited and earn fans, while Funcom seems dead-set on alienating people or making them just plain nervous.

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Marvel Heroes Omega’s closed beta begins for PS4 founder pack buyers

The closed beta for Marvel Heroes Omega is now live in the US for PlayStation 4 owners, Gazillion announced just a bit ago. A console launch had been long-anticipated by fans thanks to last year’s leaks and this winter’s poorly received streamlining update, but it was only just confirmed for PS4 a few weeks ago.

This particular leg of the beta is available only until May 15th and only for players who buy in with one of the founder packs, which appear to start at $39.99 $19.99 [cheaper packs have gone online since this post was published] and run up to $59.99 (the $99.99 bundles are for cash-shop currency). Longtime PC players will not be able to transfer characters and accounts to the new platform; that’s because Omega isn’t actually the same build. Indeed, it offers significantly fewer playable heroes as well as the recently announced local co-op mode. The studio has, however, promised that “PC support will continue.” Xbox One play is also on the way; Gaz has promised more details on the beta for that platform and the open beta for PS4 “soon.”

The launch trailer is below.

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Star Citizen’s Around the Verse deep-dives the Banu, begins referral contest starring Star Kitten

Still reeling over the last Star Citizen infodump? You’re getting a breather with this week’s Around the Verse as the bulk of it is centered on… lore. Specifically, the Banu, one of the alien groups in the game initially based on elements of Persian culture and the first to make contact with humans. There’s also a check-in with the Los Angeles team (recently expanded to 74 peeps); they’ve been working on ship temperature and cooling systems, the game’s control manager, shopping systems, character gear, and the Anvil Terrapin.

But the best bit is the studio’s new referral program contest, which aims to entice followers to bring in new players and backers in return for a chance to everything from a free trip to this year’s Gamescom in Germany to Star Kitten-themed in-game merch. Star Kitten, by the way, appears to be an in-lore knock-off of Hello Kitty, so expect to see her everywhere.

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Dark Optimus Prime arrives in Transformers Online’s beta

You know that when Dark Optimus Prime shows up, things just got real.

Tencent’s team brawler Transformers Online is adding the sinister version of the Autobots’ commander with its new round of closed beta testing. The next CBT is scheduled for May 18th in China and will not reset players’ progress in the game.

With Transformers Online’s limited multiplayer focus and its current status as a Chinese-only title, is it worth getting excited over it? Well, it’s still giant transforming robots beating the crap out of each other free from the hack thumb of Michael Bay, so we’re going to say “maybe!”

Check out the new closed beta trailer below!

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Conan Exiles adds 50 new emotes

Now you will be able to express yourself in Conan Exiles in more than just grunts and barbaric yells of victory, thanks a new patch on the test server.

Funcom is adding a staggering 50-plus emotes to the game for the exile lad or lass in training. With all of the new emotes comes a revision to the system: Players will begin with a core of expressive commands and then learn more emotes as they adventure through the game world.

The patch is also addressing a sneaky exploit that involves players falling through the game world and then somehow attacking enemy bases from below. Other changes include tweaks to the repair hammer, a restraint to overeager thralls, and the ability to scroll chat using your middle mouse wheel. We live in the future, folks!

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H1Z1’s Fight for the Crown TV debut is tonight with $300K on the line

Just as this post goes live at 9 p.m. EDT, Daybreak’s H1Z1: King of the Kill will see its TV debut as its Fight for the Crown tournament is aired on The CW, the perfect channel for a zombie survival sandbox, given its preponderance of cringey YA genre material.

But before you go all “kids these days,” check out Daybreak’s new infographic and the behind-the-scenes vids — it’s definitely not just kids who’d like a slice of that $300,000 prize pool.

Anybody watching tonight, or will you be sobbing quietly in a corner with Just Survive?

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