alpha

Worlds Adrift delays closed beta by ‘a few weeks’

What’s going on with the Worlds Adrift testing? Since the launch of its 6.1 alpha play test two months ago, the Bossa Studios team has been hammering out bugs and new features — but it says it just needs a bit more time.

“There’s a few important features that aren’t quite done yet, [so] we’ve decided to delay the game,” Bossa’s Luke Williams explains. The most important feature is the character creator, but there are also updates coming for the world map, ship frame salvaging, bomb combat, gliders, and the “bottom storms” that help destroy the detritus of the gameworld.

Consequently, Bossa says, “We’re moving back the start of closed beta by just a matter of weeks, not months.”

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Rend’s arsenal offers many ways to bump off your enemy

“Your choice of weapon will have a big impact on your play-style in Rend, from using massive ballistae to assault your enemies, to launching a spirit-world stealth bombing run — there are many choices for players to make.”

With its PvP focus, Rend is stocking up on plenty of weapons for players to use with impunity upon their competitors. A new dev diary talks about the “blasters and bombs” that can be chosen for the fight. Due to its survival sandbox nature, players will begin with crude weapons (such as throwing sticks) and work their way up to portable high-tech death.

The path of progression goes from stone age to medieval (crossbows, bows) to industrial (spike-launchers, bombs). There’s even a super-powerful ballista, which comes in several varieties and has to be mounted upon your fortress or club house.

Source: Rend

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Players purchase and revive defunct MMO Crowns of Power

An abandoned fantasy MMORPG might be getting a second lease on life thanks to its players, although the road ahead looks to be challenging.

Back in 2008, Rampid Interactive launched Crowns of Power, a MUD-inspired PvP MMO that was deeply focused on the theme of magic. While the game did have its followers, for some reason the game fell into disrepair and Rampid abandoned it in 2011. Now in 2017, one player purchased the title and is looking to repair and rebuild it for a future launch.

“We have officially purchased Crowns of Power,” the new owner posted on the site. “This is the first major step in bringing this game back to life, this isn’t just a remake; this IS the Crowns of Power we all know and love.”

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Pantheon studio Visionary Realms finds firmer financial footing

Looking at Pantheon today, you almost wouldn’t know it flopped its Kickstarter way back in 2014. That’s because the team kept at it and has been raising money from investors and gamers to keep the dream alive for the past three years.

“Visionary Realms today announced that Series A funding for their upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, is now complete,” reads this morning’s press release. “Series A funding allows the company to expand the team in almost every department and bring the game into a semi-private pre-alpha state where external testers and focus groups can begin sampling the game.” This funding round is typically venture-capital-oriented and follows seed funding like the capital the studio raised back in 2015.

In March, Visionary Realms’ Brad McQuaid told gamers the team now counts 15 people. Public testing (pre-alpha) is planned for later this year.

Source: Press release

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MMORPG sandbox Arcfall is headed to Steam early access

I’m always wary nowadays when a game bills itself as a massively multiplayer sandbox gaming world, especially one that says it’s akin to “old school RPG games with modern quality,” but Arcfall appears to deserve the label.

The new MMO is currently listed on Steam as an early access title still in pre-alpha, but it isn’t formally launched or buyable just yet. Developer Neojac says it’s a “social” game, with open world non-instanced housing, a player-driven economy, crafting and farming, mounts, banking, resource harvesting, a classless skill-based progression system, and an incomplete map. Guilds, factions, dungeons, ships, player islands, and PvP (to complement the full-loot death) are still on the way, though there are apparently PvE-only zones too.

Early access is expected to last “the better part of this year,” with beta by the end of 2017. Founder packs are available on the official site; Neojac says that early buyers can access the game through that portal while Steam’s rollout continues.

Neojac should sound familiar to hardcore MMO fans; that’s the studio building MMO Neo’s Land on the Atavism platform, also of its own design. Neo’s Land’s last public update was in December of last year.

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Valiance Online posts development progress, beefs up backer rewards

How much transparency do you want or demand from your upcoming MMOs? Valiance Online’s team assumes that you’re on the “quite a bit” end of the spectrum, as the team is making a point of posting a snapshot of its development roadmap every week leading up to alpha.

From glancing over the roadmap, it seems like there’s a lot to go before the title is ready for a proper alpha test. There are a few areas, such as the creation of the game’s timeline and player alignment system, that are complete, but most everything else is still being built.

Valiance Online has also expanded its edition offerings, giving current backers more bang for their support — but also increasing the price of these tiers for any future purchasers. Some of the new rewards include laser skates, a cyber dog pet, rocketboards, and being able to design a weapon for use to all players in-game.

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Crowfall’s hellcat has a purr of doom

One shouldn’t forget that Crowfall’s various campaign worlds will be populated by more than just irate players looking to make the world burn (and loot your corpse while they’re at it). There are plenty of hostile critters roaming around, such as the hellcat.

This week’s bestiary entry looks at the powerful sabertooth cat-like beast… from the hellcat’s own point of view. A brief lore entry highlights the intelligence of this hunter as well as its playful side. Still, we’d probably give it a hard pass if someone offered one to us as a pet.

ArtCraft’s Gordon Walton is making an appearance at a panel today in Austin, Texas, to talk about the challenges and strategies in making money for indie games. To date, Crowfall has raised over $12.23 million in equity, licensing, and fan pledges.

Source: Crowfall

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VR MMO MetaWorld plans summer early access launch, seeks financial support

Hoping to see a full-fledged MMORPG with virtual reality take off in your lifetime? We may be witnessing the start of one with MetaWorld, even if it does look a little like Nintendo Wii avatars got guns and went fishing in cyberspace.

MetaWorld uses SpatialOS for its engine and is aiming for an August early access launch on Steam. Currently, the team is drumming up financial support for the project through Indiegogo. A soft target goal of $50,000 is posted, although because this is Indiegogo, whatever the team raises, the team keeps.

According to the description, MetaWorld “invites you explore a persistent 10,000 square mile, massively scaled open world together. Discover endless activities and adventure, inside a real-time physics simulation allowing thousands of visitors to participate simultaneously online.”

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Bless Online shuts down Russian beta for revisions, preps Japanese test

There’s something a little hinky going on with Bless Online’s beta test over in Russia. MMO Examiner reports that 101XP was not pleased with the game, deciding to shut down the Russian beta servers and send it back to the devs for revisions.

According to a translation of the announcement: “Last year, we launched in Russia the anticipated MMORPG Bless. Players and the company has pinned high hopes on the game, which unfortunately did not materialize in full. After discussion with the developers, we have come to a decision to close the Russian-speaking servers May 25, 2017. The game will go into development for an indefinite period to return in the future in an improved form.”

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What’s John Smedley building for Amazon Game Studios?

Here’s the million-dollar question of the day: What is John Smedley making for Amazon Game Studio’s San Diego branch? Ever since being handed the reigns of a new sub-studio back in February with a bulk of his Pixelmage team, we’ve been intensely curious about whether Smedley is staying close to his MMO roots in his new project.

Perhaps we might glean a few details from the job listings on Amazon’s site. The studio is looking for several positions for art, combat systems, and engineering, and there are a few bullet points in the job descriptions that hint at the project in question.

One of the job descriptions has the best hint yet, with the position being tasked to “architect and develop the real time combat system for a cutting edge action multiplayer game.” Another intriguing entry mentions a “real time terrain deformation system based on physics simulation.”

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Shroud of the Avatar preps two more beginner zones, asks for localization help

This Thursday, Shroud of the Avatar will be pumping out its latest monthly update, Release 41. There’s a lot in store for the patch, including the Norgard ruler Titan Grannus, who will be making his debut.

In this past weekend’s newsletter, the team spent a lot of real estate covering many upcoming areas and characters, including the all-seeing Oracle, new weapon designs spurred on by the recent telethon, and the Fall open PvP dungeon. Of particular note were in-depth looks at two of the new introductory zones that are in development: Highvale Outskirts and Bloodriver Outskirts. One’s got a monastery in the mountains, the other has a river of blood. You pick which sounds more appealing.

Portalarium also announced that it is resuming work on bringing the game to other languages and is looking for fan help in the effort. “We are reestablishing development support translating our game to Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese languages,” the studio said. “In order to meet the vast translation needs of our project, we return to you, our amazing community, in search of qualified volunteers with a passion for seeing our project reach many more players!”

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Team Obey wins $180,000 in H1Z1’s TV tournament

This week, one H1Z1 team is sitting pretty on a pile of $180,000 and fame, thanks to winning the televised H1Z1: Fight for the Crown tournament this past weekend.

Obey Alliance beat out 14 other teams in a brutal deathmatch that was aired on The CW network. The team didn’t just win but dominated, surviving the match with no players killed and slaughtering nine other players in turn. (Fun fact: Eleven players were killed not by other participants but by the toxic gas that is a constant threat in H1Z1’s PvP battlefields.) The top five teams got to split the $300,000 prize pool, while the other 10 teams got to say, “We were there.”

PC Gamer has an interesting look at behind-the-scenes of the tournament, saying that the end result was a mixed bag: “Not everything worked well on TV. Long-distance firefights mostly looked like players hopping around and shooting at near-invisible specks on the screen […] Perhaps H1Z1 isn’t the perfect esport for television, but it was a good show: energetic, exciting at times and silly at others, and edited deftly enough that I didn’t stare at the words 75 REMAIN for the first twenty minutes.”

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Saga of Lucimia plans alpha troll-hunting expedition

Time to check back in with that most groupy of group-centric upcoming MMOs, Saga of Lucimia. You know, if this game was a fish, it would be a grouper that took you to school.

Anyway, it’s been a while since we’ve heard much on this title, as the studio has gone silent for a couple of months, but that doesn’t mean development has stalled. The team is getting ready to run its seventh early access test this Saturday and Sunday, during which the CMs will be organizing troll hunts and taking players on tour of the lands.

Additionally, a pair of devs appeared on a new Tavern Talk episode to chat up the new alpha build and all that it contains. Saga of Lucimia has expanded with new masteries, improved character creation, adjustments to combat, and larger zones, so much so that it takes over an hour to cover. Give it a watch below!

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