Betawatch: Crowfall is heading on to beta land

    
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However you want it.

Oh, Crowfall, you’ve missed many a milestone for your planned test phases, but there’s good news. The next major patch is apparently when the developers consider the game to be in full alpha testing, and beta testing after that seems to be fully on track. Even more heartening is the fact that the next major patch is making the game much more MMO-flavored than its more limited tests before. Tasty.

Other beta news? Hey, sure!

There. We good? Nah, we’ve still got a whole list of stuff just below for those of you with a hankering for a bit more beta stuff. We’ve cleared away some titles that appear to have fallen into an abyss of non-development, so if you notice something now missing or a title or two that itself should be banished to the same abyss, feel free to let us know 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
Arcfall: Pre-alpha
Ashes of Creation: Alpha one phase one; Apocalypse early access
Bless Unleashed: Open beta
Camelot Unchained: Closed beta one
Children of Ur: Open alpha, further development merged with Eleven
Chronicles of Elyria: Pre-alpha
Crowfall: Backer pre-alpha, alpha now expected in 2020
Cube World: Closed beta since September 23rd
Dauntless: Open beta
Dark and Light: Early access
Dual Universe: Alpha
ECO: Early access
Eleven: Closed alpha
Ever, Jane: Open beta
Kurtzpel: Closed beta
Gloria Victis: Early access on Steam
Guardians of Ember: Open beta
Hearthstone Battleground Mode: Open beta
Inferna: Early access
Life is Feudal: Early access
Line of Defense: Early access, removed from Steam
Magic: Legends: Beta testing in 2020
New World: CBT in April 2020, launching May 2020
Occupy White Walls: Early access
Osiris: New Dawn: Open beta
Outlaws of the Old West: Early access
Pantheon: Backer pre-alpha
Pathfinder Online: Subscription “early enrollment”
PlanetSide Arena: 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

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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Blaaznar

Crowfall, more like craft-all mrite? ( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉)

cambruin
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cambruin

Well, as a former Shadowbane vet I was really looking forward to it. But now it’s all just taking too long and my interest has waned. I know that’s entirely on me, 5 years development is more than acceptable, but in a market this saturated I’m beginning to wonder why devs announce games so early.

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angrakhan

Because crowd funding. Kinda hard to get the crowd to fund your game if they don’t know it exists.

cambruin
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cambruin

Good games launched way before crowd funding became a thing. But devs wanted more flexibility, they didn’t want publishers breathing down their necks. So devs, regardless of the quality of their studio and their product, turned to crowd funding. That whole market, having been the prime platform for many devs to gather funds, resulted in… what exactly? Broken products, broken promises? I must admit, I don’t ever pay attention to crowd funding, so tell me which succesfull MMOs it led to.

I understand the need for exposure, but as has been stated by others before, I don’t think this whole crowdfunding thing works for what is supposed to be a AAA product taking 5+ years of development.

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Arktouros

Well now that New World is dead on arrival…Crowfall February update you say…

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Giskard Daneel

I’m really looking forward to New World. Why is it DOA for you?

Kaladinar
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Kaladinar

He is talking about the 180° turnaround they just made from a sandbox PvP game to an RvR game that’s actually more focused on PvE. Except they don’t even have dungeons or raids…

Sadly it seems to be stuck in limbo as Amazon got too scared to go through with what they had in the Alpha (which many testers loved already) and thus turned it into a weird mishmash of features.

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Arktouros

Yea. I just don’t get who this game is going to appeal to.

Like the PvE player who is “NEVER PVP!” is going to be turned off by the fact that in order to own a town you make yourself vulnerable to PvP so that’s a huge element of the game that will be blocked off to them. It also basically eliminates the only real source of PvE content they talked about with PvE horde sieges. There were literally like 15 different types of mobs before in the game most of which had horrible, exploitable AI. Even the PvP crowd was complaining about how non-existent the PvE was in the game once we were forced to do it. PvP players know how flagging is going to work out (we’ve seen it before) and basically no one is going to flag. This leaves PvP to only sieges, which why bother?

Just another in an ever increasing list of bait and switch titles. At least this one had the courtesy to do so before launch so we could get those refunds in.

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Giskard Daneel

Interesting. I actually prefer the change.

I’ve been curious since I first heard about New World, as I love sandbox mmorpgs. I’ve played my share of pvp only mmos and really enjoy when they have a big sandbox, but my experience is open, unrestrained pvp just doesn’t work in these games. Eg, I really loved exploring Darkfall’s open world, but the ganking culture was just not sustainable. PvP games NEED PvEers to survive. They need people interested in gathering and crafting. Otherwise, you might as well just have a MOBA.

So I was sceptical NW would work when I learned it would be open pvp only, and very happy when I heard about the change. Seems somewhat similar to old-school SWG, when you could choose when you wanted to pvp and when you wanted to pve.

I’m not saying it’ll work, but I think it has a better chance of doing so now that it will NOT force pvp. I’m really looking forward to trying it out.

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Arktouros

The problem with your thinking is you’re thinking in absolutes and black and white. This person does crafting or gathering, they are a PvE. This person does combat, they are a PvP.

The reality is competitive players in PvP environments do what they gotta do. For example during New World if we needed something we would send everyone out to get it. Ten guys on, everyone needs to bring back 500 branches so we can make enough charcoal for bullets for PvP. However that engineer that takes that 5000 branches and make charcoal and into bullets is going to be out there fucking shit up in PvP just the same as the rest of the people in the group.

So this idea that you need PvErs or “sheep” (eyeroll) is always this really odd one borne out of limited to no experience with how PvP or PvP organizations work.

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Giskard Daneel

We’ll need to agree to disagree on that one. ;-)

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Giskard Daneel

Oops, the above posted and locked in before I could edit in the below:

I should say I didn’t mean they need people who are ‘solely’ PvErs, though these should be able to play the game. Any more than I’d expect pvpers to never want to craft. No, I’m not thinking in black and white. But I do think most players will lean pretty heavily one way or the other and just want to dabble a bit the other way. And when someone who leans towards pve wants to log in and hunt down some resources, they don’t want that hour to be spent with running from gankers and coming back frustrated.

There were high hopes for open pvp in Darkfall (on multiple launches), but completely open pvp (except within a small radius of cities) slowly killed the game; those who wanted to mostly pve were simply driven out.

Side note: I recall having a lot of fun with toggling pvp on and off in SWG the first year or so after launch. Being able to decide when to participate and, when not doing so, being able to carry on with pve exploring (one of the great things of a new sandbox mmo with HUGE worlds — and SWG has several) and a bit of crafting was a lot of fun. I was just a dabbler in pvp and never good at it, but I enjoyed taking part now and again when Moeba (sp) was under siege. But NGE killed that game for me. And I digress…

In my opinion, there simply aren’t the numbers to support a sandbox mmorpg — especially one that require heavy crafting and has slow travel time — if it’s completely open pvp. Pvp dabblers will be put off; there aren’t enough people who prefer games with full on pvp to support a player driven economy.

In any event, that was a bit of a ramble. Thanks for explaining why you think it’s DOA. Personally, I thought it was DOA when I learned it was full-on open PVP, but I now think it has a chance to be the Mmorpg I’ve been waiting for.

Time will tell.