betawatch

Massively Overpowered’s Betawatch feature chronicles the adventures and misadventures of MMOs in various stages of testing. You might also be interested in Make My MMO, which focuses on crowdfunded games in particular. [Follow this feature’s RSS feed]

Betawatch: Open season in sight for Revelation Online (February 17, 2016)

Those of you who have waited eagerly for the day when everyone can jump into Revelation Online won't have to wait much longer, as the game's open beta is starting up March 6th. Players who purchased one of the game's founder's packs will be able to get in a little bit earlier, to boot. The game also showed off its special skills, which is "break the rules" special rather than "riding a different bus to school" special.

Shall we cover other beta news this week? Yes! Why not? You may join us in a chortle.

Yes, that's all a bit quiet, but the list down below can be raucous despite our best efforts to silence it. You can let us know if parts of the list deserve more consideration down in the comments, like if a title has slipped into launch without us catching it. We keep putting up nets but some titles slip through. I suspect there's a hive.

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Betawatch: Albion Online prepares for Sir Galahad the Patchly (February 10, 2017)

The extended beta for Albion Online gives the developers time to add more to the game. For example, when the Galahad patch goes live, players will be able to explore completely revamped cities! Not partially vamped, either, they had no vamps before and now they've been re-vamped. (We might not know exactly what that means.) There's also the upcoming expedition system, which is... instanced PvE dungeons, but don't call them that, probably.

Other beta news? Oh, sure, we'll do that for you. Because we're friends and all.

  • The closed beta for Dragon Nest 2 is recruiting now, although there's no word on when exactly it starts. Or much hope for onlookers from this side of the pond, as it really does require Korean players. But it's moving forward, that's something.
  • CBT3 for Revelation Online has come to an end, with the open beta around the corner. How far around the corner? We don't know. Of course, considering that name reservations go live on February 14th, we can certainly speculate.
  • Crowfall was all ready to go with its Templar setup, demonstrating the animations and everything. Unfortunately, you're going to have to wait a little longer, as the planned test on February 10th was cancelled. The sadness, she is overwhelming.
  • Want to see a bit of Ashes of Creation in action? You can check out the first glance inside one of the game's dungeons right now. Per legal agreements, there will be no puns about how the ice-themed dungeon "looks cool," intentional or otherwise.
  • Cloud Pirates is hitting that most special of all times, early access! It even includes a new gameplay mode, so you can't be mad. (Is that how the rules work? You can't be mad if you get extra stuff too? Someone should check on that.)

Rather calm week, yes? Don't blame us, most of us were buried under snow. There's still a nice full list just below, though, but you never know when some of these games might have hopped test phases without us realizing it. We do our best to track the offenders down, but if we miss someone, would you be kind enough to let us know down in the comments? Thanks.

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Betawatch: Revelation Online stays revealed a little bit longer (February 3, 2016)

Good news, fans of Revelation Online! The game is still up for testing right now! Yes, the game is getting a bit more time in tests so that players can reach the level cap and really explore what it has to offer. You can also learn about guilds hitting one another to control territory, if that's your thing.

Meanwhile, the beta news has rolled onward across the betasphere. Is that a term? It is now. Take a gander:

And naturally, there's a list of games in testing down below. Exciting, yes? You can check out many of the games on that list, and you can also let us know if something on there has slipped to a new phase without us knowing. You can even test out the new comment system to tell us all about it. Fun for the family, assuming the family has a slightly odd definition of fun.

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Betawatch: A city of City of Heroes successors (January 27, 2017)

The loss of City of Heroes brought motivated fans together to rebuild it, or at least to create a spiritual successor to the game. Three of those games showed off some nifty stuff this week. City of Titans gave us a look at some gorgeous hair, Heroes & Villains explained how it's handling seamless zoning, and Ship of Heroes brought out a full-on character creation video. Now if only they could team up to provide us characters with great hair and a seamless city. (We'll add in some combat later.)

Oh, is that not enough for you? Fine! Have some other beta news, then.

Meanwhile, there's an even lengthier list of games currently in testing just below. Did something skip to a new test phase without us noticing? Is there a game on there that has opened its cash shop and is letting everyone play without future data wipes? Should pigeons be allowed to eat chili? Let us know about any of the above or something else altogether down in the comments.

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Betawatch: The Repopulation changes hands (January 20, 2017)

The good news for fans of The Repopulation is that the game is coming back online. The bad news is... well, it's completely changed hands, with Idea Fabrik (owners of the Hero Engine) taking the game and making it their own. Will it be as good as it could have been? Will it release and be stable? We just don't know right now. But it's coming back. The owners are also starting just by bringing the alpha back online, lest you expect a whole new game out of the gate.

And there's more beta news! Oh, boy, is there ever more beta news.

And yes, there's a list, and it's just below. Did we miss something in there? Let us know down in the comments. Do you want to share your opinions on this week's beta news? Do so in the comments. Sharing feelings about betas? That's what the comment section is for, folks, don't let us stop you.

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Betawatch: Project Gorgon gears up with high-level content (January 13, 2017)

Is it fair to call Project Gorgon a spiritual successor to Asheron's Call? I'm going to go with yes, which means that this year is the year for the game to launch. And that's the goal, too; the game is adding in more levels and more high-level content for players to explore before the launch later this year. Let's go gaga for Gorgon, yes?

Of course, there's other beta news too. But that one deserved a header nod. Everyone else can sit here in list format, like so:

Did we get a list past the break? We did! It may contain a whole bunch of betas, or it might contain the ingredient list for almond-and-cranberry scones. If it's the betas, do let us know if something is missing or inaccurate down in the comments; if it's the scones thing, just cook some nice scones for your friends and family.

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Betawatch: Crowfall claims 2017 (January 6, 2017)

Here we are, in 2017! It seems a lot like 2016 and things are still kind of awful. On the bright side, David Bowie hasn't died again. Also, Crowfall has proudly proclaimed that this will be its year. So far, the year has consisted of answering player questions and passing a crowdfunding goal, but it probably will include more than that. The year is young.

Other beta news? Yes, there's been a little bit while developers get back from the holidays.

Of course, there's a list down below. Same list as last year, really, we haven't had enough time for any huge shakeups. If something is on there which ought not to be, though, please do let us know down in the comments.

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Betawatch: Hero's Song abruptly stops the music (December 30, 2017)

This kill-happy year of 2016 has claimed a lot of lives, and the last week has also killed another game. Hero's Song has been unceremoniously cancelled, with the studio shutting down and a call for all backers to collect refunds for any money invested. This may not have been unexpected news when it failed to succeed at either of its crowdfunding pushes, but it's still sad news.

Meanwhile, whilst the rest of the world was quietly recuperating, some other interesting tidbits of beta news did come out this week:

And that wraps up our betas for the year. Of course, there's still a list down below, and you can let us know if something switched test phases without us noticing... but for now, we're just going to wait until 2017. You know, in two days. Here's hoping for good news.

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Betawatch: Revelation Online does the beta warp again (December 23, 2016)

It was bound to happen. No, really, it was; we were told that Revelation Online would head into its second round of closed testing, and behold, it did exactly that. It also has some additional localization, which means that it might reveal more details about it sstory to those who play over the holidays.

Beyond that, there is a surprising amount of beta news as we head into a holiday weekend when everyone is off on a cloud of eggnog and sweaters. What sort of news? Look below, dear readers!

That's a lot of stuff, but there's even more stuff down in the list below, games still in closed or open testing. See something on there which should not be? Let us know in the comments! (Just give us a few days. We've got eggnog and sweaters to deal with.)

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Betawatch: Guardians of Ember starts heading into head starts (December 16, 2016)

First, Guardians of Ember had a headstart period for early access. Then, it actually hit early access. So it was even earlier access there. Hyper-early access. Maximum access. Of course, given that the game ran into some server troubles rather promptly, it may be up for debate how much early access was actually possible.

This week's list of beta news, by contrast, is not in early access. It's actually in delayed access, because we're rounding up some notable stuff you might have missed. Case in point?

  • The fifth alpha version for ECO has gone live, complete with expanded support for climate and ecosystem, global temperature changes, and so forth. It also added foxes to the ecosystem, so that's solid gold right there. (I like foxes.)
  • Speaking of fifth alphas (and how often is that a segue that gets to be used?), Worlds Adrift has brought in some new people for its fifth alpha test. It's an expansion! Of the team. Not the game. It's too early to expand the game; it hasn't launched yet.
  • Global closed beta for Life is Feudal kicked off this past week with a small core of people who had bought into the testing and a pool of selected testers. It's also working on horse-drawn carriages. That's not connected to anything else; it's just worth noticing.
  • Although it's been a short month for Shroud of the Avatar, the game did manage to get another release out of the door this month! One last iteration of polish before the new year rolls around, you know how it is.
  • Last but not least, it turns out Camelot Unchained is going to integrate Discord right into the game, thus meaning that you have one fewer chat program you'll need to load up when you play the game. Or you'll have to flag yourself as invisible to avoid talking with people. Don't judge me.

And that's all that... wait, you want more? Ugh, fine, have a whole list of stuff that's in testing just below. You know, like we do every week. It's always possible we may have missed something important, though, so please let us know down in the comments if we did. That's helpful!

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Betawatch: Ashes of Creation shows up out of nowhere (December 9, 2016)

Man, how can I not notice this? Out of nowhere we first hear about Ashes of Creation, then we did a little interview asking about what in the world it was supposed to be. We also got a bit more of a look at the game. There are no beta dates or anything just yet, but still... it kind of came out of nowhere. That's sort of awesome.

Other beta news did come in this week, yes. Some of it might even more to you! But we had to give that a top nod. Other news can be listed below, as follows:

About the list past the break where we have everything in testing listed: it's still there. That's all there is to be said. Of course, we might have overlooked something, so feel free to let us know about it in the comments. Alternatively, you could link funny YouTube videos. That won't improve the list, but we like 'em.

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Betawatch: These are the dates of our lives (December 2, 2016)

I never wanted to be writing about betas for a living, you know. I wanted to be a novelist (once I realized that "combination scientist/race-car driver" was not an actual job). But sometimes these weeks provide you with some interesting contrasts. On the one hand, the biggest news this week was that ARK: Survival Evolved is landing on PlayStation 4 on December 6th as its testing continues before its full "launch." Everything else was just a series of dates... but what dates they were.

And it only seems fair to note some non-date news, while we're here:

Whew! Those were some dates. But we've got more stuff in testing in the list down below, so by all means, check that stuff out. And let us know if something jumped categories without us noticing, if you would be so kind.

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Betawatch: The unexpected drama of Project Genom (November 25, 2016)

Sometimes, stories are just so weird that you can't help but find them fascinating. Take the unexpected removal of Project Genom from the Steam store. The former lead programmer claimed that he was given no contracts and functionally scammed out of assets and work; the studio claimed he never signed a contract and turned out substandard work. It's one of those weird stories of conflicting hearsay that you know you'll never really know the truth about, even with the promise that the game will be getting back on Steam soon.

It's a quiet holiday week for most of us, but that doesn't mean other beta news didn't happen. For example:

While you're enjoying a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers, why not take the time to peruse our list of games just below? Lots of games are in testing, after all. Of course, some of them may have advanced to another testing stage without us noticing, so feel free to let us know about that down in the comments.

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