Remember Maguss, the Harry Potter-esque ARG everyone was buzzing around right up until Pokemon Go company Niantic said it was making Harry Potter: Wizards Unite? It’s just about to launch its open beta; you west coasters will want to wake up early on Saturday indeed to make the 8 a.m. EST starting time on Android and iOS. The game originally raised almost half a million dollars on Indiegogo, so its popularity seems assured!
What else happened in the world of MMO testing this week?
- Camelot Unchained finally has a beta date: the fourth of July. Fortunately, nothing else important happens on that day. Our interview all about how beta will work is pretty great if we do say so ourselves.
- Dead Maze officially launched! No more beta! Free at last!
- Villagers & Heroes seeks iOS beta testers ahead of its launch at the end of this month.
- Project Gorgon laid out the details of its upcoming Steam beta.
- Stardew Valley promised multiplayer beta this spring.
- Soulworker Online is inching ever closer to testing here; forums for NA and EU arrived this week.
- Ashes of Creation dazzled again with more footage of “alpha zero” gameplay.
- Staxel landed on our sandbox radar; it’s currently in early access.
- Bless Online is anticipating that when it starts, its early access open beta will run half a year.
We’ve tucked whole list of games temporarily and very much permanently in test stasis right on down below.
As Phoenix Labs powers toward Dauntless’ open beta later this year, it took a few minutes to tally up some Big Numbers from its closed beta testing period. The team compiled all of these in a mighty infographic (which is available after the break in case you need to wallpaper an especially tall room).
So far, over 100,000 testers have dipped into Dauntless’ beta, creating 869,000 characters in the process. Amusingly, the giant behemoths of the game are winning: Only 4 million of them have been slaughtered, whereas they have managed to stomp out 7.5 million characters.
Phoenix Labs also shared the growth of its studio over the past five years. Following the foundation in 2014 with three leaders, the team has grown to 58 with 12 new hires this year alone. The studio is planning to expand from Vancouver to San Mateo, California.
As an online multiplayer RPG, Sea of Thieves is making its own playbook instead of copy-and-pasting features and structure directly from other games. One such deviation from contemporary MMOs is that the pirate title will not let players mix-and-match their own character’s visuals when starting up a new game.
You read that right.
Instead, Sea of Thieves will randomly generate a handful of swarthy sea dogs from various options, giving players the choice to select one or roll up a fresh batch of Frankenpirates. This design choice is very deliberate, as Rare wants players to embrace crazy-looking characters instead of striving for perfection: “We want people to think, this is my very own Rare-created pirate character. It will encourage players to pick a character who wouldn’t normally be a character they would create in a character creator. It’s not about just making ourselves.”
If leveling and organization get in the way of your true passion in online games — massive PvP siege warfare — then allow Conqueror’s Blade to cut to the chase and give you the experience you crave.
The massively multiplayer medieval war simulator just wrapped its most recent test, with over 10,000 players across the globe trying it out. Now the team is turning its attention to what it’s calling the European X Test (closed beta) in March. Interested parties may register for the test on the website.
“We are honored that so many players really loved playing Conqueror’s Blade, and they gave us a lot of good advice during the beta test,” said Producer Xi. “We’re working hard to deliver an even better gaming experience for the European players in the next test.”
Check out what the game looks like and how it plays after the break!
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Vendetta Online, Worlds Adrift, Monster Hunter World, Hellion, Rust, Skyforge, Blade and Soul, Portal Knights, Final Fantasy XI, Dreadnought, PUBG, Hyper Universe, Crossout, Black Desert, Dark and Light, H1Z1, Dauntless, Robocraft, Fortnite, War of Rights, Cosmos Invictus, Ultima Online, and Vendetta Online, all waiting for you after the break!
At long last, ECO has moved from alpha into beta and Early Access on Steam. Drop a little money on it and you can get into testing this blocky ecological simulation sandbox. Yes, it’s along the lines of Minecraft, but the goal here is simulating the influence you can have on ecological simulations. So you can insist to others that it’s educational and actually be right.
We’ve also had some other beta news this week, and as we do every week, we’ve assembled some highlights below in easy-to-read list format.
All of the questions above, I promise, were purely rhetorical. You don’t need to answer them down in the comments. You can, however, let us know if something is wrong with the list below where we keep all of our important beta news. You can also let us know about betas you’re involved in testing, or talk about this week’s stories, or whatever you so desire. We’re flexible that way.
How about a brand-new indie online RPG to brighten up your playing prospects this spring? Meet The Immortal Rift, a medieval fantasy MMO full of quests, a busy economy, open world PvP, crafting, and all sorts of “custom storytelling tools” to make this sandbox your own.
It looks as though this game and its world of Gran Skrea are very fresh on the scene, if the website and Steam page are any indication. The team said that there are currently two fleshed-out areas in the game, with a plan to continue development and launch in December.
A two-week closed beta test will kick off on February 15th, and you can sign up on the site if this interests you. Following the test, The Immortal Rift will go into Steam early access on March 1st.
While Legends of Aria prepares to wind down its first closed beta test on February 11th, it doesn’t mean that the party has to end. The dev team announced that it will keep the server up and running for founder’s pack owners until the final beta arrives. The only downside here is that from the 12th on, the server will go back under NDA status for its players.
Before this happens, however, there are some adjustments that the team is making to the beta test. The newest update includes a new allegiance system, fixes to beast mastery and taming, and a “karma flag” to prevent players from accidentally hurting their karma rating.
The team also invites its testers to a Friday Night Fight on February 9th. During this, teams of two players will compete against each other in a tournament.
With a year of alpha and closed beta testing behind it, Dauntless turns to 2018 with an eye toward grander things. Namely, open beta and release.
The team took a look at the future horizon of the multiplayer fantasy game’s development and tagged seven elements that it wants to improve in order to prepare for open beta. These elements are: user interface, evergame, island gameplay, slayer expression, combat, tutorials, and performance and scale. The “evergame” section is perhaps the most interesting, as the team desires to create compelling content and additional activities to keep players interested in the long run.
“You can expect more details, in-depth articles, developer interviews, and previews of what’s to come. The goal of open beta is in sight and we are excited to bring to life the game that we’ve been waiting for and that you’ve supported,” the team promised.
It turns out that not only were players excited to jump into the role of pirates-to-be for Sea of Thieves’ closed beta last month, but even more people were eager to watch them do it.
According to an infographic boasting about the CBT’s big numbers, the closed beta included 332,052 pirates, treasure hunters, and buccaneers. Collectively, that group clocked in over two million hours of playtime.
Rare noted that the game topped out as the #1 title on Twitch with the most live viewers. With 25,563 players streaming and posting their content and an average of 104,240 viewers during that period, Rare calculated that nearly 14.5 million hours of the closed beta were viewed by fans.
Sea of Thieves has a little over a month and a half to go before it launches on March 20th for both Xbox One and PC. Get a bit more hyped for this title by watching a brief video below on its distinctive art style!
What will you when you embark on your pirate career in Sea of Thieves? I know that at least for me, the answer will be “nothing serious.” There are too many ways to goof off and embrace your inner buccaneer in this title, and so expect to find me with an accordion and a cranky parrot at your nearest port.
As for Cap’n Deekay_plus, he decided that doing a jig was the best use of his closed beta time: “I finally got a female avatar in the Sea of Thieves beta after spending all of alpha with a male avatar that too closely resembled my IRL visage. So to celebrate, I took a selfie while dancing!”
Congratulations, Legends of Aria, we’re glad to see that you’re in closed beta now. It’s been a twisting road for this particular title, but we’re hopeful that the road ahead will be filled with fun and success. What? That was serious. There was no sarcasm in there. Seriously, it’s sometimes hard to tell.
Other beta news? Sure thing, buddy. Just for you.
- The cute, cuddly, and brutally difficult Tale of Toast will be entering early access this month. If you’d like to argue that it’s neither cute nor cuddly, we understand, art is subjective like that. If you’d like to argue that it’s not difficult, say that to its face.
- How do you play Project Genom? Where do you even start? There’s a video for that as the game’s development rolls on. So that’s helpful!
- Good news, Star Citizen fans, you can now subscribe in order to get access to the PTU forever! By popular demand, apparently. Now, be prepared to argue eternally over whether or not this optional subscription fee to a game that’s still early in its test cycle is really a subscription fee at all, and get ready for people willing to argue with you for hours until language no longer makes any sense.
- Speaking of spaceships, Dual Universe is blasting through some pre-alpha testing right now, and it’s got some news for the fans. Specifically, about territory control. Very important if you like to control territory.
Ah, it’s not really a new year until we’re arguing over spacecraft, is it? But don’t you worry, we’ve got our usual list down below, and we’re always interested to hear from you if something isn’t on there that should be, is on there that shouldn’t be, or should be on there and is on there but isn’t listed in the right test phase. Let us know down in the comments!
Last August, we heard about a cute little coop survival MMO called Dead Maze. Yeah, yeah, it’s zombies. But it’s also not your average cutthroat you-red-you-dead kind of survivalbox. When they say co-op, they mean it: If you don’t work together with your fellow humans, you’re gonna die.
Studio Atelier 801, which yes we do realize is redundant, pushed the colorful isometric game to closed beta on Steam last November, and this week, it announced a February 13th official launch. Over the past few months, it says, it’s been working on both bug fixes and new features, “including a new game mode called The Raid where players have to survive infinite waves of enemies.”
We’ll be checking the game out ourselves on OPTV next week, but for now, we leave you with the brand-new trailer.