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]

H1Z1’s Hizzy Awards showcase player achievements

Now that the Oscars are over, where will award show junkies go to get their fix? Never fear: Daybreak has you covered with the Hizzy Awards, a show that serves to highlight some of the interesting achievements from H1Z1’s alpha testing thus far.

“After we did the first server and player wipe, we came away with a lot of awesome stats. Things like, who crafted the most arrows? Who was the first person to die to a zombie? Who killed the most people using a vehicle?” the team teased.

You can watch the full award ceremony after the break.

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Crowfall: The ultimate union of MMOs and strategy

What do you get when you take a few of the most experienced developers in the MMO industry and give them the freedom to buck the safe trend of copycatting World of Warcraft? And what would you get if you further challenged them to combine the progression from MMOs with the always-fresh strategy genre? You might just end up with something like Crowfall.

As you read this, Crowfall has launched its Kickstarter funding campaign after weeks of speculation, reveals, and an always-ticking countdown timer. ArtCraft has done all it can to prime the pump for community investment, and now we’ll have to see whether it will pay off spectacularly… or be deemed too niche for primetime.

Last week, I chatted with ArtCraft’s J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton for a no-holds-barred discussion about Crowfall. Enough with the teases and partial revelation; I wanted the full picture. What is Crowfall, really? And how will it set itself apart from the MMO pack?

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Starriser takes a stab at space empire strategy

Have you ever had a whim of dropping your normal, ordinary life and taking to the stars, not to peacefully explore them, but to conquer and rule over them as a merciless dictator? Haven’t we all, really. Fortunately for both you and the real galaxy, Starriser has appeared on the scene to give us a virtual taste of this experience.

A “massive online strategy” title, Starriser promises to allow players to build up a space empire and duke it out with fellow emperors. Currently the website is skimpy on specific game features, but it is currently accepting beta sign-ups for those interested.

[Source: Starriser]

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Crowfall is launching a Kickstarter campaign tomorrow

“Throne war simulator” Crowfall has been tick-tocking its way down a 40-day timer for the last, well, 39 days. Now ArtCraft Entertainment has foreshadowed tomorrow’s big reveal by announcing the Kickstarter campaign we all suspected was coming.

We also need your financial support. Three weeks ago, we announced our intention to crowdfund this game. Our kickstarter campaign begins tomorrow morning– at 9am EST/6am PST. We sincerely hope that you will support Crowfall, and let us build this game for you! […] There will be some limited tiers available for our “core following”, i.e. the people who spend the most time on (and have been the most vocal on) our forums. We know you guys will be the first to see the campaign — as an FYI, backing early could pay off!

The team is also promising pre-alpha game footage (“so you can see Crowfall is more than just design documents and concept art”) and super sekrit info to be released on “major game news sites.” Guess you’ll know where to be at 9 a.m., eh?

[Source: Crowfall site]

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PlanetSide 2 soon expanding PlayStation 4 beta to Europe

European PlayStation 4 players will soon have no reason to feel left out of the PlanetSide 2 fun, as Daybreak informed the community over the weekend that the console beta will soon include the region.

“Rest assured that as soon as we launch in EU we will send out a huge batch of codes to our EU players,” Executive Producer Clint Worley promised. He also mentioned that the team is hard at work addressing some issues players have had with beta key redemptions.

Worley said that the next beta patch will open up three new continents, add a tutorial continent, and apply “a massive amount of bug fixes and updates.” The patch will also trigger a full wipe, so be forewarned.

[Source: Official forums]

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Star Citizen’s Roberts talks upcoming release schedule

How big is 2015 shaping up to be for Star Citizen fans? Pretty freaking big, if Chris Roberts‘ latest Letter from the Chairman is any indication. “We are entering into the tightest schedule we’ve ever had for public releases,” Roberts writes. “In short order, you will see Arena Commander 1.1 (now with REC!), the FPS module, and the so-called social module, our first foray into the persistent universe.”

Roberts has a lot more to say, including bits about the aforementioned REC, upcoming community events, and a playable version of the FPS module that will debut at PAX East.

[Source: Letter from the Chairman]

 

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Shroud of the Avatar talks economy, online vs. offline modes

This weekend’s Shroud of the Avatar post is a big one. Update of the Avatar #113 explains how the game’s single-player offline mode will function as compared to the online world, with particular emphasis on save games, companions, and spawning rules. Portalarium also says that a few items available for purchase in offline mode (like the castle and keep-sized lots) will not be available online. Finally, there will be no character transfers between the two modes.

SotA tech director Chris Spears also has a lot to say about the game’s economy, but you’ll need to click the source link below to read it!

[Source: Update #113]

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Make My MMO: February 21, 2015

Welcome back to Make My MMO, a recurring column from Massively-that-was which covers crowdsourced MMOs of both the fully funded and the not-so-much variety. Each week we’ll round up the most relevant crowdfunding news stories in case you missed them, and we’ll also keep a running tab on active funding drives.

And speaking of that, for the next two weeks we get to write about ourselves in this space, as our Kickstarter is ongoing through March 6th and you lovely backers continue to stick it to the man while humbling us with your support.

Click past the cut for the rest of this week’s crowdfunding news. And don’t forget to tip us if you see something we missed (especially this week and next as we’re still scrambling to get our new house in order!).

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Star Citizen’s space mining sounds pretty fun

Here’s a novel concept: pounding space rocks into space dust could actually be fun! At least it appears that way in reading the latest Star Citizen design doc, which is focused on mining. “Mining presents players with a variety of challenges requiring skill and intelligence, whereas mindless repetition of a task and idle drudgery are explicitly avoided,” explains persistent universe director Tony Zurovec. “There are no aspects of mining that allow a player to simply press a button and wait without concern for a result, or that require players to perform an action repeatedly without some element of thought and/or dexterity coming into play.”

Zurovec’s lengthy update touches on everything from freelance mining vs. working as an agent to finding an asteroid field and divvying up specialist responsibilities including pilot, scan operator, beam operator, etc.

Then of course there’s the selling of space rocks, which sounds like an occupation unto itself when you factor in the transport logistics necessary to sell high, not to mention possible speculation if you opt to purchase storage facilities and wait for the market to trend in your favor.

[Source: SC website; thanks Cardboard!]

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Skyforge preps for NA and EU closed beta

Closed beta testing for Skyforge will be coming soon to North America and Europe, according to a new producer’s letter. While Skyforge is already hosting “some CBT activities” in Russia, the science-fiction MMO is working hard on server architecture and localization so that testing can commence in additional regions.

The team has ambitious plans for the upcoming test: “Starting with CBT1, we’ll support more players, have more content and features enabled, and will be keeping our test servers up for longer and longer periods of time as CBT progresses. In addition to all the new content you’ll come across and adventure in, you’ll also get some hands-on time with a few new features in CBT1 including character customization, itemization and upgrades, [and] the marketplace and the greatness system.”

Information about founders packs for the game is also forthcoming.

[Source: Producer’s letter]

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Pantheon video update shows visual upgrade, new art assets

Visionary Realms posted a new Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen video update this weekend. Creative director Chris Perkins narrates approximately four-and-a-half minutes of footage that shows off visual upgrades that the team have been working on since the first of the year. The video also offers a sneak peek at new in-game art assets.

Finally, project lead Brad McQuaid also posted a new image on Twitter highlighting the visual upgrades. Click past the cut to view the vid!

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EverQuest Next severs ties with Storybricks

Daybreak continues to trim its asset portfolio, as the former SOE studio has cut loose artificial intelligence software company Storybricks from the EverQuest Next project.

“We are not working with Storybricks any more,” Senior Producer Terry Michaels said on a livestream chat yesterday. “We made the decision that it was in the best interest of the game to take that work in-house. They did a lot of work for us and we’ll be utilizing that. It’s not like that work is lost.”

The team said that it is “still committed” to making strong AI happen in the game.

[Source: Livestream chat. Thanks to Ranging Berserker for the tip!]

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Betawatch: February 20, 2015

What do you get when you combine the the quirkiness of Glitch or Wakfu with the voxelboxiness of Trove? That’d be SkySaga, the UK sandvox that’s finally opening its alpha doors to those of us in North America. Act quickly, though; the offer ends February 26th. What else is new in the land on MMO testing?

Our complete list of MMOs in testing is below.

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