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: AdventureQuest 3D shows off its cross-platform performance (May 20, 2016)

You would think that cross-platform play for games would generally be a thing by now, but the fact that I can only get a copy of Mighty No. 9 for one platform after backing it originally makes it clear that this is still a world of divided platforms. AdventureQuest 3D, on the other hand, is really trying to be a game that can be played on almost any device used by anyone anywhere, meaning that you can play at your home on your computer and then take it on the road with your phone. We took an in-depth look at the title this week, so that’s something you ought to check out.

It’s generally been a pretty quiet beta week, but “quiet” isn’t a synonym for “absolutely stagnant,” either:

  • A new Paladins patch has been rolled out, with a new free rotation and a rework to how you can buy specific cards. No more randomly hoping for the right card at a given rarity! (Thanks to Sorenthaz for letting us know.)
  • SamuTale‘s testing is going to start in the legendary land of Soon, but until it happens you can assure yourself access with a relatively cheap founder’s pack. I’d say that’s noteworthy.
  • Speaking of buying and selling stuff, are you curious about how that’s going to work out with Gigantic? Because those questions were asked and answered in that game’s recent AMA following the Perfect World Entertainment partnership.
  • Are you more of the storytelling sort? You should be happy that the most recent big Landmark patch has made storytelling much better. Story saving, resets, and easier nodes are all part of making a tale easier to craft. Not that it will make your characters any more compelling, alas.

Oh, and let’s also note that we do have that list just below. There are a lot of games on it! We go through and trim it out, trying to make sure that everything on there should be on there… but if something doesn’t deserve it, could you let us know down in the comments? We appreciate it.

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Betawatch: Perfect World signs on to publish Gigantic (May 13, 2016)

Things had looked bleak for Gigantic. Setting the game up as being only on Windows 10 and Xbox One hadn’t exactly bolstered its playerbase, and developer Motiga had to go through more than one round of layoffs. But the future of the game does indeed seem secure now that Perfect World has signed on as a publisher, which extends the game’s support to Win64 operating systems as well. Happy news is good news!

We also say farewell to Tree of Savior this week with the game’s official launch as a free-to-play title. Goodbye to one of the most arboreal titles we’ll see all year.

Meanwhile, the rest of the week was… well, lousy with beta news, let’s just say it.

  • If you’ve got a hankering for some turn-based antics, Atlas Reactor invites you to come check it out this weekend. Everyone gets in for a small cover charge of absolutely nothing. It’s win-win, except for the people who made bets that the game wouldn’t have an open test this weekend, in which case you should probably stop making ridiculous bets. It’s also already in early access, if that helps motivate you.
  • World of Warcraft: Legion has finally hit its beta testing, with launch just a couple of months away. Still, beta! It’s a grand time if you’re invited.
  • When will you get to play even the earliest test versions of Pantheon? Not for a thousand upon a thousand generations. Or maybe by the end of the year. Depending on what sort of generations we’re talking about, both might even be true. Like fruit flies.
  • The development team behind Crowfall is looking to push some features back and move forward with a soft launch so that more people can get in and play the game while other features get more polished. Which means less testing on the game before you get to start playing, take that as you will.
  • As a historical footnote, everyone in the world logged into the Overwatch open beta. And then some pets logged in. Or maybe it was more like 10 million people. Still a lot.

And yes, the list is still down below, as it is every week. Is something wrong on that list? Let us know down in the comments, would you kindly?

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Betawatch: Chronicles of Elyria racks up the funding (May 6, 2016)

On May 3rd, Chronicles of Elyria started its Kickstarter campaign. On May 4th, the developers were already hitting significant funding milestones. On May 6th, the game passed the 50% mark. If this pattern continues, by the end of the Kickstarter campaign the game will have all of the money and will go into beta five minutes later. Don’t you tell me that’s not how patterns work.

And yes, there’s plenty of other beta news this week, to boot! Everyone gets to have some fun.

And, of course, there’s a handy list of games down below with running betas that we know about. Did something jump phases without us catching it? Let us know down in the comments. Were you disappointed or impressed by a beta that’s not under NDA? Let us know down in the comments. Have you had a taco recently? You don’t need to let us know down in the comments, but it’s still good to hear.

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Betawatch: Shroud of the Avatar prepares for no more wipes

Shroud of the Avatar is into its final countdown as a game without permanence. Sure, the most recent update required a character wipe as it made a whole lot of changes to the game’s structure, but the final wipe is coming up when the game updates in July. The designers are going to be running another telethon for the game in the not-too-distant future, as well; we had a chance to sit down and talk with Richard Garriott about the state of the game pre-launch and future plans at PAX East 2016, as well.

Of course, there was other beta news to be had this week, yes indeed.

Aw, do we have to have a whole list of betas just below? Yes. Yes we do. It’s right there, and if something slipped into a different test phase without us realizing it, we want to know. The comments are good for that.

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Betawatch: WoW Legion is launching in August (April 22, 2016)

This week, Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft’s sixth expansion, Legion, will indeed arrive this summer as planned. August 30th is the big day. Got your preorder in yet? Here’s what else is new in the land of MMO beta testing:

  • Tree of Savior banned 3000 cheaters and dealt with pricing fallout from scheming arbitrage artists.
  • Tree of Life — yeah, all the trees are confusing — launched its beta (along with its cash shop).
  • Origins of Malu announced it has suspended its development as it shops for investors.
  • Camelot Unchained announced its beta one release has been delayed, likely several weeks.
  • Nexon’s flying MMORPG Riders of Icarus began its second round of closed beta.
  • Hi-Rez’s shooter-hybrid Paladins patched its closed beta with, Dragon Punch, which pushes live new champion Drogoz, The Greedy.
  • Guild Wars 2’s live beta test of world linking for WvW began today.
  • Cube World is alive!
  • Fragmented released a trailer ahead of next week’s Steam early access launch. Stress tests are ongoing.
  • Glitch-spinoff Children of Ur updated its open alpha with a new build.
  • The Black Death lurched like a plague-ridden zombie into Steam early access.
  • Nexon launched the alpha for LawBreakers with a new trailer featuring no less than Ice-T.
  • The Culling’s first big early access patch introduced female playable characters.
  • Asta’s still in beta too, but it’s also getting a big content patch.

Check out our complete list of games in testing below!

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Betawatch: A perilous siege hits Crowfall (April 15, 2016)

Players of Crowfall are in quite a lot of peril with the arrival of the Siege Perilous testing phase. Or are they assaulting a place called “Perilous?” It could go several ways from a grammatical perspective. Plans are already in place for the game’s next stage of testing, and there are several bigger picture answers available for anyone fascinated by the game and looking for more information.

This week, we bid farewell to Ascent, which has launched out of early access in the hopes of garnering a bit more attention and a wider playerbase because otherwise it’s going to be hard to keep spending time and money working on it. That might not be pleasant, but it’s still the reality.

Other beta news? Oh, yes indeed.

And yes, a full list of beta stuff exists down below. Go forth! Read! Let us know if something slipped into another test phase without us realizing it! Tell us what you think about betas not under NDA! Use exclamation marks relentlessly! Bees!

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Betawatch: Everything is going into beta (April 8, 2016)

Do you feel a cold, hollow pit in your heart that could only be filled with Auto Assault and its legacy of motorized vehicles fighting one another? I’m not going to tell you that Crossout will fix that issue, but it is all about cars fighting other cars, and it is in closed beta now. So you can give it a shot and see if that’s what you need to be happy once more, because we all want you to be happy.

Of course, this is the week when lots of stuff either went into beta or made its further beta plans. Let’s go through that in list format, shall we?

Of course, we do have a full list of stuff down below, because we do that every week. If something slipped into a new testing phase without us noticing or there’s a running cash shop in a so-called open beta, please let us know about that in the comments.

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Betawatch: You may completely believe that Otherland is back on Steam (April 1, 2016)

Yes, we’ve all had fun with today’s joke, but you can probably 100% believe the fact that Otherland is back on Steam after a two-month absence. That two-month absence in and of itself is kind of unbelievable, but the fact that it came back is downright plausible. The game has also received a patch after its return, which is a bit more unbelievable, but all the same I hesitate to say that you would not believe it, dear readers. You clearly have a keen eye and a knowledge of what is and is not believable.

Other beta news did indeed happen, which you can probably believe:

Do we have anything more for you? Well, yes, we do; it’s a whole list of things in testing just below. Perhaps you’d like to check those things out down below? And perhaps you’d like to let us know if something slipped into launch without us noticing? And perhaps you’d like to bring us a ham sandwich? Seriously, we like ham sandwiches. No mayo.

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Betawatch: Crowfall’s Ranger surprise (March 25, 2016)

The Crowfall team has stated its plans to release the Siege Perilous update this month for testers, and the Ranger archetype was originally scheduled to release alongside it. Surprise! The Ranger showed up early in all of her melee-and-ranged glory! She’s a sneaky one. You can also check out a preview of upcoming changes to the UI and a full-screen viewport, if you’re so inclined.

Other beta news? Oh, yes indeed!

Oh, yes, and there’s the full list of games in testing just below, as you like it. Let us know if something down there swapped states without us catching it, we do appreciate your vigilance added to our own. Like some kind of vigilance gestalt.

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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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