Welcome to a special edition of Make My MMO, Massively OP’s regular recap of what’s going on in crowdfunded MMOs, which we do specifically for those of you who are convinced Kickstarter is the absolute worst (it’s not) and that no crowdfunded MMOs ever launch (they do). Plus, somebody’s got to keep an eye on what your money’s up to! Tonight’s edition isn’t going to be our usual recap of the last couple of weeks, however; we’re going to look at the most important MMO crowdfunding news of the entire year. Lock up your wallets and let’s get to it.
legends of aria
Originally titled Shards Online
It’s holiday time, and that means everyone is leaving the offices early now. Except for those of us who work from home, because we can’t leave our offices. We live in them. But there’s still stuff afoot in testing, like Legends of Aria eyeing down its official closed beta start on January 15th next year, or the really real for real March 27th launch date for Shroud of the Avatar. Have a slightly belated holiday present!
More beta news? Why not, it’s enough to keep you comfortable through the holiday.
- Star Citizen has finally brought out alpha 3.0 to everyone. Now everyone can enjoy the features/realize it’s a mess/complain in the comment threads! (Please circle your preferred action.) It’s also selling you an expensive new concept… tank. Fun times.
- Saga of Lucimia knows that it takes a village to fight a bear. Or four people, at least. So a very small village.
- Testing has been rebooted on The Repopulation, but Idea Fabrik has also announced that it won’t be able to deliver on some backer tiers and will be compensating them in some fashion. That’s a bit more of a mixed bag, there.
- If you are a family member or a friend of Chronicles of Elyria, you can be taking part in the game’s closed alpha. If you’re an extended family member, acquaintance, well-wisher, chum, or just a buddy, you’re out of luck.
- Last but not least, Sea of Thieves has ended its technical alpha, re-arranging the forums and offering a last glimpse behind the scenes for anyone who wasn’t able to take part. Of course, the game is also launching in March, so if you’re not able to test you still won’t have to wait long.
And now, it’s time for us to cap off the pre-holiday rush with… a list of games, you know how it is. They should all be in testing. Is something on there which ought not be? Let us know down in the comments, and do be specific. And enjoy your holidays, whether you’re testing a game during the next few days or just playing existing ones.
The team announced that it will stop selling founder’s packs on December 29th and transition to selling pre-orders instead. Fans are advised to buy into the packs now if they want any of the crowdfunding tier rewards, especially physical items.
Far more exciting is Legends of Aria’s 2018 development roadmap, which kicks off with Closed Beta 1 on January 15th. This first test will add a new adventure area, two cities, re-open the catacombs, and add in a notoriety system.
Past that is March and Closed Beta 2, which will focus on the new player experience and a whole lot of polish. Then, if all goes well, Steam early access will follow in April 2018. Exciting times we live in for sure!
It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).
This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!
As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like Anthem, Sea of Thieves, The Crew 2, Monster Hunter World, DayZ, Red Dead Redemption 2, Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, the much-anticipated indie sci-fi sandbox Dual Universe dropped a starship-load of tutorials on ship construction, the interface, territory, and more. They’re aimed at folks in the pre-alpha, another weekend of which kick off earlier today – it’s a nice chunk of backers, if the activity graph posted to Twitter earlier is any judge. (Cheers, Cotic!)
Meanwhile, HEX launched on PS4, Star Citizen confirmed it’s still granting refunds but isn’t launching S42 this year, Legends of Aria wrapped up its alpha, and Albion Online launched a new trial program.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Welcome back to another edition of Betawatch, the game where literally everything is in early access forever. Except Closers, of course, which is open! I never get tired of that. Yes, Closers Online is running a fully open alpha this weekend, which I guess is what we do now when open beta is actually soft launch. Regardless, you can play it and check it out. What else happened in the world of eternal testing this past week? Let’s see…
- Go Project Gorgon! It put your crowdfunding to work on a programmer to overhaul the in-testing UI.
- OrbusVR kicked off its third round of closed beta testing. Backers could also take part in Dual Universe’s second pre-alpha, which begins tomorrowday.
- Both Legends of Aria and Prosperous Universe put the wraps on their alpha testing.
- Crowfall talked up its action harvesting, while Ship of Heroes went all pew-pew with lightning.
- H1Z1 changed its name. Again. This is its third try and it’s still in early access! So is PUBG; it broke 2.3M concurrent players last weekend. Not too shabby.
- Don’t get your hopes up about Star Citizen spinoff Squadron 42; it’s not launching this year. Star Citizen itself is still busy breaking alpha 3.0. But Bless Online is definitely coming (to us) in 2018!
- Conan Exiles, on the other hand, will stay in testing an extra quarter.
Did we miss anything? Other than Eliot, who will be back in action next week? Send it along to us! And in the meantime, check out our ongoing list of MMOs-purporting-to-be-in-testing that we’re watching.
It’s time for Legends of Aria to say farewell to alpha once and for good.
The fantasy MMO wrapped up its so-called final alpha test over the weekend and turned to focus on the upcoming beta. During the last alpha, around 2,500 players clocked in over 33,000 hours, providing the team with invaluable feedback for further development.
Speaking of which, it sounds as though there are exciting things ahead for this small but scrappy sandbox: “We will be adding more character to the world, more landmarks, better developed points of interest and more immersive and living cities. Our work is far from done in this regard as we really push to bring the world to life. I’m also excited to announce that two additional cities are being added to Celador. One in the Southern Rim and one in the (soon to open) Eastern Frontier.”
As for the beta itself, the team is not dating it yet, saying that “we are not going to release beta until we are where we want to be.”
It’s not high noon in Wild West Online. It’s not any time at all, in fact. The game’s early access alpha would have established a time, probably, but that’s been delayed because… well, the game just isn’t ready for that sort of testing yet. Disappointing for those looking forward to the game? Certainly. But probably for the best in the long run, we hope.
This week has been thin in terms of beta news, but we’ve still got a few pieces here and there to show off, don’t we? Of course we do; check out this list.
- The Star Citizen 3.0 process rolls on. No, it’s not out for most players, the developers have found more bugs and want to fix them first. Which is probably around the point you would be fed up with offering estimated dates of arrival, too.
- A rumor is flying that H1Z1: King of the Kill is dropping the surname and getting rebranded to just H1Z1. Because if there’s one thing that would really help this game, it’s
everyone forgetting that another scavenging arena game is eating its lunchanother round of rebranding. Who knows, maybe it’ll even launch?
- Something wicked is stirring in the final alpha of Legends of Aria. That sounds bad, but it’s actually good for players. Assuming you like prestige abilities and loot, which we’re going to assume that just about everyone does.
- The fourth week of closed alpha playtesting for Survived By is now live, so if you’re involved in that early test phase… well, you can do more testing. That’s all there is to it.
- Closers Online is heading into another alpha weekend too.
- Last but not least, the first character creator alpha test for Ship of Heroes has wrapped up. Does that seem like a thin thing to test? Because this is a superhero game, that’s kind of important.
Sorry there’s a little less news this week, but we do have that whole list down below; that’s something cool, right? You can let us know what you’re thinking about betas you’re playing in the comments, or you can let us know if something surreptitiously launched without us noticing as well. We would prefer that you not place your recipe for chili con carne in the comments; just mail that along.
Something evil and sinister has awakened in Legends of Aria, but that is actually pretty exciting news for alpha testers seeking new challenges and content to conquer. Wednesday’s alpha patch activated “Dragon’s Den awakening spawn” that provide access to Tier III prestige abilities and loot when defeated.
The update also made crafting armor and weapons easier than before, with decreased difficulty in making them and an increased spawn rate for resources. Stealthing around is now a little more difficult but also less random, with players not being able to suddenly hide while in plain sight of others.
If you’re curious about this indie fantasy sandbox as it wraps up its alpha and eyes beta testing, check out our recent podcast interview with Lead Developer Derek Brinkmann as he gives the inside scoop into all things Legends of Aria!
On this week’s show, Legends of Aria’s Derek Brinkmann returns for another interview about how the indie MMORPG is shaping up as it goes through its “final” alpha and heads toward beta and launch. We also dig deep into the mailbag to gripe about gambling!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
This week in MMO crowdfunding, I hope you’ve got your special black Star Citizen VIP card because CIG has invited concierge-level backers — sorry, space whales — to what it’s calling the first of many “pop-up parties” this coming Tuesday near its LA, Austin, Frankfurt, Wilmslow, and Derby bases. The studio’s also issued its monthly report, which coincides with the latest Around the Verse, during which it was revealed that the long-delayed alpha 3.0 is finally in the hands of the Evocati player testers. (Thanks Josh!)
Meanwhile, Valiance Online confirmed sidekicking, Crowfall discussed its soft launch checklist, Dual Universe hit pre-alpha, The Exiled extended its free-to-play trial, and Shroud of the Avatar delayed its launch.
Stay tuned for more from FrontierExpo as MOP’s MJ is there checking out Elite Dangerous!
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
While the heady days of Ultima Online’s dominant position over the industry are long gone, the MMORPG continues to operate and expand, and many players have fond memories of the unique experience that game offered. In fact, some titles like Legends of Aria and (obviously) Shroud of the Avatar are doing their best to claim the unofficial title of “Ultima Online spiritual successor” in the hopes of reuniting veteran MMO players with the special qualities that made this game great.
These aren’t the first games to try to grasp the holy grail of an Ultima Online sequel. There were actually two such projects that went into heavy production in the late 1990s and early 2000s — both ending with premature cancellation and frustration on the part of developers and fans.
The second of these, Ultima X Odyssey, I covered a while back. Today, we’re going to take a look at the first MMO that attempted to mix the Ultima Online formula with a few new twists. Ultima Worlds Online Origin might not be as well-known (or as well-titled), but its history is just as fascinating as UXO’s.
The word “final” certainly attracts the attention, which is perhaps why there’s this excited buzz around Legends of Aria’s final alpha. The test kicked off last week with a slew of new features and content, attracting plenty of founds back after a summer drought.
If you’re curious about this title, have questions, or are trying to figure out how to play it, we are here for you today. After the break we’ve got the latest developer town hall Q&A session as well as the adventures of our own MJ as she heads into the game for a fresh start. Check them out!