early access

Wild Terra is free to play all weekend

Who doesn’t love free things? How about free isometric MMO sandboxes? Wild Terra is putting itself in the free bin for the weekend as it runs an open stress test, nullifying its usual $14.99 early access buy-in. And you’re invited!

Studio Juvty Worlds notes that would-be testers can download the client or simply play in their Chrome/Opera browsers. “Actively testing the game, you’ll get a reward – game currency and Steam keys,” promise the devs. “Report any errors or problems found in Wild Terra.”

Most recently, the game played host to an in-game player wedding and patched spawn rates, planting systems, HUD, and auction bugs.

The event runs until July 24th, at which point servers will be wiped, the pricetag returns, and your carriage turns into a pumpkin.

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Dark and Light adds servers, patches up as it gets slammed on Steam early access

Of this there is no doubt: The Dark and Light team is getting very little sleep this week.

The reworked fantasy sandbox released on Steam Early Access yesterday, and it went as these things typically do. There were a lot of players crowding onto the servers to see what the deal was (5,508 people at one point), and the hardware took a clobbering.

The team thanked players for their patience and said that it is adjusting to the influx of population: “It’s been quite a launch day! We’re still adding servers and working on alleviating issues in higher-population servers, as well as supporting additional regions.”

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You will believe that a player can fly in Citadel

If you’re populating an online fantasy game with nothing but adeptly magical players, then it’s not a big jump to accepting that all sorts of seemingly impossible feats will become commonplace in that world. Like flight, for instance.

“Why walk when you can fly?” asked Citadel: Forged With Fire’s devs. “Growing in experience should feel significant, and flight is one of the many things we added to make sure this was the case.”

There are three avenues for the aspiring wizard pilot. Players can craft and use a magical broomstick, although these suck up mana when in flight. Another option is to use a pacify spell on a winged creature like a dragon and then use the beast as your personal transportation. Finally, it is possible to make flight potions using one’s alchemy skill, although the devs warn that if your mana runs out mid-flight, you’ll be taking an express trip to ground town.

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Next Day Survival debuts, plus H1Z1, Hellion, Black Death, and Life is Feudal survivalbox news

ARK and Conan aren’t the only survivalboxes in town — in fact, several of the modern contenders in the subgenre have updates and videos this week demonstrating their progress.

Today, we’ll start with Next Day: Survival, a new game to our coverage here on Massively OP and one that’s just hit early access today. It’s touting its storyline, questing, “sophisticated crafting system,” car restoration system, repitation, and multiple game modes, including pure PvE and a single-player mode.

Next Day: Survival is a multi-player survival game with elements of RPG. Its action takes place in an imaginary country within the Eastern Europe, a large part of whose territory is contaminated with toxic fog. The player’s main task is to survive, to develop his game character’s skills, and to interact with the surrounding world, other players, and non-player characters (NPCs). In the course of the game, the character earns a reputation, which gives him the chance to join various factions of survivors, each with their own features and limitations.”

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Dark and Light has officially launched into early access

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!

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Citadel: Forged With Fire patches up, plans weekend beta excursion

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!”

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ARK Survival Evolved won’t wipe exploit-infested servers ahead of August launch

Were you anticipating a wipe ahead of the formal launch of ARK: Survival Evolved in August, especially given all the recent exploits? It’s not happening, Studio Wildcard announced today via press release, “despite a recent rash of cheating and hacking within the game,” which is an odd sort of way to put it. But the studio does have a plan, and that plan seems to be to let everyone voluntarily reroll on clean servers:

“In addition to continuing to operate the legacy servers, on launch date the studio will roll out a fresh cluster network of servers running new code and infrastructure explicitly designed to prevent such issues from occurring in the future.”

Update: This move is in apparent contradiction to the game’s original plans (privately announced earlier this week) to wipe it all as both Kotaku and PC Gamer are reporting. (Thanks Ceder!)

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Dark and Light launches on Steam early access tomorrow

Dark and Light’s promised “wyvern-sized” announcement has come to pass, and it’s a doozy for fans who have been anticipating this sandbox reboot. Snail Games is launching the game tomorrow, July 20th, on Steam early access.

“It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally almost at the starting line,” the studio said. “Get ready to tame a horde of wild beasts, craft dozens of powerful magical spells, build an impenetrable fortress, and compete for domination of the planet Archos!”

Get pumped for the release with the early access trailer below!

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Get a special Fortnite rifle for free before the game launches

When you’re just sitting around and waiting for a game to release, it seems like the perfect time to partake in efforts to grab some extra goodies for when the title does come out. The multiplayer zombie title Fortnite is coming to early access on July 25th, but players can secure a few useful items right now with the “Search for Survivors” program.

Just by signing up, you’ll get a Bullseye rifle and an in-game banner for free, which seems like a good deal for very little effort. Past that, you can elect to recruit friends in order to earn more rewards. Yeah, it’s a recruit-a-friend program, but at least you get something even if you don’t want to pester your pals to play.

For those who rate their life in the number of video game pats on the back, Fortnite has posted a huge list of all of the achievements and trophies that players can earn on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Source: Fortnite

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Massively Overthinking: Consumer protections in the MMORPG industry

Veteran Massively OP reader Miol says he’s exhausted by a recent string of stories in which MMO companies screw gamers over, one after another: ARK Survival Evolved, Albion Online, Skyforge, and now Black Desert all figure into his list, just from the last week.

“I want to ask what more can gamers do to protect themselves and everyone else as consumers than speak up? It feels exhausting to always stay vigilant and feel upset all the time, since games, as an everchanging medium, give devs so many opportunities to screw us over with every single patch or update. And the worst immediate consequence seems many times a meek apology for what they’ve done, only for them to try out something different that maybe could go over unnoticed.

“You guys have reported about this UK watchdog group ASA, who investigated No Man’s Sky, but even they dismissed the tons of complaints about false advertising. Steam did declare some changes to advertising on their platform, but I still don’t see them taken place. If even those big negative stories don’t have that much of an impact, what hope is there for all the smaller communities, spread thin globally? There was a recent wave of gamers imploring each other to not pre-order, but that ebbed away fast enough, when the next shiny pre-order advantages over other players were presented. But even so, this still can’t protect you from what may happen after the launch!

“As said by Bree many times: Merely quitting won’t help either, as the studio will never know why most of the times. But also sending feedback for nine whole days didn’t help Skyforge players to make its devs to scramble! So what else could we do? Or should we just take rotating shifts to call them out?”

We’ll take the first shift right here in Overthinking.

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Here’s how magic in Citadel: Forged With Fire will work

This morning, we wrote about a new “massive online sandbox RPG,” Citadel: Forged With Fire, built by Slender devhouse Blue Isle Studios and expected to hit early access later this month. The studio clearly plans a press blitz in the lead up to that Steam release, beginning with a brand-new “feature highlight” on the game’s magic system.

“At launch, Citadel will offer you a diverse range of powerful spells, with many more to come in the future,” say the devs. “You can do some really cool stuff with our magic system: not just combat, but also beast taming, telekinesis, resource collection and much more.” For example:

“We decided a high level wizard would have too much dignity to be caught hunched over gathering sticks and stones, so we came up with the Extract spell. Using this power, mages can effortlessly suck materials out of giant rocks, trees and other objects to accumulate large quantities of building resources with ease. Build massive castles and fortresses without the crushing tedium of resource gathering.”

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The Survivalist: Osiris New Dawn is doing early access right even amid disappointments

A couple of weeks ago, when Osiris: New Dawn introduced new classes, I’d delved back into the sci-fi survival sandbox after a bit of a break to check out the state of development in. I was pleased as I perused the new skill tree, doubly so when I saw all the new items that could be crafted. Once I got to the task of actually surviving, I found that that beginning experience had also changed a fair share, from crash landing farther away to new missions to direct you. True, I missed my little robot companion and my inflatable dome, but overall I was pretty impressed with the progress and started a penning this Survivalist to say so.

So imagine my surprise when just before completing my thoughts I read the dev blog about negativity toward the game and its changes. Here I was happy to see how far it had come and others were ripping it absolutely to shreds. Fenix Fire CEO Brian McRae was so affected by the negative reviews and complaints that he penned a response addressing the issues. I admit, when I started reading I was taken aback and even a tad annoyed at the negative Nancys bashing the game. Didn’t folks appreciate the fact that this early access with forging ahead at a decent pace? Sure there would be bumps, but that was a part of actual development.

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You can pre-load Destiny 2 right now on consoles — if you’ve paid money for the privilege

Console players could find themselves very busy this July if they’ve landed a spot in the Destiny 2 beta. Early access for the test kicks off next week for PlayStation 4 on the 18th and Xbox One on the 19th, while PC players will have to wait until August for their turn in the zone.

So how do you guarantee a spot? By pre-ordering, of course. PS4 and Xbone players who have done so should be getting a letter soon (if not already) from Bungie informing them that they can go ahead and pre-load the game on their systems to be ready to go from minute one of the test.

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