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: Landmark is getting storytelling and further wipes (March 18, 2016)

The loss of EverQuest Next is bad news, but Landmark appears to be poised to absorb the strength of its fallen sibling with its further updates, like boss fights where you fight two things at once. The game is indeed getting a storytelling system, allowing everyone to jump in and craft stories, dungeons, and the like. Its next big update is due on Monday and will wipe characters and claims; two more such wipes are planned before the title finally launches.

The rest of the beta world, meanwhile, continued to move on full steam ahead.

And just like we always do, there’s more stuff down in the list below. Did we miss something? Let us know down in the comments, if you’d be so kind. We appreciate it.

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Betawatch: EverQuest Next is gone, Landmark is launching (March 11, 2016)

We cannot wave farewell to EverQuest Next in this column because it’s never actually been in testing. We will be able to wave farewell to Landmark when it finally launches this spring at the price of $10, but that’s kind of different. It’s kind of a sad day, that’s the point.

We can also bid farewell to The Division as it has launched, complete with the usual server issues that come with any online game’s launch. Such is life.

Other beta news happened, of course; here’s a quick slice:

Depressing news Friday or no, there’s still a full docket of games below which are currently in testing, and just like always we ask for your help in chasing down any titles listed therein which have crept into another test phase without our notice. Some things never change, and cash shops in open betas that might as well be launches apparently don’t go out of style.

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Betawatch: Camelot Unchained hits the beta crunch (March 4, 2016)

The Camelot Unchained team is in the midst of a hard crunch period to get the game ready for full beta testing. The good news is that the team is getting some reinforcements as another stretch goal has been achieved, meaning that the developers will be at least marginally less likely to lose their collective minds. The team also took some time to discuss balance in a game focused around PvP.

Meanwhile, we bid farewell to Black Desert, as the game finally leaves our testing list in concert with its full post-headstart launch. But there are other games in testing and moving through the test phases, which this feature will begin discussing in no specific order as always:

  • Asta has entered its open testing period, which means that we can finally see if the game will have more success here than it did in its native country. Let’s hope so, in fact, because the alternative ending to this story is really depressing.
  • Figureheads has begun its open beta in Japan, although the beta is not IP-locked for those who can speak Japanese or are willing to muddle through Japanese characters in the hopes of getting customizable robot shooting to happen. If your last effort to do that resulted in you purchasing fourteen pounds of raw squid, you might want to just wait and hope for a local release.
  • Trinium Wars has entered its early access period on Steam, so you can jump in and play that. Assuming you buy in first, because of course you do.
  • Smite is in testing on the PlayStation 4, which should provide your dose of deity violence if you’re waiting for a new installment of God of War to hit the console.
  • Paragon is not yet in any sort of early access, just in testing. It is going to be available to buy in via founder’s packs on March 18th, just the same.

Oh, yes, there’s a full list of stuff down below, as always. Some of it’s stuff that we’ve listed here, some of it’s new stuff. Did some of that stuff shift testing states without us noticing? It’s possible! Let us know if that’s happened in the comments.

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Betawatch: Tree of Savior is going international soon (February 26, 2016)

Good news, Tree of Savior fans – the game is slated to hit the international stage soon. How soon? That’s still up in the air. But it does mean that the game is going to be coming over here after what seems like endless waffling and a long period of back-and-forth. Good news if you are super interested in the trees which saved people from… rivers, or something. (I am not actually clear on the game’s premise.)

It’s been a quieter week than the past few for betas, but still, there have been developments:

If none of that tickles your fancy, that’s all right, as we still have our full list of beta titles just below. Let us know if something has carefully snuck beneath our radar in the comments!

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Betawatch: The Division opens up for beta testing (February 19, 2016)

It’s that wonderful time again, ladies and gentlemen, when a long-awaited title goes into open beta. The Division has opened up its beta today to everyone playing on a supported platform, which means more or less every platform that isn’t a Mac or, I don’t know, a ColecoVision. You’ve even got some open beta challenges to take on. There are also hints that the game may well be getting endgame raids after all, so it’s probably for the best that your ColecoVision isn’t supported; you know that would be a whole thing.

Speaking of divisions, let’s go into the not-getting-intro-space-but-still-getting-a-mention division:

  • You do know that Black Desert is launching next month, yes? Because its second and final closed beta is running right now. If you didn’t know it before, it sort of follows.
  • You do know that SMITE is coming to the PlayStation 4, yes? That’s totally happening, with closed alpha beginning today and closed beta is kicking off in March. Not quite yet. Here’s a hint: If you want to know what the game will be like, it will be very much like the game you can already play on your computer, but with a controller.
  • You do know that Atlas Reactor is having an alpha sneak peek week, yes? Please phrase your response to that question in a way that allows Seussian rhymes with “sneak peek week.”
  • You do know that Paladins has a new glacier map to head through, right? Well, congratulations, you keep up on the beta news on this site. Thank you for still reading this feature. It gets lonely.
  • Last but not least, there’s Asta‘s open beta hitting early in March. At the same point as The Division and Black Desert launches. Did you know about that? More importantly, do you know why?

Speaking of horrible segues, we’ve got our full list of games in testing just below, and as always we’d like your help in letting us know about anything we might have missed. We’re not omniscient, and sometimes things just launch. It’s weird, but it happens.

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Betawatch: Gigantic’s developer undergoes further layoffs (February 12th, 2016)

This week has brought some pretty terrible news for fans of Gigantic, as developer Motiga has had to lay off a significant portion of the development staff due to a lack of funds. The studio claims that it’s aggressively negotiating for more capital, with the intent being to rehire those laid off, but only time will tell if this plan comes to fruition.

Depressing, huh? Yeah, let’s move on to other beta news from the past week.

That was a wild tour, but there’s still a full list on down below if you’d like to check that out. Did something slip into a new testing state whilst we were paying attention to other things? Well, please let us know in the comments, then.

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Betawatch: Black Desert launches at the start of March (February 5th, 2016)

Are you impatiently waiting to explore the blackest and most brutal of all conceivable deserts? Because Black Desert‘s launch date is closer than you might think. The game is launching on March 3rd, meaning that you’ll be able to play to your heart’s content with the launch version. You can also reserve your name shortly if you’ve pre-ordered.

This week’s been pretty busy for launches, beta announcements, and other such antics.

That’s a lot of titles with big moves this week. Still, there’s always more stuff in testing than can be highlighted in one intro, and we have placed all of that down below in our usual list. Let us know if something swapped phases without us noticing; it’s funny, but it happens just the same.

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Betawatch: Eternal Crusade’s entry into early access (January 29th, 2016)

In the grim darkness of the future, there is no more launch or beta or alpha testing, just early access for eternity. Fortunately, Eternal Crusade exists in the present, not the grim darkness of the future. It is in early access now, though, with a surprising new publisher in the form of Bandai-Namco. I think it can safely be said that none of us saw that one coming.

Other beta news? Just for you guys, because we’re such great friends.

So those are all of the titles with any sort of beta testing going on, and by that I of course mean that there are a lot of other titles in testing. We can barely keep track of them all! We’ve got a list for you just past the break, but if you notice something that we missed or a title that swapped phases without telling us, let us know down in the comments.

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Betawatch: Having fun with Black Desert’s character creator (January 22, 2016)

Who doesn’t like a good character creator? The people in charge of Black Desert clearly like having one so much that a standalone version was released. Now everyone can enjoy making characters that are just like Bart. If you can’t wait to make a character and play said character, of course, you’ll have to wait for the next closed beta test starting up on February 18th.

Meanwhile, Blade & Soul leaves the list altogether, what with its launch this past Tuesday.

And there’s other beta news, too!

And just as in previous weeks, we do indeed have more titles listed down below. Is something missing? Why, let us know in the comments!

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Betawatch: The Division enters beta this month at last (January 15, 2016)

It seems like The Division was going to forever be the title that didn’t quite make its way to an actual beta test, but that’s finally changing. After rumors that its beta was coming this month, it was confirmed that the tests will start right around the end of January… and stop very soon thereafter. So it’s more of the “stress test” sort of beta. There’s some new gameplay footage for those among you who can’t wait until the end of the month.

And now for my next trick, yes, it’s more stuff going on over the past week in the beta field!

Is there a list down there? Silly question, of course there’s a list. You know to let us know if we missed something, yes? Awesome!

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Betawatch: Oculus Rift-bound EVE Valkyrie plans alpha (January 8, 2016)

The good news for eager VR fans is that EVE: Valkyrie‘s first alpha test will start up on January 18th for use with the Oculus Rift DK2 headset. This comes hot on the heels of the Oculus Rift price announcement, which is means that the headset (and EVE: Valkyrie) will run you a hefty $599 to pre-order. Which is great news for people who have that much money to drop on a specialized monitor that works with a small selection of games, but it’s not exactly the mainstream revolution.

Other beta news? Aw, sure, why not? It’s been a busy week.

Plus, you know, we’ve got that whole list down below. If there’s something we’ve missed despite our best efforts, let us know down in the comments!

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Betawatch: Vessels, crows, and testing schedules for Crowfall (January 1, 2016)

This week wasn’t just the end of a year, it was the start of a long string of news from Crowfall before testing resumes on January 6th. The game’s staff revealed the interlocking system of vessels and crows, allowing players to unlock skills and abilities at the account level rather than per character, and introducing all sorts of interesting possibilities with crafting characters. There were also reminders to get your 2015 founder’s packs before the end of the year, but that deadline is passed now.

And yes indeed, there was other beta news. Not much, though; most game studios were watching some movie or another and sleeping off holiday meals.

And, of course, there’s our list down below. See something we missed, let us know! We also have a movie to catch right now, you understand. It involves some awakening or another.

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Betawatch: Camelot Unchained’s crafting is no laughing matter (December 25, 2015)

Happy holidays to those celebrating a holiday today! Happy just today for everyone else! And an extra-special dose of happy for people who like their crafting systems to have ornate depth, because Camelot Unchained has previewed its crafting system and there’s plenty for you to explore. Most of you can’t actually play with it yet, no, but you sure can dream.

Other beta news? Not a whole lot, you know, what with other things happening this week. But there’s still some!

Oh, yes, we totally have other things down there in the list. Have a good one, folks, and we’ll see you again on the other side of the new year! Really, it’ll be 2016 before the next installment runs. Freaky, huh?

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