It’s kind of hard to be thankful this year. Sure, some good things have happened this year, but we also have some things that, to put it politely, are unqualified messes. There’s everything around Star Wars: Battlefront II. There’s the shuttering of Master x Master and Marvel Heroes (the latter I actually flagged a year ago as being robust and healthy). There are titles like Lord of the Rings Online and ARK: Survival Evolved that have doubled down on methods to enrage players. And last but certainly not least, there’s still no sign of a sequel to the Warcraft film.
That one might be a grey area, actually.
But the year hasn’t been devoid of light, and there’s still stuff to be thankful for. So rather than being bitter and cranky about it, I want to focus on what we do have to be thankful for even while I hope for better in the future. Let’s talk about some stuff that’s good to be thankful for, even if it doesn’t tickle your particular fancy, and be a little more hopeful.
Let me tell you, I’m really glad that Ascent: Infinite Realm already has a publishing deal for the west, because otherwise I would be figuratively biting my nails about the game’s first beta test in South Korea. I only just learned it existed, sure, but it’s a game about steampunk mechs and airships. If we get superheroes and cats, that’s pushing most of my buttons right away.
More beta news? Sure, what the hey!
- Guess what else has hit closed testing? That’s right, it’s Ironsight! Which is also a game including mechs, and it’s also a game with a brand-new trailer for you to enjoy to coincide with beta.
- Wait, has something else hit closed testing? Sort of! OrbusVR is is still humming along nicely, with the fourth beta test ready to kick off, so it’s still doing what needs to be done.
- And is there another title? Yes, there is! Wild West Online started its early access alpha, so you can stroll into the… actually, on second thought, we don’t need to invite Will Smith memes. You can fill the rest of that in yourself.
- Has Crowfall joined the beta/early access/soft launch crew? No! In fact, it won’t be signing on until 2018 at this point, just to give the developers a bit more time. So you can wait longer.
- What about Forsaken Legend? It’s still out there! But it’s not an MMO any more. Or less of one. Terminology is weird.
- Last but not least, why is Lineage 2 Revolution not on this list? Because it launched! Shock and amazement.
That’s a lot of questions followed by shouted responses, but we assure you there is less shouting in our list of games in testing down below. You can still respond to us in the comments, though; we like to hear from you. Especially if some game swapped test phases without us knowing about it. Those are useful responses!
In her first run through Wild West Online’s Technical Alpha 1, Massively OP’s MJ mined herself some gold and successfully made it back to town to sell it. In fact, she succeeded in staying alive the whole time! Of course, chances for that happening again are slim as she sneaks back in for early access. There is new content to check out, including new quests and even a special bank robbery event. Then again, MJ also wants to prowl the countryside looking for campsites to plunder. Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. and saunter into the old west with us.
What: Wild West Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 15th, 2017
The Wild West Online early access alpha has officially begun, at least if you shelled out for the higher tiers of founder pack. According to 612 Games’ Facebook page, Pioneer ($50) and Collector ($80) edition players were welcomed in last night, while other buyers – that’d be those of you at the $30 Townie level – will hop in around 3 p.m. EST today.
We realize the founder pack page is a bit confusing as it says you’ll have access to closed alpha but not the early access, but it wouldn’t be the first time this game has muddied the waters of what test phase it’s in and whether or not it’s been delayed.
612 Games has previously touted this test round’s multiple quests, historical guns, public events, character progression and customization, and of course, female toons. The studio has also said the game will fully launch (on Steam) “later this year.” Make sure you take a peek at the latest patch notes, especially if you’re returning after time away! We’ll be streaming the game later this afternoon (yesterday’s run was botched by server downtime), so keep an eye out on OPTV!
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree dig into the exciting news from BlizzCon, mull over the troubles at Marvel Heroes, mourn the passing of a great studio, and cover a handful of MMO updates.
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.
Listen to the show right now:
There was a lot of stuff that went down at the most recent Star Citizen convention, although none of the things that went down there included a firm date for Alpha 3.0. (Because of course it didn’t.) Want to catch up? Well, the good news is that we’ve got all of that rounded up nicely right here. Don’t say we never did nothing for you.
Meanwhile, there’s other testing news to cover here.
Just like last week and the week before, we’ve also got a full list of the games we know of in testing (and of wide enough interest to be worth including) down below. If we missed a title or missed one of these titles changing states unexpectedly, do let us know; the more specific you are about it, the more helpful.
Following all the delays and weirdness this past fall during which the game was declared “just not ready yet,” the team behind Wild West Online has now declared that its early access alpha is a go on November 15th, promising 100 quests, 20 historical guns, and two public events.
“Since going into Technical Server Test Alpha, the development team has used community feedback to make Wild West Online a cowboy’s dream will continue to use community feedback to shape the game. In this next phase, Early Access Alpha, the development team will continue building out the larger world, adding polish and integrating new content to create the best experience for players. In Early Access Alpha players will find a large game map filled with varied environments, NPCs and other players. They will hunt, mine for gold, embark on quests and missions given by NPCs and participate in server wide public PVP events. Players will progress their character, unlocking new abilities and access to new and better gear. They can customize their character, upgrade their guns and trusty stead. In the future players will embark on claiming land for themselves to create their own homestead.”
612 Games still says the “full release is planned for later this year.” We took a peek at the female toons yesterday!
Source: Press release
Wild West Online’s pattern of delays in its testing process continues. Back in August, the team behind this western MMO posted a schedule that included a persistent 24/7 alpha test that would run from October 10th through November 15th. The start of this test was delayed back in October — and in fact still hasn’t begun even now that we are in November.
“Right now we’re 100% focused on addressing all the issues that made us miss the deadline, and with a small team that sadly doesn’t leave a lot of room for other things,” the team said on October 17th. “We appreciate your enthusiasm and patience. We want to wait until we’re more certain about certain important bugs and features, before making any further announcements. It won’t be long now before we’re ready, but we don’t want to say exactly how ‘not long’ that will be and disappoint.”
On the positive side of things, Wild West Online did show off a work-in-progress render of a female character. Female toons had yet to be added to the game in previous alpha tests, but hopefully this is a good sign that they are coming soon.
It’s not high noon in Wild West Online. It’s not any time at all, in fact. The game’s early access alpha would have established a time, probably, but that’s been delayed because… well, the game just isn’t ready for that sort of testing yet. Disappointing for those looking forward to the game? Certainly. But probably for the best in the long run, we hope.
This week has been thin in terms of beta news, but we’ve still got a few pieces here and there to show off, don’t we? Of course we do; check out this list.
- The Star Citizen 3.0 process rolls on. No, it’s not out for most players, the developers have found more bugs and want to fix them first. Which is probably around the point you would be fed up with offering estimated dates of arrival, too.
- A rumor is flying that H1Z1: King of the Kill is dropping the surname and getting rebranded to just H1Z1. Because if there’s one thing that would really help this game, it’s
everyone forgetting that another scavenging arena game is eating its lunch another round of rebranding. Who knows, maybe it’ll even launch?
- Something wicked is stirring in the final alpha of Legends of Aria. That sounds bad, but it’s actually good for players. Assuming you like prestige abilities and loot, which we’re going to assume that just about everyone does.
- The fourth week of closed alpha playtesting for Survived By is now live, so if you’re involved in that early test phase… well, you can do more testing. That’s all there is to it.
- Closers Online is heading into another alpha weekend too.
- Last but not least, the first character creator alpha test for Ship of Heroes has wrapped up. Does that seem like a thin thing to test? Because this is a superhero game, that’s kind of important.
Sorry there’s a little less news this week, but we do have that whole list down below; that’s something cool, right? You can let us know what you’re thinking about betas you’re playing in the comments, or you can let us know if something surreptitiously launched without us noticing as well. We would prefer that you not place your recipe for chili con carne in the comments; just mail that along.
A couple of weeks ago, MOP’s Justin and I expressed heavy skepticism that Wild West Online could ever be ready on schedule this fall. “No way, that’s just not gonna happen, that’s total fantasy,” I believe was our exact phrasing. Last spring, the studio told us it wasn’t running behind, but in September, 612 Games shut down the tech alpha early after just two weekends, saying it would still launch the early access in mid-October. Now it appears that 24-7 early access alpha is being delayed too and won’t begin tomorrow, although the team is still holding tight to October. Here’s the team’s statement from Facebook:
“Over the weekend and today we’ve done company wide playtesting of the build candidate for the early access alpha, and we’ve decided that it just ain’t ready yet. We want the next time you play to be a great time, and right now some critical elements are not up to those standards. What we learned from the community and by observing the activity of streamers and youtubers during Technical Alpha is that people want a game that’s better and more complete, not just early. So we’re not going to release with things that are really not there yet, and madly patch stuff in as it passes muster.”
The studio does say it’s going to take the extra time to “better perfect the new changes” and will reveal more details of the early access launch features “soon.”
Here’s a grand surprise for you: Wild West Online will feature old-timey weapons. It will, in fact, involve a fair amount of shooting things. Animals, gankers, bottles, sure, but most likely the broad sides of barns. But seeing as how the name of the game implies a certain degree of fidelity to a period of history, it would look a bit weird if these cowpokes and bounty hunters pulled out futuristic ray guns and NERF rifles.
Thus, the designers of the game are dedicated to putting weapons in the game that match the historical era and what weapons were genuinely available at the time, with a helpful gallery on Facebook (replicated below). If you were wondering what sort of guns you could use while either working for or against the law, well, now you know that you’ll have several options. Some of them more successful in a real-world context than others, but hey, video games lets inefficient but cool weapons have another day in the sun.
As someone very much on the outside of this whole Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire thing, my observations is that this is some sort of night sky simulator coupled with a public transportation PSA. It does look very pretty, though.
“I’ve been having an absolute blast with Path of Fire so far,” writes Xephyr. “The maps are HUGE and insanely detailed, there’s stuff to do everywhere! And mounts, omg, THE MOUNTS! Joy of movement indeed. Anyways, here’s me and my griffin bro doing some exploring.”
In Mother Russia, mount rides you to work!
Well, Legends of Aria fans, it’s the final… alpha? That doesn’t sound like a 1980s power ballad line at all, someone should get on that. But yes, this is the final alpha for the game ahead of its upcoming Steam launch. There’s no date for said launch just yet, though, so you may as well get into the alpha testing now (assuming you already have access or want to drop the money on it).
Do we have more beta news? Of course we do. There’s always more news.
Also, there’s a list. It’s on a list; it must be true if it’s in a list, like charts in tabletop RPGs. Why not see what’s on the list? Why not let us know your thoughts on this week’s beta news or share your comments from beta testing you’re allowed to talk about? Why not build yourself a chicken costume just in case that becomes a pressing need in your life? Rhetorical questions are fun.