Betawatch: World of Warcraft and the art of pre-patch trolling (July 7, 2016)

Must we?

We have a launch date for World of Warcraft‘s next expansion, but we don’t have a date for the pre-patch before the expansion launches. It is fair to say at this point, though, that the designers are just playing with the affections of players. First the developers tease something big coming just to announce a Twitter contest for getting into the beta. Then an article about when the pre-patch will arrive… does not say when it will arrive. Someone is having a chuckle. Ah, well, at least you can get pre-loaded.

Asta, meanwhile, is being far more definitive by definitely launching this week.  Sure, it was already in no-wipe open beta, but at least the distinction was made definitive. And Riders of Icarus has hit open beta, which serves as a fine segue into more beta news for the week.

  • Darkfall: New Dawn has launched its public development server; you can hop on for free within the next three weeks. If you’re curious about what it will play like, the answer is “quite a bit like Darkfall, but also not entirely like Darkfall.”
  • Big stuff is happening in Shroud of the Avatar. For one thing, the game is planning to have no further wipes after July 28th! For another thing, Starr Long and Richard Garriott are selling their blood. The sequence of events that led to this seeming like a rational decision is not one that any human being should attempt to contemplate.
  • Atlas Reactor has opened up for testing for everyone until July 17th. Good news for people who want to test it and have not yet been able to, bad news for people who don’t want to test it but feel obligated to now that there are no excuses.
  • Another LawBreakers test is taking place this weekend, if you feel as if your test schedule this weekend was otherwise too law-abiding.
  • Last but not least, Das Tal has plans for both US and EU servers during its summer testing phase. So you can be sure that you’re fighting people who are both literally and figuratively in your backyard.

That was quite a whirlwind tour! Perhaps you’d like to refresh with a cool, steady list just below. If there are problems with the list, like titles that have opened cash shops while in no-wipe open beta, do let us know down in the comments.

As always, we consider an MMO to be in open testing if it features free, public signups and will server wipe prior to launch. An MMO is marked in closed testing if it’s running a private test phase that cannot freely be accessed by the general public; it’s usually under NDA as well. Early access and crowdfunded MMOs whose tests we deem legitimate will be included. So-called “open beta” soft-launch MMOs with cash shops, no sign of launch in the west, or limited interest for our readers will not be listed; we also do not list expansions, with occasional exceptions.

AdventureQuest 3D: Open beta starting in June
Albion Online: Closed beta, final test starts August 1st
Boundless: Donor alpha
Camelot Unchained: Backer alpha
Children of Ur: Open alpha
Crossout: Closed beta
Crowfall: Backer pre-alpha
Cube World: Closed alpha
Das Tal: Ongoing alpha tests, summer alpha in July
DayZ: Early access
Divergence Online: Alpha
Eleven: Closed alpha
Eternal Crusade: Early access play on Steam
Ever, Jane: Closed beta
Fragmented: Closed backer beta
Gigantic: Closed beta
Gloria Victis: Early Access on Steam
H1Z1: Paid early access, split into two games
HeroWarz: Closed beta
HEX: Unofficial open beta
LawBreakers: Closed alpha
Life is Feudal: Early access beta
Line of Defense: Early access, removed from Steam
Master x Master: Alpha test
MyDream: Closed testing open to donors
Origins of Malu: Development suspended
Otherland: Early access
Paladins: Closed beta
Paragon: Early access; Open beta August 16th
Pathfinder Online: Subscription “early enrollment”
Project Genom: Closed alpha
Project Gorgon: Free, open testing
Shards Online: Pre-alpha
Shroud of the Avatar: Steam early access, backer testing
SkySaga: Ongoing NA and UK alpha events
Star Citizen: Backer alpha
Stash: Backer alpha
The Black Death: Early access alpha
The Culling: Early access testing
The Repopulation: Alpha offline, moving to the Unreal engine, survival spinoff Fragmented in early access
Tree of Life: Open beta
Tribal Wars 2: Open testing
TUG: Steam early access alpha
Valiance Online: Pre-alpha testing
World of Warcraft: Legion: Closed beta, launching August 30th

Yes, MMO gamers, you too can perform the unpaid quality-control work otherwise known as game testing! Check out Massively Overpowered’s Betawatch every week for a run-down of MMOs that are still on the road to reality.
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