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]

Sword Coast Legends is launching on Mac and Linux as well

Good news for Sword Coast Legends fans who are hoping to play with their friends of “other” persuasions: n-Space has announced that the game will be coming to Mac and Linux as well as PC.

Director Dan Tudge says that this decision will benefit the community as a whole: “For far too long, passionate and dedicated Mac and Linux RPG gamers have been left out in the cold, forced to watch from the sidelines as the industry focused efforts on just a select few platforms. That ends today.”

The beauty of this move is that Sword Coast Legends supports cross-platform play, allowing gamers to hook up no matter what OS they use. The team is also allowing Steam keys to be redeemable for any of the platform versions.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Hands-on with Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns beta

My excitement for Guild Wars 2‘s first expansion has been no secret, so you can easily guess how much fun I had climbing the trees in heavy armour in the Heart of Thorns beta test last week. This playtest focused on the new Revenant profession and the Heart of Maguuma zone, starting off the player into a new personal story chain and showing us a quick glimpse at the Mastery system. The new Specialization mechanics were not ready for testing, unfortunately, but I was still able to get a good sense of how the Revenants will work in the expansion.

MMOs are always best enjoyed with friends, so our very own Brendan Drain joined me in the jungle for testing. We had more than a few giggles as we made our way across the dangerous yet beautiful zone while trying to get to grips with the new profession. We were sure to record our incredibly Irish antics for your viewing pleasure, the result of which is included below. You’ll be able to witness my poor sense of direction and propensity for squeakiness in all its glory in this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, in addition to a full write-up of my beta testing experience for those who prefer the written word.
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The Repopulation on expectations, SWG, and the Q4 launch

When Above & Beyond Technologies announced that its sci-fi MMO The Repopulation will launch before the end of 2015, sandbox fans simultaneously pumped their fists and arched their brows. MassivelyOP tracked down lead developer J.C. Smith and asked him about the ambitious release window as well as whether or not the dev team is feeling the pressure of expectations.

Read the full interview after the cut!

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Das Tal updates its Kickstarter again, and again, and again

Fairytale Distillery has dropped another Das Tal info bomb on its Kickstarter backers and curious sandbox PvP onlookers. The indie MMO got its start as a prototype called Love 2D, which is chronicled along with early art assets in a recent update. A second update focuses on bugs and the dev team’s “small gallery of accidents,” while the third and fourth updates for this week cover more of the game’s history as well as how the studio is set up.

Source: Official site

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Guild Wars 2’s second stronghold beta test is happening right now

The fight of the century — or at least the next 24 hours — is on in Guild Wars 2. The fantasy MMO is running a second public beta test for its new stronghold PvP mode, and players are invited to come in and fight with members of the development team.

This stronghold test contains several additions and tweaks from its first run, including map changes, adjustments to the rules, stronger guards, and even a “devastating” new attack by the stronghold’s lord.

A 16-team tournament will be running during this test as well, with players competing for a coveted mini llama and gem codes. The stronghold PvP map will be but one of many features coming with this year’s Heart of Thorns expansion pack.

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Offer your feedback on Skyforge in a new survey

As Skyforge ramps up for its next closed beta test, the developers are eager to know what can be done to make the game better. How can you answer that question? Why, by taking a survey on the official site. Take some time, click some options, make for a better game experience all around!

“But what’s in it for me?” you ask. And we’re glad you did because there might be something in it for you; the developers are giving away the ultimate $70 founder’s pack to 20 random people who take the survey. So it’s really all upside if you’re interested in the game, unless you already have the founder’s pack, in which case you’re probably invested enough that just getting your opinions heard is probably reward enough.

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ARK: Survival Evolved launches today on Steam early access

Before you go see Jurassic World this summer, why not experience it yourself? The dino-hunting simulator, ARK: Survival Evolved, launches today on Steam early access.

The team said that it will be hard at work addressing bugs, dealing with optimization issues, and quickly patching improvements into the game. The devs hope that this alpha release won’t scare fans off: “Even in this first early access build, it can take hundreds of hours to explore the mechanics and depth of content, burrowing deep into the foundations of the ARK and up above the clouds.”

ARK throws players onto an island populated by dinosaurs and challenges them to survive and thrive in that environment. The multiplayer shooter will eventually be branching out to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and it plans to release in summer 2016.

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Voxelnauts gets Greenlit, posts a new Kickstarter video

Looking forward to playing Voxelnauts? So are lots of people on Steam, it appears; as the game approaches the halfway point in its Kickstarter campaign, it’s successfully been greenlit. It’s good news for everyone hoping to nab the game via that popular service and a good sign of the title’s positive word of mouth thus far.

There are 17 days remaining in the crowdfunding campaign as of this writing, with the total goal a little under halfway. To reward backers and onlookers alike, the team has released a new video showing off the game’s teleportation, which you can check out just below.

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Crowfall supporters unlock localization stretch goal

Is English not your first language? If not, thanks for struggling through and reading our site anyway, and you can also take heart in the fact that Crowfall‘s latest stretch goal has been unlocked. That means localization for a variety of different languages, so even those for whom English isn’t a first language or who otherwise would be locked out of the game can log in and play.

Current plans are to localize the game in French, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, German, and Russian. The next stretch goal has also been announced: unlocking the Shadow World ruleset. Good news all around.

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LEGO Worlds releases on Steam early access

Since Minecraft more or less ripped off the very concept of playing with LEGOs, why not return the favor? That seems to be the premise of LEGO Worlds, a new title by TT Games that released on Steam early access today.

Players will get to explore, mold, and exploit virtual worlds made of LEGO bricks. There’s a heavy emphasis on player-created and -shared content, and a familiar jagged block environment that should help ease players over from that “other” title.

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Shards Online gets pledge upgrades, a new playtest, and more

Citadel Studios has released the latest Shards Online newsletter. It’s got a new letter from project lead Derek Brinkmann, good news for backers looking to upgrade their pledges, and an announcement for the game’s next pre-alpha playtest. It starts this Saturday, June 6th, at 2:00 p.m. EDT and it will feature a hunt through the game’s Eldier Cemetery as well the first opportunity to explore this region of Celador.

Other newsletter notables include a treatise on cooking, some Celador screenshots, and a plug for Shards‘ recent website upgrade.

Source: May newsletter

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Camelot Unchained is adding lots of cosmetics without a cash shop

Camelot Unchained’s next stretch goal is going to take the Realm Honors concept to the next level, according to the game’s website. In a nutshell, this means that the dev team will be adding “a whole bunch of cosmetic-only things to the game which will not be for sale in a cash shop.”

Rewards include items that may be displayed in your CU house, on your avatar, or in your C.U.B.E. creations. The stretch goal will be completed by launch, City State says, as it will be outsourced with a minimal amount of in-house oversight, which falls in line with the firm’s long-standing policy of not allowing stretch goals to affect launch.

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MapleStory 2 is launching in Korea on July 7

Predictions of a July 2nd launch date for MapleStory 2 were off — but only by a few days. Nexon announced that the colorful sequel to MapleStory will be releasing in Korea on July 7th without progressing through an open beta stage.

At launch, players can hop, skip, and slice their way to level 30 and enjoy a wide range of content, such as PvP and user-created content. There are plans to raise the level cap to 40 later in July and to 50 in August.

Players don’t have to be twiddling their thumbs between now and July 7th, however. Nexon is allowing folks to download the game and create their characters in preparation for the launch day.

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