alpha testing

Betawatch: Ascent: Infinite Realm is already heading to Korean beta (November 17, 2017)

Let me tell you, I’m really glad that Ascent: Infinite Realm already has a publishing deal for the west, because otherwise I would be figuratively biting my nails about the game’s first beta test in South Korea. I only just learned it existed, sure, but it’s a game about steampunk mechs and airships. If we get superheroes and cats, that’s pushing most of my buttons right away.

More beta news? Sure, what the hey!

That’s a lot of questions followed by shouted responses, but we assure you there is less shouting in our list of games in testing down below. You can still respond to us in the comments, though; we like to hear from you. Especially if some game swapped test phases without us knowing about it. Those are useful responses!

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Star Citizen’s Around the Verse on the tech behind procedural cities

If you lost your mind over Star Citizen’s procedural cities reveals at CitizenCon a few weeks ago, you definitely need to tune in to this week’s Around the Verse, where city tech is the star of the episode (if a bit backloaded).

“We are just working on human cities at the moment,” CIG’s Wai-Hung Wan explains. “I would love to see how we tackle alien cities. Is that going to be completely random? Are we going to have some or a greater degree of refinement by hand? I don’t know yet. I would hope even on an alien civilisation they have some degree of control and they would make logical, intelligent choices about where they would place specific buildings – even recreational facilities – so each time you visit that location it will look exactly the same as you left it.”

Studio Director Eric Kieron Davis says the team has checked in over 700 updates since last week (with 197 total issues, not bugs, remaining to address 3.0). “We are making steady progress to get [the 3.0 alpha] into your hands as quickly as possible,” he says.

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The Stream Team: Robbing banks and raiding campsites in Wild West Online’s early access launch

In her first run through Wild West Online’s Technical Alpha 1, Massively OP’s MJ mined herself some gold and successfully made it back to town to sell it. In fact, she succeeded in staying alive the whole time! Of course, chances for that happening again are slim as she sneaks back in for early access. There is new content to check out, including new quests and even a special bank robbery event. Then again, MJ also wants to prowl the countryside looking for campsites to plunder. Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. and saunter into the old west with us.

What: Wild West Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 15th, 2017

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Pantheon devs meet up at TwitchCon and make a convert

It took a convention to bring together a development team.

Visionary Realms shared in its November newsletter that many of Pantheon’s team members — some of whom work remotely across the country — met for the very first time at the recent TwitchCon 2017. As a bonus, Executive Producer Chris Rowan allegedly made a convert to the game out of a disgruntled streamer who stopped by to badmouth MMOs but changed his tone when Rowan shared Pantheon’s challenging, class-interdependent structure.

The studio reported that the convention was a huge boost to the team’s morale and the game’s visibility: “The highlight of the weekend was our presentation on Saturday at the indie stage that culminated with the announcement that pre-alpha testing will begin in time for the holidays this year! Fueled by the excitement of our community over the announcement, we dug deep in our energy reserves and burned the midnight oil with an impromptu meetup at a local restaurant, where we reminisced and looked forward to the coming shared experiences in store for us all.”

Source: Pantheon

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Yeehaw, Wild West Online’s early access alpha has begun

The Wild West Online early access alpha has officially begun, at least if you shelled out for the higher tiers of founder pack. According to 612 Games’ Facebook page, Pioneer ($50) and Collector ($80) edition players were welcomed in last night, while other buyers – that’d be those of you at the $30 Townie level – will hop in around 3 p.m. EST today.

We realize the founder pack page is a bit confusing as it says you’ll have access to closed alpha but not the early access, but it wouldn’t be the first time this game has muddied the waters of what test phase it’s in and whether or not it’s been delayed.

612 Games has previously touted this test round’s multiple quests, historical guns, public events, character progression and customization, and of course, female toons. The studio has also said the game will fully launch (on Steam) “later this year.” Make sure you take a peek at the latest patch notes, especially if you’re returning after time away! We’ll be streaming the game later this afternoon (yesterday’s run was botched by server downtime), so keep an eye out on OPTV!

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Crowfall opens up dozens of race and class combos

It’s a good time to be a Crowfall pre-alpha tester.

The select elite are being treated to a new build today that adds in all of the new class and race combinations that the developers have been discussing for months. As Patch 5.3 wraps up, players can try out the dozens of additional race and class combos in one of the new persistent campaign settings.

Creative Director J. Todd Coleman is happy to see two of the game’s core systems come together: “Now that Campaigns are live, we can start testing the new race, class and discipline systems. Players can now experience an unprecedented level of character building. Dozens of unique race/class combinations and hundreds of weapon styles and subclasses allows for millions of unique character combinations. It will be possible for players to design a character build that has never been tried before.”

The patch also improves visuals across the game, beefs up monster AI, and revamps the character creation and skill training systems.

Source: Press release

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Blink and you might have missed Project Gorgon’s brand-new user interface

After weeks if not months of the studio talking about it, Project Gorgon’s brand-new user interface finally arrived. And then it promptly left again.

In all fairness, the team had cautioned that the optional November 11th update was a “very rough preview” of the UI overhaul. So rough, in fact, that the team took the update offline for further refinements due to several large bugs and potential exploits discovered with it. The improved UI preview should arrive in the game’s alpha next weekend.

Nevertheless, the user interface revamp has a lot of players and the devs excited. Not only does the new UI look pretty slick, but it offers a lot more functionality compared to the old one, including customization, more information, collapsible skill trees, chat channel management, context menus, improved tooltips, and font scaling.

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Betawatch: Closers Online has a closed beta (November 10, 2017)

Here’s this week’s test of age: When you see the title of Closers Online, is your first thought along the lines of “help me, I’ve torn apart my insides” or “four years, no call, now you’re looking pretty in a hotel bar”? It really doesn’t matter either way; the game just entered closed beta, so you can buy a founder’s pack to get in whether you want to growl about losing yourself in bed or sing about stealing mattresses from roommates.

Meanwhile, we bid farewell to Mu Legend as it moves into open beta, which rhymes with “soft launch” in this case.

Other beta news? Not a whole lot, but it’s still there if you know where to look! Specifically, toward games in testing. That’s where to look.

  • After ages of tests and rumors, Lineage Eternal is being rebooted as Project TL, which is… we’d like to say a step closer to release? It’s not actually even in consistent testing, see.
  • The second week of early testing for Prosperous Universe apparently felt a lot slower than the first one in terms of gameplay. But that’s still providing lots of technical data, so it counts as a net win.
  • The plans are set for OrbusVR’s early access schedule once December rolls around, but it’s still in a beta state for the rest of November. There’s a plan, and that plan is important.

While the week may have been quiet (read: while the week was totally quiet), there’s still a whole list of games on the testing docket just below. If you’re curious, you can jump on down there and check them out, but you can also let us know about the tests you’ve personally been checking out down in the comments. And if you’ve seen a game on the list that seems to have changed states without us noticing? Do let us know with specificity, that helps us yank things from the list.

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Star Citizen’s Around the Verse on making space travel more exciting

So, Star Citizen alpha 3.0. Around the Verse. Does anyone read these, or do you just skip to the comments with your popcorn? Let’s find out! In this episode, CIG’s Eric Kieron Davis, dressed inexplicably like a Star Trek character, says the team checked in 756 updates to the 3.0 alpha over the past week, as it’s focused specifically on mobiGlas, missions, traversal, shopping, and stability. No, the patch still isn’t on the PTU. They’re working on it. But seriously, what’s with the Spock shirt.

The meat of the episode is on quantum travel, and no, there won’t be a physics exam at the end (although I could actually arrange that if you want). Alpha 3.0 will overhaul that system with distance in mind; instead of just clicking your destination and be greeted with the “same experience regardless of where you were going,” alpha 3.0 players will find that long trips feel quite different from short ones.

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Grab a Wild Buster weekend beta key from InselGames and Massively OP

If you’ve had an eye on Wild Buster and wondered how the “gritty sci-fi hack’n’slash MMOARPG” is faring in the lead up to its November early access launch on Steam, then today’s giveaway is for you. InselGames has granted us 1000 keys for this weekend’s test, which aims to put the brand-new US servers through their paces.

Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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Ship of Heroes plans even more improvements for its character creator

With Ship of Heroes’ beta test about a year away, fans of the sci-fi superhero MMORPG have a lot of time on their hands. Hopefully some of that time will soon be spent fiddling about with a new and improved character creation tool.

The team reported that the recent test gave invaluable feedback for the system: “The alpha showed that the CCT is a robust tool which functioned well on every computer, and that it has some amazing features, especially for customizing the face of the character. But we also found some bugs.”

These bugs and the responses of testers has prompted the team to make the character creation tool far better than before. Improvements planned include more camera views, more costume pieces, a slider for height, a larger range for waists, a revamp of the hair models, more skin options, more eye types, and the possibility of allowing players to add symbols to costumes.

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Crowfall gets you up to speed on Pre-Alpha 5.3

It has been a while in the making, but Crowfall’s Patch 5.3 is on its way… “soon.” The team isn’t quite saying when yet, but there is plenty of discussion to be had on the contents of this anticipated pre-alpha build.

ArtCraft’s Thomas Blair and Mark Halash ran through the patch notes during their November Q&A video. Yes, the opening is literally two guys reading the patch notes to you that they’re not ready to post online. Yet. Some of the features coming with this build include more changes from the race/class split, updates to the character sheets, new skill trees, class-specific armor, the much-hyped “action harvesting,” and better environments and textures.

The team also tackled a number of community questions, such as the Elken’s ranged bonus, how sturdy the Stoneborn are, and will Clerics and Knights be able to use a dodge as their right mouse button ability. The full hour dev talk is waiting for you below.

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Prosperous Universe jumps into its second alpha test

A slower week for the small Prosperous Universe team nevertheless proved to be beneficial, as the sci-fi MMO rolled through its second alpha test more or less intact.

The team said that while this version of the game “feels way slower” than previously, the test is progressing smoothly from a technical test. It also sounds like players are getting a better handle on their start in this sandbox universe: “While the players I spoke with complained about not being able to be self-sufficient from the beginning, they quickly adapted to the new situation and started to trade the things they need to grow their bases. This is exactly what we hoped for and what this test is about.”

Curious about this “sandbox business simulation MMO?” The team put together a series of questions and answers about Prosperous Universe and addressed them while showing off some of the gameplay. Check it out below!

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