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The Daily Grind: How long is too long for early access?

Let’s be real here, there’s no question in anyone’s mind that DayZ has been in early access far longer than it should be. By the same token, I don’t think anyone would begrudge Radical Heights for still being in early access. But somewhere between those two extremes lie a large number of games, some of whom have been in ostensible early access for months, some of which have been there for years, and so forth.

In many ways, early access is like the new version of the game in perpetual open beta; there were many free-to-play games that never technically launched, just stayed in open beta forever until they finally shut down. And yet those games were selling things normally, making the distinction between launch and open beta into a very blurry and nebulous thing. Early access is already blurry, since it asks for money for a game that is decidedly early in its development cycle.

So what do you think, dear readers? How long is too long for early access? Is there a clear limit beyond which games should just bite the bullet and launch, or is it entirely down to the specific game?

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TERA launches on consoles

Fans of console-based hacking and/or slashing should rejoice today, as TERA is now out for consoles. En Masse happily touts it in the trailer down below as the only MMO with “true” action combat, which means that all of the other MMOs with action combat are just pretending to screw with your head or something. Have as much fun with that one in the comments as you like.

Regardless of some mildly silly claims, the console version features a new lock-on targeting system, specialized control schemes for each class (which can be customized or changed), streaming tools, and native voice chat. Whether you’re already fond of the game and just want to play it on a console or have never tried it out before, it’s a day for some celebration. Worth noting is that you can still buy the founder’s packs for the game if you want, even though this is the “proper” free-to-play launch.

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Black Desert Mobile is launching in South Korea at the end of February

Finally, your long nightmare of having moments during the day when you weren’t able to play Black Desert will be over with the launch of Black Desert Mobile on February 28th. Now you can play the game at home, go to work, play it on your phone until your boss fires you, then go back home and play it more there. Everything will be perfect.

Of course, you’ll first have to deal with the fact that the February 28th launch is just for the game in its native South Korea, but what’s moving across the world to another country where you can’t speak the language when it means getting to play the game for a few minutes longer every day?

We don’t have a date yet for the game coming over to local shores, but all things considered it seems like a likely future. For the moment, though, you can watch the trailer below again if you’re curious. Or just start on the paperwork for changing countries, you do you.

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Project Gorgon explains the upcoming changeover to Steam and beta development

It’s an exciting time for Project Gorgon as the game heads toward Steam! It’s not happening right now, of course; the game will be submitted for final approval in a week, and it’ll probably be live on the service in two. But when that happens, the whole way you play the game is going to change, and thus the developers have outlined the whole process from now until the game is live on Steam.

Players who have pre-purchased the game will received their Steam keys in the mail after it’s live, while those who have just taken advantage of the game’s free testing will have to actually buy it. Players will still be able to log in with the alpha client for about two weeks after the Steam launch, with the option to link your previous test account to the game so that you can unlock any rewards and the like. You also won’t suffer any data wipes, so don’t be worried about that.

Curious about how the game plays? Well, we’re covering it right now in Choose My Adventure. Hint, hint.

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ARK Park launches on March 22

There are no doubt people who play ARK: Survival Evolved primarily because it provides a robust environment to play a survival game. There are also no doubt players who play the game chiefly because it means getting to ride and interact with dinosaurs. Members of the latter group will get another option in that category on March 22nd, when ARK Park releases for all virtual reality players who want to interact with some dinosaurs.

Of course, the game was originally planned to launch back in December of last year, with fans becoming painfully aware that the game was not going to hit its launch date before the delay was actually announced. But it’s going to be here in just a bit over a month, so eager players can hope that the delay was worth it. The launched game will be available in both a standard and deluxe edition, with the latter including additional outfits and an exclusive dinosaur mount.

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MU Ignition brings its first content update two weeks after launch

We all remember the days way back when, with MU Ignition launching after a lengthy beta period of a few weeks. Now, with launch fading into memory (it was two weeks ago), the game has already brought out its first content update and raised the level cap to 400.

We leave it as an exercise for the reader to guess if that’s being raised from a prior cap of 300 or, like, 10. It’s a pretty big number either way.

Regardless, players can explore new areas, reach a new third promotion with Blade Knight, Soul Masters, and Muse Elves, and take part in various new in-game events along the way. If you’ve been enjoying the game so far, this will probably just mean that you have more reason to do so, but if you only like to play games where the level cap is evenly divisible by eight, you’ll also be happy with this.

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Survival sandbox Rust leaves early access on February 8

Remember Rust? It was a survival sandbox and – wait, no, this one was actually one of the first ones! It made people angry because you didn’t get to choose stuff like race or gender or whatever, you just got dropped into the game naked and primed to be axed in the face by some guy. See, it’s different because most games start you with clothes and let you make your character before the face-axing stage. Anyhow, it’s leaving early access on February 8th.

If you thought that this meant the online game was going to be done updating forever… well, for one thing, that’s a heck of a theory you have going there, and for another thing you’re wrong. The shift mostly means that the game is switching to a more monthly update cadence for more stable releases. If you’ve been fond of early builds but wanted to wait for release to really play the game for a while… well, you’ll get your chance soon.

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MU Ignition is launching on January 23

Remember way back when MU Ignition first went into beta testing? You know, back in the wild days of early January? Because it’s launching on January 23rd, so there’s no time for reminiscing. There’s no time for anything. This is MU Ignition, we do everything at top speed and we may very well scream into a camera like an ad for the world’s worst energy drink while we do so. Intense!

The game is offering rewards for everyone who pre-registers for the game between now (January 16th) and January 22nd, as well as everyone who shares the game’s 18-second announcement trailer on Facebook. And it’s a browser-based game, so that means you won’t have to worry about downloading a client if you’re curious about trying it. At least you can’t lament the game lingering in beta forever, that’s something.

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Kritika Online moves to full launch on Steam with today’s Fractured Memories patch

Lots of big stuff is happening today for Kritika Online. First of all, the game’s servers are going down at 9:30 a.m. EDT to apply the game’s next major patch, Fractured Memories. That’s a big thing right there. Then, at 11:00 a.m. EDT, the game will be available on Steam. And at the same time, the game’s launch on Steam means that the game will have fully launched, no more open beta tag. So that’s three big things all happening today.

Forming the core of the Fractured Memories update, the Fractured Memories dungeon is far more than just a dungeon. Pulling from all of the game’s content, the dungeon creates a unique experience each time players level 15 and up enter by varying map layouts, enemy variety and placement, difficulty levels, and rewards to ensure that players never run the same dungeon twice. Players won’t just gain experience points and gear from Fractured Memories, they will also gain ability points that can be used to grant account-wide buffs. Points are earned based on how quickly players complete a Fractured Memories dungeon and can be used to unlock and upgrade passive bonuses including reduced cooldowns, increased gold drops, and increased damage when attacking from the back to help them tackle higher difficulty levels. Those with the fastest times can earn a spot on game-wide leaderboards, where the top players receive rewards at the end of each 12 week period before the leaderboards are reset.

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Monster Hunter: World will release worldwide on January 26, 2018

Good news for fans of hunting monsters today, as Monster Hunter: World has announced its release date as January 26th, 2018! The slightly less-good news is that’s just for the versions on Xbox One and PlayStation 4; players on PC will have to wait for an as-yet unspecified date. But it’s still happening, and a firm release date just makes it seem that much more likely in the near future.

You can also check out a new rather narrative trailer just below, showing off the landscapes and (most importantly) the monsters players will encounter in the game. Those of you who remember that a rather similar title pushed its own launch to 2018 might be looking forward to the battle for hearts and minds, but if you’re a stalwart Monster Hunter fan, you can be happy just to know that there are only a few short months before the game is open to the world. You can also check out our hands-on from E3 this year.

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Cliff Bleszinski thinks streaming the LawBreakers testing was a mistake

Hey, kids! Want to read a big long interview with Cliff Bleszinski about launching LawBreakers? Because you probably shouldn’t read it if you’re an actual kid. There’s a lot of swearing and one anti-government rant in there about having to get your car inspected. But there is some useful information therein, like how Bleszinski thinks that streaming the LawBreakers alpha testing was a mistake that gave people the wrong impression. He also thinks that the title’s initial poor numbers are a reflection of the game in a live state is more about a marathon than a sprint, that the numbers will come naturally over time.

Bleszinski goes on to state that the game is meant to appeal to core shooter audiences rather than having what he describes as “kiddy bumpers” and an aesthetic moving away from what he refers to as “Anna and Elsa running around killing the zombies.” If you don’t mind a lot of swearing, by all means, check out the full interview.

Source: Eurogamer via Gamasutra

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Lord of the Rings Online will deploy Mordor on Wednesday

Standing Stone Games now says it will launch Mordor on Wednesday after a delay of just two days.

“We have some good news on Mordor; all’s good and we’re ready to go on Wednesday,” says the studio. “The LOTRO game worlds will be unavailable from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM Eastern (-4 GMT) on Wednesday, August 2nd, to release Update 21: Mordor. Release Notes will be posted on Tuesday. Thank you for your patience, and we’ll see you soon.”

The expansion was meant to launch today but was delayed at almost the last-minute as a result of the discovery of a nasty bug. As we wrote this morning, the original launch plan and preorder packages gave Standing Stone Games the option to delay for up to a month, though apparently that won’t be necessary.

Source: Official site. Thanks, Jim!

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Lord of the Rings Online has delayed Mordor’s release

Those of you who were hoping to casually stroll into the eponymous Mordor in Lord of the Rings Online will be sorely disappointed today, at least if you believed the launch plan. There was no shortage of speculation on whether or not the expansion would be delayed, and with no time left until the launch, that delay has happened. Officially, a bug was detected in the expansion that couldn’t be addressed before the originally planned July 31st launch date.

While the game will be delayed, there’s no official new date for the release of the expansion, although the original terms of release gave Standing Stone Games the option to delay for up to a month. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we know if the game will release late in August or closer to now; all that’s known for sure right now is that it will not be today.

Source: Official Site. Thanks, Rick, Nope, and Jim!

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