beta testing

Defiance 2050 blasts its way into closed beta this weekend

Defiance 2050’s closed beta – for PC, anyway, since the console version’s beta testing has been delayed – is set to launch here not long after this post hits the front page of the site.

“Let the fight begin Ark Hunters! Closed Beta is finally here and we’re excited for players to experience the brand new class system and weapon enhancement systems in Defiance 2050. The PC Closed Beta event starts Friday (4/20) at 10:00 AM Pacific Time and extends all through Sunday to end on Monday (4/23) at 10:00 AM Pacific Time.”

Reboot participants this weekend will be testing the Mt. Tam and Madera story mission areas, the Liberate the Lost co-op instance, the Assault class, the new class system and tree, and the new itemization system. What won’t you see? The rest of the planned classes, PvP, achievements, and the cash shop. Oh yeah, and for your trouble, you’re getting a sweet “Beta Blazer” title. Sound off if you’re giving it a go!

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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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Hey Alexa, where’s Blind Mary? Activision and Amazon put game advice on personal assistants

Among hardcore MMORPG players, particularly vets of a certain age, there’s a longstanding grudge against the shift toward being able to look up every single thing about the game on some website somewhere. If that describes you, you’re definitely not going to like the evolution of that – you won’t even have to type your dumb questions, just shout them into the air.

We’re talking about the ubiquitous branded personal assistant, of course – specifically, Amazon’s Alexa, which in partnership with Activision is now beta testing a “personal voice-controlled reconnaissance scout” in Call of Duty that” grants the player “critical intel, personalized instruction and essential after-action reports in real-time so you can take your game to the next level.”

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Perfect Ten: MMOs that claimed to be the first

We’ve all been there. We’re playing our favorite MMORPG and then self-appointed professors of game history start arguing in world chat about firsts — usually, which MMO was considered to be the “first.”

As much as we all like to feel and be right about something, the truth is that history is messy and often ill-defined, even history as recent as that of video games. If you go looking for clear-cut facts and definitions, you might end up with an assortment of maybes, possiblys, and who knowses.

So when it comes to “firsts” in MMOs, there’s a lot of debate over, well, pretty much everything. One thing that I have noticed while covering The Game Archaeologist for many years now is that studios do love claiming to be first in various aspects. Whether or not these firsts are legitimate or can be challenged is debatable, but I thought it would be interesting to compile these claims into a list for your enjoyment and future world chat arguments.

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MapleStory 2 unveils North American website, closed beta starts next month

It seems like a no-brainer to bring the sequel to the popular MapleStory westward. And yet we’ve been waiting for a while now to see any movement on the MapleStory 2 front. The good news? Movement spotted.

Nexon America opened up the official MapleStory 2 website this past week and is now taking signups for the MMO’s beta test. There are some giveaways and promotions in the meantime, and when May 9th hits, the western closed beta will begin. Nexon isn’t making this title global, however, so be sure to check to see if your country or region is included.

MapleStory 2 is a huge step up from its predecessor both in visuals and content. It offers pretty adorable 3-D cubed worlds, interesting classes, and player housing. “MapleStory 2 features powerful tools to let all of our players truly customize their own corner of Maple World, from character customization, designing special outfits, building your own dream house and so much more,” Nexon said.

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Defiance 2050 delays its console closed beta event, but the PC event will go on as planned

A couple of weeks ago, Trion announced that it was prepping a big closed beta test for Defiance 2050 across all platforms – this very weekend, in fact. But it appears the test will be suffering a delay, at least for console players.

“The Defiance 2050 closed beta test will run on PC this weekend (April 20 – 22),” Trion’s email blast this morning reads. “In order to best optimize the experience for all players, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the closed beta test are being moved to a later date. We will communicate the updated console beta dates as soon as we can.”

Trion announced the console-oriented reboot back in February; the MMORPG studio has since promised it won’t abandon the original game and can’t support full crossplay but will credit classic Defiance players in the new title. Signups are live on the official site.

Want to know what to expect? We got hands-on with the reboot at this year’s GDC.

Source: Press release

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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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Stardew Valley’s multiplayer mode is about a month away

Ready to go farm with, adventure alongside, and marry your friends? Stardew Valley’s multiplayer mode may be here before you know it. In fact, it could be coming as soon as May.

Lead Designer Eric Barone put out this statement on Twitter this week: “Update on Stardew Valley multiplayer: still making good progress on fixing bugs, if all goes well it should be ready in about a month.”

Back in March, we announced that beta testing and quality assurance had commenced for the multiplayer mode on this popular indie title. Stardew Valley puts players in the role of a young person who takes over an overgrown farm from his or her grandfather. While the land is worked, the player can interact with locals in the community, uncover secrets, and go on fighting expeditions in a mine.

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Here’s how to playtest Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset chapter next week

Summerset is closer than you think! The Elder Scrolls Online team announced today that the chapter is expected to hit the test server on Monday. In fact, all of update 18 will be playable there too. Getting in is the tricky part.

“Invites will be sent to a large group of new PTS testers, but if you participated in the ESO: Morrowind PTS beta last year, you’ll be able to log into the Summerset PTS from the ESO launcher yourself, no invite required! Just don’t forget to enable ‘Show Public Test Environment’ from your launcher settings. Note that as always, anybody can install the PTS client, log in, and test the base game changes, but they won’t be able visit Summerset or experience any of the new Chapter’s features unless granted access.”

Do note that the main quest and story are under a strict NDA (agreement, watermarked screenies, the works) that lifts May 1st.

MOP’s Andrew and Eliot got hands-on with the chapter at GDC and PAX respectively, both of them finding it to be basically exactly what Elder Scrolls Online fans want and expect out of a big content dump.

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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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Lost Ark prepares for its final Korean closed beta test

Ready to raid Smilegate’s Lost Ark? You’ll still have to be this Korean to ride the ride, but if you’re able and willing to handle the translation, you could find yourself checking out this action MMO this spring.

This is thanks to the fact that Lost Ark is preparing to accept applications for its final closed beta test in Korea. Once April 19th hits, interested parties can apply on the website for the Korean CBT. This build will include two additional classes, the Hawkeye and the Soul Master, as well as several new dungeons and a card battling minigame.

As one of our 20 MMOs to watch in 2018, Lost Ark has generated a lot of excitement over its visuals and fast gameplay. Last summer the title launched its second closed beta test in Korea that featured treasure hunting and sailing while busting out a brand-new website.

Source: MMO Culture

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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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