The first technical alpha for Wild West Online was a success, at least in that lots of stuff broke. But when you’re running a technical alpha, you want things to break. So the game has gotten a round of fixes over the past week, and now the developers want the testing cadre to swing in and break all of those fixes with the start of the second technical alpha test today. You’ll have to work hard to break stuff, though; the developers say they’ve worked their tushes off on crashes and stability bugs.
If you’re not interested in just paying to play a game to get it to not work, you can also take part in some actual content, as this build adds in missions (chiefly for tutorial purposes) and new HUD graphics. There are also better systems in place to track discoveries and better maps, so you’ll have more to do just riding around. If you’re in the testing, get ready to mosey on back in and start breaking a whole new set of fixes.
We streamed the first alpha test last weekend; take a peek down below.
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree saddle up for discussion on Wild West Online’s alpha, Star Citizen’s back-backlash on schedules, the miserable state of Phantasy Star Online 2, and more!
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.
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This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts gave an interview that seemed to express understandable frustration with the constant barrage of demands for alpha launch estimates, scam accusations, and “fan trolling” he encounters.
“I am fed up of giving someone an estimate – I’d rather say, here’s the data I have, here’s the schedule I see,” he told Eurogamer, arguing that CIG is already providing progress reports for the massive crowdfunded MMO. “There’s a subset of people who say ‘this thing is never going to come out, it’s a scam’. Which is plainly not true. It would be the worst scam in the world. We’re hiring all these people, we’re working really hard. We’re showing what we’re doing every week.”
Meanwhile, we wrapped up our tour of Shroud of the Avatar, Elite Dangerous announced its September 26th update, we chatted with Ashes of Creation at PAX, Kickstarter began welcoming Japanese creators, Albion Online kicked off playtests for its arena mode, AdventureQuest 3D is going all out for Talk Like A Pirate Day, and Dogma: Eternal Night continued hammering out its combat system (thanks, DDOCentral!).
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.
There are so few western MMOs, but Wild West Online is fixin’ to change that. And by golly, thanks to Alpha Test 1, Massively OP’s MJ has a chance to peek in and see how the game’s a-farin’. Now it’s just the beginnings of the first alpha test — basically a core mechanics shakedown — so there’ll be much more a-comin’ between now and release (and beyond). Tune in live at 6:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team rounds up a first look at…
What: Wild West Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, September 16th, 2017
Good news for Crowfall fans this week because there’s plenty on the docket about the game’s development. You might not consider a whole lot of discussion about how the game succeeded at crowdfunding to be new content, but you’ve also got the full list of race/class combinations at launch and a dangerous beachhead for players to fight around. So there’s lots of good stuff happening for fans, yes?
The remainder of the beta news… well, there’s some good stuff in there, too! And one thing that’s perhaps not so good. Let’s head right in.
- In fact, let’s start by diving into one of the most ill-considered quotes of the week, in which Chris Roberts of Star Citizen declared he was “fed up” with providing launch estimates for patch 3.0. We imagine backers are a bit “fed up” with waiting for the patch, especially the ones who claimed a refund and then lied about the amount of said refund.
- Happier news time for Wild West Online fans, as the alpha test begins this weekend. There isn’t much of an NDA in place, either, so if you’re testing it feel free to say whatever you’d like down in the comments (with the proper alpha caveats, of course).
- The second closed beta for Lost Ark is on its way, and we’ve got the video full of happy frolicking animals listening to music to prove it. If you’ve never seen an owlbear soothed by a calming tune, well, that’s your entry for today’s list of things you never knew you wanted before now.
- Good news for Worlds Adrift developer Bossa Studios, too, as the studio picked up lots of investor cash this week. That should fund a fair number of islands.
- Do you remember Seed? No, not the MMO that crashed and burned in a short span of time, the other game named Seed? It’s not due for any sort of serious beta until summer 2018, but we’re already seeing signs of how the game will deliver its AI-focused design.
- Last but not least, why not take a gander at what’s coming for phase two of the OrbusVR closed beta? You can read that update even if you’re in not-virtual reality, aka actual reality, aka… you know, the real world.
Meanwhile, we’ve got that full list of games down below with all of the information you could possibly expect at this point from our regular weekly column. Did something jump to a new phase of testing without us noticing? Let us know down in the comments, we find that fascinating and only marginally annoying. (And the annoyance is with the studios who don’t let us know, mind.)
“Open-world action-based, online multiplayer” game – somewhere between a survival sandbox and an MMO – Wild West Online officially hits closed alpha today, or at least its first phase for those who’ve ignored detractors and bought their way in with a preorder package. The refund deadline is September 27th, meaning that you’ll have less than two weeks to check it out and potentially refund your purchase.
“During the multi-week Closed Alpha timeframe, players will experience a “Gold Rush” setting gameplay style. In this release, most activities will focus on finding gold, mining it from streams and rock deposits, and grouping with other players to establish mining camps before then transporting hard-earned gold to towns to be sold for in-game currency. Throughout the process players must beware of outlaws – other players who have chosen to play as bandits that will ambush, kill and steal gold from hard working prospectors. Players can also embark on exploratory explorations in search of treasure loot chests and rare plants that can be used to craft medical remedies. Throughout the game players can upgrade their weapons, tools and unlock new cosmetic items.”
The game isn’t behind much of an NDA; in fact, testers will be able to stream it, provided they repeat about a million times the disclaimer that it’s not finished, it’s an alpha, things will change, the usual. Massively OP will be streaming it this weekend too, so stay tuned!
Wild West Online is gearing up for its first alpha test this weekend, which means alpha invites will begin going out soon. How soon? Today. Insert your terrible cowboy puns here!
“The alpha is coming fast and the download keys for Wild West Online shall go out tomorrow (the 14th of September) afternoon PST. Watch your inboxes and get ready to saddle up. Looking forward to seeing you all out on the plains!”
The game isn’t behind much of an NDA; in fact, testers will be able to stream it, provided they repeat about a million times the disclaimer that it’s not finished, it’s an alpha, things will change, the usual.
If you aren’t given a freebie alpha invite, you’ll have to buy your way in with a preorder package. The refund deadline is September 27th, meaning that you’ll have less than two weeks to check it out and determine whether you want to pull your cash out from what has become a contentious if beautiful game or see it through.
The open beta for Destiny 2 finally hit the PC, and while I’m generally reluctant to say that anything is the preferred platform for a given audience (people get excited about platforms I personally would never have expected), in this case it seems fair. The beta has, of course, run into some issues, but people seem to have enjoyed it even without getting to take a trip to a nice farm. Plenty of space to run around in that farm.
Also, while it seems almost like a joke to say this, it really happened: ARK: Survival Evolved finally launched. If you were waiting for launch? You were waiting for now. It has happened.
More news? You’ll no doubt hear more with the convention this weekend, but let’s go nuts anyway.
- The final alpha test for Legends of Aria will arrive on September 21st, incorporating huge improvements over prior versions. Whether or not that will make you want to jump into the game is another question, of course.
- The alpha test for Wild West Online is absolutely very definitely happening on September 15th. That’s nice and unambiguous, isn’t it? Now no one will misunderstand when it’s happening.
- Crowfall has a cinematic trailer now! It’s very cinematic. And… a trailer. That’s a bad description, you should watch it and come up with a better one.
- In worse news, MU Legend has delayed its open beta until November. Perhaps it saw the other games in testing and got shy?
- Ashes of Creation is planning for its first alpha, helpfully titled “alpha zero,” to start in December. There are reasons why it’s a zero instead of a one, but it’s still the first test.
- Also, Dauntless is in closed beta. Like, right now. Surprise! No daunting for them.
All right! Are you pumped to scroll through a whole list full of other titles currently in testing, possibly incorporating more surprises along the way but probably not? Jump on down below, then, and if you see something which ought not to be there, do let us know down in the comments.
Following some confusion and misinformation over Wild West Online’s testing schedule, we now have official confirmation for when the alpha test will begin: September 15th.
The western RPG’s early bird program page was recently updated with the date for the alpha, along with target windows for beta (mid-fall) and release (December). As players can buy their way into the alpha test with either the $40 or $60 package, the studio said that they will have a week or two to evaluate the game and get a refund if desired. The refund deadline is now September 27th.
If you are thinking about hopping on board with the alpha test next month, you’ll want to make sure that your machine is up to spec. The requirements for the game include 12 GB of hard drive space, 6 GB of RAM, DirectX 11, and a Nvidia GTX 460, AMD Radeon HD 7770, or better for a graphics card.
Were you not appeased by the 13 minutes of Wild West Online gameplay footage earlier this week? What can we do to make you happy, pard’ner? What will ever satisfy your craving of previews for this western MMO?
Let’s try this: How about five additional videos, showing more gameplay, an excursion through a town, lockpicking, treasure hunting, and mining. Is that enough? Please say that it is.
In speaking with IGN, the developers said that WWO is “a place for people to role-play in the towns, prospect for gold, build a homestead. [We’re] trying to find that balance between the PvP players and the role-playing/PvE type of stuff, resource gathering, exploration, building, etc.”
Still skeptical about Wild West Online’s proposed PvP system? A brand-new video today may or may not help. PC Gamer spends 13 minutes narrating a dev-led demo of the game world showing off just how pretty and detailed it looks, though the publication notes it feels pretty empty in its current phase. The narrator reiterates the idea that you’re probably not going to want to “go buck wild” murdering in towns since you’re likely to be caught and bountied. You can fire warning shots, however, and of course you can be ambushed out in the wild, with much weaker penalties for banditry.
“I like the idea of playing a roadside bandit and attacking innocent gold miners while they try to go pan for gold and make do or pay rent or buy a small land deed,” PC Gamer’s rep says while a dev shoots (and misses) his target. “I do worry about player density and whether any time you go out into the world to look for treasure or pan for gold or whatever it is – I do worry about getting shot too often. I’m told that’s what the beta and alpha are gonna be before, testing what kind of player population they want and how often they want you to engage with other people in conflict. There’s gotta be a sweet spot, and they will need a live environment to test that in.” You don’t say!
So many sandbox MMOs claim to have cracked the problem of griefing with an open PvP system — but could Wild West Online actually do it?
In a new post on Facebook this week, the devs outlined how WWO’s reputation system will work as a safeguard against griefers getting too rambunctious in a free-for-all PvP situation. All players accrue positive or negative reputation based on their actions, with those sinking deep into negative territory becoming bandits. Bandits can be identified and hunted by sheriffs and deputies, and the worst of the worst will have a “most wanted” status and a bounty slapped on them for anyone to claim.
There’s more to it than just that, but the team hopes that this structure will curtail the worst behavior in players: “When we started designing these systems we had two mutually exclusive goals: make a game with relatively unrestricted PVP while still making sure the game doesn’t turn into COD deathmatch where all players shoot first and ask questions later. We feel that we have solved that by giving players a choice about how they will live in the world that carries actual in-game consequences. ”
If you’ve been following The Exiled for a bit, you know the game has been struggling to reach a large enough audience to sustain itself. Let’s hope that the game’s new limited-lives survival mode provides exactly that; the testing will be running all month for about three hours a day, forcing players to try the game in a different way. Here’s hoping!
The week has also seen one launch and one launch date; LawBreakers has officially launched (and run into some problems), while Tree of Life has announced its impending launch on August 17th.
You want more beta news? Now you’re just getting greedy. But fine.
Well, that was fun. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to this weekly feature just yet, please, feel free to run an inquisitive finger over the list we have down below while noting any games which have changed their status in the comments. Or letting us know if a link doesn’t work. Hey, we’re happy just to let you chat about your current betas. Flexibility.