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]

The Stream Team: A first look at Occupy White Walls

Most times Massively OP’s MJ goes into a new game, she’s got a general idea of what to expect. Not For Occupy White Walls, however, she’s a blank canvas. How will this unique art game play out? Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a first look at…

What: Occupy White Walls
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Enjoy the show!

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Hands-on with mobile Old School Runescape, plus a chat with the Jagex devs

I experienced a couple firsts recently that you may not have expected from me, and they can both be summed up in two words: Old School RuneScape mobile. Why so unexpected? Well for one, you might not have expected me to try OSRS (can I call it that?) because I started playing RuneScape only recently; I had no nostalgic draw to the game back in that iteration. Two, I am not a mobile player. I just don’t play any games on mobile, preferring my gaming time to be at my PC. But hey, doing the unexpected can be fun, and I am all for new experiences! This experience included sitting down with Jagex’s Senior Communications Manager Jon Wilcox and Product Manager John Colgrave, who shared info and answered questions as we worked our way through the tutorial together.

Now the question is, how was the experience? Would I continue to play on mobile even though the full cross-platform play allows me to move my game seamlessly back to the PC whenever I want? That’s what we are here to answer.

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Pantheon fully reveals its last three classes

If you’re still figuring out what you’re going to play in Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, you’ve gotten the last of your options revealed. The last three classes of the game have been officially revealed now: Summoner, Wizard, and Enchanter. Both Summoner and Wizard take the roles of providing utility and magical damage, while Enchanters provide far less damage but are quite good at controlling crowds.

Obviously each class has different flavor, but you probably guessed the Summoner’s basic deal from the name of the class. It involves summoning.

The last batch of classes is happily announced in the most recent newsletter from the developers, which also looks eagerly forward to starting in on the next important milestone by showing off the game’s gallery of enemies.It’s also worth noting that all of the classes planned for launch will be available starting with the next test phase, so players will have plenty of chances to try out their classes of choice… assuming they’re in the test, of course.

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Ashes of Creation lays out its phased alpha roadmap, plans more hires this month

Ashes of Creation’s latest newsletter has a few bits of interest for those watching the game from afar. For starters, Intrepid says it’s now “officially passed 100 developers on the project” and plans to announce an addition 21 new hires in August.

And what are they working on? Alpha, of course. The studio says it counts “over 8500” folks testing alpha one; that’ll close once it hits 10,000. Moreover, the rest of alpha is being sorted out into different phases.

“Phase One of Alpha One, which will be accessible next month, will be focusing on the action side of combat, and will include modes of; Open World Battlegrounds, Castle Sieges and City Defense Horde Mode. This phase is designed to test the mechanics of our action side of combat, as well as, our castle siege systems, and adaptive AI mechanics in the Horde mode.”

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Interviewing the Bless team on the Assassin, merges, PvP, and concurrency as the patch goes live today

Bless Online is rolling out a hefty content update today as promised, including the Siege of Castra PvP battleground, the faction-based open-world Capital War, and of course, the sneaky Assassin class. We had a chance to speak with Neowiz – specifically, Lead Game Designer Junyoung Hwang, Combat Designer Seongil Ma, and Chief Creative Officer Jangchoel Rhee – about both the update and ongoing concerns in the game. Read on!

Massively OP: First, regarding the Assassin: I’ve yet to see a rogue class in an MMO that wasn’t overpowered in some way in PvP, and that goes double for a class newly added to the game – studios just can’t seem to stop themselves from making the new toon a bit too appealing. How is Neowiz working to avoid all that, while still making the class something people want to roll up as a new toon?

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The Coming Storm, er, comes to Dauntless today

Monster slaying romp Dauntless is taking its beta to the next level with today’s release of The Coming Storm. This fiercely hyped content update expands most parts of the game and introduces the Ostian faction with its own storyline and quests.

With the behemoth Koshai running rampant over the isles, players will need the help of this new faction — as well as the power of explosive grenades, because grenades solve any “big monster” threat if applied liberally. Today’s 0.5.0 patch is only the beginning of the fun, too, as Dauntless will be rolling out more content to go with this patch cycle, including more exotic gear and the Ostian Repeater ranged weapon.

“The Coming Storm delivers on our vision for the living, breathing and constantly evolving experience of Dauntless,” said Phoenix Labs CEO Jesse Houston in a press release. “It’s our ultimate goal to give the millions of Slayers playing Dauntless massive and impactful world-changing events, quests and challenges to sink their battle-hardened weapons into on a regular basis, with new and exciting updates always on the horizon.”

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Dual Universe lays out its roadmap through a 2020 release

Unlike some indie MMOs that keep an intentionally vague timeline of development, the team at Novaquark has mapped out the development and testing of Dual Universe from now through launch. Even better, the studio has announced that all Kickstarter backers of the sci-fi sandbox will be granted alpha access by the end of this year.

Alpha 1 is scheduled to dominate the rest of this year with world building, the ability to save designs, and harvesting. Alpha 2 will take place in the first half of 2019 with markets and character progression, followed by Alpha 3’s PvP combat and ship combat over the rest of that year. Then a much bigger beta test is going to arrive in the first half of 2020 with territorial warfare and a full galaxy to explore. Finally, the official launch is slated for the second half of 2020, complete with character customization and pets.

Dual Universe recently raised an additional $3.5 million to help fund the project, which makes the total budget to date $11 million. These new funds will be used to hire additional staff and “accelerate development.”

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Saga of Lucimia’s epic quests will take ‘time, effort, and teamwork’ to finish

What defines an epic adventure? This is the burning question that Saga of Lucimia is tackling this week, starting with the derisive analysis of current MMO questing as “grocery runs.”

Instead, the dev team has looked to larger adventures for inspiration, including the ring and shawls quests from EverQuest and the quest to destroy the One Ring in Lord of the Rings. This is the kind of scope and involvement that Saga of Lucimia is striving to attain.

“You’ll have your major quests that require you to form a group or be in a guild to complete. The ‘destroy the One Ring’ type of adventures and campaigns,” the team wrote. “And along the way you’ll branch off from time to time and work on side quests and adventures with other people who aren’t part of your main group […] But at the end of the day, the campaigns and adventures that we want players to explore in our world are those which require time, effort, and teamwork to complete.”

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Gran Skrea might be the indie MMO gem you’ve been seeking

Ever since launching on Steam early access back in June, the indie fantasy sandbox Gran Skrea Online has been doing its best to attract and keep players through a series of updates.

These patches, the most recent of which was on July 28th, added a six-hour PvP protection window, housing object permanence, an auction house cap, a limit to jail fines, an AFK mode, home teleports, more combat abilities, primary and secondary weapon options, and a guild collector’s tab.

YouTuber LazyPeon recently spent some time checking out this buy-to-play MMO and found that despite wonky combat and crude graphics, there’s something of a compelling game in the making here. Give it a look below!

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Fallout 76 won’t be on Steam, but it will carry your progress over from beta

Here’s something interesting about Fallout 76’s October beta: Players not only will have access to the full game, but their progress will also carry over into live. Think that’ll spurn a lot more interest in the test?

“Our current plan for the B.E.T.A. is it will be the full game and all your progress is saved for launch. We hope you join us!” Bethesda told fans.

While that’s pretty exciting, some enthusiasm for this upcoming post-apocalyptic online RPG has been dampened by the word that Fallout 76 won’t be available via Steam — at least at launch. You’ll only be able to access it through Bethesda’s own digital games platform, because you need yet another one of those on your desktop!

Source: PCGamesN, CNET. Cheers, Pepperzine!

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Warframe outlines melee revamp, channeling changes, and Nyx and Vauban tweaks

Warframe players who’ve been following the game’s development meta already knew that melee was due for a rework, but Digital Extremes brought some solid proof to the weekend livestream to show off, though the devs admit it’s “only halfway polished.”

“Like with the Secondary and Primary weapons earlier this year, all Melee weapons will be given a balance pass,” the dev recap of the stream explains. “The delay is a result of our plans to rework the melee system, which needs to be done first! Stance combos have been unified to require less memorization across all mods. Once you get a feel for the system, you should be able to apply it consistently across all weapons. [The] Channelling button has been replaced with a heavy attack button now, which is charged using the combo counter. Energy will no longer be consumed by channeling! The changes will change up the melee Meta, but it also comes with a radical buff to range and damage. Your expected ground and spin attacks are still executable – worry not!”

It sounds as if channeling in general (and everything associated with it) is getting a complete rework; moreover, Gas City is getting a visual and lore update, dual wielding will become more expansive, Nyx and Vauban are getting some buffs, and wall-hopping is being looked at. Plenty more is apparently coming this week – and don’t forget about the comic series!

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Chronicles of Elyria on character family influences and playable instruments

The latest production update from Chronicles of Elyria is going to make those of you who are super into detailed and meaningful character creation perk right on up. Elyria is a bit unusual in that characters can be linked to other characters through biological families, and those families influence where you’re “born” as well as what characteristics, appearances, and even religions you “grow up” with.

“Even if [you’re] wearing a disguise, the Child Contract records who you really are because your true genetics are used (your physical body is involved in baby-making). While the child created with the contract would only be aware of the identities their parents were using when they made the contract, their genetics will be based off of the True Identity. If you want to create secret children, you totally can, but they’ll still resemble you and not your disguise.”

There’s more to the dev blog, including a chunk on interaction with the world (like using tools to craft the elements of survival). That might someday include playable instruments too, though Soulbound says they “may not be playable at launch.”

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Gloria Victis’ latest patch introduces proper crop farming and camping placeables

This past weekend, Gloria Victis received what it’s calling one of its biggest updates ever; specifically, it allows players to add interactive objects to the world, everything from farming crops you tend yourself to tents and campfires.

“From now on, you can plant your seeds: vegetables, fruits, herbs, cereals or flax – the choice is yours. But you will have to take care of your plants in order to harvest decent crops: water them and protect from animals, weeds, negative effects of weather conditions and enemy raiders,” Black Eye Games explains. “Moreover, from now on you can place your own tent and campfire! Tents work as one-time personal spawnpoints, so they are a great tactical option for sieging enemy towns and castles. But be careful when selecting a spot for a tent – enemies can destroy it! The campfires, on the other hand, can be used as workshops for the recently introduced cooking crafting branch.”

The update also merges the EU servers (though that’s more because server capacity was increased than because of dwindling players), kicks off a new season of glory, and updates the guild control system. Black Eye Games has further said it’s considering “implementing [a] freebuilding system in the guild locations and housing system.”

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