beta testing

Betawatch: Dark and Light shines a light on early access (July 21, 2017)

For everything, there is a season, turn turn turn. We’ve bid farewell to Albion Online this week, as it has launched properly and thus no longer qualifies as being in beta, but we also can say hello to the early access period for Dark and Light. Seriously, that just came out of nowhere, after ages of delays. It’s kind of awesome like that. So hooray for new early access!

We also bid farewell to Gigantic as it reaches its official launch. It’s like everyone graduating from college, although in this case college is full of supposed tests that are mostly a matter of building notoriety and… huh. That analogy works surprisingly well.

More testing news? Of course, friends, of course.

Well, after all of that I’m sure everyone wants to retreat to the safety of the list of games in testing, yes? I know I do. It’s down below, and you can feel free to scroll through it and let us know if we’re missing something important in the comments.

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Path of Exile’s microtransaction system is finally live

After multiple false starts over the summer, Path of Exile has finally patched in its new microtransaction system as of last night.

“In the new Microtransaction System, we’ve completely done away with the old Microtransaction Stash and have replaced with a new one that lets you sort and manage your microtransactions in a much cleaner way. The microtransactions are equipped to their own slots so that you can swap your items around at will without having to reclaim/reapply microtransactions constantly. You can also equip microtransactions from other characters with a click.”

“The microtransaction system in this 2.6.3 patch is fully up to date,” Grinding Gear’s Chris Wilson says. “The one on the Beta 3.0.0 wave 3 realm is missing some recent minor bug fixes, so if you see weirdness on Beta, that’s why. It’ll be up to date by release. If you try to reclaim microtransactions between the two realms, it will work, but may display incorrect character and league names. Your consumable microtransactions on Beta (like Fireworks and Skin Transfers) are your real ones and are actually consumed if you use them.”

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The Stream Team: Interview with Citadel Forged With Fire devs

We’ve been hearing a bit about Citadel: Forged With Fire, a new sandbox under development that focuses on magic. Now we have a chance to see it live in action: Massively OP’s MJ is jumping in the closed beta ahead of the public weekend to check it out. Even better, she’ll have a Denis Lanno, Community Manager/dev with her to talk about the game. Join us live at 11:00 a.m. to ask your questions about the upcoming sandbox.

What: Citadel: Forged With Fire
Who: MJ Guthrie & Devs
When: 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, July 21st, 2017

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You will believe that a player can fly in Citadel

If you’re populating an online fantasy game with nothing but adeptly magical players, then it’s not a big jump to accepting that all sorts of seemingly impossible feats will become commonplace in that world. Like flight, for instance.

“Why walk when you can fly?” asked Citadel: Forged With Fire’s devs. “Growing in experience should feel significant, and flight is one of the many things we added to make sure this was the case.”

There are three avenues for the aspiring wizard pilot. Players can craft and use a magical broomstick, although these suck up mana when in flight. Another option is to use a pacify spell on a winged creature like a dragon and then use the beast as your personal transportation. Finally, it is possible to make flight potions using one’s alchemy skill, although the devs warn that if your mana runs out mid-flight, you’ll be taking an express trip to ground town.

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Dark and Light has officially launched into early access

Following multiple development delays, weird PR moves, gorgeous screenshot dumps, and a month of closed beta, decade-old MMORPG sandbox Dark and Light has finally resurrected into its early access soft launch form here in the west today. Thanks to the current discount, it’ll run you just under $25.

Snail Games is clear that this is a true early access title. “We already know that we’re going to run into a lot of bugs, crashes, localization issues, and more,” says the company. “Did you die from punching a blade of grass? Did your tamed creatures stage a massive revolt out of nowhere? Did an NPC tell you ‘I AM ERROR?’ Is the Bestiary straight-up lying to you about how many creatures are in the game? We want to know about it.”

As usual, we’ve rounded up our coverage to date so you can look back at the twisting road this game’s taken to be born again!

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The Stream Team: A Gigantic launch

Bye-bye beta! Gigantic is launching today, and Massively OP’s MJ is heading back in to play a few matches. The shooter has a fun take on on the genre, AI adding bosses to each team. Now that the game is also on Steam, MJ is switching to play there instead of on her Windows 10 laptop; unfortunately that means she’s losing access to the pack she had before, so she’ll have to choose whom to play from whoever is available. Which hero will she select? Join us live at 3:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a launch-day edition of…

What: Gigantic
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, July 20th, 2016

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Citadel: Forged With Fire patches up, plans weekend beta excursion

Citadel: Forged With Fire has been a whirlwind of activity since its sudden early access announcement last week, and it’s not letting up, as now it’s plotting what looks to be a closed beta round beginning this Saturday, July 22nd. Blue Isle Studios points players toward its official beta signup page and promises it’s releasing “tens of thousands of keys.”

What will you be testing if you get in? Why, the contents of the game’s first public patch notes, which address AI, spell balance, maps, and VOIP.

“We noticed most players encountered issues with our NPC behavior. Enemies would give chase to players infinitely, and the only option to deal with them was to jump in a pool of water and snipe them from safety. To fix this, we’ve made a number of changes to our NPC AI, which should hopefully resolve this issue. Spell balance was another thing we decided to take a look at coming out of last weekend. Players expected spells to be more powerful, so we went ahead and gave them some significant buffs. Additionally, we also addressed some audio and graphical issues that may have occurred (I’m looking at you Haste). In addition to the above, we made some key changes to building and map presentation, and added a few small things here and there to make some confusing things a little more obvious. Oh, and we added VOIP!”

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Path of Exile’s Fall of Oriath expansion arrives August 4

Path of Exile’s Fall of Oriath expansion finally has a formal launch date: August 4th. The expansion adds literally new everything, from new skills and bosses to new locations, plus the new pantheon system, five new acts, and the difficulty level system. Over in the beta, the devs are working hard on the Labyrinth, maps, and flask balancing with just a couple weeks to go. The aborted microtransaction system is also slated for this coming Friday.

Just getting caught up? Don’t miss our February preview and reveal, our steam and hands-on with the beta, and our E3 interview on the expansion, plus the new images and trailer below!

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Grab a Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics Egyptian starter pack from Hi-Rez and MOP!

In celebration of the open beta launch of Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics, Hi-Rez Studios has granted Massively OP a bajillion keys for Egyptian Starter Packs for the game. It grants a trio of cards (Cataclysm, Magma Slam, and Geb) for PC players to help ya get started. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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Ghost in the Shell: First Assault Online might have just officially launched

The Ghost in the Shell franchise is no stranger to highly competent cyborg ninja police officers stealthing around the city in the coolest fashion possible, but did its online game just stealth launch today?

It’s a little hard to tell, but it may have. First Assault Online left open beta at the beginning of the month after a year of testing, and now the game is promoting its major 2.0 release called Renewal.

The (launch?) update overhauled the user interface, added three new playable operatives, revamped the remaining roster, reorganized operative classes, added an Electronics Center map, and introduced an elimination mode for PvP.

The online shooter is available through its website or Steam, and you can check out the official trailer after the jump.

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Lost Ark shows off new zones, including one that takes place on the body of a slumbering giant

After a long info drought on the anticipated action-MMO Lost Ark, we’re finally getting a deluge of lore and screenshots courtesy of Steparu. This week he graces us with another installment straight from the closed beta program going on over in Korea, so if you don’t mind some minor spoilers, you can wallow in all of the reveals.

Some of the locations featured in the beta include Rohendel, a floating zone that serves as the starting area for mages; the Eastern Regions, which are littered with ruins and have serious pagan problems; Totoike, an island that is actually a slumbering giant; Ardetain, a high-tech city in the desert; and Shushire, a land held in the grip of an eternal winter.

Steparu also looked at a few more of the oversized bosses that are brimming over with personality, as well as a smidge of the story. The second round of Korean closed beta testing includes the Destroyer, Summoner, and Arcana classes as well as a quest system overhaul.

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SMITE: Project Olympus, summer events, and Twi’lek Jedi

It’s summer in SMITE, and that means Twi’leks with lightsabers! Wait. No. Yes? Yes. Freya’s Ordo Aurora skin is live today, and it’s not hard to guess her inspiration.

It also means a boatload of other stuff, including the kickoff of the summer festivities (it’s beach-themed, this year); new skins for Da Ji, Kuzenbo, Cupid, Cernunnos, and Cu Chulainn; and the first inklings of Project Olympus, a series of overhaul patches first announced last week during DreamHack Valencia. This particular arm of the project includes beta testing for DirectX 11 and the 64-bit client, a high-res texture pack, prestige levels, and a new set of lootboxes called triumphant chests. As for the “Summer of SMITE,”

“It’s time for another summer road trip through the Battleground of the Gods! We’ll be releasing new Summer of SMITE content over the next several patches. Every time you buy a Skin, you’ll get to pick your favorite souvenir from our in-game shop. Then complete two specific Quests to unlock your bonus item forever! There are seven keepsakes to claim, plus an ultimate reward only available when you collect all eight Skins: one honey of a Limited Skin, only available during Summer of SMITE 2017!”

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The Stream Team: Launch day adventures in Albion Online

Today’s the day Albion Online shuffles off its beta coil! Legendary founders pack and legendary starter pack owners get a headstart that started this morning, and Massively OP’s MJ is ready to get life going for real in this sandbox world. Unfortunately, that means bashing and skinning more bunnies and other cute critters if she wants some clothing; hopefully she can move past this part fairly quickly (before she is scarred for life!) and get to more adventuring. Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. for a launch-day edition of OPTV in…

What: Albion Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 17th, 2017

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