Following multiple development delays, weird PR moves, gorgeous screenshot dumps, and a month of closed beta, decade-old MMORPG sandbox Dark and Light has finally resurrected into its early access soft launch form here in the west today. Thanks to the current discount, it’ll run you just under $25.
Snail Games is clear that this is a true early access title. “We already know that we’re going to run into a lot of bugs, crashes, localization issues, and more,” says the company. “Did you die from punching a blade of grass? Did your tamed creatures stage a massive revolt out of nowhere? Did an NPC tell you ‘I AM ERROR?’ Is the Bestiary straight-up lying to you about how many creatures are in the game? We want to know about it.”
As usual, we’ve rounded up our coverage to date so you can look back at the twisting road this game’s taken to be born again!
Citadel: Forged With Fire has been a whirlwind of activity since its sudden early access announcement last week, and it’s not letting up, as now it’s plotting what looks to be a closed beta round beginning this Saturday, July 22nd. Blue Isle Studios points players toward its official beta signup page and promises it’s releasing “tens of thousands of keys.”
What will you be testing if you get in? Why, the contents of the game’s first public patch notes, which address AI, spell balance, maps, and VOIP.
“We noticed most players encountered issues with our NPC behavior. Enemies would give chase to players infinitely, and the only option to deal with them was to jump in a pool of water and snipe them from safety. To fix this, we’ve made a number of changes to our NPC AI, which should hopefully resolve this issue. Spell balance was another thing we decided to take a look at coming out of last weekend. Players expected spells to be more powerful, so we went ahead and gave them some significant buffs. Additionally, we also addressed some audio and graphical issues that may have occurred (I’m looking at you Haste). In addition to the above, we made some key changes to building and map presentation, and added a few small things here and there to make some confusing things a little more obvious. Oh, and we added VOIP!”
After a long info drought on the anticipated action-MMO Lost Ark, we’re finally getting a deluge of lore and screenshots courtesy of Steparu. This week he graces us with another installment straight from the closed beta program going on over in Korea, so if you don’t mind some minor spoilers, you can wallow in all of the reveals.
Some of the locations featured in the beta include Rohendel, a floating zone that serves as the starting area for mages; the Eastern Regions, which are littered with ruins and have serious pagan problems; Totoike, an island that is actually a slumbering giant; Ardetain, a high-tech city in the desert; and Shushire, a land held in the grip of an eternal winter.
Steparu also looked at a few more of the oversized bosses that are brimming over with personality, as well as a smidge of the story. The second round of Korean closed beta testing includes the Destroyer, Summoner, and Arcana classes as well as a quest system overhaul.
Fans hotly anticipating Destiny 2 will be able to start testing the game on consoles next week, and you can pre-load the game now… assuming, of course, that you paid for it in advance. You can also check out a preview of its PvP, and if you believe Superdata, it’s going to be a big deal when it launches. Not that you needed an analysis firm to tell you that, of course.
Other beta news? Aw, heck, I guess we can do that.
- I think it’s time for another OrbusVR closed alpha test. The seventh, in fact; it is here and features pet dragons and hair. Hopefully not in the same space at the same time; dragons tend to not go well with hair. Burning smells and all that.
- Good news for those of you hoping for a self-proclaimed massive online sandbox RPG to drop out of the sky with little to no forewarning – here’s Citadel: Forged with Fire. Yes, that’s how it’s selling itself. Early access slated for later this month, which hopefully will be enough time for you to stop blinking in confusion. Perhaps reading about how magic will work might help?
- Speaking of sandbox titles, Tree of Life has quietly ambled along in early access for some time, but it’s exiting that stage of life and going into full launch in August. No exact date has been given, but August only has so many days, right?
- Riders of Icarus launched! I mean, sure, it had already launched a while back in every practical sense, but now it really launched officially. There are no backsies on that one.
- Last but not least, Albion Online celebrates its final week before a full launch by addressing a mild snafu regarding its founder packs. Hey, that ends things on a classy note, I’d say.
List of games in testing? Yeah, that’s here, just like always. Things are running normally, there is no need to be alarmed, the cat is on the mat. You can let us know if you like the betas you’re playing or if something slipped into a new test phase without us noticing in the comments, too. Familiarity is welcoming.
It’s really just about time for Albion Online to launch, isn’t it? Less than two weeks to go, now, so the title is winding down its beta on July 9th in anticipation. That also means certain founder packs will no longer be sold after Sunday. There’s a big beta finale planned, though, so don’t worry that it’ll pass without incident.
Of course, betas on a whole aren’t hitting any sort of finale. Look, we’ve got more news about them just below.
And yes, Virginia, there is a list of games in testing just below. Did something slip into a new test phase or tacitly launch without telling us? Then please, let us know in the comments. Or talk about betas you’re involved with, that’s also cool.
Life is Feudal’s
MMO version is kicking off a fourth round of closed beta today for those of you lucky enough to snag an invite. Expect to be testing both the economy and the battle system
during the two-week event:
“We’re glad to announce that we have just started our 4th testing run of our Closed Beta tests! Along with some bug fixes and improvements, we’re glad to also present to you one of the major features of our MMO – the Trading Post Economy! Everyone can now build a Trade Post that acts as a private, secure storage for all characters on your account and as a point of trade with other players and The Crown.
You must keep in mind that, even though you can browse offers of all Trade Posts in the world, you will have to physically fetch coins and goods between Trade Posts. In order to remove the secure way to fetch goods/coins between Trade Posts, we’ve enabled the setting on the MMO servers, which will force you to drop all your inventory items on the ground before you get moved by a Homecoming Prayer.”
The survival-centric MMO also just put out a new video on its construction system and specifically housing – check it out below!
Open beta: the magical time when a game is available for everyone to play at all times. Mu Legend has flitting through closed beta for a while, but it’s almost time for it to spread its (metaphorical) wings and fly free with the open beta launch coming at some point September. An exact point in September has not yet been announced, but it’ll be sometime in September.
The good news is that open beta will also include new and as-yet unseen features for the game, so even if you’ve been comfortably playing in the game’s closed beta, you’ll have new stuff to explore. The localized version will be available in English, Brazilian Portugese, French, German, Spanish, and Polish, so you’ll have your pick of different words to read; the gameplay will be the same no matter what, but language does help you understand what the heck is going on when September rolls around.
Yes, it happened; Secret World Legends has launched for everyone, although it did have a bit of a problem with a whole lot of currency exploitation. If you’re on the fence about checking it out, you can take a look at MJ’s experience after a week, or you can take a look at Larry’s take on the title. Let’s see what happens next, yes?
Well, I know what happens next in this column: We go into a list. Let’s go down the list. It’s other beta news.
- Things got quiet for The Exiled for a while, but the developers are back on track and hard at work. That’s good, even if it does mean anyone hoping the game was a runaway success will be a touch disappointed.
- If you’ve got some interest in Transformers Online, it’s in open beta in China. It’s also very much like another title which rhymes with “Clover botch,” if that helps.
- The heart and soul of Crowfall is the campaign system, and the game is ramping up to test it. That’s really the core of the game right there, if it needs to be said, so it will be very interesting to see how that testing goes.
- Beta testing for Escape from Tarkov will start next month, although we don’t yet know when in July that’s taking place. Before the end, presumably.
- Last but not least, action MMO title Kritika Online has moved into open beta, so you can try that out for yourself if you have a need for some smash-happy action.
We’ve also got some more list for you down below, listing a whole bunch of other titles currently in various test phases. Of course, sometimes titles manage to slip from our notice, or they wind up soft-launching without us being aware of it. So please, let us know if that happened in the comments, all right? Thanks.
There are going to be plenty of beasties, monsters, and wildlife that Dark and Light players will be either taming or slaughtering with a vengeance. To help simulate how characters gradually get to know their prey, the new bestiary will expand over time as mobs are encountered.
When an entry is filled out, the bestiary will show a monster’s location, weaknesses, strengths, what it eats, if it can be tamed, and if it can be ridden (after taming, naturally).
“Every creature in Dark and Light has its own creature card in the bestiary,” the team explained. “At the start of your adventure, all creature cards will be greyed out; once you kill or tame a creature for the first time, you’ll get a notification that the creature’s card has been unlocked, and it will be colored in the next time you check the bestiary. Once you’ve unlocked a creature’s card, you’ll be able to view additional details and lore about that creature by clicking on its card.”
Dark and Light is currently in closed beta testing.
It can be hard to be interested in a title that may eventually be ported over to North America but has a dearth of information available on a whole. Lost Ark is heading into its second closed beta, and the good news for fans watching the title from afar is that a whole bunch of translated information about the second closed beta is now available, courtesy of Steparu. Two of the existing classes (Warlord and Bard) are getting extensive reworks, with the former becoming far more tank-heavy and the latter adding more emphasis on support skills instead of straight DPS.
The second closed beta will also feature the Arcana, Destroyer, and Summoner classes. Arcana is all about drawing cards and unleashing semi-randomized effects, the Destroyer uses a big hammer to smash things, and the Summoner summons things to serve as either a DPS or a tank-style character. There’s more information to come, certainly; for now, you can just enjoy what we have so far in translation.
If you enjoy keeping your eyes on Chinese MMOs that may make their way stateside, you’ll want to keep your eyes on Legend of the Ancient Sword. What’s it about? Presumably, a story involving a particularly old sharp bit of metal used to hack at people. Evidence tends to suggest that. But you don’t need to know the details about that just yet; what you do need to know is what the action combat title looks like in action.
There are three videos from Steparu below the cut showing off the game’s current build; it’s in closed beta right now, so even if you could speak/muddle your way through Chinese, you’d be unable to test it. However, the developer was at this year’s E3, so there’s hope for the game coming over at some point. Check out the videos and see if that’s the sort of thing you’d be interested in playing.
Progression servers are the thing to do these days, and old-school MMORPG Ragnarok is getting on board with a new classic experience dubbed Ragnarok RE:START.
“Experience the nostalgia of the classic MMORPG Ragnarok Online with Ragnarok RE:START! iRO takes us back in time to 2003 on their first Progression Server. Experience new content and updates just like the first time! Craft your character as the world evolves by returning to Rune Midgard to party with friends and explore the world with new eyes.”
Want to give it a try? In celebration of the launch, so-and-so has granted Massively OP a truckload of keys for the new server’s headstart. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!
Is Worlds Adrift shaping up to be a sleeper hit of an MMO? Its team certainly thinks so, as it claims that in the first two weeks of testing alone, the median play time among closed beta gamers was an impressive 15 hours.
A beta report last week emphasized the team’s desire to have one server per world region, although this rule will be bent during the testing process. Right now, additional servers are opening up in the US and EU to allow the studio to test different map layouts and more player islands.
Another big change coming to the game is the addition of gameplay features to the Island Creator tool: “This means that on top of creating wonderfully-looking places of lore, exploration and awe, the creators will also be able to weave gameplay within the islands. Initially this will be rather simple: a type of surface players cannot grapple on; dangerous spikes that hurt on contact; and automated turrets that seek and fire until cleverly disarmed.”
See the developers messing around with Worlds Adrift’s turrets after the jump!