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]

ARK: Survival Evolved has already sold 400,000 copies

On the surface, you could think of ARK: Survival Evolved as one step removed from zombie survival games except it has dinosaurs instead. But the game is a great deal deeper and more involved than that, explaining why it has already sold 400,000 copies for $10 million in revenue. Yes, this little game is doing quite well for itself; studio co-founder Jesse Rapczak states that the game has seen peak concurrency numbers around 64,000 players.

The lengthy interview confirms that the game’s sales thus far have covered the initial development costs, although Rapczak is reluctant to claim “profit” when there’s still more development to manage. He also discusses early access as a concept and mentions that it’s the sort of business decision that makes sense only when the game is fundamentally finished already. Check out the full interview for more details on the game’s man-eat-dinosaur development process and the future of the title.

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Nexon’s Arpiel Online plans closed beta test in June

How many MMOs does Nexon have stirring in its pot right now? Hundreds? Thousands? In any case, the online game publisher is cooking up another tasty treat with Arpiel Online, an anime-styled fantasy title.

Arpiel Online is being developed by Ngine Studios and boasts frantic isometric action, plenty of crafting, and even a robust housing and decoration system. The game is preparing to run another closed beta test in Korea from June 25th through the 28th.

You can check out Arpiel’s brief but adorable trailer after the jump!

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Naval Action takes open sea warfare to a whole new level

There have been plenty of MMOs, multiplayer titles, and single-player games that have attempted to emulate the grand Age of Sail, but Naval Action might just take the cake. This upcoming sandbox is priding itself on an immaculate attention to detail, from weather effects on sailing to the reconstruction of period warships.

As the name implies, Naval Action’s primary gameplay will be couched in PvE and PvP conflict between ocean-going vessels. There are a wide variety of them, too, from the smallest to the tallest, firing away with all manner of lethal cannon shot. Currently the game’s in beta testing, with pre-orders being your best path to getting in on the early action.

We’ve got several videos from Naval Action for you to watch after the break, so hop to it, sailor!

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Crowfall’s Confessors represent the darker side of religion

The team behind Crowfall is hard at work preparing what it’s calling a “core combat test” between three diverse archetypes. One of these, the female Confessor, is the target of a post today that provides some of the background on her narrative and approach.

The Confessors are a branch of the Mother Church that diverged from the Templars when the Hunger started ravaging worlds, claiming that man’s sins were to blame. Disturbed by the events going on, the Confessors turned to fire as both a shield of defense and a sword to punish the wicked.

ArtCraft said that the many archetypes of the game, including the Confessor, were chosen to provide a wide array of cultures with different viewpoints that often examine the same thing. You can check out the Confessor being modeled in 3-D after the jump!
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H1Z1 aims for a ‘massive world,’ adds team members and resources

Daybreak Game Company isn’t pulling back on H1Z1’s development, but is instead doubling down on the survival zombie sandbox by adding more team members and resources to build what President John Smedley calls “a massive world.”

Smedley posted an update of H1Z1’s future development on Reddit today, listing several features that will be coming down the pike. These include guard towers, machine gun emplacements, a streamlined building process, professions, and smarter zombie AI. He also hinted at an announcement concerning the Battle Royale team later in June.

“Our goal remains to have a massive world,” Smedley said. “We’re doing that with Forgelight 2, which has been in development for quite a while now. We’ll be able to show stuff to you soon, but needless to say we’re super excited by what we’re seeing.”

Source: Reddit

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The Repopulation tweaks combat and building in its latest patch

Launch rushes onward toward The Repopulation like… some sort of extremely fast launch-related thing. The metaphor isn’t perfect. Neither is the game’s combat system, which is why the most recent patch is focused on making combat more interesting for everyone. New stances have been added for healers and pet types, dedicated pet types will have new skills to support the playstyle, and dual-wielders and healers have new skills devoted to dual-wielding and area healing respectively.

It’s not just about combat, though, as the same patch adds storage units to houses and expands the functionality of player-run shops. UI improvements and the Mission system have also been expanded, all making the game that much better-equipped to handle the aforementioned fast launch-related thing. Check out the details on these changes in the patch notes.

Source: Patch notes

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The Stream Team: Exploring Das Tal’s public playtest with devs

There’s simply no way MassivelyOP’s MJ could resist showing off a new game, so when Das Tal opened its alpha doors for a day, she had to jump right in. And luckily for her, she’s got a great guide to help show her around: Fairytale Distillery Community Director David Wells. Join the pair live at 1:00 p.m. to explore this open PvP sandbox, and bring any questions you might have for the devs!

What: Das Tal
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 1:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

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Play Das Tal’s alpha for free right now

You’d never buy a car without test-driving it, would you? If only that applied to games and you could take Das Tal for a spin before sinking your support into its Kickstarter… Oh wait, you can! Fairytale Distillery wants players to see what they are supporting so the studio has opened the alpha servers for one day. That means for 24 hours anyone can jump in and experience a taste of that this open PvP sandbox has to offer, and that time is right now.

To play, just download the client and use the key free4all. The dev team is also communicating directly with players during the playtests, so it invites folks to also join their teamspeak server. If you happen to like what you see once you play, Das Tal recently added a less expensive backer tier. But you’d have to hurry; the Kickstarter ends the same time the alpha doors close — at 9:00 a.m. EDT, Wednesday, June 10th.

If you can’t personally take advantage of this alpha offer, we’ve got you covered: The Stream Team will be jumping in and sharing the experience with you this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. on OPTV!

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Survive the treacherous land of Goliath with the help of high-tech armor

Tired of survival games yet? Whalebox Studio is truly hoping you aren’t, because it has another contender in the works called Goliath.

Goliath is a multiplayer title that throws players onto an island with hostile giants and kindly dares the smaller fleshlings to live to see another day. Fortunately, players have access to a robotic armor factory that can be used to fashion suits and gadgets for survival. Past saving your own skin, you’ll have the opportunity to side with a faction, explore a dynamic world, and help to conquer territory.

Goliath is currently in a pre-alpha state and is taking player sign-ups on its website. You can watch its announcement trailer after the jump.

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Shroud of the Avatar on mines and minigames

Having the ability to move things in a game world usually leads to player inventiveness. It’s how Shroud of the Avatar community member Bambino invented Gustball, a game in which players try to use Gust to shove a player character designated as “the ball” across a field and into a goal. It also does mean that someone has to be the unlucky soul not only picked last for a team, but picked to be the ball… hence why the developers have added an actual ball to use in the game for Release 19. Hooray for fictional in-game sports, then!

Of course, that’s not the only thing in the most recent community update for the game, which also shows off the upcoming Etceter Crag Mines through a series of screenshots. There’s also an invitation to a Release 18 postmortem discussion on June 11th and community guides to building your deck in the most recent update. Check out the full dispatch for all the community and game news you could want.

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Colonies Online contributes crafting and shotguns to the war effort

Everyone knows that if you’re going to head out into deep space to explore strange new worlds, you’d better have a trusty shotgun on hand with which to greet the wildlife. Fortunately, Colonies Online players won’t have to go without solid weaponry with the game’s 0.11 alpha patch.

The patch, which came out late last week, adds shotguns, rifles, and pulse guns to the sci-fi sandbox. Colonies Online also introduced its first edition of the crafting system, as players can now fashion their own weapons and armor with new stations.

Colonies Online challenges players to construct outposts and then battle other players and aliens in a top-down, non-target combat system. The MMO is currently available for $15 through Steam early access, and you can watch the new trailer for it after the break!

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Das Tal is halfway to funding on Kickstarter with two days left

The halfway mark for funding is an important milestone for any Kickstarter campaign, but whether it’s a good sign or a darker one depends a lot upon when you hit it. Das Tal has hit its halfway mark for funding, but there are only two more days as of this writing for the campaign to finish up. That’s not a whole lot of time to raise the other half of funding for a successful push.

Fans and backers have been kept up to date with regular updates from the development team. The team has talked about using fan creativity to help bring ideas into the game, posted the future roadmap for the game from here on out, and implored the community to rally during this final push for funding. As a reminder, the game is opening its doors to everyone on June 9th for those who’d like to see the game in action before funding or not.

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