Betawatch: Fortnite rolls out a free-for-all mode that’s free for all (September 22, 2017)

Oh, well this is fine.

Remember when Fortnite’s whole thing was that it was going to be about co-op survival gameplay without any PvP aspects? That clearly didn’t last, as it turns out the game’s new Battle Royale mode is going to be free-to-play and seems to be getting an unexpected share of the game’s development. Oh, and the game accidentally turned on cross-platform play before turning it right back off, so that was great too.

In unrelated news, we bid farewell to Guardians of Ember as it has actually, like, launched now. It’s not in early access any more! It’s just access. Guild Wars 2 has also dropped its second expansion, and The Elder Scrolls Online has its latest DLC up on the test server.

More beta news? Yes indeed! Including titles you might not have seen this week otherwise.

  • All right, Pantropy, do you really think that the only thing you need to seduce someone into survival sandbox games is to include a bunch of stompy mechs? Because you are very possibly right.
  • The stress testing for MU Legend is running on September 23rd, which is the server equivalent of packing tons of college freshmen into a phone booth and daring them to fall out. Taking part will earn you 500 Bound Redzen for use in the future, so if the simple joy of stress testing isn’t enough, do it for the bribery.
  • You’ve missed the first alpha testing weekend for Closers, but there are several more weekends coming up, such as this weekend. Would you like a whole schedule for the next few weeks? You’ve got one.
  • The closed alpha weekends for Survived By are starting very soon, with several closed alpha weekends planned over the next several weeks. Exact dates aren’t given, unfortunately, but considering that there are only so many people being invited, that seems at least moderately sensible.
  • Around 350 players took place in the second OrbusVR closed beta, and you can catch up on the notes from that second beta right now. It’s a good chance to keep an eye on the game when you’re not keeping both eyes in the headset.

And as we always do, there’s a list of titles in testing and early access just below, because that’s how we operate. Did something hop to another phase of testing without letting us know? Fix that oversight in the comments. You can also use the comments for other comments, of course.

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
Boundless: Donor alpha
Camelot Unchained: Backer alpha
Children of Ur: Open alpha
Citadel: Forged with Fire: Early access
Crowfall: Backer pre-alpha
Cube World: Closed alpha
Dauntless: Closed beta
Dark and Light: Early access
DayZ: Early access
Divergence Online: Alpha
Edengrad: Early access
Eleven: Closed alpha
Ever, Jane: Open beta
Gloria Victis: Early access on Steam
H1Z1: King of the Kill: Paid early access
HEX: Unofficial open beta
Just Survive: Paid early access
Kritika Online: Open beta
Legends of Aria: Final alpha on September 21st, formerly known as Shards Online
Life is Feudal: Closed beta
Line of Defense: Early access, removed from Steam
Mu Legend: Closed beta, open beta in September
MyDream: Closed testing open to donors
OrbusVR: Closed beta events
Origins of Malu: Development moving forward on battleground experience, MMO suspended
Osiris: New Dawn: Early access
Paladins: Open beta
Paragon: Open beta
Pathfinder Online: Subscription “early enrollment”
Project Genom: Closed alpha
Project Gorgon: Free, open testing
SamuTale: Closed alpha
Star Citizen: Backer alpha
Stash: Backer alpha
The Black Death: Early access alpha
The Culling: Early access testing
The Exiled: Early access; formerly Das Tal
The Repopulation: Closed alpha
Tribal Wars 2: Open testing
TUG: Steam early access alpha
Valiance Online: Alpha testing
Wild Terra: Steam early access
Worlds Adrift: Closed beta

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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Supposedly there was a time when Fortnite was said that they’d be making extra money off cosmetics and not loot boxes. Well we all know that the main co-op game threw that out the window, but an especially sore spot for Fortnite co-op players is that the PvP mode actually is going to be making money off cosmetics and won’t be full of loot boxes. It’s also what they are pushing right now for their announcements and advertisements, as they basically are trying to get the PUBG player types. They’re giving away the PvP game free hoping that will get people to come play it instead.

There’s a good reason behind the current worry – we’ve seen this same type of thing play out with H1Z1. While Daybreak is obviously a different company, we still worry that this could go the same way. For H1Z1 which used to have full development over the co-op game – the PvP game King of the Kill became the main focus while Just Survive became Just Ignored.

The co-op players have supported all the development of Fortnite as it is, and they decided to just give the assets to another team to make a PvP mode. Those are the assets we paid to help develop for the co-op game. Yes the company owns them but we were investing in the game so that they’d do more co-op work, not so that they’d turn around and do a PvP game with it.

They also are offering anybody who bought the game during the first week of PvP release a full refund so that they can just play the PvP game free. No such offer to the co-op players despite a big part of the focus of the game we paid for changing.

This is all from a person who hasn’t complained the entire time while other people have been ranting about Fortnite. I’ve been a defender of the system. Now I’m wondering who and what I’ve been defending as I’m very nervous. Epic may try to calm our fears and tell us stories about how everything is going to be great and okay with the co-op mode still, but that’s what game companies always do.

Just a few weeks before Battleborn went to stop all future updates Gearbox was telling us everything was still going good with the title. Gearbox is a respected company but still that’s what game companies do, they BS us. So for us to be calm when we see things happening with Fortnite that never were supposed to because Epic tells us everything is okay, that isn’t going to happen.


Yeah this bothers me a lot. It’s clear that Epic was racing to beat PUBG at releasing on consoles. Then they heavily change up monetization and actually make cosmetics the only thing sold? The fudge.

Part of me vaguely hopes that if they find success doing cosmetics in PvP then they’ll change the model up to be less ridiculous in the PvE, but realistically that’s not going to happen. They’ll either drop support or double down on it, tossing more freebies here and there maybe but never fully getting rid of the stupid greedy RNG boxes. I don’t even think that getting the story content out for Canny Valley is planned for this year; it’s just going to be more temporary event stuff with temporary exclusives that add further to the llama RNG pool. They claim they’re going to add options for narrowing down what you want to get out of transformations or whatever and are going to have events where event currency lets you buy specific stuff directly… but yeah…

So far they haven’t mentioned anything about when zones 3 & 4 will get new stuff/stop being copy-pastes of Plankerton, and temporary rotating content is just going to be the norm with no absolute way to work towards what you want to get at any given time. It bugs the hell out of me how double-faced they are with the monetization because they’re okay with fucking over PvE progression via RNG boxes, but they don’t dare tread on PvP in a similar manner – ’cause unlike the PvE side, they actually want to try and get as many PvPers in as possible… meanwhile they chased away a number of PvE players in the process. -.-