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]

Rodinia War melds strategy and fantasy action

What flavors go well together? Peanut butter and chocolate, obviously. Sarcasm and stand-up comedians. Mario and mushrooms. And now, apparently, builder games and MMORPGs.

This mash-up is the basis for Rodinia War, a Korean browser-based title that is half fantasy kingdom building and half traditional MMO. It bills itself as “the world’s first web strategy RPG game,” although you might want to take that claim with a giant grain of salt. In it, players build up a plot of land in an isometric view, send out armies to conquer new territories, and get their hands dirty with some one-on-one fights.

Rodinia War went into closed beta testing earlier this month. We’ve got the trailer for you after the break.

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Heroes of the Storm devs talk Kael’Thas and character design

Wondering how Blizzard’s developers choose from the studio’s incredible roster of characters and then crafted those selections into Heroes of the Storm’s champions? Then you might want to check out this new AMA on Reddit in which two of the MOBA’s devs talked about the process of bringing a new hero to the game, such as the recent Kael’Thas Sunstrider.

“All the while, we balance, lightly at first while things are coalescing together, then much more heavily as we near release,” the devs wrote. “Does the character FEEL overpowered while not actually BEING overpowered? Are some talents obviously better for the same purpose?”

They also addressed the recent hefty nerfs to Diablo and ETC on the test server, saying that these were design changes long in coming so that both characters would have more viable talent builds.

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Forsaken World Mobile will include five classes

When it launches, Forsaken World Mobile will come out of the gate strong with five classes from which to choose. According to the list on the official site, there’s the dual-dagger Assassin, the “don’t call me healbot” Cleric, the versatile vampire Kindred, the ranged Mage, and the always-reliable Warrior.

Currently the title is running an incentive program to encourage players to pre-register. Those who do will be gifted a pair of “Wings of Wind” that delivers a three-day boost to stats. If 1,500 people pre-register, Forsaken World Mobile will also hand out goodie packs to everyone.

We’ve got the second gameplay trailer for Forsaken World Mobile after the break, so check it out!

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Crowfall backers can now gift a copy to a friend

If you have too much money burning a hole in your pocket and a good friend who didn’t get on board with the Crowfall campaign during its Kickstarter, then ArtCraft has a way to solve both of those problems. By the end of May, the studio will empower players to gift copies of the game to friends and family.

In addition to this, the studio will allow Kickstarter backers to gift an entire Kickstarter pledge package for a limited time. Players can choose a pledge bundle that’s higher, equal, or lower than the one that they bought, but they can gift only one of these to someone else.

ArtCraft is also working on bringing two-factor authentication online to offer deeper security for player accounts.

Source: Crowfall

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Trove patches in the Golden Thread, now patches out the bugs

The most recent Trove patch added in the Golden Thread, which is pretty great for everyone playing the game. For the new player, it means that you have the tools to find out how the game works and what you can do with it while earning up a ton of Cubits. For existing veterans, it means a simple questline that you can do… for tons of Cubits. Everyone wins!

At least, everyone who doesn’t run afoul of bugs in the process wins. Users on Reddit have compiled a short list of the bugs found in this patch, some of which were addressed in a recent hotfix, some of which were not. Users are reporting losing items and progress rather unexpectedly, which doesn’t help matters. Hopefully the bugs will be resolved quickly so that players can enjoy the tutorial in the spirit it was intended.

Source: Patch notes, Reddit; thanks to Jake for the tip!

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Lineage Eternal will hold a small beta test next month

For a game that was hyped to heck and back with its announcement, you would think that Lineage Eternal would get more time in the limelight. Despite its seeming back-burner status, though, the game’s development is moving forward; Steparu is reporting that a small beta test will be held for the game next month, although details are not yet specified. This may be a focus group test in a set environment rather than an online test; it’s unclear.

The game was slated to enter closed beta the second half of this year, but no further information has surfaced on that, which may indicate that plans have changed. Regardless, even a small test means that players are likely to hear more about the game and its ongoing development in the coming weeks.

Source: Steparu

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EVE Online’s Matt Woodward defects to Albion Online

EVE Online is less one developer today and Albion Online is richer by one, as Matt Woodward has jumped ship to work on the upcoming fantasy sandbox as a game designer. Woodward is trading in his old handle of CCP Greyscale for a new one: Monochrome.

Woodward explained his decision to take on this new project: “When I saw Albion Online, I was really excited about the possibilities offered and what’s already there.”

Sandbox Interactive recorded an interview with Woodward talking about his new position and what he considers important for the development and options of a robust sandbox. When asked about what he’s most excited about in Albion Online, Woodward cited the game’s guild vs. guild system. You can check out the interview after the jump.

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Tree of Savior was greenlit on Steam in just 10 hours

Yesterday, we let you fine readers know that Tree of Savior had gone the way of all indie games (or at least many of them) by heading to on Steam Greenlight to see whether people would drop cash on it. Today – or more accurately, several hours later yesterday – the community said that it definitely would. So the game is already greenlit on the platform.

For the record, it took about 10 hours.

Obviously, this shows how excited the game’s English community is about getting to play. The developers promise further updates on the game’s development blog about what happens next, but it’s an indisputable victory for players with a hankering for the game.

Source: Steam Greenlight; thanks to Mikey and Yulian for the tip!

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Skyforge devs thank CBT3 participants

Skyforge’s devs want to thank you for participating in the game’s third closed beta, which wraps up tomorrow at 5:00 a.m. EDT. This is assuming, of course, that you did participate. If you didn’t, then you might not care that the three-week test “generated invaluable statistics and highlighted a number of ongoing issues for the team to investigate.”

An announcement post on the game’s website also mentions that there will be a character wipe between the end of CBT3 and the next beta event.

Source: CBT3 ending announcement

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Tree of Savior lands on Steam Greenlight

Will Tree of Savior get the thumbs-up from the gaming community? That’s the big question now that the Korean title has landed on Steam Greenlight and is attempting to garner votes from players to become a real boy. Er, a real Steam title.

According to the description on Steam Greenlight, Tree of Savior is gunning to be named the most adorable game ever: “Fairy-tale like colors accompanied with beautiful graphics in TOS will have you reminiscing about precious moments all throughout the game. ”

Tree of Savior is currently winding its way through beta testing in Korea, after which it will go into international testing.

Source: Steam Greenlight. Thanks to Vincent, Jasdemi, and Mikey for the tip!

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ARK: Survival Evolved strands you on an island of dinosaurs

Do you have a weirdly shaped hole in your life that can be filled only by killing and riding dinosaurs (not necessarily in that order)? Have you wanted to live out fantasies of taking up residence in Jurassic Park? Then get thee hence to ARK: Survival Evolved because this might be the game that The Stomping Land had promised to be — and then some.

ARK strands you on a massive island that’s a throwback to a land before time. While players will have to do the typical survival game activites (forage, craft, build), they’ll also have to contend with the dozens of types of dinosaurs that happen to be roaming around. Dinos in ARK can be tamed, killed, and used as mounts, depending on the need.

ARK will be launching its early access program next month while aiming for a June 2016 release. Its dinosaur survival theme is similar to The Stomping Land, which was abandoned by its developer earlier this year. Check out the following announcement trailer for ARK and see if these jaw-dropping graphics can convince you to get on board with this project.

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‘No more grind’: PvP sandbox Das Tal launches its Kickstarter

As promised, buy-to-play indie PvP sandbox Das Tal has begun a Kickstarter campaign today to coincide with the launch of the German wing of the Kickstarter platform. Das Tal isn’t a new game for many of you as we’ve been covering it on Massively OP and Massively-that-was, but the pitch puts the game’s development goals in focus:

Das Tal is the world’s first Open World Battle Arena. It is the love-child of a Sandbox MMORPG and a fast-paced PvP Arena. Our goal is to make MMOs fun again for PvP fans. No more grind. No more pay-to-win. No more tab-targeting. We are creating a game designed to be compatible with the busy life of an adult gamer.

Das Tal’s devs have already been working on the game for several years and have plenty of game footage to show for it. The title is due to launch next year; the alpha is expected in the next few months. The Kickstarter, they say, is specifically intended to pay artists to flesh out the world.

I spoke with Fairytale Distillery Managing Director Alexander Zacherl last week to pick his brain on the PvP MMO market, the B2P model, graphics snobbery, and the apparent contradiction in the game’s hardcore-but-not-entirely design. We’ve got a fresh Kickstarter video as well. Read on for all of it!

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MapleStory 2 ends Korean CBT, eyes July open beta

Expect to hear a lot more about MapleStory 2 now that the game has wrapped up with its Korean closed beta test cycle. Steparu.com reports that with the CBT done with, the game is now preparing to head into open beta in the region this July. MapleStory 2 is the 3-D sequel to Nexon’s long-running MapleStory, and boasts a world so intensely cute that it must be spelled as “kuwte.”

Steparu says that there was “a lot of positive feedback” from testers and commented that grinding mobs ended up providing a faster leveling experience than questing. One neat detail of the game mentioned was how it allows players to whip up outfits and sell their designs to the community. In fact, you can check out MapleStory 2’s outfit designer in a video after the break!

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