For those of us in this part of the world, this has been a quiet week of little news, because, well… Thanksgiving. (That is, a quiet week of little news for betas. Everything else has been exploding and on fire at the same time.) But Moonlight Blade has gotten plenty of new videos released into the wild, because it’s not Thanksgiving in South Korea. Moonlight Blade badger don’t care. Moonlight Blade badger does whatever it wants.
Other beta news? Oh, of course! It’s still been out there in the trenches.
- The third alpha test for Prosperous Universe kicked off, and at last report everything was running smoothly. If something broke horribly during the holiday, well… these are the breaks.
- There’s a new slot machine in FreeSO, if you want to watch your Sims watch things roll around in a circle and then not give them any money back. Living on the edge!
- Magic: the Gathering Arena, the online version of the real card game, is kicking off its beta testing on December 4th. You could also probably test the game by actually playing the card game that’s been around for nearly three decades, although we suspect the beta test will be more focused on “make sure the software works right” and less on “do the tapping rules make sense.”
- If you were worried about the future of Fortnite’s PvE mode (aka “the mode the game was actually sold on before someone realized they could tack on a battle royale version”) we have good news. It’s getting some love in December and January, so it shan’t end up like, well, Just Survive.
- Oh, hey, speaking of Just Survive, it got some maps! And some free reward crates. That’s cool.
A full list of games in testing? What do you think this is, Betawatch? Because you’re right. Like always, do let us know if something skipped test phases without us noticing, we really do appreciate it.
Magic: The Gathering Arena’s alpha development is apparently going well, as according to a new dev blog and press release today, Wizards of the Coast is due to begin closed beta on December 4th.
“Starting December 4, we will begin inviting the first wave of Magic players to our Closed Beta, including bringing back everyone who has played so far in the Alpha. Whereas the Alpha was focused on a few weekends, the Closed Beta will be up and running every day (barring maintenance, downtime, or pirates storming our servers—it’s more common than you think), giving you even more opportunities to try it out.”
Everyone in the closed beta will be under NDA, but WOTC stresses that “initial invite waves will start small,” so even if you sign up right now, you may not get in until next year.
This week should serve as a helpful reminder that just because a game is in testing does not mean that it’s actually primed for launch. Two high-profile games this week have gone from early testing to a hiatus or cancellation. Breakaway is definitely on a hiatus that may well rhyme with “cancelled,” and The Amazing Eternals is paused and presumed dead. Whether this is an acknowledgement that the market is oversaturated with games of this type or just that those two titles were more than was needed is left as an exercise for the readers.
Other less cancel-y beta news also existed this week, though, so that’s good!
We also had a discussion about when a game crosses the line from “testing” to “launch.” That isn’t exactly beta news, but it’s relevant.
A list of titles in testing? Sure, we’ve got that down below. Did something jump test phases without us noticing? Has a cash shop opened in a game we don’t know about? Have we missed a game? Did Timmy fall in something other than a well (seriously, that kid never fell in a well)? Let us know in the comments!
Out of mana in your life? Magic: The Gathering Arena has a refill for you waiting. The multiplayer card game announced today that it is going to start testing early next month with the advent of a stress test on November 3rd.
“Digital Games Studio has been hard at work building Magic: The Gathering Arena for you,” the studio said, “and now it’s time to show you more with the start of some weekly playtests and the closed beta. Yes, that’s right, the closed beta that so many of you have signed up for is in sight!”
Following the stress test, Magic Arena will run a series of playtests with a “few thousand” players participating using some free packs to give constructed Magic a try. Then, if the studio plays its cards right, the closed beta test is scheduled to begin on November 30th. All of these tests will be on the PC only and will require participants to agree to an NDA.
Go ahead and sign up for a chance at a closed beta spot, and tune in to the official announcement of the testing schedule after the break!
Remember a few weeks ago when Wizards of the Coast announced Magic The Gathering Arena, an online card game headed up by former Turbine prez Jeffrey Steefel? We’ve got a little bit more info today, as PCGamesN reports the studio aims to release cards inside the game in sync with their physical release in the real world.
“Our goal is to definitely have card sets released day and date. [… ] So when you see a release in the physical world you should be able to see it in MTG Arena. You’ve seen a little bit of our experimentation with this with Magic Online so far where [card releases] sometimes even earlier than day and date release.”
The plan won’t surprise MMORPG players, as we’ve been watching PWE’s Neverwinter sync up with WOTC’s real-world D&D releases for several years now. In fact, that might just be one of the properties that helped WOTC get over its apparent past fears about leaks, as chronicled by PCGN.
And what about Cryptic’s Magic The Gathering MMO announced back in June? No news yet.
Remember how former Turbine President Jeffrey Steefel was snapped up by Wizards of the Coast this past January to head up a digital games studio for the studio’s IPs? Now we know the big project that his team was making: Magic: The Gathering Arena, a F2P digital card game that’s coming soon.
Made for PC and mobile, Magic: The Gathering Arena is a full-fledged Magic game with “full rules and ongoing content support for new card sets.” It sounds as though Arena might well be a replacement for the creaky and faulty Magic Online, although the studio wasn’t saying if this will be the case.
“We want to create the deepest, richest digital card game on the market, and for it to be as much fun to watch as it is to play,” said Steefel in a press release. Magic: The Gathering Arena is taking beta signups and will begin testing Constructed play from the Ixalan set later this year.