alpha testing

Betawatch: Shot Online Golf is hosting its first beta test (May 26, 2017)

Golf! It’s technically a sport, but it’s mostly a waste of space and resources under the guise of one. Rather than actually wasting water, land, and time on a real golf course, why not play Shot Online Golf and get almost the same experience without any of the real waste? You can sign up for the game’s first closed beta now; the testing starts on May 31st. Of course, there’s always the vague possibility that the game secretly offers epic raid boss encounters, but let’s not leap to conclusions.

As for the rest of the beta news? Gaze below, friends.

  • Curious about the progress of OrbusVR’s most recent closed alpha? You don’t have to just be curious; you can just check out a recap and thoughts on the matter. There were only about 100 people in the testing, so you might need the recap.
  • The Worlds Adrift closed beta has arrived! No longer in alpha, you’re now testing in the second letter of the Greek alphabet! It’s meant to last about four months before an open beta for everyone, so get your testing in now.
  • Win That War is out in early access and offers a large-scale multiplayer RTS experience. Just remember which war you’re supposed to be winning, which should be fairly straightforward given the title.
  • The last big testing update for Albion Online has gone live, complete with revisions to several zones and the new Black Market feature. This one is named Hector, although politeness dictates you should refer to the update as “Mister Albion Online patch” unless it informs you that you can just call it Hector.
  • The alpha for Legends of Aria (which is Shards Online but also not Shards Online) has begun, so you can jump in and start experiencing what the game has to offer. Best of all, if you don’t like some of the rules, you can always change them.
  • Last but not least, Kritika Online is in closed beta. We have no more keys to give for the beta test, but you can still buy your way in if you’re so inclined.

Now, Mr. Bond, I expect you to go below and look at all of the other items in the list which are in testing. I also expect you to let us know if something slipped into a new test phase under our noses. And I wouldn’t mind if you let us know what you’re testing, if it’s not under NDA. Frankly, I don’t expect you to talk, but I wouldn’t mind it. It gets lonely out here.

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Worlds Adrift’s closed beta turnout exceeded studio expectations

Worlds Adrift’s closed beta kicked off earlier this week, and this would be one of those times to admit it’s gone a little too well. Bossa Studios was expecting a good response, hence the plan to run a staggered test in “limited batches” to help the team sort out “queuing problems, server instabilities, lost progress and other issues that large multiplayer games might suffer from at launch.” But it wasn’t expecting quite so many people playing all at once, which has resulted in queues and server issues anyway, so the team promises it’s hard at work on that.

More keys will be made available as the test continues. If you’re not in just yet, though, don’t fret; the game will be in closed testing all summer before the wipe and open beta soft launch, so there’s plenty of time for you to help break the servers!

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Enter to win a Legends of Aria alpha trial key from and MOP

Legends of Aria’s alpha launched yesterday, setting loose the new and more MMORPG-like vision for the game formerly known as Shards Online. While normally the only way into the game in its current stage is to buy a founder pack, Citadel has granted Massively OP a slew of keys to get our readers in for a trial of the game right now. Better still, there are no regional restrictions on the keys. Read on to enter to win!

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Sea of Thieves talks PC version, live campaign events

According to Rare, PC players’ patience might have started to wear a little thin as the studio demanded a few month delay to get the computer version of Sea of Thieves ready for testing. But now that the first PC technical alpha is underway with 1,000 testers, a new era has begun.

“Stability and performance is just so important to us as a studio,” the team said. The devs are focused on getting the default video settings right during the weekend and generating feedback from the players to implement for future tests.

Another project that the team is working on are live campaign events. “Live campaigns are time-limited events that will happen in-game,” the team explained. “They’re meant to spice up the every day gameplay and potentially give you a unique experience and also a unique reward.”

For the record, both the PC and Xbox versions are being run in parity with the same updates and features. You can hear the team talk about the development of the PC build and the live campaigns after the jump.

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Legends of Aria’s alpha has begun, infusing the Shards Online sandbox with MMORPG

Back at PAX East, MMO players were startled but pleased at the revelation that Shards Online was getting a massive revamp as well as a new name: Legends of Aria. The key to the switcheroo is the shift from being “just” small-scale player-run shards to a full-scale MMORPG with a heavily expanded map hosted by the studio as well.

Today, after a few minor delays this spring and a combat overhaul, the game’s alpha is officially live.

“The land mass of the game has been increased by 10-fold, mounts have been added, combat reworked, the UI overhauled, archery has made it in the game, and so much more. 2 of the 8 new regions have been unveiled, with more to come as Alpha and Beta progress this summer. […] Basically, this gives fans of Shards Online what they’ve been asking for – a bigger, bolder, truly MMORPG version of the game.”

Citadel Studios has an interactive world map as well as a PvP killboard online if you just want to gawk, but you can actually play right now too with the purchase of a $40 founder pack.
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Worlds Adrift’s closed beta has begun, founder packs are now on sale

Worlds Adrift’s closed beta has just begun, Bossa Studios just announced. “If you’ve played the game before, you’ll see that the world has been completely redesigned and improved with the very best new community created islands included for you to explore,” says the studio, reminding players that the newbie starting path and character creation have all been dramatically improved.

Three founder packs ranging from $34.99 to $64.99 are now available; all of them include closed beta access. The devs have previously noted that the closed beta will run in “limited batches” to help the team sort out “queuing problems, server instabilities, lost progress and other issues that large multiplayer games might suffer from at launch.” The staggered-entry beta is expected to last up to four months before transforming into an open beta for everyone, at which time Bossa will wipe the servers. “But beta players will be able to keep special items that will not be available again after the reset,” Bossa wrote earlier this year. “They’ll also get a bit of a headstart for being a part of the closed beta!”

Check out the brand-new cinematic trailer live today!

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Crowfall explains the logic and breadth of passive powers

It is reasonable to assume that anyone who has spent a bit of time playing MMOs is familiar with the basic concept of passive powers. They’re powers you don’t click to operate, they just… work. But Crowfall is taking the concept a bit further with its passive powers, as players will start with a variety of passives from race, class, and any disciplines chosen. At this time, three can be slotted, but these powers are not limited to selections like beating things up with more power.

For example, are you just starting to gather? You can equip gathering passives which will allow you to gather more resources when you’re just starting out. Have an otherwise great weapon with an awful power cost modifier? Equip a passive to drop your power costs again and balance it out. Invested a lot of points in leadership? Equip the Group Leadership skill and unlock powerful buffs as long as you’re in the lead of the party. It’s a multi-faceted system, in other words, and there should be no shortage of interesting combinations to build for dedicated players.

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Warframe developer confirms retro hybrid shooter Keystone

Warframe has been positively kicking ass this past year, doing what MMOs seldom do: continue breaking its own concurrency records four years in. So is Digital Extremes content to just roll around in piles of money? Nope — it’s put together a second team to build another game.

It’s called Keystone, and as announced today, it’s a “competitive first-person shooter with a distinct blend of first-person action and deck-building strategies” with an appealing retrofuturist vibe.

“With the look and feel of the 1970’s retro-pulp era, Keystone will take players on a journey through a multi-verse that begins on the starting square of an intriguing, mystical board game. Players will wield unique decks of cards throughout the match that offer handy benefits, amazing powers, and fearsome weapons. With timing and resourcefulness, personally customized decks give players the upper hand in battle both individually and when strategically coupled with teammates’ decks.”

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Worlds Adrift’s closed beta begins Wednesday

Make your last farewells to the Worlds Adrift alpha servers: They’re going dark tomorrow. That’s because the game’s closed beta is about to begin, sooner than you might have anticipated since less than a month ago Bossa Studios was tiptoeing around a delay.

“Starting Wednesday May 24th, at 6PM BST / 7PM CEST / 1PM EDT / 10AM PDT, we’re proud to say we’ll be starting the Closed Beta for Worlds Adrift!” says the studio. “As previously announced, the start of the Closed Beta will be accessible in limited batches to players so we can make sure we fully manage any queuing problems, server instabilities, lost progress and other issues that large multiplayer games might suffer from at launch.”

The staggered-entry beta is expected to last up to four months before transforming into an open beta for everyone, after which Bossa will wipe the servers. “But beta players will be able to keep special items that will not be available again after the reset,” Bossa wrote earlier this year. “They’ll also get a bit of a headstart for being a part of the closed beta!”

Wanna hop in earlier than that? The game’s Island Creator is still free and openly accessible on Steam.

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Legends of Aria charges straight at the Knight prestige class

What is a skill-based, freeform character system doing with classes? While it might seem like an oxymoron, Legends of Aria says that it has good reason for including optional prestige classes in its skill-based MMO, which is that it offers more choice for enhanced playstyles without destroying the game’s balance. To tell the truth, the explanation for all of this seems a little murky after the team’s strongly worded diatribe against classes, but we’ll hope they know what they’re doing.

A new dev blog goes into depth about the “defensively minded” Knight prestige class, including its skills. The Knight has an AoE taunt, can bash opponents with his shield, and can activate a “vanguard” mode to become an unmovable pain-returning champion. Right now the game is limiting players to a single prestige class each, with these classes only sporting three abilities, although this is expected to change.

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Betawatch: Crowfall lets races and classes mingle at will (May 19, 2017)

The teaser week for Crowfall is over, and it turns out the tease was all about decoupling races and classes altogether. No longer will all centaurs belong to the same archetype! Make a centaur everything! Of course, you could conceivably play races other than centaur, but why would you do that? You wouldn’t. You can prove you wouldn’t when the open beta arrives by the end of the year.

We’d like to end there, but the fact of the matter is that we’ve got to talk about things other than centaurs this week. For example, the other items on our list here.

And that’s everything. Unless you count all of the other games we have down below in various stages of testing. You can let us know if one of those games jumped into a later test phase in the comments; it’d be silly, really, but it happens all the time.

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Valiance Online promises fans that it is ‘moving forward’

Fans that might look at Valiance Online’s development chart and wonder when, oh when alpha will ever arrive are being treated to a pep talk from the team today. A reality check was posted on the official forums for those finding that patience with this project is in short supply.

“Game development is not a science, especially for a small indie team,” the Valiance Online devs wrote. “The unexpected happens, like Unity suddenly deciding to make major changes to the engine with no warning, or members of the team being unavailable due to their ‘day job’ or family/medical issues and when you have a small team, just one member being ‘AFK’ affects progress a lot. This is why we have decided to not post dates for when things will be done because ‘stuff’ happens and we don’t have the resources like a larger studio might have to deal with it as quickly. That’s just how it is.”

The good news? Progress is being made, and the team is just as excited about getting to alpha status as its fans. “Regardless of whatever challenges or setbacks we face, we keep moving forward,” promised the team.

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Sea of Thieves begins first PC tech alpha this weekend

Alpha is beginning for Rare’s pirate-themed sailing MMO Sea of Thieves — technical alpha, that is, for a thousand lucky Windows 10 players.

“Starting this Saturday, May 20th, we’ll be inviting a small initial batch of players to test this first PC release on Windows 10. This test will run from 7 – 10 p.m. BST, and it will be open for these 1,000 invited PC players only. And when we say small, we mean it: this won’t be an armada of PC players just yet. We’re looking to invite around 1,000 Windows 10 Technical Alpha testers to start.”

Rare says that you lucky thousand seafarers will be focused on auto-detection – “how effectively the game analyses and assigns low, medium, high, or ultra settings” – as well as generating feedback on control schemes. It’s basically the same build features from the Xbox One tech alpha.

“Similarly to our Technical Alpha on Xbox One, we’ll be starting slowly but gradually building up our audience,” says the studio.

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