Ashes of Creation promises to sell more alpha keys, heads back to the studio

    
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Like bees spying a honey buffet, Ashes of Creation fans are buzzing about this coming June’s non-NDA Alpha One test. In this month’s creative director’s letter, Intrepid Studios’ Steven Sharif updated followers on the development of this test — and how you might still gain access to it.

Sharif said that additional keys are likely to go on sale next month. “I am happy to announce that we will be reintroducing Alpha One options sometime in May,” he wrote. “More information on this will be posted to our website around the end of April.”

He did give very “stern warnings” that this test won’t be a game: “You will be seeing a work-in-progress, with bugs and still vast optimizations yet to be done. Additionally, many systems and features are still yet to be implemented or are done so in a very core fashion.” Sharif went on to say that there’s a good chance that sieges might make an appearance in the alpha thanks to hard work on the part of the devs.

In the meanwhile, the team is transitioning back to Intrepid’s relatively new studio for work, and Sharif revealed that there are plans to grow the team to around 150 people by the end of 2021.

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AGx-07_162

I don’t really understand what people are griping about. The game is in Alpha. If you don’t like that they’re charging for keys, don’t buy them. It’s in ALPHA. I don’t quite see why you’d want to play that anyways.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

Man, that game better be REALLY good to have a sub in today’s MMO economy.

Like, if you want a sub and a cash shop, then the content faucet better be flowing like milk and honey in Canaan.

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Rndomuser

Giving option to buy alpha one access again is a good thing. To people who think paying for alpha access is wrong -you don’t really have to do this and can just wait for a final version of game. Also, if they allowed free sign ups for Alpha the way Amazon did – some people would create many email acccounts to sign up for it just to resell the access to others, the way that already happened with New World. Would you rather pay some random reseller for an alpha access key or pay money directly to developer who is more trustworthy?

new world key.PNG
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2Ton Gamer

I get the old school mentality here of players used to be rewarded with being allowed the chance to alpha test and so it’s a distinct turn off for those with that mindset, but things have changed and in the current climate, people will gladly pay money to do it. This is a marketing ploy and also a way to earn more money. I don’t see anything wrong with it, especially limiting how many can get the keys and applying NDAs. Just because something has changed doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a worse change. I suppose those who wanted to get a chance to test it for free can be annoyed, but I think if it was so bad they would have trouble selling those Alpha keys which obviously isn’t happening. I for one will not be paying to do this alpha, but maybe I will for beta.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

This is not a new trend, unfortunately, so the objection isn’t to “change.” It’s to bad monetization.

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Strixxx

Some people also pay to support the game/company they want to succeed. This is a way for fans to do this, and at the same time get to play the game early and get perks/game time etc when the game releases. I see nothing wrong with this. P2W shops in current MMORPGS is a waaaay bigger issue.

And are you ignoring that fact that the alpha sales allows the company to invest into new systems for their game? Why is this bad?

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Solaris

Add to that this company seems to know what it’s doing. You can see the results of their crowdfunding. They have undeniable, top tier talent on this team. It’s a real dev studio (soon to be up to 150 people, not a team of 5 guys working day jobs and on MMO on their spare time). The game seems to be coming along fairly quickly. I’ve been nothing but impressed since Day 1 with their vision and progress. I guess the BR thing was controversial but they are actually using data and assets in the siege for Alpha. This is the one MMO in development that looks like it will actually be a success.

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Sorenthaz

Makes sense to open Alpha One up to more folks if needing more testers + having some setbacks that delays things. Hopefully they are able to swiftly tackle the issues that cropped up.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Man it’s weird that early testing for MMO’s has gone from a core group of volunteers that were often jealously guarded because the quality of their ability to test games and the feedback they provided was valued…to just straight up paying them to do early testing that folks were once rewarded for.

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Sorenthaz

Kind of painting alpha testing in an overly glamorous fashion there. Maybe that applied to specific games like WoW but in most cases it’s often been either random selection or reserved to friends of friends and family or such. It wasn’t really ever a “reward”.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

In the early days, this was how things work if my memory serves. The pre-WoW days and whatnot. Beta’s have become marketing tools and companies are realizing more and more than they can get people to pay them for the “privilege” of besa testing.

Before this change there were often, again if memory serves, pretty guarded “core tester” lists within studios.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

It was most definitely a coveted reward. I remember having to fill out elaborate surveys to get considered. MMOs would run things like writing contests for precious alpha keys. It was only a matter of time before greed took over the studios, but we shouldn’t pretend it was always like that.

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Matthew Yetter

I’m not sure that it’s always greed, really. The whole way that games get financed has changed as well. Fewer big investors willing to pony up money, rubbing against higher demands on the player base’s part for what they expect in a game (which means higher development costs). To even get the game developed in the first place, the studios are having to find creative ways to fundraise.

What I am liking about Sharif and the AoC team is that they’re so up front about what’s going on. They’re level of communication is pretty remarkable. Especially when compared to outfits like the folks at Chronicles of Elyria or Star Citizen.

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P Jones

Not really. Sharif is just slicker at spinning things than Walsh ever will be. He knew he would always sell more keys and just created an artificial scarcity. The guy made millions in MLM. He knows how to spin. Remember, when this thing started we were assured that he needed zero money to bring the game to launch. He could fully find the game. That’s what he claimed.

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Rndomuser

What I am liking about Sharif and the AoC team is that they’re so up front about what’s going on. They’re level of communication is pretty remarkable.

It is. Steven Sharif himself posts comments on YouTube and official Discord, something that some developers do not do. They also allow various criticism of the game and various features – you can criticize everything about it, from delays to their monetization approach to refunds in any place like official Discord and forums and official subreddit, without your comments being removed, I know because I have done it. This is a HUGE difference compared to companies such as CSE, which has the worst communication with customers I have ever seen especially when it comes to critique.

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Strixxx

It’s not greed if the earnings they make through alpha sales goes into investment of the game?

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Solaris

I paid for a UO beta disc. I think it cost $20 or something. Of course now some games want $10k. So there’s that.

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Barnoc N'Draak

I have seen posts elsewhere on the internet with people asking for recommendations on a new MMO to buy into early access for.

I do not understand this mindset.

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Dro Gul

Games are never better than when they exist in a persons dreams.

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Katzvariak

This is next level shit right here.
Instead of paying a company or an individual to DO QA for them, they let players buy access to do QA for them. kekw

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Sorenthaz

That’s become the norm for at least five years now.

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Meanie

I worked with a guy not that long ago who swore he had some secret relationship with Microsoft where he was testing games and giving feedback, they would send him messages referring to him by name and though it all may be true he also saw and referred to it as if it was a “job” and not just him doing free labor for a company.

I honestly think this kind of thing also can prey on that, where people feel special just for having participated.

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Solaris

That program did exist. Not sure if it’s still a thing though.

Leo
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Leo

so you can pay to do alpha testing for them