Don’t get too comfortable, because the real war is about to begin. Right now, Escape from Tarkov’s development team is in the final stage of preparations for the upcoming open beta test.
While there’s no announced date for the open beta test, the team did say that it should be coming in the early part of 2018, perhaps within the month. To make sure that the beta will be as smooth as possible and able to handle the influx of many more testers, Escape from Tarkov ran a New Year event over the holidays to stress test the servers. The team said that the event topped previous population records and greatly increased the game’s presence on Twitch.
“We were able to perform a quality and quantity assessment of the required server base expansion in different regions. New servers are already being ordered to ensure the minimum matching wait time,” the team wrote. “Soon after the next patch we’ll be able to determine a precise open beta start date.”
Welcome back to our intermittent series on MMOs and other multiplayer games you you’ve never heard of! Let’s run down five more floating to the top of the pile this month.
First up is a Russian indie MMO called Rogalia that I first heard of thanks to former Massively columnist Jeremy Stratton (heya Jeremy!). It’s cute and cartoony and will definitely appeal to old-school isometric sandbox players with its crisp cartoon graphics and detailed UI. Combine all that with the gameplay and it’ll remind you more of Ultima Online than most games that namedrop it! It’s currently $12 on Steam, though it’s set to launch out of early access at some point this month, when the price will likely increase.
Did you think Christmas came too early this year? One of my hobbies was already rolling out Valentine’s Day hoopla in August, so I feel you. Escape from Tarkov, however, has already moved on to New Year’s. We’ll let this one slide, however, since the game is focused on its open beta launch, so the New Year’s event is really a stress test that kicks off on December 28th and is intended to attract people who’ve never tested before. “Seven-day access to the game will be granted to a part of the players, who will be picked randomly among the total number of subscribers, with bias for those who have been registered earlier,” says the team.
Previous beta testers (and preorder purchasers, of course) will also pick up a pair of week-long access keys to hand out to their mates.
So what’s on the horizon for the game?
Welcome back to another quick tour through the very latest in mobile MMORPG news. Let’s begin at the beginning with…
Yep, the GAMEVIL-produced mobile spinoff of this core sandbox MMORPG has released on both iOS and Android worldwide, with 100K players having signed up for pre-registration. “Developed with Unreal Engine 4, ArcheAge Begins features impressive-looking character models and environments, intense strategic battles and engrossing online multiplayer features,” GAMEVIL says. (Thanks, Jason!)
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!
Whether it makes you want to seek shelter or embrace the winds of change, the era of mobile MMOs and spin-offs is upon us. Let’s check in with what’s going on with three of them today!
Flyff Legacy, a successor to the cute online RPG, launched on September 26th for iOS and Android. In this flying-empowered MMO, players can take on the role of a Mercenary, Acrobat, or Magician and learn how to zoom around on a broom, conquer dungeons, collect pets, fight other players, and enjoy the “whimsical style” that is a hallmark of the series.
Another recent launch was Ragnarok Journey, the latest in the long-running Ragnarok Online series. The gameplay should be familiar to Ragnarok veterans, although the studio said that this version has upgraded graphics and offers a “fresh experience.” Players who jump into the launch period will be given a gift pack with a few helpful goodies to send them on their way.
After a delay or two, MU Legend is confirmed to be coming our way this fall: November 7th, to be exact. The hack-and-slash MMO sequel finally “committed” to an open beta test release date this week now that quality assurance and localization has been wrangled.
You won’t have to wait until then to get a taste of what MU Legend has to offer, however. Webzen is planning a stress test for this Saturday, September 23rd. The team hopes that by jamming a ton of people into the game, it can generate enough “precious technical data” to help with the OBT launch.
The studio even makes this test sound somewhat awesome: “We cannot adequately test all worst-case scenarios virtually, so we will need the cooperation of our fans to push our server to breaking point.”
There’s a new official website to check out while you’re waiting, and you can also watch the stress test trailer after the break!
Quick show of hands, who in the audience would like to break the Guild Wars 2
servers? Well, that’s… that’s a lot of hands, and… is that someone with a hammer? That’s not what we meant! It’s a stress test, dude,
a test designed to break the servers by overwhelming
them and seeing how they perform under load. It’s ahead of the Path of Fire
launch, get it?
Put the hammer away; I don’t care how much a hammer will put stress on a hard drive. Don’t be a jerk.
For those of you who know what a stress test is, unlike Smashy McBreakstuff over here, you can start in as long as you have a valid GW2 account at 3:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 7th. The test should run for about two hours, so if you’re not going to be available at the time, think of it less as a preview opportunity and more as… well, a stress test. Exactly what it is, in other words. Bug reports are welcome, but you should expect the servers to be a little stressed.
Didn’t get your fill of tinkering with Path of Fire
during Guild Wars 2’s
recent preview weekends? You can have another go at it during a stress test tomorrowday beginning at 5 p.m. EDT
and running “a couple of hours.”
“We will be conducting a brief stress test for Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire on Thursday, August 31st, beginning at 2:00 PM Pacific time (-7 GMT). Anyone with a Guild Wars 2 account is welcome to participate. To join the stress test, please log in to your Guild Wars 2 game account, create a new ‘Demo’ character on the character selection screen, and head into the Crystal Oasis. Play as you normally would play, but because this is a stress test, be prepared for possible in-game performance issues as the testing takes place.”
There are no additional goodies for participation, ArenaNet’s Gaile Gray notes, nor will progress made on the demo characters count. “They hope to enable the elite specs,” she writes, and if she’s right, it’ll be the first time we’ve been able to play the new specs outside of PvP.
Who doesn’t love free things? How about free isometric MMO sandboxes? Wild Terra is putting itself in the free bin for the weekend as it runs an open stress test, nullifying its usual $14.99 early access buy-in. And you’re invited!
Studio Juvty Worlds notes that would-be testers can download the client or simply play in their Chrome/Opera browsers. “Actively testing the game, you’ll get a reward – game currency and Steam keys,” promise the devs. “Report any errors or problems found in Wild Terra.”
Most recently, the game played host to an in-game player wedding and patched spawn rates, planting systems, HUD, and auction bugs.
The event runs until July 24th, at which point servers will be wiped, the pricetag returns, and your carriage turns into a pumpkin.
fans, open beta is coming, and that means your chance to ruin all the surprises for yourself is just around the corner too! This week, Bungie
announced a July 18th open beta launch date for preorder PS4 players; it’s July 19th for Xbox One folks. Non-preorderin’ plebes will wait until July 21st at the earliest, while those of us on PC, welp we kick back and wait until August. Beta-haters, we’ll see you at launch come September 6th (or October 24th for PC).
Most of what’s actually in the beta won’t come as a shock since it’s been shown in videos already. Expect the opening mission and cinematics, a new mode for Crucible, The Inverted Spire Vex stronghold, matchmaking, grouping, and the new subclasses: “The new fighting style for each Class will be at the ready. Choose from the Dawnblade Warlock, Arcstrider Hunter, or Sentinel Titan.” There’s a stress test on July 23rd if you’re inclined to go help break the server.
Clan support and character progression won’t be in their final states, and of course, “Nothing we do in the Beta will carry over to the final version of the game on September 6” — except for your beta emblem.
With less than a month to go before flipping on the switch to its live servers, the Darkfall: Rise of Agon team must be crunching pretty hard to get everything ready for the launch.
In last Friday’s recap post, the team ran down a checklist of some of the last-minute projects that it is working on to prepare for release. One of these is getting new server tech into place: “Our new server hardware is currently on order and is getting set up by our supplier. Once the hardware is ready to go we will be configuring them with what is needed for launch. We plan to open up the servers for a short stress test before launch and will provide more details on this at a later date.”
The team said that it’s planning on rolling out a public test server post-launch and is striving to get player vendor stalls in place for release or shortly thereafter. Other countdown projects include scattering wilderness portals throughout the game world, getting the new task system into the game, revamping the economy and loot tables, and preparing a marketing campaign.
When will Blizzard thaw enough to release Patch 7.2? The next big update for World of Warcraft might still be a while away, but the team isn’t keeping players in the dark about the progress being made on the test realm.
In a post on the forums, Blizzard reported that its current focus is “stability and raid testing” for the upcoming patch. The studio said that it is planning another stress test for the new Broken Shore zone this week with a few new surprises.
One of the interesting features that players will experience in 7.2 is the addition of Dauntless gear tokens that will allow new and alt characters a faster way to catch up in item levels. There will also be a better version, Relinquished tokens, which will pay out in higher ilevel gear with a chance at the really good stuff (including legendaries).