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]

Pocket Guild offers pocket-sized MMORPG action without the first three letters

If you’re fond of MMORPGs and you have an Android device, Pocket Guild is hoping you’ll give it a go. It’s everything you could want in a portable massively multiplayer online game, just without the “massive” part. Or the “multiplayer.” Or “online.” But it’s definitely portable. It’s all of the fun of an MMORPG without all of that MMORPG, in other words.

So, yes, this is meant as more or less a single-player RPG, just with the added layer of abstraction wherein you are supposedly playing an MMO. It is meant to include things like guild drama, farming dungeons, and managing loot distribution within your guild. There’s no release date planned just yet beyond “soon”; you can check out a trailer for the game just below.

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Wild Terra’s official trailer: One character from peasant to pugilist

Pining for an isometric indie sandbox? How about a “massively multiplayer life simulator” like Wild Terra? We’ve been following the game since last fall; while its aesthetics have more in common with Ultima Online than Black Desert, its mechanics cleave to those of modern survival MMOs, with realistic wildlife scripting, town and castle construction, crops, crafting, and dynamic maps.

Over the weekend, developer Juvty Worlds released the game’s official trailer, which depicts a farmgirl as she’s driven gearless from the safety of her homestead by brigands and slowly rebuilds kit and keep, one dead bear at a time.

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The Division on endgame, player looting, and pay-to-win

The Division has plenty of PvE objectives to propel you through a doomed and decaying New York City, but a large part of Ubisoft’s planned endgame consists of PvP inside the walled-off Dark Zone.

Ubisoft’s Magnus Jansen told Mashable that within the walls of the quarantine zone in the middle of Manhattan, players can attack each other, and any loot they grab in the zone is lootable by other players who take them out. “And since calling in a chopper for hazmat extraction alerts everyone in the vicinity, trying to get away with your loot also makes you – and others – a target.”

As to the PvE endgame, he says, “Rest assured, there’s PvE endgame for you, and there’s going to be goals and challenges and things to aspire to for you and your group. Difficult things that you really want to set your sights on and accomplish.”

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Valiance Online’s pre-alpha is available for testing

Do you feel a burning desire to get in and try out one of the intended spiritual successors to City of Heroes? Because you can do exactly that right now with Valiance Online. The pre-alpha client is available for downloading and testing with no NDA, no restrictions, and no certainties about when the server may go down for patches and/or maintenance. Still, you can share your experiences freely with the world at large.

The pre-alpha patch notes have a pretty long list of improvements as well; players who’ve tested earlier versions can look forward to improved combat, improved enemy AI, improved power sets, and improved missions. The game is still obviously in an early state, so it’s far from feature-complete, but players can still get a sense of where the game is going by downloading the installer and getting the client running.


The MOP Up: RuneScape’s TCG wraps up closed beta (February 7, 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 past week we celebrated the end of Chronicle: RuneScape Legends’ closed beta test, took a closer look at the Warcraft movie, celebrated Valentine’s Day in oh-so-many titles, and more!

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The Daily Grind: Are you reluctant to test MMOs you’re excited to play?

Am I excited, with some reservations, about World of Warcraft‘s next expansion? You bet. Am I happy to be involved with the testing? Yes. And also no, because I don’t want to be bored with the expansion before it’s actually out. The last thing I want is to go ahead and go whole hog on a title when I know that I’m still not actually making any “real” progress on the live servers… even at the same time that my job kind of necessitates some knowledge of the test, since that’s the only thing to talk about with regards to the game at times.

This is hardly the first time I’ve been in that situation, of course; beta tests for City of Heroes expansions, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Skyforge all threatened to dull my interest in the full product if I overindulged. As frustrating as it could be, I kind of appreciated Final Fantasy XIV‘s very limited beta that prevented me from seeing much of the game until it was actually sticking around for an extended period. But what about you, dear readers? Are you reluctant to test games you know you want to play on launch? What about patches and/or expansions? And whether or not you fear being bored by launch, has it ever happened?

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Make My MMO: Divergence’s drama (February 6, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, the Divergence Online drama came to a close, as DMCA claims against the developer were dropped early and the game fully returned to Steam.

We also saw The Repopulation switch engines, Elite: Dangerous tweak its business model, and LuckCatchers fall under our radar as an early access title on Steam.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Revival puts the finishing touches on renovation kits

Soon Revival players will have more toys with which to play in their houses, as renovation kits are almost here.

“We spent the week testing renovation kits,” IllFonic promised. “There is still one outstanding issue related to ‘physicalizing’ items in renovation kit rooms, but this is literally the only thing on the table as we push to get them out into your patient and amazingly understanding hands!”

To help tide players over during this busy season, the studio posted more tales from Crowns Rock and hinted at a future discussion concerning “the logistics and mechanics of large group action.”

Source: Revival


The Stream Team: Three’s company on ARK’s Gallimimus

Riding dinos in ARK: Survival Evolved is fun enough, but who wants to be the driver all the time? How about riding shotgun? MassivelyOP’s MJ is on the hunt for a Gallimimus, a fast-paced racer that can seat up to three. That means while one person steers, others can be firing those tranquilizer arrows! Join us live at 12:00 p.m. as the team tries to add this new creature to its herd.

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 6th, 2016

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Betawatch: Black Desert launches at the start of March (February 5th, 2016)

Are you impatiently waiting to explore the blackest and most brutal of all conceivable deserts? Because Black Desert‘s launch date is closer than you might think. The game is launching on March 3rd, meaning that you’ll be able to play to your heart’s content with the launch version. You can also reserve your name shortly if you’ve pre-ordered.

This week’s been pretty busy for launches, beta announcements, and other such antics.

That’s a lot of titles with big moves this week. Still, there’s always more stuff in testing than can be highlighted in one intro, and we have placed all of that down below in our usual list. Let us know if something swapped phases without us noticing; it’s funny, but it happens just the same.

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Armored Warfare’s open beta struggles with exploits

Exploiters in Armored Warfare’s open beta are finding out their activities aren’t welcome this week. Content Manager Silentstalker says that “a bug on [the] NA server […] allowed the players to rack up to cca a week of Premium Time (as well as all the other rewards) per hour by following certain steps intentionally. You could do it once by accident. Seven times… not so much.” In closing a thread on the topic, he said, “Exploiting will not be forgiven or rewarded.”

Legit players aren’t mollified, however, because instead of banning exploiters, the studio is simply suspending accounts from the rewards program for time equal to the reward acquisition time. As our tipster explained it, “If Johnny ran the exploit seven days, he would be banned from the rewards program for seven days.”

Ironically, the beta tester who first found and reported the bug was also apparently swept up in the account punishments.

Source: Official forums. Thanks, Brian.


Das Tal introduces new features for weekend test, opens clan signups

Indie sandbox Das Tal is running a “dev-supporter-exlusive” playtest this weekend to test its latest build and its new features. What can testers expect in addition to the usual balance and bug fixes? Opportunities, clan elections, and practice dummies:

Added the Opportunities system to advertise game features to new players.
Added the Equipment Drop Chance system to protect newbies from too much gear loss.
Added Practice Dummies to the game so you can try out new abilities easily.
Added a Clan Leader role that has the power to invite and kick clan members and disband the clan.
Added a new Clan Elections system that allows clans to vote for a new leader at any time.

Fairytale Distillery is also accepting clan applications for its second alpha test in the coming months. If you’ve got a guild that is willing to test as a group, make sure to sign up!


GameSpot lists EverQuest Next as a missing game in 2016

Even GameSpot appears to have lost faith in EverQuest Next.

“We’re not really sure what’s going on with MMORPG EverQuest Next,” the site said in its “Games Gone Missing 2016 – Where Are They Now?” video last week. “Unfortunately, when GameSpot asked, the team had no updates for us at this time.”

The good news is that Daybreak can’t possibly split the game in two because Landmark already exists! Too soon? Ah, well. The video’s below.

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