alpha testing

Star Citizen deep-dives the guts and glory of the character customization system

Cloud Imperium Narrative Director Dave Haddock joins the Around the Verse crew for this week’s episode of the Star Citizen community video. The majority of the studios, the devs explain, are already moving on to the next quarterly release – that being the 3.2 alpha.

But the highlight of the episode is the first iteration of the character customization system that rolled out in 3.1. It’s a pretty complicated system under the hood that hooks together everything from facial structure, hair, eyeballs, and then colors and textures for all of those bits, all properly tagged and linked together to make it easy for artists to add new assets. Hats and hair pose problems too, as any MMO player who’s even been annoyed by clipping can attest. The whole episode is below!

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth turns on Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag’har for character testing

The first batch of the second wave of allied races are available for testing now on World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth’s alpha test. Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag’har Orcs have been added to character creation, which means that if you want an Orc that’s slightly less corrupted or a Dwarf that’s extra-crispy, that’s now an option. And that’s just one of the many changes with the latest build, because of course it is.

Players can also experiment with new ability changes including a significant rework to Arcane Torrent (the Blood Elf racial), more of the Uldir and Warfront sets, and new dungeons to test out. There’s also the miscellaneous elements found in the latest build, of course. We still don’t have an exact date for the beta, but based on all of the things that have been mined, it looks to be growing ever closer all the time.

Source: Wowhead (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

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Betawatch: Radical Heights springs out to predictable lows (April 13, 2018)

Good news, Boss Key fans! After the studio pretty blatantly gave up on LawBreakers, it turned around and quickly launched its next project, a battle royale title dubbed Radical Heights. It sprang to life on Tuesday, and then it… sort of limped right after that. The numbers do look at least slightly better after the rest of the week, so hooray? Maybe?

Looking back, I started that paragraph with “good news.” I’m not sure why I did that.

Other beta news? Hey, sure.

Other beta titles? Oh, listed below, as we do. If you notice something jumped test phases without our noticing, do let us know down in the comments. We really appreciate it.

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WoW Factor: Updating data in the wake of Battle for Azeroth’s release announcement

Hooray, we have a release date for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth instead of just a release window! And contrary to what many skeptics (myself included) expected to get, it is actually quite a bit faster than other releases. But as you all have no doubt noticed by now, my love of math means that I’m hardly sore about this. It just means that there’s another data point to consider when we look to the future.

So let’s talk about this new piece of information while using the same information from the column in which I made a reasonable estimate, based on this new information. Again, I think it’s important to note how much faster this expansion is actually releasing compared to prior expansions; it’s significant, even if it means that the people predicting things like June were being wildly wrong about “optimistic” predictions. (After all, pessimistic predictions were equally wrong, just in the other direction; my own estimates were off by 2-3 months.)

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Ashes of Creation looks back at PAX East while promising a Q4 alpha

If the only thing you want to take away from the latest bit of Ashes of Creation newsletter is information you may not have had before today, here it is: Alpha One is due for fourth quarter 2018, and there will be no NDA in place. You can freely talk with anyone and everyone about what you see in the game. That may sound more like a beta to our definition-minded readers, but let’s not quibble.

If, on the other hand, you’d like to see how the game managed things on the show floor of PAX East 2018, you can check out the video just below that cuts together a 10-minute highlight reel of what took place on the show floor. (It might also give you a decent idea of just how crowded said show floor actually is if you’ve never been.) You could also check out our own hands-on piece from the convention, if you haven’t already.

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Project Genom prepares major alpha patch for release

Project Genom is on the cusp of bringing an extensively tested build over to its live alpha servers. As the team makes final preparations for this patch, it’s running some final tests and refining certain systems. Once this transfer goes live, players should see more regular updates to the alpha client.

Among the tasks keeping the devs busy on this sci-fi MMO include adding more quests, connecting dungeons to the in-game world, wrapping up animations on the Slider mob, and creating high-polygon models of the Slider larvae.

The team also trumpeted the fact that it had fixed a “critical error,” which has resulted in stable servers and databases since the correction.

Source: Steam

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Ship of Heroes posts a timeline for the first half of 2018

With a combat alpha under its belt, the superhero MMORPG Ship of Heroes turns its attention to the challenges that lay ahead. The team has posted up a detailed roadmap that included a visual plan of the first half of 2018, including what’s to come over the next three months.

The aggressive development schedule for the near future includes a login and network test, more enemies, more powers, more costumes, a day/night cycle, the addition of PopcornFX, an initial look at Controller powers, and better outdoor lighting are all on the table.

Past that, the team hopes to accomplish a raid test in the third quarter and then move out of alpha testing into the beta by the end of the year. Ship of Heroes’development plans and a talk with its lead designer, check out our PAX East interview with Casey McGeever.

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Everything you need to know about Path of Exile’s 3.3.0 update, landing June 1st (probably)

Path of Exile’s next big thing – content update 3.3.0 – lands later this spring, and you might be wondering what’s going on with it. Grinding Gear has released a new FAQ to explain just that. For starters, it’s not an expansion per se – it’s more of a large update with a league attached to it. There is another expansion coming this year, and work progresses on it, but 3.3.0 is something else entirely.

So, details. It’s most likely launching on PC on June 1st, with Xbox to follow that weekend if all goes well. There will be an alpha beforehand, there will be a new round of supporter packs replacing the Bestiary packs (though War for the Atlas packs will remain for now), and there will be a “big flashback event” in May before the rollout. As for what’s in it…

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PAX East 2018: Hands-on with the surprisingly solid combat of Ashes of Creation

This year’s PAX East featured a lot of games early in their testing phase, but Ashes of Creation was one that had splurged for a very large booth toward the center of the show floor. And let’s be fair here; the game sure looked like it was ready for prime time. Between the animations on display and the general look of playing the game for onlookers, this is the sort of game that, at a glance, certainly did not look like something in pre-alpha. All of its graphical polish was being shown off to great effect.

Of course, looking good is one thing. The real question was how it played. But that was why the game also had demo stations set up, so that players could see what the game looked like in its current state of development and get a feel for the game from the PvE side and the PvP side.

I took a tour of a brief PvE dungeon with a GM assisting our party and three other people, which served as my chance to get a handle on what the game was offering. Of course, this was also a very early test build, so there’s no doubt a lot that’s going to be changing over time. But it did, at least, feel like a good fundamental base for combat.

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PAX East 2018: Talking superhero MMOs with Ship of Heroes’ Casey McGeever

At this year’s PAX East, I discovered that my mental picture of Casey McGeever did not match the actual man in person, but that was a positive thing; meeting the man himself, he projects an aura of warmth and earnestness that’s almost impossibly infectious. Not that it should be all that surprising, as he’s spent so much time talking about the strength of community when it comes to building up the base behind Ship of Heroes as a whole.

McGeever and I had an opportunity to speak about a number of issues surrounding the City of Heroes-inspired superhero MMO, starting with some talk about the game’s roadmap moving through the remainder of the year. The roadmap covers the past few months and recent known developments, but it had to be delayed slightly while the team pushed through the early stages of pre-alpha, engine upgrades, and the associated tasks. Now we’re into April, and it’s time for the community to see what’s on the docket for the next three months.

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Betawatch: Defiance’s beta, TERA’s console launch, and Eliot’s in the brig (April 6, 2018)

Welcome back to another look at all the MMO beta happenings of the week! I’ve stashed Eliot in the brig so that I can take over Betawatch and do some extra work on Friday! Wait, I’m not really sure I’m doing griefing right. Anyway, here’s what’s up.

  • Defiance 2050 is hunting for beta testers! Make sure you’re all signed up.
  • TERA formally launched on consoles, bringing an end to its beta.
  • Soulworker likewise moved from soft launch to full launch.
  • Made of money? A big chunk of cash will get you into Pantheon’s pre-alpha next month.
  • We got our hands on Conan Exiles’ launch build (and loved it).
  • Ashes of Creation is targeting fourth quarter 2018 for its alpha one launch.
  • Camelot Unchained is testing, testing, testing.
  • Crowfall is now in 5.5 pre-alpha, having introduced a new map and lady centaurs.
  • Arcfall may still be in pre-alpha, but now it’s also free-to-play.
  • Star Citizen rolled out 3.1 and then 3.1.1, but then rolled back to just 3.1 because bugs.
  • And Occupy White Walls was the bright star of the week, offering alpha testers the chance to play around in an MMO art gallery.

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Crowfall’s 5.5 pre-alpha is live with female centaurs, player vendors, and a new map

Crowfall is ready to push its pre-alpha testing phase to the limit. A new dev video from ArtCraft this week shows off some of the new content in its 5.5 version, focusing on its new map, Wrath. Wrath includes new adventure zones, which are basically high-stakes PvE areas. I spy lots and lots of spiders! There’s also a new high-elf companion, the female Centaur variant, badges, updated visuals for specific spells and weapons, and the new health and recovery system. Crafters and merchants are in for a treat too, as player vendors are totally in. It’s starting to look pretty slick.

And that all means it’s time to break the servers! “The Pre-Alpha 1 through Beta 3 test groups are encouraged to log onto the LIVE servers and keep an eye on the in-game Global chat channel for announcements about concentrating on single servers and specific areas,” ArtCraft says. “You’ll often be playing with and against members of the Crowfall dev team as we gather data related to scalability. This is very important to ensure fun, speed and stability for players, so we need as many Crows as we can get piling onto the servers.”

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PAX East 2018: Ashes of Creation will launch alpha one this year

Ashes of Creation will hit alpha one by the end of the year, Intrepid Studios announced today during its panel at PAX East. The game slipped into a phase it’s calling “alpha zero” back in December.

“The first phase of this public test for all Alpha One level backers will focus primarily on combat, hosting large amounts of players for our siege and warfare systems,” says the studio. “Leading up until the start of Alpha 1, we will still be inviting more players into the Alpha Zero Friends & Family tests.”

Massively OP is at PAX East this week and slated to meet with Intrepid tomorrow, so stay tuned for more coverage, and check out the new PAX video below!

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