Betawatch: It’s a Crowfall sort of week in alpha-beta-land

Betawatch: It’s a Crowfall sort of week in alpha-beta-land

Considering that this past week was the fabled E3 week, you might have expected something else to just keep throwing out beta updates, but between item rewards, food, and warfare imbalancesCrowfall just would not drop out of the news cycle in the beta sphere. Good for you, Crowfall! Seriously, none of it is bad news, so that’s good.

Other beta news did happen this week, though.

Oh, betas! They’re just hilarious. Laugh with us as you head down to the list we have below for games in testing, and let us know if something jumped test phases along the way without proper notification. You’ll be repaid in a check for a defunct currency used during a brief period of civil unrest in Brussels around 1973. These checks will not be honored.

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
Arcfall: Pre-alpha
Ashes of Creation: Alpha one phase one
Bless Unleashed: Closed beta
Camelot Unchained: Closed beta one
Children of Ur: Open alpha, further development merged with Eleven
Chronicles of Elyria: Pre-alpha
Citadel: Forged with Fire: Early access
Crowfall: Backer pre-alpha
Cube World: Closed alpha
Dauntless: Open beta
Dark and Light: Early access
Divergence Online: Alpha
Dual Universe: Alpha
ECO: Early access
Edengrad: Early access
Eleven: Closed alpha
Ever, Jane: Open beta
Kurtzpel: Closed beta
Gloria Victis: Early access on Steam
Global Adventures: Closed beta
Guardians of Ember: Open beta
Legends of Aria: Early access
Life is Feudal: Early access
Line of Defense: Early access, removed from Steam
New World: Closed alpha
Occupy White Walls: Early access
Osiris: New Dawn: Early access
Outlaws of the Old West: Early access
Pantheon: Backer pre-alpha
Pathfinder Online: Subscription “early enrollment”
PixARK: Early access
Project Genom: Closed alpha, servers offline for restructuring with SpatialOS
Project Gorgon: Early access beta
Prosperous Universe: Early access
SamuTale: Closed alpha
Ship of Heroes: Alpha
Star Citizen: Backer alpha
The Black Death: Early access alpha
The Cycle: Alpha, weekly test cycle
The Repopulation: Early access alpha
Torchlight Frontiers: Closed alpha, no NDA
Valiance Online: Alpha
WoW Classic: 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 launch, even if they appear to have set up a permanent residence in a shed called early access.

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I think Crowfall is going to surprise some people. No, it is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think there will be enough game there for it to have something for almost any gamer.

I hope that it does well enough to get that second nice chunk of money from sales to continue development and really let them have a strong second act. Given a chance to grow, Crowfall really could turn out to be something special.

It could suck too. The future is unknown.

My opinion is it has the best blend of both new and old ideas and a unique look at the “Big Picture” on how all these separate game systems in MMO’s work together.

The idea of battling over crumbling dying worlds that end (and new ones that begin) offering various levels of PVP tolerance is just GENIUS. I expect the system of world generation to be a little rough at launch but will be one of the things they can improve in the long run.

The idea of playing an eternal being (or Crow in this case) is not a new one. Some might even call it a blatant rip off. (EVE) But being able to occupy different bodies just like you occupy different ships in EVE is a GAME CHANGER. You will be able to find or BUILD better bodies than the stock starter models for your Crow to inhabit. In fact you will probably need a regular supplier of bodies if you are the fighting type.

Now for the shocker. You wont want or need a bunch of alts because of this system.
You want to play something different? You grab a different body and play something different. Your skills will vary and you will be better at one race and class at the beginning, but you can adjust training and train for something new at any time. Just like training for different ships in EVE, you will be training up for a new body or class instead. You started as a Centaur Knight, but now you want to play a Nethari Assassin, just adjust your training to start working on the new stuff and off you go.

That is just one example of the higher “Big Picture” kind of thinking I was talking about.