orbusvr

Official Site: OrbusVR
Studio: Ad Alternum
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: MMO Sandbox
Business Model: B2P
Platform: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift

Betawatch: E3 2017 brings launch dates, new titles, and delays (June 16, 2017)

Oh, E3, always a magical time full of promises when some aren’t meant to be kept, some are meant to be kept but won’t be, and some actually will happen. Have fun guessing which is which!

Among the more pertinent announcements from this year’s convention are ARK: Survival Evolved launching on August 8th, Sea of Thieves delaying launch until 2018, and Destiny 2 launching early September and late October depending on platform. We’ve also got the new game Anthem on its way for 2018 and Monster Hunter World headed for consoles and PC, which is all cool.

Oh, and let’s not forget the announcements of Skull and Bones and The Crew 2. Or the Lawbreakers beta starting June 28th while launch is set for August 8th. Jeez. Is there even room for more beta news? Yes, but just a little.

Whew! Some title density in there, almost mirroring that of the list down below. You can still read the list, though, and if we missed something or a game has slipped into a new test phase, you can let us know in the comments.

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Make My MMO: Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter, Shroud of the Avatar’s equity crowdfund (June 3, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter came to a close with $3.2M and nearly 20,000 backers, making it the biggest MMORPG Kickstarter to date. Backers — and would-be backers who didn’t jump into the Kickstarter — should take a peek at the game’s latest update, which outlines the backer awards for everyone as crowdfunding continues this month on the official site. Intrepid does note that there won’t be any stretch goals, however, to avoid “scope creep.”

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar surprised its players this week by announcing on its seasonal fundraising livestream that it’s pitched a $2M equity crowdfunding campaign to raise money ahead of the game’s formal launch, which is happening this year. (Stay tuned for more on this Monday!)

Plus, Elite Dangerous is awash in Thargoid sightings (thanks, Kinya!), OrbusVR previewed the Ranger, Crowfall patched up ahead of this weekend’s pre-alpha testing, and Grim Dawn sold its millionth copy.

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’ve got our eye on.

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Betawatch: Master x Master sets a launch for this month (June 2, 2017)

No to worry, ladies and gentlemen, your long Master x Master-less nightmare is almost over. The game has officially announced a full launch on June 21st, meaning that you log in, play the game, and… well, play the game. Sorry, there wasn’t really much more past that segue.

We also bid farewell to Crossout, which is now in an open beta/soft launch state that even the developers are calling soft launch. Fare thee well, Crossout, and may all enjoy your post-apocalyptic vehicular antics.

Other beta news ensuing in… now. Wow, the segue machine on this is just broken as heck.

So, that’s the story! Now you can just catch up with the rest of the stuff in the list down below and let us know if something slipped into a new test phase without us noticing down in the comments. You can also let us know about betas you’re enjoying. Please don’t share scone recipes with us down there, though.

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Betawatch: Shot Online Golf is hosting its first beta test (May 26, 2017)

Golf! It’s technically a sport, but it’s mostly a waste of space and resources under the guise of one. Rather than actually wasting water, land, and time on a real golf course, why not play Shot Online Golf and get almost the same experience without any of the real waste? You can sign up for the game’s first closed beta now; the testing starts on May 31st. Of course, there’s always the vague possibility that the game secretly offers epic raid boss encounters, but let’s not leap to conclusions.

As for the rest of the beta news? Gaze below, friends.

  • Curious about the progress of OrbusVR’s most recent closed alpha? You don’t have to just be curious; you can just check out a recap and thoughts on the matter. There were only about 100 people in the testing, so you might need the recap.
  • The Worlds Adrift closed beta has arrived! No longer in alpha, you’re now testing in the second letter of the Greek alphabet! It’s meant to last about four months before an open beta for everyone, so get your testing in now.
  • Win That War is out in early access and offers a large-scale multiplayer RTS experience. Just remember which war you’re supposed to be winning, which should be fairly straightforward given the title.
  • The last big testing update for Albion Online has gone live, complete with revisions to several zones and the new Black Market feature. This one is named Hector, although politeness dictates you should refer to the update as “Mister Albion Online patch” unless it informs you that you can just call it Hector.
  • The alpha for Legends of Aria (which is Shards Online but also not Shards Online) has begun, so you can jump in and start experiencing what the game has to offer. Best of all, if you don’t like some of the rules, you can always change them.
  • Last but not least, Kritika Online is in closed beta. We have no more keys to give for the beta test, but you can still buy your way in if you’re so inclined.

Now, Mr. Bond, I expect you to go below and look at all of the other items in the list which are in testing. I also expect you to let us know if something slipped into a new test phase under our noses. And I wouldn’t mind if you let us know what you’re testing, if it’s not under NDA. Frankly, I don’t expect you to talk, but I wouldn’t mind it. It gets lonely out here.

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Betawatch: Crowfall lets races and classes mingle at will (May 19, 2017)

The teaser week for Crowfall is over, and it turns out the tease was all about decoupling races and classes altogether. No longer will all centaurs belong to the same archetype! Make a centaur everything! Of course, you could conceivably play races other than centaur, but why would you do that? You wouldn’t. You can prove you wouldn’t when the open beta arrives by the end of the year.

We’d like to end there, but the fact of the matter is that we’ve got to talk about things other than centaurs this week. For example, the other items on our list here.

And that’s everything. Unless you count all of the other games we have down below in various stages of testing. You can let us know if one of those games jumped into a later test phase in the comments; it’d be silly, really, but it happens all the time.

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Make My MMO: Wild West Online debuts, Ashes of Creation nears $2M (May 13, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, 612 Games announced Wild West Online, a US western-themed game that the devs are definitely calling an MMO, though it looks decidedly hardcore and may not have as much PvE as we’re all used to. It will indeed be coming to Kickstarter eventually, so watch this space!

Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter rolled along this week as well, nearing $2M as I write this. On Friday, we even sat down with the devs for a livestreamed interview.

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar kicked off its free trial for the rest of May, Dual Universe’s Kickstarter update discussed its new digs, OrbusVR recapped its latest alpha and previewed the Musketeer class, ROKH prepared for this week’s early access launch, and Crowfall spent the whole week teasing… something! We still don’t officially know what it is!

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’ve got our eye on.

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Make My MMO: Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter, ROKH’s early access, Valiance’s map (May 6, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Ashes of Creation made the leap to Kickstarter, raising (so far as I type this) 1.35M, far more than its $750,000 goal. The game has kept the MMO community busy all week, though it hasn’t been without its issues.

On the survival sandbox front, Mars-themed ROKH released a new trailer and screenshots. It’s slated to hit early access later this month.

Meanwhile, Legends of Aria (fka Shards Online) suffered a delay, Crowfall has a big reveal coming in May, OrbusVR ran its second (brief!) closed alpha with the runemage rework, Grim Dawn teased its upcoming new gear and Inquisitor in a new trailer (below), Pantheon unveiled the Monk, Elite Dangerous’ Salome event ended in disaster, and Valiance Online posted several updates — including a mock-up of its map!

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’ve got our eye on.

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Make My MMO: Crowfall adds geomancy and architecture skills (April 29, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Crowfall canceled its weekend playtest, but not before issuing a dev blog updating the community on some of the crafting changes that are in the latest builds, including the addition of Geomancy (using precious stone, wood, and ore to make land parcels that can combine into larger ones) and Architecture (which lets players craft deeds for buildings as well as crafting stations and city structures — sound familiar, SWG vets?).

Out in space, a group of core Elite Dangerous community developers went on strike briefly this week, bringing their websites and tools back online once Frontier had agreed to better support them. That was good timing, as players are in the middle of a massive roleplay event that will affect the outcome of an in-progress novel based on the game.

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar dropped Release 41, City of Titans talked about its “aesthetic decoupling” philosophy, Pantheon updated players on its finances, OrbusVR completed its first closed alpha test, and the Dual Universe team moved into a new office.

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’ve got our eye on.

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Betawatch: Pantheon has a class that’s too cool for you (April 28, 2017)

Remember when Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen bombed pretty badly on Kickstarter? The good news for fans is that the day when that happened is in the past in every way; the game just completed another round of funding, and now it’s on very stable financial footing with its 15-person team. To celebrate, it made a class so cool only the head developer can play it. If you thought that naming your own avatar a lord and the dominant force in an entire game world would be the apex of nerdy self-insertion, you were apparently wrong.

Other beta news does not, however, include quite so much stuff to have a smile and a giggle about. It’s mostly just news. See, we’ll show you.

And, yes, there’s a list down below. There’s always a list. Let us know if something’s missing, jumped phases, or whatever. We appreciate it!

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s Star Kitten, Project Gorgon’s gorgeousness (April 22, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen built on the contentious infodump of last weekend with the news that it’s running a contest to encourage backers to, well, bring in more backers. Those who do earn a chance to win the big prize (a free trip to Gamescom in Cologne, Germany) or the little prizes, and those are what have players scratching the heads in confusion, as they’re themed around Star Kitten, an in-universe character that appears to salute… Hello Kitty?

Meanwhile, Ashes of Creation picked May 1st for its impending Kickstarter, Project Gorgon got pretty (!), Shroud of the Avatar and Grim Dawn and Path of Exile all previewed upcoming content in videos, Crowfall penciled in more pre-alpha test dates, City of Titans dropped a lore bomb, Hellion previewed its crew quarters, and TUG updated backers on its progress.

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’ve got our eye on.

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OrbusVR’s alpha begins tomorrow, includes instanced player housing prototype

Indie VR sandbox OrbusVR is whooshing along toward the start of its closed alpha tomorrow, available to Kickstarter backers (it raised $34,000 in its week-long Kickstarter in March) and those who pick up founder packs on the official site. That alpha will run just two days, though Ad Alternum has five more planned ahead of the July 2017 beta.

Most recently, the studio has completely overhauled the warrior class to take better advantage of shield tactics and added its first attempt at player housing.

“We’ve added a prototype of the instanced Player Housing that will be included in the game,” explains the team. “If you’re in Highsteppe, just follow your Player Compass to the ‘Your House’ marker, then open the door to enter. Your Player House location is shared with others in the game, but once you enter the house it’s all your own, personal space. Right now there’s not really anything to do in your house (other than throw a few bottles around), but eventually this is where a good chunk of the crafting in the game will take place, and where your Player Chest will be, which is where you can store items long-term.”

Anybody in the alpha?

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Kickstarted indie VR MMO OrbusVR plans alpha tests, character customization upgrades

What’s up with OrbusVR, the blocky indie VR sandbox that breezed through its quickie Kickstarter to raise $34,000 last month — 340% of its goal? Quite a bit, it turns out! Ad Alternum has been quite busy — in fact, it says it’s already put the Kickstarter dough to use hiring two new employees, one working on quests and one working on art. The studio is plotting a 48-hour alpha test beginning on April 20th, with five more coming over the next couple of months and the beta fixed to July 2017. Would-be testers who didn’t back the Kickstarter can create accounts and purchase upgrades that include alpha access.

Founder Riley Dutton has also posted that the game now has an official wiki, a form of group voice chat, a proper naming policy, and progress toward the character customization effort, including hair, skin tone, faces, and eyes.

“The addition of the faces really adds a lot to the player model, so we’re super excited to play with that the next time we get you all in-game with us,” he writes. “We’re also working on a system so that the expressions of the player’s character change when they are speaking, and hopefully it can do some pitch detection and other tricks to show expressions as well.”

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OrbusVR has fully funded on Kickstarter

OrbusVR, the blocky indie VR sandbox from Ad Alternum, has finished out its Kickstarter successfully this morning.

The studio had originally promised a brief, one-week Kickstarter with only a $10,000 goal, which backers met within four hours of launch. It sails to the finish line today with over 500 backers and $34,000 raised, which covers stretch goals including a pet companion system, extra world boss, and the Explorer’s League faction, falling just shy of an additional battle discipline (like the Monk or Shaman). The Kickstarter money is intended to buffer the game’s existing funding, not pay for the whole game.

OrbusVR is being built for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift as a full-scale MMORPG with all the basics — questing, combat, open-world zones, group content, and crafting — plus more unusual features like hybrid instanced dungeons, hidden and “feat” quests, player bounties, tiered safety zones for PvP, and a nifty compass system, the last of which was previewed over the weekend. Raiding won’t make it in for launch.

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