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]

Skyforge’s guilds will offer stat bonuses, sub-guilds, and housing

From the sound of Skyforge’s first dev diary on pantheons (guilds), it sounds as though joining a group of players will be a near-mandatory move, especially if you want to reap the benefits of cool features like stat bonuses or special missions.

Pantheons will be easy to create but will require effort and resources to grow in its capabilities. One interesting feature is that guild leaders can create several clans to function as sub-guilds that officers oversee in order to share the load of leadership.

Individuals can benefit from being part of a pantheon by receiving character stat bonuses, special missions, and useful items. Pantheons can build up their own bases (strongholds) and participate in wars with other pantheons.

[Source: Welcome to the Pantheon!]

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Revival is launching player housing this month

After October, February seems perfect to tap into the dark, terrible nightmares of gaming. Why? Because you just know some elder god ate those extra days at the end of the month.

In any case, you’ll soon be able to get your H.P. Lovecraft on with Revival, an open-world sandbox that channels the late great horror writer’s spirit. Revival is planning to do a limited release of its player housing system this month. This will allow fans to move in while the rest of the game continues to be built.

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Pathfinder Online lays out its territory control design roadmap

While Pathfinder Online has been playable for many of its backers for a few months now, it’s still only in an early deployment phase. Players can take part in control of the game’s various towers, but territorial control is not yet implemented. That’s going to be changing soon, however, and a recent development post outlines the road to fully putting territory control in action for players and companies.

The first stage is the influence system for companies, which is earned via achievements and spent on holdings and outposts. Once that system is in place and working, the aforementioned holdings and outposts can be implemented (since companies will have the currency to spend on them), which clears the road for settlement placement and ensures that the complex web of resources shipping across the map is viable. You can take a look at the full rundown for a more detailed look at the relationships and an overview of what players can do now to prepare for the fight over land.

[Source: Territorial Conflict Roadmap]

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The Stomping Land creator apparently abandons project

Friends, it pains me to say this, especially when dinosaurs are involved, but it might be time to give up hope on The Stomping Land.

After far overshooting Kickstarter goals for his dinosaur survival sandbox, The Stomping Land creator Alex Fundora has seemingly abandoned the project. Freelance artist Vlad Konstantinov, who had been hired work on the project, said that he had attempted unsuccessfully to contact Fundora [link now dead] numerous times over the past month and hadn’t been paid for his recent work.

To make matters worse, early access to The Stomping Land is still being sold on Steam despite players warning others off in the comments. The title raised over $114,000 from a Kickstarter campaign in 2013.

[Source: The Stomping Land forums [link dead], Eurogamer, Steam]

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H1Z1 eyes battle royale season pass

Would you pay for a season pass to H1Z1’s popular battle royale content? And if so, how much would you shell out for it?

Daybreak President John Smedley was publicly musing about this idea on Twitter yesterday. “Seriously considering doing a season pass for BR. What would the right price be for a season pass?” he asked. In a follow-up tweet Smedley added, “H1Z1 is not just a game. We view it as a platform for other games. Battle royale is just the start.”

The battle royale mode throws players into an intense PvP match where the world boundaries begin to close in with the help of toxic gas. Some players decided to recently rebel against the setup by staging a hilarious mass “stop the violence” campaign even as their toxic doom approached. You can see how that ended in a video after the jump.

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OARPG Lost Ark might be destined for the west

Great news for those who had their minds blown with that Steparu Lost Ark video last year: The Diablo-esque action RPG may indeed be coming to the west.

In an interview with Worlds Factory, Tripod Studios said that it’s aiming to bring this game out of its home country: “First, we will be launching in the Korean market. In 2015, we are going to proceed with [the closed beta test]. We are considering launching Lost Ark in western market, and the date will be finalized after solidifying the service schedule in Korea.”

The interview goes on to discuss Lost Ark’s many features, including explorable regions, a PvP battleground system, ownable islands, a “broad and extensive” economy, 18 classes, and NPCs who must be won over before you can access their secret adventures. A business model has not been decided as of yet.

If you’re just hearing about Lost Ark for the first time, check out the gameplay trailer after the jump to see what all the fuss is about.

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Warhammer 40K aiming for early access this fall

Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade Senior Producer Nathan Richardsson posted a State of the Crusade letter today, saying that the team is moving forward with “a rapidly advancing schedule.”

Richardsson revealed that the team has been quiet lately because it’s been reviewing its plans and isn’t quite ready to discuss specifics (it’s noteworthy that he did mention “expansion” as one of the forbidden topics). However, Richardsson did point at “autumn 2015” as a target for early access and clarified that fans will need to be paying founders to get into the multi-month alpha and beta tests.

[Source: State of the Crusade]

 

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Nebula Online seeks crowdfunding for ‘perfect’ sci-fi MMO

What is it about outer space that elicits the cutthroat nature of sci-fi MMOs? Well, get ready to go on that adventure again, as Nebula Online is running a crowdfunding campaign to build an “old-school hardcore sci-fi” MMO that corrects the mistakes of games such as, oh, EVE Online.

“Some people may think that it is just bad copy of EVE Online. But we can say to you — it’s not,” the team posted last month. “This game was made to correct all mistakes and collect best things to make the perfect MMO.”

Nebula Online is looking for $130,000 CAD in donations to build its three-faction game with features such as landing and battling on planets. The game will hold fast to a buy-to-play model (with no cash shop) and is looking at an alpha test later this year. The team is also pushing a Steam Greenlight campaign and has released a trailer that you can watch after the jump.

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Crowfall thinks you play games to crush… voxels

Crowfall developer ArtCraft Entertainment has announced today that the game will employ the Voxel Farm technology platform. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Voxel Farm is licensed to several other high-profile MMORPGs, including Landmark and EverQuest Next.

The best part is how the studio leads describe what they’re doing with the tech. “We want to create hundreds of unique worlds, with unique maps — mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, dungeons, ruins — for players to explore and destroy,” says ArtCraft president Gordon Walton. Sounds peaceful, right? Wrong! Creative Director Todd Coleman says ArtCraft is out to subvert that trope: “Most games are using voxel technology for creation — effectively, giving players a sandbox to build things. We’re using them for a very different reason; we are using Voxels for destruction. We’re creating sandcastles for the players to kick over.”

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Das Tal’s latest dev blog talks bug squashing and upcoming tests

Das Tal’s latest dev blog is live, and with it all manner of detail as to what the team’s been up to lately.

Last month’s build update led to a couple of serious bugs — including player invisibility — which have since been squashed. The blog also gives readers a sneak peek at the sandbox PvP title’s next world map and teases extensive progress on Das Tal’s audio, which should be available for testers to experience in March. Test events will follow the now-familiar 12- to 24-hour format and will involve “a large amount of alpha signups.”

[Source: Dev blog]

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SkySaga’s NA alpha test begins on February 19

You won’t have long to wait at all to get a shot at playing SkySaga if you’re in the US or Canada. The sandvox title is preparing to open its closed alpha test to North American players from Thursday, February 19th through February 26th. Thus far, SkySaga’s alpha has been contained to Europe only. Interested players will need to register on the website.

We’ve got the announcement trailer and a post-mortem of the alpha to date after the break. Be forewarned: After you see the trailer, you will believe that a bear can fly!

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Warhammer 40k: You’re a soldier, not the chosen one

If you are bone tired of the MMO trope where you (and millions of other players) are the chosen hero fated to rescue the entire world, then Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade’s ego-busting approach might be right up your alley.

“Unlike traditional MMOs, we aren’t treating you like the fated hero of the land — you’re a soldier here to do a job. And if you become a hero or a leader of men, it’s because you really earned it,” Lead Game Designer Brent Ellison said in an interview. “You’re important because your team is important.”

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Dream of Mirror Online returns from the dead

After several years of being out of commission, Dream of Mirror Online (DOMO) is coming back for a second shot at success. The closed beta of the anime fantasy MMO began on February 13th under the Suba Games umbrella.

DOMO originally launched in North America in 2007 and operated by Aeria Games but was cancelled in 2012. Since then, the title has been looking to make a comeback through an already-successful Steam Greenlight campaign.

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