Betawatch: New World is back in the old alpha

    
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WITH NEW HORIZONS TO PURSUE

It’s a whole New World all over again! And it is actually a new New World, to be clear; it’s back in alpha testing, yes, but this is the new version of the game and not the one that abruptly left testing a while ago. The headline says that it’s in the old alpha because it’s a humorous parallel to the title of the game, see. Get it? It’s funny! It’s… ah, let’s just get on to the other beta news.

Now you can head off to a whole old world… or, at least, a familiar one in the form of the list down below. Naturally, some of the items below might have headed into a new world of their own with a shift into a new testing phase or a surreptitious launch, and we’d appreciate if you let us know about that in the comments. It’s the friendly thing to do.

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: Closed alpha, 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”
Phantasy Star Online 2: Closed beta on Xbox One (PC version expected)
Project Genom: Closed alpha, servers offline for restructuring with SpatialOS
Project Gorgon: Early access beta
Prosperous Universe: Early access
Saga of Lucimia: Closed alpha
SamuTale: Closed alpha
Ship of Heroes: Alpha
Star Citizen: Backer alpha
Temtem: Early access
The Black Death: Early access alpha
The Cycle: Alpha, weekly test cycle
The Repopulation: Early access alpha
Torchlight III: Closed alpha
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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Godnaz
Reader
Godnaz

The game is suppose to launch within a few months and yet we know so little about about it’s mechanics or seen any gameplay in this new ‘direction’ the game is suppose to have.

We join 1 of 3 factions, help that faction grow by participating in PvE solo combat and group combat events and crafting. Once a faction settlement gains a certain tier of success it becomes eligible to attack by another faction and that’s about it.

With this lack of information the factions appear similar and not much makes one more interesting than the others at the moment. What bothers me the most is that with this close to a launch, even the close alpha testers are in agreement that New World is not close to ready or compelling enough for a launch.

If you are interested in New World, there is cause for concern.

Reader
silverlock

New World is not about making money for Amazon (although I’m sure they’d be happy if it did) it’s about showcasing AWS for games to other developers so that Amazon can get a cut of all that gamer money. In order for it to be a good demonstration they need a lot of people to play. Being a niche PvP title would not fulfill this purpose.

This is the real way Amazon makes money not buy selling stuff but by being a platform for people to buy and sell stuff. They want to be the middleman in every pie.

Random MMO fan
Reader
Random MMO fan

Since I cannot edit my original post I just wanted to add something. I understand that Jeff Bezos is a businessman and not a gamer and he does not understand the amount of self-sustaining user-generated content can MMORPG game generate if the PvP system is designed well in it. All the stories about all the drama that happened in EVE between large alliances – they are all thanks to lawless PvP areas that game has and the way those areas were designed. New World could be the same or even better (better in a sense of also allowing PvE players to enjoy game without forced PvP) and actually have large amount of always active players without any “kill some tentacle dude” annual patches to hold them.

I just wish someone would gift him a book like “Empires of EVE” which documents all the human player drama that went on between player-run alliances and which is like a sci-fi novel and not just like a collection of statistics. Maybe then he would care a little about games Amazon creates ;-) Well, who am I kidding, he still won’t care and still operate Amazon Games based on random survey numbers but just imagine if he did and if New World would be like better version of EVE (with safe territories for people who do not want to PvP), with AWS servers all used to support even larger scale of fights.

Reader
Sleepy

Yes, a world ruled by large corporations where individuals are meat for the grinder. You’d really think that would appeal to him.

Reader
Michael18

Thanks for reminding me of Empires of EVE! Had completely forgotten about that one.

I hope some day someone will come up with a good way of combining PVE and PVP play styles inside a single, shared virtual world – shoving off PVP to separate, unrelated instances as WoW, GW2, etc. are doing it doesn’t count. I think SWG was on a pretty good way, but maybe there are ways without the need for flagging. EVE at least is doing it, but that game is special is so many ways that I’m unsure if/what can be applied to other MMOs.

Reader
Robert Mann

I personally like the idea of separate territory, with rewards from both PvP and PvE territories being useful to the other preference.

I do believe there needs to be a solid sized no-combat area in transition, with other things involved to be done there… which still allows PvP against a person within ONLY if they have attacked somebody within so much time before (or after) entering and been out of combat for so long. I say this because we all know somebody will abuse a hard line of PvP/noPvP, especially since that exists in current games.

The reason why I think this setup can work is that it allows both types of play, yet clearly separates the two. There can be PvE style stuff in some of the PvP areas for the PvEvP people as well. Yet, for all that they are separate, there remains a reason to care and interact without being a jerk.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

The problem is, on the PvE side this attracts mostly the kind of player that despite preferring PvE finds that the possibility of PvP (for those that venture in the PvPvE gameplay), or at least interacting with PvP players (for those that don’t), enriches their game, while not being bothered by the fact the game has content and rewards that are basically locked away from them.

And on the PvP side it means a large part of the player base is permanently safe from any PvP action, which many PvP players find frustrating.

As a result I don’t think it works well, at least not for a game vying for mass appeal. You basically discard much of the PvE and PvP player bases, keeping mostly those close to the intersection of the two play styles.

Reader
Robert Mann

The point was doing something that works well enough for those who can handle not having everything handed to them as desired, not appeasing every person under the sun. The standard you are putting forth here simply means that NO GAME WILL EVER BE GOOD ENOUGH. Not a pure PvE game, not a pure PvP game, and not a mix.

There is nothing that will please everyone. People who want to be toxic and/or whine about that would be the very first people I ignored, if I was making a game. Simply put they are not going to be pleased with the result unless it is their ideal, and that’s merely going to continue the old and not-so-great status quo.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

You know, there is a reason EVE is often mentioned as a very good game to read about, but a bad one to play. Yeah, it creates great drama and conflict — but for most of the potential MMO players, actually taking part in that drama and conflict seems to be the polar opposite of fun.

Random MMO fan
Reader
Random MMO fan

If you would actually play this game you would be able to understand why some people say EVE is a bad game to play. You are ALWAYS free to avoid any ingame drama between corporations and alliances, doesn’t matter if you like PvP or PvE. The only reason why people say EVE is bad game to play is it gets boring to fly spaceships or stare at chat or market browser, sometimes people like to play as a walking characters and EVE does not allow this. Even for PvP players ship combat gets boring, they want to get out of ship and do things as walking characters, like walk around, emote at other players, play minigames as walking characters, flirt with each other, do RP, put some fancy cosmetics and show them off to other players (there are cosmetic skins for ships but ships are just soulless hunks of metal and people don’t bother to zoom in close enough to even notice different skins on ship so nobody really cares about those). This is also the main reason it never gained wide popularity – even if the high sec space was perfectly safe with no forced PvP at all there would not be significant amount of players.

New World could change it and become more popular than EVE and much more successful, using same exact design. Unfortunately this is not the goal of this game.

Random MMO fan
Reader
Random MMO fan

Just FYI, the New World developers released new video today where they talk about game.

It is both sad and funny to watch. For example they talk about “massive wars over territories – it’s pretty special”. Anyone in current alpha can visit the forts used for those instanced wars and see how tiny these are. There is nothing massive about them. You people who are not in current alpha are in for a lot of disappointment, doesn’t matter if you do not like PvP at all and just want to craft or gather stuff or live in (an instance shared with other players which will always look the same to any person from outside) a house ;-)

And no, I am not really trying to make fun of the game and developers, I am just very, very disappointed that a company lead by a person who has a net worth of $131 billion and who has a huge cloud service which would be amazing for scaling up huge battles has created this extremely generic MMORPG which is not better in any regard and worse in many aspects than many existing games.

Reader
Arktouros

It’s actually quite predictable because of all the reasons you’re disappointed in.

Amazon is notoriously ruthlessly run company. It expects results. This isn’t a “it’s done when it’s done” kinda company at work here. When they took the beta offline a year ago, they were probably told they have a year to get the game out.

That’s a year to add a non-existent PvE game to a game and come up with a solution to what they saw as the PvP problem. I mean nothing but “the Lost” in that video even existed in the game during the alpha. We clearly see what they have poured all of their time into. There was no time to come up with solving PvP or balancing things like free form building.

Making PvP a toggle basically removes PvP from the equation. It’s the brain dead easy solution. Don’t like PvP? Keep it off. Done. Nothing is fixed, nothing is balanced, nothing is changed you just can avoid the naked man running around with a two handed axe blaring out “Hip to be Square” over local voice comms trying to murder you now.

Similarly static buildings most likely reduce any issues they encountered during the PvE siege mechanic and pathing. The AI in the game was hilariously atrocious and got stuck on anything. I couldn’t even imagine any kind of AI assault on any kind basic circular building let alone advanced honeycombing/layering style tactics seen in most survival games. Remove free form building, and those problems disappear instantly.

It’s all just ruthless business when you get down to it. I’ve never understood why people think Amazon with it’s billions were a good thing. They made those billions squeezing every last possible ounce of work and effort they could get not just handing out blank checks.

Random MMO fan
Reader
Random MMO fan

I mean, Amazon expects a profit from this game, so logical assumption would be they would try to maximize it by attracting all kind of players with different kind of gameplay preferences… Especially if they wanted to see a long lasting game. What they are doing right now is simply irrational even from business point of view – the gameplay is so shallow I will bet anyone $10k that most people who have preordered the game will cancel preorder after the beta will be open for them. Any kind of players, even the ones who just want to live in their own pretty house or enjoy crafting. This is just stupid.

If they are not interested in making this game good – they should just cancel it before further ruining their reputation or spending more money on paying developers to support it and support servers used to run it. I highly doubt that few people who will not cancel their preorders or who will buy it after launch would bring them any profit.

P.S: After I finished game, I was redirected to Amazon survey page, where I found both sad and amusing that they were asking about favorite MMORPGs and one of the choices was EVE Online.