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]

Former BioWare game director becomes H1Z1 executive producer

Former BioWare game director Chris Wynn has landed at Daybreak helming zombie survival MMO H1Z1.

Wynn, who was credited as one of Mass Effect: Andromeda’s directors, told fans in December that he was leaving his post at BioWare’s Montreal base to return to the US.

Today, he’s announced that he’s taken up the role of Executive Producer at the H1Z1 studio thanks to an “incredible creative alignment.”

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The Division’s DLC is definitely coming out for the Xbox One first

Back at E3 2014, future players were told that The Division would release DLC as timed exclusives for the Xbox One. Of course, back at E3 2014 we were told that the game would be released in late 2015, and nothing has been said about timed console exclusives in the interium. But banners are now going up at Gamestop stores boasting that you get The Division‘s content first on Xbox One, so that plan has apparently not changed at all.

Is that a bad thing? It depends on whether you’re playing the game on an Xbox One or not, although much of the sting will depend on how long the exclusivity lasts – fan reaction will be different if it’s a month or a week, for example. It’s all arbitrary speculation now, as the game hasn’t even launched yet, but it is something to anticipate for the future.

Source: VG24/7

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Can whales fly? Worlds Adrift says ‘absolutely!’

We don’t know about you, but when we think of “sky whales,” the image of Twitter’s notorious “fail whale” comes to mind. Worlds Adrift begs to differ, as it’s introducing a noble skybound whale that will be one of many striking sights that airship pilots can encounter in their journeys.

The Worlds Adrift art team posted a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the sky whale, which culminated in the inclusion of this fantastic beast to the game. “At this stage I can only stand back and watch as my giant ugly baby flies off into the sunset, tears streaming down my cheeks,” a developer posted.

You can watch the sky whale’s inception in a video after the break.

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PSA: Last call for Eternal Crusade founder packs before early access Steam launch

If you were hoping to pick up an Eternal Crusade founder pack, today is the last day to hand over your money.

Behaviour Interactive announced earlier this month that it would be closing down the founder program in favor of an early access launch on Steam, which will allow access to the closed alpha without all the founder perks. The game’s Steam version will be priced for retail, though the company has vowed it will offer some sort of early adopter program for Mac and console players as well.

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Nexon announces Riders of Icarus, an aerial combat, action-adventure MMORPG

Nexon has just announced a new “free-to-play action-adventure MMORPG” Riders of Icarus, whose highlight is apparently “exhilarating aerial combat unlike anything ever seen before in the genre.”

“In Riders of Icarus, players will explore a vast, majestic and ever-expanding world where they can collect and train hundreds of different wild beasts, taming them to become rideable mounts with unique special abilities. As a legendary Rider, with renowned combat abilities, players will coordinate with other heroes both in the air and on the ground to engage in theatrical boss battles utilizing the game’s frenetic action-oriented melee combo system. With hundreds of ground and aerial mounts to collect, the sky is no longer the limit for the Riders of Icarus, who fight to protect mankind from an ancient invading evil.”

Nexon’s US branch says that a beta for players in North America and Mexico will run from January 28th to February 2nd, expanding “at a later date” for Oceania and Europe. Beta signups are available on the official site.

Source: Nexon press release, official site. With thanks to Feodor.

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Hands-on with HEX: Chronicles of Entrath’s PvE

What do you know about HEX: Shards of Fate? If you’ve ever played it, probably more than me. But what do you know about Chronicles of Entrath? HA! I’ve got you there. I spent a day at the HEX Entertainment studio, hobnobbing with developers and hearing all about many aspects of the long-awaited PvE expansion. There was plenty to take in, from the AI to the art to the history of the game.

Oh, and I got to play! That was something you should have seen: I didn’t lose a single match.

My takeaway from the experience is a desire to dive in and play more. And that’s coming from someone who has never touched a TCG before, on or offline, and was honestly a bit intimidated by HEX. Once the patch goes live next week, I’ll encourage everyone else to jump in and check it out, whether you are an old pro or newbie like myself. Here’s why.

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The Repopulation remains skeptical about HeroEngine’s latest announcement

HeroEngine owner Idea Fabrik announced yesterday that it has made “several positive adjustments” in regard to its ongoing financial situation – namely, “reducing server costs, finish[ing] R&D and [its]development plan, complet[ing] some very important testing and code review, and continu[ing] to work on several other special things behind the scenes.” These new changes apparently include the resumption of HeroCloud subscription sales (“[w]e will be completing a special Thank You to our community, then normal sales will return on 31 January”), a new website design, DirectX 11 support, and a new “market” to vend assets.

Idea Fabrik did not allude to The Repopulation’s Above and Beyond, which it had obliquely and seemingly unjustly accused of failing to pay royalties last month, except to say, “Not all of these have been resolved and the primary cause of the partial shutdown is still being worked on.” The concomitant financial issues and server outages drove The Repopulation offline in December and caused serious concerns about its future.

The Repopulation’s JC Smith told forumgoers that HeroEngine’s announcement had “nothing to do with” A&B’s.

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The MOP Up: Metal Gear Online comes to PC (January 24, 2016)

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!

This week we welcomed Metal Gear Online’s multiplayer launch on PC, got a comprehensive lesson on the history of MMOs, took a peek at the cover art of Albion Online’s novel, wept at a heartfelt goodbye from two devs, and more!

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Make My MMO: Smedley’s Hero’s Song sings for its supper (January 23, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, former SOE/Daybreak CEO John Smedley revealed his new company, Pixelmage Games, and its first game, sandboxy OARPG Hero’s Song, whose Kickstarter is live now and will run until February 18th. In fact, it’s already added new pledge tiers to entice backers; a $25 pledge scores two copies of the $20 game at launch.

Dragon of Legends, Overpower, and Planet Nomads join Hero’s Song in the list of new Kickstarters this week.

We also heard Eternal Crusade reject the idea that its early access Steam launch is a “cashgrab,” witnessed Elite: Dangerous fend off confusion about its Oculus Rift support, learned Crowfall is putting an end to refunds, and saw Gillian Anderson describe her role in Star Citizen’s Squadron 42.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week.

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Get your time travel on with Dark Era

While time travel has certainly been done as part of MMO quests, could an entire game revolve around the sci-fi concept? Dark Era, a new title from Game 321, thinks it can indeed.

Launched this past week, Dark Era puts players in the role of Chrono adventurers who can hop through six time eras that span both eastern and western mythos. Stops include 1307 AD with King Arthur in Camelot, 1203 AD with Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest, 629 AD in Emporer Li’s camp and the Tang Dynasty, 44 BC in the Roman Empire, 1174 AD in Ancient Egypt, and 1420 AD with Joan of Arc in France. The game offers three classes and can be played through a browser or a client.

Check out the trailer after the break and see if this could be a quirky gaming possibility for your weekend!

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Atlas Reactor is taking sign-ups for a February alpha test

Trion Worlds has been so quiet about Atlas Reactor over the past few months that you can be forgiven for having forgotten the game was on the way this year. Well, perk up, sparky, because the studio is preparing a limited test for its turn-based team tactics title, and it’s welcoming any and all sign-ups to be potential testers.

The “sneak peek” test will take place sometime in February. Will you be one of the lucky recipients of an alpha key?

Source: Twitter

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Betawatch: Having fun with Black Desert’s character creator (January 22, 2016)

Who doesn’t like a good character creator? The people in charge of Black Desert clearly like having one so much that a standalone version was released. Now everyone can enjoy making characters that are just like Bart. If you can’t wait to make a character and play said character, of course, you’ll have to wait for the next closed beta test starting up on February 18th.

Meanwhile, Blade & Soul leaves the list altogether, what with its launch this past Tuesday.

And there’s other beta news, too!

And just as in previous weeks, we do indeed have more titles listed down below. Is something missing? Why, let us know in the comments!

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Overpower melds fantasy arena matches with RPG progression

Is your MMO a little on the slow side? Need a jolt of excitement and danger to go with your love of RPG progression? Then you might harken to the call of Overpower, a new fantasy shooter that’s currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise $22,000.

Overpower describes itself as being inspired by MOBA combat, but really it’s more like fast-paced PvP arena matches with classes, gear, and leveling. It was made by a two-person studio, Hydrant Games, over the past couple of years and currently includes four classes and nine maps. The game has a colorful, cartoony style with classic RPG roles that are instantly identifiable (there are plans for many more as well).

Overpower is currently looking to get on Steam Greenlight so that it can start offering its beta to the community. If all goes well, Overpower will launch in May 2016. You can watch its trailer and get a taste of its combat after the jump.

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