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]

Camelot Unchained delays alpha, promises compensation

Bad news for those eagerly awaiting Camelot Unchained’s alpha: The team has run into a few snags that have prompted a much-dreaded delay. The upside? There will be compensation for those affected.

Mark Jacobs says that the team worked all day up to the alpha deadline to try to fix a crashing bug and database issue but couldn’t get it sorted out before the test was scheduled to start. “‘Faking it’ or simply extending our deadline by a few days is, quite frankly, unacceptable to us,” he posted to the community. “Thus, we are going to delay alpha while we track down the one major crashing issue and the new database issue.”

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Robocraft lets you build and fight your own bots

We’ve come so far from Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots as a society, haven’t we? Now we have games like Robocraft that allow us to make up our own brilliant technological inventions and then throw them at others in a cage match to the death.

Robocraft is currently accepting sign-ups for its alpha program. Players who get in will be able to construct land or air robots that can fight on other planets such as Mars. Currently, there are two game modes (capture the base and boss battle) with a third (megabots) on its way.

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Ascent arrives on Steam with a discount

The insanely ambitious Ascent: The Space Game may make a new friend or two this week with the space sim arrival on Steam Early Access. Even better for its future growth, the title is 10% off on the platform until March 6th, meaning that you can pick it up for $17.99.

Like most early access titles, Ascent is still missing many features, although the developer claims that there is an overwhelming amount to enjoy in the game already, including mining, harvesting, colonizing, politicking, constructing, and exploring. You can check out the new release trailer after the jump.

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Make My MMO: February 28, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Crowfall basically blotted out the sun. The “throne war simulator” surpassed its $800,000 goal in a couple of days, and apart from that it also generated a ton of discussion both here on MassivelyOP and throughout the MMO blogosphere.

We’ve also entered the homestretch on our own Kickstarter. With six days to go, we’ve met our initial goal and secured a couple of months’ funding for our new web presence, so thank you for your support!

Click past the cut for rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding roundup.

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Betawatch: February 27, 2015

Skyforge announced its upcoming closed beta schedule this week; expect the first round to begin on March 11th. You can ensure a spot in the test with (what else) a founder pack, which will set you back 20 to 70 bucks. What else is new in the world of MMO testing?

Our complete list of MMOs in testing is below.

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Black Desert reveals the Blader class

Black Desert just got a new class called the Blader, which Steparu describes as the “fastest playable character” in the game. Bladers wield a sword — duh — as well as a composite bow, and they’re also able to conjure some sort of spirit weapon called a Tiger Blade, which turns them into a dual-wield class.

Steparu also mentions endless attacks courtesy of delay-canceling skills as well as effective evasion, heavy damage, and a quick dash that instantly closes the distance on targets. Click past the cut to see a clip of the Blader in action.

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Today’s Repopulation patch makes ‘massive changes’ to combat

If you’re looking to test The Repopulation this morning, well, it’s going to be down for four to eight hours. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the extensive break is allowing the devs to apply the 15.1.1 patch, which features “massive changes to the combat system.”

Every skill in the game has been examined with an eye toward balance and improvement, with melee skills receiving the most upgrades. New stats have been introduced, while buffs and debuffs have been tweaked to be more reliable and “reduce the amount of chance in an encounter.”

Combat is also getting a visual upgrade, chiefly in regard to ranged weapon animations. Above & Beyond says that a melee animation pass is planned. 15.1.1 includes texture upgrades, too, as well as a healthy portion of other stuff that you’ll find in the official build notes.

[Source: 15.1.1. notes; thanks Crow and Grimjakk!]

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Crowfund: Crowfall easily passes its fundrasing goal

Call it Crowfund. In only a few short days, Crowfall has passed its $800,000 crowdfunding goal — and there looks to be no end in sight for how far this scrappy PvP title could go.

After a couple of months of build-up to the campaign, Crowfall shot out of the gate in its first day of seeking player donations. Within 10 hours, it had already cleared the halfway mark and began to sell out of the early bird (read: discounted) tiers.

Presumably, stretch goals will be next as the team looks to rack up as much capital as possible. ArtCraft said that once the campaign concludes, it will continue to ask for donations on the official site.

Keep up to date on Crowfall with our game overview, player poll, and a glimpse into the art and video of the game.

[Source: Kickstarter]

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Heavy Gear Assault brings robot battling to a wider world

Mech fighters now have another option for their online gaming pleasure, as a title called Heavy Gear Assault has been making its way through the testing rounds — and the e-sports circuit.

Heavy Gear Assault is an arena PvP game where players pilot giant robots who smash and shoot the circuits out of each other. It will feature MMO-ish elements such as an upgradable robot “gear,” player markets, and even the ability to hop out of your mech and explore as a human avatar. Ultimately, the team said that this may prove to be bigger than just a single arena: “Heavy Gear Assault will release in a series of modules, culminating with the launch of the Heavy Gear persistent universe with episodic single player warfare.”

Currently the game is in its second alpha program. Players who purchase a founder’s pack (which range from $40 to $100) can get into the current test.

[Source: Heavy Gear Assault, e-sports. Thanks to Gaius for the tip!]

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Shadowrun Online lands physical distributor, adds February patch

Shadowrun Online’s future prospects as a sustainable title have gone up sharply now that the game has found a physical distributor. Cliffhanger Productions signed a deal with Nordic Games for the latter to produce and ship a boxed version of the game. As a bonus, this deal will allow the team time to create French and German versions for launch in addition to the current English edition.

In other Shadowrun news, the Early Access Update 8 patch has arrived with a truckload of improvements, starting with an actual character creation screen. The patch also contains a new real-time hub, improved grouping, gear selection, a clothing screen, better AI, more skills, additional enemies, and a variety of other tweaks. You can check out the patch trailer after the break!

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Skyforge announces closed beta start and sells Founder’s Packs

Skyforge wannabe deities, you may want to clear your calendar for early next month because closed beta is coming! The team announced today that the first closed beta test will commence on March 11th with lots of new content, the ability to play never-before-tested classes, and a look at the Orders of Aelion system.

While you can take a chance on getting a spot in the beta via sign-up, you can lock in your place by purchasing one of Skyforge’s new Founder’s Packs. The packs, which range from $20 to $70, include a spot in closed beta tests, early access to the open beta, currency, name reservations, and more.

Thinking about playing or paying for Skyforge? Check out the beta trailer after the jump!

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Shroud of the Avatar upgrades to Unity 5 for Release 15

Shroud of the Avatar’s Release 15 begins today. In fact, it begins this morning at 11:30 a.m. EST. The new build features Unity 5, the latest version of the engine that Portalarium says provides it “with both improved performance opportunities and graphical upgrades” that will “dramatically improve the visual presentation of SotA.”

The conversion is such a big deal that it required the devs to redo nearly every graphical asset in the game. As such, you should expect a “particularly large” patch for R15. The patch announcement post contains a full list of deliverables including new mainland scenes, new sun and moon magic skills, new crafting skills, and more.

[Source: Release 15 instructions]

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