Over the last couple of months, Intrepid Studios has been talking up Ashes of Creation’s alpha one, which was set to include a battle royale mode as one of its PvP templates. It didn’t seem to matter how many times Intrepid’s Steven Sharif said that the battle royale mode was merely a fast and easy way to test PvP for the Kickstarted sandbox MMORPG and wasn’t likely to make it into the final version of the game, and it didn’t seem to matter how many times we repeated and quoted that – our commenters (and Reddit and YouTube too) were full of skepticism.
On last night’s stream, Intrepid recognized that ongoing befuddlement and is angling to fix it with a name change and focus clarification.
“One of the things we have noticed is a little bit of confusion and pushback with the battle royale mode from people who aren’t following the game necessarily,” Sharif explained on last night’s stream as his team reiterated (repeatedly) battle royale was just a “side game mode” separate from the “flagship MMORPG” that is AoC.
Consequently, Intrepid is doing two big things: The first is to rename the “alpha one phase one” to Ashes of Creation: Apocalypse. The second, Sharif says, is that the studio will “move the battle royale, the castle sieges, and the horde mode into a side arena that will be playable by everyone.”
And they do mean everyone. Alpha one testers will be testing out these modes a month ahead of everyone else, but the goal, Sharif says, is to increase the number of players testing everything in the alpha servers, which means Apocalypse is a free-to-play mode, so you don’t even need a be a backer to check out this phase of the game.
Critically, as you play Apocalypse, you’ll be racking up participation achievements, cosmetics, and furniture, as well as rolling up character templates, for the MMORPG itself, so Intrepid is apparently trying to make it worth your while to come in and break PvP.
The discussion starts about 35 minutes into the stream below, though you might want to watch earlier than that as MMORPG gameplay footage is included.