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]

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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HEX celebrates its second birthday

A lot has changed for HEX since the game first went to Kickstarter a few years ago. The anniversary letter to the community touches on precisely that, noting that when the game launched to potential backers, it was with far less knowledge about what would be a design hurdle and what wouldn’t. But the letter is an optimistic one; the devs boast how far the game has come since that Kickstarter launch with still more features to be rolled out over the next year.

As to those new features, the anniversary announcement discusses new starter decks designed to make starting fresh more pleasant and 60 new champions that are coming to the game for use in Constructed and Draft formats. There’s also a short anniversary comic for those invested in the game — another little way to thank players for sticking around as the game grows and develops.

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The healing Revenant was demoed in the Guild Wars 2 stream

Just because you’re a blindfolded warrior empowered by the Mists in Guild Wars 2 doesn’t mean you can’t support your allies. That’s the big focus behind the Ventari legend unveiled for the Revenant last week, that and the melee staff. The most recent official stream went into greater depth, naturally, and a summary of that greater depth is now available over on Dulfy so you can see all the details about this legend and weapon.

The Ventari Legend is more or less entirely focused on healing; all of your right-side skills will be some manner of heal, with an emphasis on placing your tablet in the right place for delayed or active healing. It’s perhaps one of the most aggressively group-focused options out there if you want to play a dedicated healer in Guild Wars 2. You can check out the full summary, or if you’d rather see things in action, there’s a video below with the relevant highlights, er, highlighted.

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Here’s an early look at Crowfall’s keeps

A lot of Crowfall is going to come down to the environments. That might seem a little bit odd or silly, but if you consider it for a moment, you realize that it’s absolutely vital for players to have structures like keeps be exciting places to attack or defend, not just straight rushes from an entryway to a goal. So the latest video showing off the greybox form of the Keep is pretty relevant for players of every stripe.

This early model doesn’t feature textures or detailing, just the raw form of what the building may look like. It also already features plenty of places for defenders to repulse attackers and chokepoints for dramatic showdowns. The whole video is about 10 minutes long, but if you’ve got a bit of time to see what’s been built thus far, check it out below.

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Black Desert’s Korean beta servers will be merged into one this month

Black Desert is exiting its Korean open beta this month. Developer Pearl Abyss and publisher Daum will be merging all the game’s servers into a single megashard “and perhaps a multiple channel system,” Steparu reports.

He goes on to summarize his experience with the fantasy sandbox after nearly a year of playing its various beta stages, and it’s not all positive. “Class balancing is horrible,” he writes, while the enchanting system “is starting to become pay-to-win because you can now break down cash outfits for tokens that give enchanting bonuses.” Steparu also says that Black Desert features no group PvE content, and that most of his gameplay involves PvP.

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Make My MMO: June 6, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Das Tal continued its Kickstarter info dump and it invited everyone into its alpha test for one day only. Voxelnauts posted a new Kickstarter video and achieved a critical mass of Steam user support by getting greenlit on Valve’s ubiquitous PC platform.

Elite: Dangerous released its long-awaited Powerplay update, while Star Citizen delivered another one of its gargantuan monthly progress reports. Click pas the cut for the rest of this week’s crowdfunding roundup.

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Star Citizen’s massive monthly report recaps May’s progress

Star Citizen’s monthly report was released last night, and in typical fashion it’s a huge info dump that covers much of what Cloud Imperium’s globe-spanning dev collective accomplished in May. It’s broken down by studio, so expect to read about CIG Santa Monica’s work on the game’s first passenger ship, CIG Austin’s work on the Pioneer occupation, and Foundry 42’s work on Squadron 42’s conversation system, to name just a few highlights.

Source: May report; thanks Bjørn!

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Betawatch: June 5th, 2015

It’s always nice when a game finally launches after a seeming eternal beta. Assuming it doesn’t, you know, die shortly thereafter. Trove is the latest “hasn’t that already launched” title to go into a full launch, and we wish it well, even if it’s not pulling the launch trigger until July 9th.

What else happened this week? Oh, you know, stuff.

Like we always do it, there’s a whole list of other titles just below. Did something slip into release or functional release without us noticing? Tip us off in the comments!

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Overwatch shows off the turret-building gameplay of Torbjörn

Torbjörn, aside from having a name that’s very satisfying to type when you’re familiar with Unicode inputs, is a simple kind of guy. He doesn’t rush into danger, he doesn’t dance around, he doesn’t dual-wield guns. He just fires molten metal and builds turrets while upgrading them with the scrap from fallen enemies. In other words, he’s solidly defensive, but as the latest Overwatch gameplay video shows, there’s a long gap between “defensive” and “passive” in this game.

You can see all of Torbjörn’s abilities on display in the video and get a good idea of his approach, setting up a turret in an ideal location while moving back and forth to collect scrap and take out enemies. If you’ve been thinking that the character you’re really waiting for is the pseudo-dwarven mechanical genius, jump on down below and check him out in action.

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Skyforge previews the Kinetic class

The Kinetic is a class all about understanding the gravity of the situation. More specifically, it’s about manipulating and utilizing gravity to fling boulders and/or enemies around. If you like ripping rocks from the earth and throwing them into your enemies at high velocities, congratulations, you’ve found your class, and you can read all about Skyforge‘s gravity manipulators in the latest class preview on the official site.

As a ranged class, the Kinetic has a variety of abilities to disable, stun, or otherwise control enemies. It also has the aforementioned ripping of rocks from the ground along with a high degree of mobility as well as unleashing a great deal of damage in a close-range situation. The class excels at being mobile and versatile, which you’d sort of expect from the class name, but it still has some surprising tricks up its sleeve.

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