Now calling it a “prequel” to the MMORPG itself, Intrepid Studios announced today that Ashes of Creation’s Apocalypse battle royale title will hit early access on September 24th with persistent game servers up ’round the clock.
“Fight for your survival or die trying! Ashes of Creation Apocalypse is the standalone prequel to the upcoming epic MMORPG Ashes of Creation. It is both a testing ground for new systems and content in Ashes of Creation, as well as a unique multi-mode battle arena game where magic, steel, and chaos reign supreme. Starting this Tuesday, players will be able to take part in the action-packed Battle Royale mode, and fight to be the last one standing. Additional game modes like Horde and Castle Sieges will be available in future updates.”
Once again, this test will be free-to-play; all you’ll need is an Intrepid account. It’s aimed at multiple regions, including NA, EU, and Asia, with no region-locking. It does appear you’ll need to clean out your old client before patching up to the new version. The devs continue to note that cosmetics earned (and purchased) in Apocalypse will apply toward your MMO account as well.
A bit of backstory for you: Last November, Intrepid Studios announced that its battle royale mode, originally conceived and pitched as a quick-start PvP alpha, would instead launch as a standalone free-to-play BR mode called Apocalypse with the aim to test the MMORPG’s hybrid action combat system. According to the team, the first version of Apocalypse revealed necessary “architectural refactoring” and issues that required “rebuilding from the ground up,” and it went offline most of the spring and summer.
Then in August, Intrepid brought Apocalypse to Steam for a one-day F2P event whose negative reviews continued to show a split between MMORPG-centric Kickstarter donors and potential BR players, though the studio has today reiterated that the BR helps the MMORPG: “Every time you jump in and play Ashes of Creation Apocalypse with us, you help us with the iterative process towards building a better and more polished MMORPG.”
Our PvP columnist, Sam Kashani, took part in the test last month and found it full of potential – enough that he’s now watching the actual MMORPG much more closely.