After some ups and downs this afternoon — everybody loves the “try again later” message, right? — Valve’s summer Steam sale is finally underway and stable. Here’s what we’re looking at in our corner of the gaming world.
Over the last couple of weeks, we shared with you part one and part two of our guide to the best upcoming and current indie MMORPGs on the market. Naturally, there were always those titles that we overlooked or couldn’t fit into the space, so we are back with the third and final part of this guide to make sure that all of your favorite games got mentioned.
As a side note, we won’t be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too much for the scope of this guide. And if you’re interested in these games, then you’ll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns.
On with part three!
Haven & Hearth should look and feel a bit familiar to fans of Salem. That’s not entirely surprising; both games have the same brain trust in the form of Seatribe, both are highly player-driven sandboxes, and both have permadeath. Haven & Hearth was an older project, but the game is being rebooted, upgraded, and relaunched in what’s being called a new “eternal alpha” by the developers on August 28th.
The plan is to have all of the features currently available in the existing game available in the new version, along with plenty of further adjustment and updates (hence the moniker of “eternal alpha”). Check out the trailer just below to get a sense of what the relaunch will look like in action.
Is there anything as marvelous as finding out that your game got so heavily exploited that the whole game needs to be wiped? If you’re playing Ark: Survival Evolved, let us know what that’s like. Fortunately for players, there’s now a bounty system in place for hacks and an official server for folks from the site, so that’s awesome.
Other stuff happened with testing this week, too! We were told about it, and it did in fact happen!
And yes, there are more games in testing, which we’ve linked down below. If you know of something else that’s in testing or swapped phases without us noticing, please, do let us know down in the comments if you would.
Salem’s “beta” officially ended this weekend, according to a post by Mortal Moments project lead John Carver.
“Salem has been designed from both a business model, maintainability, and game mechanics model to weather the storms and provide the maximum assurances of longevity,” he writes, though he doesn’t mention specifics. The colonial permadeath MMO now features animal husbandry, statues, cannons, booby traps, cheese-making, new witchcraft spells, and more.
; thanks Crow and AgeOfMyth!
Path of Exile has another big update on the way! It has fun new skills like Golems, Warcries, and Golemcries! Maybe not so much with the last one. The point is that there’s an update, it’s in testing, and you can help test it if you follow the right steps. Glorious!
Other testing news from around the test-web-blog-o-sphere (patent pending on that nightmare portmanteau, for the record):
You want some more testing goodness? Well, read on for our full list, ladies, gentlemen, and those who fall into neither category! There are more tests to be had.
Salem might have slipped off of your radar over the past few years. It’s a permadeath, open-PvP sandbox that fell into the perpetual beta trap. It also lost its original publisher, which is never a good sign. But no more of that; the game will now officially be launching on June 17th this year. In a Facebook post yesterday, the current owners declared that the game is actually doing rather well:
A group of veteran players who prided themselves on possessing an intimate understanding of the title, and were working on a similar title themselves, decided to scrap everything, purchase the remaining shares of Salem from the powerhouse that is Paradox Interactive, and quite simply evolve the game into the masterpiece they always felt it could be. Slowly but surely, Salem’s population began to rise, and the player-base seemed to reward the efforts of Mortal Moments for the risk they took. The performance of the title is now operating at nearly 800% compared to the time of acquisition, growing strictly by word-of-mouth due to the positive reception of the sweeping changes made.
So if you ever wanted to tool around in a pseudohistorical version of bobblehead colonial America with the very real risk of dying forever, the option of doing so arrives in June.