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]

The Oculus Rift costs a staggering $599

Did you think the Oculus Rift would be $350? Not so fast: Oculus is asking $599 US for its sweet chunk of virtual reality equipment.

As promised, pre-orders for the Oculus Rift opened this morning. The $599 bundle includes the headset, sensor, Oculus Remote, cables, Xbox One Controller, and its two flagship games. Those listed for sale as of press time will ship in April of this year (this date apparently shifts as more are sold).

Oculus is also planning a Reddit AMA for later this afternoon.

Of note to MMO players, the Rift will ship with a free copy of CCP’s EVE-spinoff VR shooter EVE Valkyrie, as announced last month. Oculus’ Touch controller, however, will not make the launch; it’s been bumped to the second half of 2016.

Source: Oculus shop

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Mark Jacobs talks about Camelot Unchained’s balance and classes

If there’s one thing that you should know about City State Entertainment’s Mark Jacobs is that the man likes to talk at great length, especially about projects that inspire his passion. So don’t be surprised to see him gleefully tackle questions about Camelot Unchained on an hour-long episode of the Opposition Podcast.

Jacobs used his time on the show to address topics such as PvP balance, crafting, the game engine, and Camelot Unchained’s massive class line-up. He said that there are a lot of classes that haven’t been announced yet as needing more work.

You can watch the hour-long discussion after the break!

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World of Warcraft’s Legion testing will return with a new build and new content

There’s still no word on exactly when the test servers for World of Warcraft: Legion will come back online following the winter break, but we can at least be certain that when they do come back it’ll be with bells on. A tweet from a Blizzard employee confirmed it yesterday:

What exactly the new content will entail is unclear, but there are lots of possibilities; the original test servers were capped at level 104, featured only one spec for the majority of classes, and didn’t feature Shaman at all. With no ETA, don’t bet on finding out this week; next week doesn’t seem tremendously likely either, but who can say?

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World of Tanks rolls out a new PS4 beta test this weekend

If you missed out on World of Tanks’ first beta test on the PlayStation 4, then you’ll have another shot at it as the game is planning a second beta weekend from January 8th through the 10th. By participating in the test, players can secure an exclusive camo skin and a PlayStation-colored tank for the live release.

Check out a new PS4 dev diary after the jump!

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New Crowfall lore introduces Maeve, Empress of the Sea

Crowfall has today introduced a new goddess to the game’s pantheon: Maeve, Empress of the Sea, Daughter of Carnage, the Tempest Queen, Goddess of War, and the Ruler of the Oceans. She’s kinda pissed off because her siblings got better titles, and she’s waging war against them.

“Her domain is that of water: Ocean, River and Storm. […] The waves are her troops – an eternal procession of soldiers sent to assault [her half-sister] Gaea’s domain, to crumble rock and stone and pull the earth beneath the ocean’s surface.”

Check out the gorgeous new artwork of Maeve below, and maybe don’t get on her bad side.

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Revival seeks more fans, plans investment into the game in 2016

On the verge of getting the Stage 1 client of Revival released, IllFonic posted a start-of-the-year newsletter to rally the faithful and encourage them to spread the word about the game. The team admitted that it had fallen behind on the planned development of the game due to the early cessation of the studio’s work on Star Citizen and the need to scrounge up more funds from investors and other studio projects.

Still, the letter is incredibly positive and gives Revival’s backers a reason to look forward to 2016. The team said that IllFonic will be getting out several other games this year which will give Revival “traction” and that fans can look forward to estate upgrade kits, gifting, and a larger player testing pool, as well as the aforementioned Stage 1.
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The official guide to Blade & Soul’s January 19 launch

Are you ready for Blade & Soul‘s launch on January 19th? Are you really ready? I mean, you might have played a lot of the game’s beta, but there’s more stuff coming to the game in the days leading up to launch. There’s even a guide to everything players can expect, starting with the full list of launch servers available in both North America and Europe. Plan ahead and coordinate with your friends before you start playing.

Name reservation for certain founder packs will open up on January 11th, with the game allowing players to log in and create characters while not being available for play. There will also be more skin tone, hairstyle, and hair color options available to provide a wider breadth of customization for everyone. Head start begins at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST) on January 15th, so be sure to check the guide and be ready if you’re hotly anticipating the launch.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Mikey Moo for the tip!

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Project Gorgon gives away free gifts for the new year

It’s a very happy new year in Project Gorgon, as this week’s patch brings not only a home for animal players but also free gifts through the new item delivery system.

By logging in and typing “/redeem Happy2016” players will be gifted with a party supply pack (one per account). Players with accounts made in or before 2014 can additionally type “/redeem IAmSoOld” for another goodie bundle. Additionally, many NPCs will now give gifts to characters who have taken the time to befriend them.

The January 3rd patch includes the first version of Animal Town on Sun Vale’s beach, where NPCs won’t even talk to you unless you’ve been transformed into a beast. Cows and deer characters can now level up to 60, and cows have a new tough hooves ability.

Source: Loader patch notes

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Divergence Online calls for an indefinite moratorium on ‘gaming yelp reviewer bullshit’

Still waiting for Valve to approve Divergence Online for its inevitable Steam early access release? Stained Glass Llama’s Ethan Casner is too. While we all tap our feet impatiently, he’s penned a rant against “gaming yelp reviewers“:

The “gaming yelp reviewer bullshit” has got to stop. We get way too many requests every single day from people offering to give us a good review on steam in exchange for free game keys. […] Any requests made to Stained Glass Llama for the intention of getting free keys will be summarily ignored. Any “repeat” requests, threats, or offers from so-called “reputable” reviewers, streamers, whoemever, offering a favorable review in exchange for free stuff will go on a nice little list that I’m building up of “sources you trust for reviews which offered to give me a blanket good one in exchange for free stuff,” to be dispensed to your own community if and when I feel like it, assholes.

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Origins of Malu is launching in stages early this year

Wondering whatever happened to Origins of Malu? Apparently the devs were working elsewhere for a while but have now turned their attention back to the title. A new post on Steam revealed that the game will be launching “in stages” over the next few months as a free-to-play MMO.

“We will drop the price of our early access when we have things sorted out,” the team said, “so until then the folks who bought early will get a special treat and some nice rewards. We will announce these soon we are just finalizing some details and to be very honest we have been setting things up and getting the machine in a proper state. Long story short, give a week or two and things should be running smoothly and we can get back to features on the MMO.”

The post also addressed the status of the mobile game and promised new forums soon. Burning Dog said that it’s continuing to look for investors but has vowed to move forward with the launch no matter what.

Source: Steam

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Linkrealms announces winter beta, Steam early access in March

Linkrealms developer Mythyn Interactive announced today that it’s planning a Steam early access launch in March 2016 and as well as a fresh round of beta testing in January.

From the 9th of January, all registered users with a Beta Key and all purchasers of a Founder Pack will be able to play Linkrealms continuously for at least 3 weeks.

The Ultima Online-inspired isometric MMORPG ran a summer test and an autumn test last year in addition to releasing founder packs. It first entered testing in 2011; in February, 2015, it rebooted as an open-PvP game. Most recently, it’s touted a new crafter contract system, support for multiple characters (five, to be exact), a new login interface, and a creature balancing pass.

Source: Press release

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ARK lets you hop around on a prehistoric kangaroo

Bet when you woke up this morning you didn’t know that you were going to learn what a Procoptodon was. Well you are right now: It’s basically a big old prehistoric kangaroo.

And you know what’s even better than learning an important piece of information like that? Knowing that if you play ARK: Survival Evolved, you can ride this new beast if you find and tame it. The cool thing is that this mount can carry two passengers, which is the first such animal in the game that’s able to do that for some reason. C’mon, you know you want to hop with the best!

Check out the Procoptodon in action after the break.

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Oculus Rift will begin accepting preorders this week

All right! Who’s ready to hand over what will likely be more than $350 for virtual reality equipment?

Oculus announced today that pre-orders for the Oculus Rift will open at 11 a.m. EST on January 6th. “We’ll be sharing everything you need to know to order your Rift on Wednesday when pre-orders go live,” says the company; it’s also planning a Reddit AMA for that same day.

Of note to MMO players, the Rift will ship with a free copy of CCP’s EVE-spinoff VR shooter EVE Valkyrie, as announced last month. Oculus’ Touch controller, however, will not make the launch; it’s been bumped to the second half of 2016.

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