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]

Action MMO Asker Online is in open beta

Asker Online is in open beta as of today, but what the heck is Asker Online? According to Steparu, it’s kinda like Vindictus. A brief review of the action MMO posted earlier this afternoon says that Asker involves grabbing a party and some quests in a town instance and then traveling to a dungeon instance to kill a boss.

Steparu also compares Asker to Dragon Nest and C9 in his textual description. You can see the title in action via his gameplay video that we’ve embedded after the break.

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Colonize the darkest reaches of space in 3001SQ

Outer space is so quiet and lacking in any useful facilities. It’s going to be your job to change that in 3001SQ, an upcoming space colonization simulator from Paris studio Société des Mondes Virtuels.

3001SQ will allow you to flit between planets and other galactic objects to mine, build structures, engage in a player economy, and even wage war. Players will have a programmable computer on their ship that can automate some tasks, even when the player is offline.

The team hopes that 3001SQ will suck you into its virtual universe: “Our vision for the game has a strong emphasis on immersion. Every item in the world will have a purpose, or relay actual game-world data. It will be played entirely from a first-person perspective, allowing you to move seamlessly inside of, and between, vessels and planetary surfaces.”

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Haven & Hearth launches improved ‘eternal alpha’ on August 28th

Haven & Hearth should look and feel a bit familiar to fans of Salem. That’s not entirely surprising; both games have the same brain trust in the form of Seatribe, both are highly player-driven sandboxes, and both have permadeath. Haven & Hearth was an older project, but the game is being rebooted, upgraded, and relaunched in what’s being called a new “eternal alpha” by the developers on August 28th.

The plan is to have all of the features currently available in the existing game available in the new version, along with plenty of further adjustment and updates (hence the moniker of “eternal alpha”). Check out the trailer just below to get a sense of what the relaunch will look like in action.

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The Repopulation patches in combat improvements, sets the stage for sieges

Are you not currently part of the The Repopulation‘s testing but want to check out the game? Good news: You will be able to during PAX Prime this weekend, or you could take advantage of a 25% discount offered on early access from now until September 4th. A new patch has been deployed for the game just in time for the convention, to boot. While it doesn’t bring siege mechanics to the test servers, it makes a number of mechanical changes to structures that will help support sieges when that PvP system is rolled onto the servers.

Players can immediately benefit from another combat revision and adjustment, which includes a new Two-Handed Tactics skill to offer additional benefits for players who neither dual-wield nor use a shield. Energy generation and storage is now integrated into player structures and cities, along with new ores that provide a great deal of energy to keep everything running smoothly. Take a gander at the full notes to see everything that’s changed, and stop by the game’s booth on the show floor to check it out in action.

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H1Z1 developers assure players that Survival is not forgotten

The first H1Z1 invitational is a pretty big deal, and it’s definitely taking the majority of developer attention as it draws closer. But however much you may like the Battle Royale gameplay style, you can almost certainly agree that it’s not focused on surviving against roaming hordes of zombies. A recent developer post on Reddit assures players that while the invitational is taking a lot of focus, that doesn’t mean other areas of the game have been forgotten.

September is already scheduled to focus around squashing bugs and improving Battle Royale for the invitational, but October and November are lined up to offer big updates to the Survival portion of the game. These updates include hospital points of interest, guild/clan systems, professions, new zombie types, and improvements to base building. There’s even a preview video of some raw art assets just below, if you’d like to see things in motion to know that they’re really happening. So players who prefer survival can rest easy knowing that it’s not dead, just resting for a bit.

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Shroud of the Avatar teases dragons, housing, and R21

Shroud of the Avatar’s latest Update of the Avatar newsletter debuted over the weekend. It includes a look at some “very large creatures” (also known as dragons) currently being worked on by Portalarium’s character artists and animators.

Release 21 is also available in an early QA build for backers at the Developer level or higher. The build is buggy and incomplete, according to the devs, but they nonetheless would like you to poke and prod it in service of identifying major issues.

The newsletter also features a bunch of housing screenshots, the second part of a lengthy dev dissertation on use-based systems, and more.

Source: Update of the Avatar #139

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Otherland delays early access

Bad news, kids: Otherland is not going to make its projected August 26th start date for early access after all.

“There are many reasons for [the delay],” Drago posted, “one of them being the decision to set up US servers simultaneously, as this has been requested so many times over the last couple of days. The team simply could use more time to polish the game and get rid of bugs that have come up over the weekend.”

No new time frame for an early access launch was given, although the team said that it will be announcing the new date along with a feature video later this week. Previously, Drago indicated that early access would last for a half of a year and that the game is nearly feature complete. Early access should cost around $22 for the standard edition, although Drago has yet to commit to prices.

Source: Steam

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Project Gorgon wraps up Kickstarter campaign with over $74K

It asked players for $20,000 to add better art and additional features, but what Project Gorgon ended up with was an impressive $74,781.

The indie fantasy MMO wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign last night after two failed attempts in the past. Over 1300 backers rallied to provide Project Gorgon with funds to beef up its graphics and feature set for its December 2016 launch. The campaign achieved several stretch goals, including a Bard skillset and the ability to become a vampire.

The team also posted a new community Q&A on the forums a couple of days ago. Amid discussing topics such as animal forms and incoming races (Fairies are next on the slate), Eric Heimburg said that he will be improving Steam functionality: “I’m going to kick the dirt off the implementation of the Steam interface and expect to get that up in a month or so.”

Source: Kickstarter, Q&A. Thanks, TJ!

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Make My MMO: August 22, 2015

One of these weeks we’ll stop writing about Project Gorgon in this space, but not today! And why should we, since the indie darling is basically the feel-good MMO crowdfunding story of the year to this point?As of press time, Gorgon has very nearly tripled its $20,000 Kickstarter goal with more than a day left on its funding drive.

Also this week, Double Fine veteran Justin Bailey unveiled Fig, a Kickstarter alternative that will eventually allow game backers to invest as well as pledge. The rest of our recent MMO crowdfunding news is rounded up for you past the break.

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Linkrealms’ summer closed beta starts on August 29

Indie sandbox maker Mythyn Interactive has announced that the summer closed beta for Linkrealms will begin on August 29th.

Linkrealms has received multiple updates since its March closed beta, according to a Mythyn press release. The game universe is now three times larger than before and boasts “several new random events, dungeons, towns, and other points of interest.” The devs have also implemented “extensive” balancing tweaks both for the crafting and PvE experiences.

Finally, Mythyn is campaigning to get Linkrealms onto Steam through the Greenlight program. Earlier this summer the firm released a trailer in support of the campaign, and you can view it after the cut.

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Star Citizen’s FPS devs confront merge conflicts

Star Citizen published its weekly Star Marine update earlier this morning. Cloud Imperium says that it didn’t add or test new features this week because it was dealing with the broken builds that resulted from “merge conflicts” which happened when the team began combining “multiple game development streams.”

As per usual, the weekly update is sub-divided into sections so that you easily read about whatever interests you most, including gameplay, audio, UI, art, and animation considerations.

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Betawatch: August 21st, 2015

Revival isn’t yet in closed beta or closed alpha or even really in pre-alpha, but it is letting players walk around the houses they bought as part of the game’s whole development funding model. Which is probably a good sign, since other news about Illfonic has been a bit less than positive.

Other beta news? You know it!

Oh, yes, and there is a whole list of games in testing past the break, don’t you know. Let us know in the comments if something slipped our notice!

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Gloria Victis is doubling its world size, selling naming rights

Fantasy sandbox Gloria Victis aims to double its world size with its next patch. It’s scheduled to hit the pre-alpha server sometime in the “next few days,” according to the dev team’s latest website update. Players can look forward to 80 new NPC enemies as well as new locations to capture and upgrade. Some of Gloria Victis‘ villages and resource extraction spots will be expanded, too.

Finally, the dev team is selling the opportunity to name both NPCs and locations in the game. Beyond the next update, Black Eye Games is working on PvP sieges, rams, trebuchets, and the ability to both build structures from scratch and reduce them to rubble.

Source: Announcement

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