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: H1Z1 rolls back launch plans (September 16, 2016)

Half of H1Z1 was supposed to be launching on September 20th, but much like the game's console plans that has been rolled backwards. The developers are keeping King of the Kill in early access for a bit longer, although the game will still receive a very large update on September 20th. When will the game actually launch now? Who knows?

Moving on to other beta news from the week:

And you know there's a whole list down below full of games in testing or remarkably test-like states. Do let us know if something in there slipped between phases without letting us know, will you? Usually it's some rascally localized free-to-play game that quietly launched without saying anything, those lovable scamps.

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Betawatch: Dual Universe hits the Kickstarter circuit (September 9, 2016)

This week, Dual Universe started its Kickstarter, and - oh, you've already got your checkbook out. Great, it's half a million for this one. Oh, and it's going to have a subscription business model, just if that affects your betting odds.

Meanwhile, most of this week's beta news centered around stuff leaving beta testing. No, really! Just keep reading.

Do we even have a list left below? Of course we do, don't be silly. Let us know if something on that list managed to slip into a launch or launch-ish state down below in the comments, though. We can't promise we'll agree with you, but we can promise that we'll think of you as very attractive for at least four minutes.

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Betawatch: WoW Legion launches (September 2, 2016)

Boy, it feels like we've been waiting for this for a whole year, doesn't it? World of Warcraft: Legion launched this past week, putting an end to a lengthy major patch drought and also sending everyone out on an island vacation. Or something. There definitely are islands, that much is a certainty. Our impressions are available in three parts covering the opening moments, the order halls and artifacts, and the leveling experience.

Is that not enough news for you? Well, let's cover some other beta news, then. Come along!

There's also our usual list just below, complete with games that didn't make it into actual launch or whatever this week. If something has arguably already launched, i.e. a free-to-play game with no more wipes and a functional cash shop, do let us know if we missed it in the comments. If you have thoughts about a beta you're playing, let us know that in the comments, too. Actually, let us know if you saw a cool dog on the way to work today. We're not picky..

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Betawatch: Star Citizen gets persistent (August 26, 2016)

Depending on your definitions, Star Citizen is already pretty persistent. For example, it's already persistently crowdfunding, persistently putting out new ships for the price of a used car, and persistently drawing accusations of "scam" from people who don't know what scams are. But its persistent universe got some love with the most recent gameplay trailer. Yes, there's actually a game in there beneath all of the debates. It also passed another crowdfunding milestone, but as mentioned, that's persistent.

Other beta news? Aw, shucks, why not. You earned it.

And there's a list! A list of games in testing. It's right down below. Let us know if something snuck a cash shop in without us noticing what was happening, or just share your thoughts on a current beta you're enjoying. If you'd like to argue the fine points of terminology instead, we can't really stop you, but it might not be a fun Friday.

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Betawatch: Das Tal becomes The Exiled (August 19, 2016)

There's a certain risk involved in changing your game's name after people have already gotten used to a name. After all, people might not know about your new name and just keep asking about what happened to the old name, never knowing what happened. On that note, it's important to make it clear that The Exiled is the game formerly known as Das Tal, so if you're wondering what ever happened with the latter... that's what. It changed names.

Most of the beta world was a little quiet this week on account of Gamescom, but there's still some interesting stuff to chew upon. Behold!

As always, there's a list of games down below. Check it out! Let us know if something slipped into a different testing phase without us noticing! Tell us how great our new shirts look! We spent a lot of money on those.

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Betawatch: Worlds Adrift gets big money (August 12, 2016)

Money, as we all know, makes the world go round. Even when that world is adrift, as in the appropriately named Worlds Adrift. In other words, it's a good thing that the game's gotten a nice big infusion of cash to the tune of one million dollars. The team also showed off the process of making a ship to float through the sky, so that's also awesome.

And what about the rest of the beta environment? Oh, it did stuff. Here's a sampler of that stuff:

  • Eternal Crusade is promising to offer details on its MMO mechanics. Not now, no, but the developers will reveal them. They're coming, really. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
  • The beta for Lazarus has begun, and the game is already providing an unusual tweak to its gameplay model - it's a roguelike multiplayer game that sets back the clock every week, meaning that you can always expect a certain degree of resetting. Whether that sounds interesting or horrible is up to you.
  • Twin Saga is in its closed beta, with launch planned for later this month. The game's voices are still in Japanese, but you can turn on subtitles if you want to understand the story. Or you can leave them off and assume the story is better than it may actually be. I like to imagine that everyone is talking about Proust.
  • Lineage Eternal has plans for another beta test in November. Its beta cycle, at least, appears to be... lengthy. Yes, the joke was obvious.
  • Last but not least, the Dark and Light reboot is on its way, and it's technically classless. Mechanically, that is. How classy the actual game is comes down to the players.

Of course, there is also a list of things in beta testing down below. See something missing, or something that ought to be removed or added? Let us know in the comments, and we'll debate about it internally while making jokes about games. They're not good jokes, you don't want to see them.

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Betawatch: Elder Scrolls Legends opens up (August 5, 2016)

If you've been waiting for something a bit more scroll-happy before jumping on the virtual card game train, you'll be happy to know that Elder Scrolls Legends has passed from the forbidding desert of closed beta into the verdant fields of open beta. Seriously, you can jump in and start playing the game right now if you'd like. It's the newest card game for people who would rather play a card game without quite so many actual cards.

Other beta news? No, there's none. By which we of course mean "yes, there's quite a bit."

And, naturally, there's that full list down below. See something that switched modes unexpectedly and has a full cash shop running? Argue that something counts as launch? Just like posting about betas with no NDA in place? All of that is welcome down in the comments.

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Betawatch: Shroud of the Avatar is proudly persistent (July 29, 2016)

Let's make something clear: Shroud of the Avatar has not launched, it's just handled its final server wipe and will now be persistent moving forward. Which is different from launch because the developers say so. It was a pretty big deal when it happened, considering that the developers also ran a big telethon at the same time. There's also a land "rush" of sorts, but if you didn't buy in at a big tier ages ago, it'll probably be a while before you need to worry about that.

Elsewhere in the beta world, there was... well, testing. You know.

This is just a sampling of stuff that's in testing, of course; there are more titles in the list we keep down below. If something dropped in a cash shop without letting us know or surreptitiously changed test phases, please, do let us know about it down in the comments.

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Betawatch: Das Tal weathers the summer alpha storm (July 22, 2016)

The doors are open for Das Tal's summer test, and the result has been good and bad. Good because a lot of people want to play, naturally, but bad because there have been some server issues and associated bugs. The team is hard at work on making sure players can jump in and enjoy the game, with a small patch just released to improve server performance. That's what tests are all about, after all.

Other beta news? Sure, we'll share that with you. Because we're nice.

Oh, and we've also packed plenty more games just below if you just want an idea of what's in testing right now. If something opened up a cash shop unexpectedly, please do let us know. You'll be invited to our birthday parties that we'll cancel at the last minute.

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Betawatch: AdventureQuest 3D steamrolls toward open beta (July 15, 2016)

You know how some titles like to linger in ill-defined test phases forever? AdventureQuest 3D doesn't want to go that route. The game is launching into closed beta on July 19th, and then it expects to be in open beta after about a week. Wasting no time, indeed. You can check out our podcast with the team behind the game, too.

It's been a relatively quiet week for beta news overall (not so much for other news), but there's still plenty to chew on from the week past.

And now, it's time for the mystery corner. Dare you guess what's below the cut? Is it a list of all of the betas we know about? Yes, of course it is. And if something has jumped to a new test phase or surreptitiously launched without saying otherwise, well, you'll keep us up to date in the comments, right? Yes, of course. So it's not really much of a mystery.

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Betawatch: World of Warcraft and the art of pre-patch trolling (July 7, 2016)

We have a launch date for World of Warcraft's next expansion, but we don't have a date for the pre-patch before the expansion launches. It is fair to say at this point, though, that the designers are just playing with the affections of players. First the developers tease something big coming just to announce a Twitter contest for getting into the beta. Then an article about when the pre-patch will arrive... does not say when it will arrive. Someone is having a chuckle. Ah, well, at least you can get pre-loaded.

Asta, meanwhile, is being far more definitive by definitely launching this week.  Sure, it was already in no-wipe open beta, but at least the distinction was made definitive. And Riders of Icarus has hit open beta, which serves as a fine segue into more beta news for the week.

  • Darkfall: New Dawn has launched its public development server; you can hop on for free within the next three weeks. If you're curious about what it will play like, the answer is "quite a bit like Darkfall, but also not entirely like Darkfall."
  • Big stuff is happening in Shroud of the Avatar. For one thing, the game is planning to have no further wipes after July 28th! For another thing, Starr Long and Richard Garriott are selling their blood. The sequence of events that led to this seeming like a rational decision is not one that any human being should attempt to contemplate.
  • Atlas Reactor has opened up for testing for everyone until July 17th. Good news for people who want to test it and have not yet been able to, bad news for people who don't want to test it but feel obligated to now that there are no excuses.
  • Another LawBreakers test is taking place this weekend, if you feel as if your test schedule this weekend was otherwise too law-abiding.
  • Last but not least, Das Tal has plans for both US and EU servers during its summer testing phase. So you can be sure that you're fighting people who are both literally and figuratively in your backyard.

That was quite a whirlwind tour! Perhaps you'd like to refresh with a cool, steady list just below. If there are problems with the list, like titles that have opened cash shops while in no-wipe open beta, do let us know down in the comments.

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Betawatch: Riders of Icarus moves into head start (July 1, 2016)

Riders of Icarus has not launched yet; it's in head start. Yes, head start before open beta, rather than before, like, launch or something. If you think about the terminology too long, you'll just start getting a headache. Just know that founders are currently playing the game as much as they want, while those who did not buy in to a founder's pack are going to have to wait until July 6th.

It was a quiet beta week, but there's still some points of interest to cover just the same:

We know, you're eager to look below the cut for a list. And it's there, just like always, filled with games that are still in some stage of testing. Let us know in the comments if something suddenly has a cash shop with no plans for a wipe while still calling itself a beta or is perpetuating similar shadiness.

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Betawatch: Shroud of the Avatar prepares launch without launching (June 24, 2016)

It's important to note that Shroud of the Avatar is not actually going to launch on July 28th. It's just not going to wipe characters any further. Everything will be completely persistent from that point onward, but that's different from launch because of reasons. The players are preparing to hold a convention later this year in Baltimore, and there's a prequel novel available for those of you who just can't get enough of the game's lore. There's also a swanky gated community in the works.

More beta news? Aw, sure, why not; we're friends:

The list of games below here is a list that will bring you endless joy, or perhaps it will just refresh your memory about titles that are in testing which you had forgotten about. Has a naughty game opened a cash shop while still claiming to be in beta? Let us know about that down in the comments.

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