Alphas & Betas Category

MMOs in various stages of testing and crowdfunding, playable and… not. Don’t forget to follow our Betawatch and Make My MMO columns for a weekly rundown. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

Dauntless counts 2M players since open beta, announces city-reshaping ‘Coming Storm’ expansion

Well now, here comes Dauntless with some nice big numbers to boast about from its open beta: Phoenix Labs has apparently counted 2 million players since the start of its free-to-play open testing. Not too shabby at all. And all those players are about to be diving into some brand-new content, an expansion called The Coming Storm that launches on August 9th.

“The Coming Storm begins when an Ostian Dreadnaught, bristling with industrial might and an indignant crew, crashes into Ramsgate, the central hub in Dauntless, reshaping the sprawling city and introducing players to a variety of new NPCs, stories, and quests. A new Behemoth, Koshai, the Sovereign of Thorns, stirs beyond the horizon. Members of the Ostian faction also bring with them new technology. Players will be able to craft and wield new gear and weaponry to take on the Behemoth threat – including a explosive new grenades and the first truly ranged weapon: the Ostian Repeaters.”

Yes, the existing hub – shown in the image up above – is getting a bit of an unplanned makeover thanks to the baddies. “Players will notice a distinct (and deadly) change to the Behemoth ecosystem in The Coming Storm as the introduction of Koshai causes the other beasts to evolve and change beyond their usual behavior and form,” Phoenix Labs says. “Expect a new spin of classic encounters and keep Slayers’ skills honed.”

Source: Press release

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Fractured pivots from global to regional servers as it pushes toward its Kickstarter goal

Quite often, you hear MMO gamers lament that their communities are artificially separated into different servers, with all of the problems that that entails. A single-shard server seems to be the ideal experience, and one that the upcoming Fractured was aiming to attain… until recently.

The developers posted an article this week explaining that while the original plan was to deploy Fractured on a single server, they received significant pushback from the community on this due to latency and regionalization issues. Looking at the world’s geography and ping speeds, the team has decided that it will eventually roll out Fractured on seven servers that will cover the globe. Additionally, Fractured will be released in Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and English.

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Fractured is hosting a livestream on crafting and building today

Want to know more about crafting and building in Fractured as the game has passed its 75% funding mark? Good news, you’ll have a chance to find out more about it live today as part of the game’s newest livestream. The stream starts at 4:00 p.m. EDT on the game’s streaming channel, so you can check it out, ask questions live, and do all of the things you normally enjoy doing through livestreams.

Assuming that what you normally enjoy doing isn’t disgusting. Please don’t be gross in stream chat.

There’s no scheduled run time, but you can imagine it’ll probably be about an hour of answering questions and leading into details about player-run towns. If that’s not what you care about, this likely won’t have a lot of interest for you… but for everyone else it should be plenty of fun information about making things.

Source: Official Site, press release. Cheers, Luvly.

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Colony simulation MMO Seed blasts you into space in its brand-new pre-alpha teaser

We’ve been keeping an eye on Klang Games’ MMO Seed since at least last year, when the studio revealed its single-shard simulation mechanics and use of SpatialOS. It looks as if the game is making some progress, as Klang has a fresh blog post up today with a “teaser” of the game’s current pre-alpha build.

The video shows tiny colony vessels shooting out from earth and setting up camp on other worlds as the humans spread out and build civilization from scratch, from tents to villages to big cities across the new planets. It’s cute and might remind you of a cross between The Sims and Spore, in an EVE Online-like setting, which won’t surprise you as its founders have CCP Games pedigrees.

The company further announced today that it’s raised another $8.95M in Series A investor funding, bringing its total investment to $13.95M.

As of autumn last year, external testing was planned for this summer; it’s not clear whether that’s been delayed or this teaser is a precursor to a test. A few months ago, the devs “no comment”-ed on the topic of release.

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Camelot Unchained nears beta as its crash rate drops to ‘acceptable’ levels

“From what we’ve seen so far, we’re in really good shape.”

Mark Jacobs hasn’t given us a firm start date for Camelot Unchained’s Beta 1 yet, but from the sound of his recent livestream, it’s getting really close.

The crash rate for Camelot Unchained has dipped into the “acceptable” range for a beta test, with the average player being able to stay in game for up to four hours without a crash. The team expects that this rate will improve even further for Beta 1, especially as it is trying to “break the build” by stressing the server and testing its capabilities.

Get the full report after the break, with the livestream starting at the 7-minute mark and the talk from Mark Jacobs at 16:40.

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Star Citizen backer took CIG to small claims court over his refund request – and lost

The Star Citizen refunds subreddit is often the home of big words and tall tales, but Redditor firefly212 did more than just talk: He actually tried to take Cloud Imperium to court over his refund request. Unfortunately for him, he lost in small claims court and the case has been sent to arbitration, as the judge apparently agreed with CIG that its retroactive policy regarding refund arbitration should apply even to donors and package-buyers who began contributing to the game before that policy existed.

“In mediation, CIG/RSI would not agree to refund the portion of my account not covered by the arbitration agreement. Though lawyers aren’t permitted, CIG/RSI lawyers drafted and submitted statements that were permitted. The judge declined to hear anything about the conscionability or lack of consideration in the TOS. Despite the top sentence on the TOS, CIG/RSI successfully argued that the arbitration clause should be applied to transactions even before the clause existed. CIG/RSI repeatedly argued that there is a playable game and that funds have been earned, but the judge did not rule that either. Following application of arbitration clause to transactions outside covered dates, court orders matter to arbitration, case is dismissed without prejudice.”

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Ashes of Creation’s subreddit has been taken over by Intrepid Studios

Concern and alarm has been raised among the Ashes of Creation community this past week as four members of Intrepid Studios, including CEO Steven Sharif, were granted moderation privileges for the AoC subreddit.

While not unheard of for a studio to be in control of a community subreddit, the potential conflict of interest usually prevents devs from moderating their own game’s community sites. What is far more usual, and what the Ashes of Creation community is now calling for, is that the developers be given special “flair” or tags on the subreddit but stripped of their moderation privileges. With the devs in charge, there is worry that censorship and shameless self-promotion will run rampant.

Steven Sharif addressed the situation with this post: “Yesterday, the owner of this sub Julius messaged me on Discord and offered to return the sub to our control in the hopes of giving the sub to a mod team that had the time to dedicate the tender love and care the sub deserved. I accepted, and will be including the volunteer mod team from the Ashes Discord in the moderation of this sub. With that, I will also become more active on the sub from a discussion standpoint and perhaps schedule an AMA as well.”

Source: Reddit. Thanks Bob!

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Make My MMO: Aria’s second closed beta, Star Citizen’s protest, and Crowfall’s engine on the market (July 15, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, we got our first hints of “emergent gameplay” in Star Citizen as a group of players took over a refueling hub and began blasting everyone who came near it out of the sky. Why? Oh, they’re not just griefers; they’re specifically protesting CIG’s backburnering of the Arena Commander mechanics. I suppose it got them some attention, but also now all the people whose alpha ships they blew up hate them rather than CIG.

Meanwhile, Legends of Aria launched its second closed beta, Pantheon unveiled its character creation system, Saga of Lucimia riled everybody up over its grouping stance, City of Titans posted an epic teaser, Shroud of the Avatar opened a new cash shop to fund the next season and began optional subs, and Fractured’s Kickstarter has leaped up to $88K of its $116K goal with 10 days to go.

Finally, Crowfall had a big week, as its studio, ArtCraft, announced a second studio to license Crowfall’s engine to other companies building MMOs; we chatted with the company’s J. Todd Coleman about it too. There’s a huge chunk of new guide videos out on the game now too.

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Reign of Guilds shows off environments, castles, and magic in latest dev blog

The latest dev blog for Russian indie dev Atlant Games’s upcoming Reign of Guilds has a veritable smorgasbord of detailed information about various facets of the game, ranging from the technical tools being used to create the open world to the game’s magic system and more. A great deal of the blog post is devoted to discussing the design and creation of the game’s open world, detailing the tools the devs are using in order to generate the world’s mountains, forests, streams, and other natural splendors. It also takes a look at the first of the game’s counties, called Daerkunn, which the blog post says is about 50% complete.

The dev blog also delves into the construction of the castles that will play key roles in the game’s guild-vs-guild warfare. From simple wooden outposts to grand stone citadels, the team is aiming to provide a diverse array of locations for players to kill each other over. In addition, the post highlights some of the elemental magic players will be able to wield as well as detailing the game’s inventory and trading systems. If you’re interested in checking out this behind-the-scenes look at Reign of Guilds’s development, you can check out the full post over on the game’s official site.

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The MOP Up: Star Trek Online’s DS9 expansion gets a console release date (July 14, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from ElswordEVE OnlineSoulworker OnlineLeague of LegendsRealm RoyaleSurvived ByEverQuest IIProsperous UniverseBlack Desert Mobile, and Star Trek Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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Multiplayer survival sandbox Outpost Zero hits Steam early access

The super pretty survivalbox Outpost Zero has planted roots in Steam’s early access program. It’s currently $15.99; tinyBuild and Symmetric Games say it’s a fully featured version of the game, though the devs are still working on more mechanics and balancing, particularly in regard to PvP and base raiding. The full launch is expected early next year.

“This Early Access version is a fully featured version of the game. Animals, Pirate Raids, PvP combat, Base Building, Corporations, and Bot AI are all implemented to create a full cohesive survival experience. We will continue to polish and improve these systems over the course of Early Access release. […] In the final version of the game we will be introducing many more powerful and fun Bot AI classes to craft, many additional Pirate Raid mechanics, Flying Vehicles, Massive Battle Mechs, several additional game modes (like horde mode and team vs team base defense), and of course a ton more content, from Equipment and Weapons, Structure types, Animal classes, and more.”

Massively OP’s MJ has been touring the game this summer as part of her deep-dive into multiple survival games for her ongoing column; you can check those streams out below, along with the official quickstart tutorial and trailer.

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Betawatch: Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen kicks off character creation (July 13, 2018)

It’s important in an MMO to feel like you own the bundle of stats and spells that you lovingly refer to as a character. Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen has taken a step toward improving that feeling with the first version of its character creator, just patched into the game’s test client. Hooray for making characters!

Meanwhile, Defiance 2050 has moved out of its test phase and into full-on relaunch territory. Hooray for launches!

There has been some other beta movement, too. Some of it is rather silly. Cases in point:

So, somewhat silly, but rather quiet. Not a bad week! We’ve got our usual list of games in development just below, and as always we appreciate anyone letting us know if something swapped phases without us noticing down in the comments. It’s very kind of you.

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Bless Online outlines next week’s Migra Turis update, plus balance and combat changes to come

It’s Friday, and that means the requisite Bless Online producer’s letter. Fans of the game who’ve stuck with it through the rocky start will want to know that Neowiz has several tweaks on the way. Next Wednesday’s update specifically targets Migra Turis; it’ll add a new elite level of difficulty, complete with new level 45 heroic weapon from the last boss.

Everything else is still flagged “coming soon”; that includes the PvP balance changes, optimization, the doubled dungeon drop rate, and the combat targeting revamp.

“Many of you have been asking to have the option to switch targeting mode for different classes. As such, we have been working to bring you more options. In the next change to the targeting mode options, you will be able to switch between modes with all classes except the Berzerker and Paladin, which will still be locked to action targeting and tab targeting respectively. As the Paladin needs to use tab targeting to effectively heal and the Berzerker skills were optimized for action targeting, we have not yet been able to give both mode options to these classes that resulted in a positive player experience. We will instead be adding a target tracking function for the Berzerker (and the other classes as well) that we think will address many of your issues.”

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