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]

Salem ends ‘beta,’ adds animal husbandry and more

Salem’s “beta” officially ended this weekend, according to a post by Mortal Moments project lead John Carver.

Salem has been designed from both a business model, maintainability, and game mechanics model to weather the storms and provide the maximum assurances of longevity,” he writes, though he doesn’t mention specifics. The colonial permadeath MMO now features animal husbandry, statues, cannons, booby traps, cheese-making, new witchcraft spells, and more.

Source: Forums; thanks Crow and AgeOfMyth!


Make My MMO: June 20, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Voxelnauts pulled the plug on its own campaign. Not to worry, though, as the sandbox virtual world “will still be made,” according to a Retro Ronin Kickstarter update. The firm says that it is committed to alpha testing at the end of 2015, and that it is currently “in discussions regarding necessary funding to make our metaverse a reality.”

The rest of this week’s crowdfunding news roundup is just past the break.

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Betawatch: June 19th, 2015

You could be forgiven for sort of forgetting about The Division. No matter how much it might have interested you at first, the game kind of dropped off the radar for half of forever. But now it’s on track for a winter beta and a launch next year, and we found out a bit about the game from E3, like how you can hunt rogue agents. (We also got our hands on it on the show floor, which might have been to its detriment.)

In other news:

We also have our usual list of betas past the break. Is something amiss therein? Why, tell us in the comments!

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Eternal Crusade reveals Belial, gears up for sub-faction vote

Did you catch the Eternal Crusade livestream earlier today? If not, you missed the reveal of Belial, the new Space Marines leader and the Grand Master of the Deathwing. Which is kind of an impressive title, even if, like me, you have no clue what it means.

The reveal post outlines Belial’s exalted history and also says that players will be able to vote on Eternal Crusade’s fifth Space Marines sub-faction. Choices include the Raven Guard, Iron Hands, and Imperial Fists.


Landmark devs: Respawning is working as designed

Addressing complaints that respawning mobs and resources are broken in Landmark, Daybreak came out today to say that, on the contrary, everything is working as intended.

The post goes into depth explaining how the respawn system works. In a nutshell, the more players camp an area, the greater the chance that all of the respawns will happen somewhere else on the island, giving the local impression that nothing is happening. But even though the system is working, the widespread confusion over it is leading the team to look into alternate design methods.

“Even though this is working as designed, it’s clearly not working in a way that’s obvious or convenient to people trying to find trees to cut down or monsters to kill,” Daybreak said. “There are a few different ways to solve this issue which we’re discussing, and we will determine the best solution and roll this out to Landmark (and EQNext) as time permits. However, finding and implementing the best solution will take time and likely won’t be done in the near future, so as a short term solution we’re going to reinstate some overnight server restarts, since this forces all spawns to reset.”


See a pair of high-octane Overwatch matches

Got a few minutes? Then we’ve got some action eye candy for you, straight from the land of Overwatch.

Blizzard recently released two videos of in-game matches featuring bespectacled gorilla Winston and lethal sniper Widowmaker. These gameplay videos are great not just to see how the game engine is performing in alpha but to get a feel for how these characters fight and their weapons function. For our money, nothing beats a hefty gorilla punch!

You can watch the videos after the break.

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Revelation Online hits open beta today

Revelation Online is kind of a big deal if you’re in its native China. It’s a new MMORPG with flight, flying mounts, a beautiful graphical engine, and a variety of game systems meant to keep players involved. And it’s also finally in open beta, allowing everyone to jump in and try it out.

Your ability to do so will be somewhat curtailed if you’re not familiar with reading Chinese, of course, but you can still fumble your way through if you want (there’s a quick guide to registering on Steparu). No word on any sort of local release, so perhaps you’d rather not get your hopes up. Or perhaps you’d like to use this as a good excuse to learn how to read Chinese, whichever.

Source: MMOsite


Star Citizen is handing backers the keys to all of its spaceships next week

If you’re on a tight budget, Star Citizen’s ships aren’t always the most affordable pieces of virtual hardware in the gaming world. However, if you’re on board as a backer in any capacity, then the game wants to reward you by giving you the ability to fly the entire roster of Arena Commander spaceships next week. This would be a great time to try out the different ships and see if there are any worth picking up in the future.

You can listen to the pertinent info about this fly free event in the most recent Around the Verse video after the break.

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E3 2015: Torchlight Mobile is a new Torchlight, not Torch-lite

When Perfect World and Runic Games announced last week that Torchlight was stretching out into the mobile market, it caught many folks quite unawares. (It’s not often a studio can keep something under wraps so well in this industry!) So of course I was looking forward to meeting with these studios at E3 2015 to learn more about this little surprise. What I didn’t expect was to get my hands on a nearly completed version of the game and test it out!

Before I delve into my experience, I must preface this hands-on with the confession that with the exception of Fruit Ninja, I have never played — nor even been interested in playing — any mobile game. Well, unless Tetris counts! I am very much a PC gamer who wants the more in-depth worlds and experiences that come with that platform. That means I definitely have no bias toward or inclination to favor this genre of game. With that said, you can better appreciate this statement: I might very well start playing Torchlight Mobile on my own device when it launches!
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Time’s running out for the Voxelnauts Kickstarter

Are you interested in playing Voxelnauts, the “VR sandbox MMO” from Retro Ronin? If so, you might consider helping the firm out on its Kickstarter before it’s too late. There’s a bit over a day to go, and the game has thus far managed to raise just over half of its $200,000 goal.

Voxelnauts takes inspiration from the novel Ready Player One as well as virtual reality, and purports to allow the player complete freedom “to do anything, be anything, and go anywhere.” Gameplay includes terraforming, determining rulesets for various planets, and character archetypes ranging from warriors to architects and beyond.

Source: Kickstarter



Co-op sandbox Windborne is closing down on Steam

You’re in for some disappointment today if you were hoping that Windborne would ever emerge from early access. Developer Hidden Path announced this morning that it’s “closing down” the co-op sandbox.

We have attempted to secure the needed funding to finish the game in various avenues and unfortunately what was once a not-so-[competitive] market has now been flooded with games of this style. Windborne has been a labor of love for this studio since its inception. We have spent countless hours designing and creating a striking world to share with everyone. We have decided that after much business development around the title with no positive movement in funding that we will be delisting Windborne on Steam.

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Trove expands server capacity to handle population influx

It’s a good problem to have: Trove’s servers are filling up to the brim and even causing queues to form. Fortunately, Trion Worlds said that it will be expanding capacity on the hardware today to accommodate more players looking to get into the game.

“While the servers are running at capacity now (which means you’ll see some queues), we’re rolling out optimizations with an update [this] morning that will allow us to hold even more players!” the studio posted.

Trove is on the verge of release, with its launch day scheduled for July 9th.


Skyforge details its founder’s pack rewards

Have we learned our lesson about founder’s packs yet? If not (or maybe even if so), Skyforge is detailing the digital items it hopes to sell you as it moves closer to its free-to-play release.

The game’s upcoming fourth closed beta phase “represents the first time players will have the opportunity to try out their founder’s pack rewards in game,” says a new post on the Skyforge website. There’s a glider mount, several legendary weapons, heavy power armor, and service uniform costumes.

You can watch a video of the glider after the cut.

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