The VR MMORPG Ilysia had a pretty rough start to its closed beta. After multiple delays, the closed beta finally kicked off but without its tentpole freeforge classes feature in tow. With closed beta now officially wrapped up, the devs have collected several player questions and answered them in a video with creative director Art Fogle.
Many of the questions expressed concern about Ilysia’s testing phase rationale and its march forward, with a couple of questions asking why the first closed beta wasn’t extended and just what the intention of its second beta phase really was. In summary, Team 21 felt that the game’s servers needed a more substantial hit, with Beta 1 primarily focused on stressing the game’s backend and Beta 2 focused on bug fixing as well as bringing back “the remnants of freeforge.”
Readers will recall that the studio cut freeforge classes from Beta 1 without informing players; that’s now being chalked up to concerns over PvP balancing and the devs simply not reading the room. “We get into Beta 1, the sentiment I see is, ‘I would have much rather have freeforge like we had [in Alpha 2] or better than have PvP,'” Fogle admits.
So where does the game go from here now that Beta 2 is done? The game’s self-described “real early access,” which has a few goals in mind like granting Team 21 the ability to hire more devs, opening the game up to more people in order to get more feedback, and generally making the game more public.
At one point Fogle stresses that Ilysia isn’t being rushed by some outside investor or publishing group, and further acknowledges how “scary” early access often sounds. “I 100% get everybody’s hesitation; [early access] always sounds like people are just throwing something up and ditching. That’s not our intention,” said Fogle. “I know beta was rough, but we fixed it so quickly, we got so much done when it came to bug fixing, so I’m hoping that everybody sees that and knows that that’s exactly how [early access] is going to be for us. […] We are all about trying to polish as much as we can.”