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]

Crowfall Q&A talks about Eternal Kingdoms and next playable archetypes

The Crowfall community has no end of questions for the ArtCraft team, and ArtCraft has no end of time to answer them. Actually, today ArtCraft only has a little under eight minutes, but hey, that still is enough time to cover some ground.

In a new commuity Q&A video, Creative Director J. Todd Coleman and Design Lead Thomas Blair tackle several topics raised by the community, including how campaign locking works and what restrictions will be placed on adding points of interest in one’s Eternal Kingdom. The devs said that the coming big update, Temple War, will be engineering-heavy, so as a result the next archetype released will use as many pre-existing tech tools as possible to keep development time down. This means that we’re more likely to see the Templar than the Assassin or Frostweaver.

Check out the Q&A after the jump!

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Ascent: The Space Game formally launches from early access today

Players of Ascent: The Space Game have no doubt grown accustomed to the game being in early access, along with approximately every other title. Now the indie sandbox MMORPG is moving out of early access and into the waters of launch; if you’ve been leery about jumping into the game while it’s still not in a launch state, now is the time to step in and start playing — especially if you like your sandboxes to be more in the “let’s work together to shape a potentially unfriendly world” vein rather than “let’s shoot one another because there’s no rule against it.”

What prompts the launch? Two facts: completion and money. A post on the game’s official forums on the state of the game reveals that the game is in a very good place, but the company is struggling. “There is no chance the company will fold or the game will end (I still run it on a test server at home and it’s fine. I could operate it for you with NO income),” solo developer James Hicks writes, “but there is also no chance I will be 100% full time on the game any more in May or June if we can’t FINALLY get some press traction and make some significant sales.”

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Run-and-gun permadeath platformer StarBreak launches in May

What would it have been like if you could have played the side-scrolling platformers from the 1980s and 1990s with tons of other people? We might have a glimpse into this strange slice of alternate history when StarBreak launches next month.

StarBreak is a 2-D run-and-gun platformer that also happens to be massively multiplayer. The conceit is that players will be “sparks” that can inhabit humanoid shells and explore alien worlds until those bodies are destroyed. So yes, there’s permadeath, but the game designers promise that advancement comes quickly and unlocking new shells for future runs is part of the fun (it reminds us of Realm of the Mad God in that respect). The team hopes that players will naturally group up to tackle monstrously huge alien bosses and stick to safety in numbers.

Currently StarBreak is wrapping up its beta test period in anticipation for a May 10th launch on Steam. You can watch its trailer after the jump to get a feel for the title and its backstory.

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Worlds Adrift walks down the fashion runway

Cosmetics are serious business, people. And lest you think we’re joking, we really are not: Players obviously care deeply about how their characters look in MMOs. Making an outfit that looks unique and striking while speaking to the personality and preferences of the player for some is a major game goal.

Worlds Adrift hears you, fashionistas, and Worlds Adrift cares. The dev team posted a blog talking about the different customization options coming to the MMO’s wardrobe. Clothing can be found and crafted, and each piece can be worn by either gender. It also sounds like there’s going to be a nice variety present: “Pirates, engineers, traders, hunters, and explorers should all have relevant clothing pieces to choose from at the start of the game but if they want to stand out from the crowd they are going to have to get exploring and discover new items.”

Feast your eyes on the fashion of Worlds Adrift after the jump!

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The Stream Team: Another round of Atlas Reactor alpha

It’s been a while since MassivelyOP’s MJ dived into Atlas Reactor, the match-based sci-fi PvP game. With the open alpha closing soon, this is her chance. How many things have changed since her last battles?  Tune in live at 4:00 p.m. for the latest peek into…

What: Atlas Reactor
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 11th, 2016

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Bless Online strives to balance its PvE and PvP communities

This past weekend the Bless Online dev team sat down with the community in Seoul to talk about the state and future of the game. Wading through the translation of the event, the gist seems to be that there’s been some discontent by players regarding some of Bless’ PvP features, and the dev team is working to remedy that.

Basel Gorge and the Siege of Strasbourg appear to be the two biggest hotspots of controversy. The team is adjusting both to handle the proportional interest by the players and to up the drop rate. Concern is being given to balancing the game’s PvP and PvE offerings as well.

An update is on its way that will increase Bless’ level cap to 50 and add a new species and region to the game.

Source: Bless Online. Thanks to Daniel for the tip!

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Derek Smart is pulling Line of Defense from Steam over review-bombing

In response to a question about Line of Defense’s status on Steam, developer Derek Smart (yes, that Derek Smart) has told players that he has decided to pull the game from Steam.

“My reasons for moving the game are very simple. I am tired of the noise, the attacks, the harassment, the distractions here on Steam,” he writes. “Steam has become too big for Valve to be able to effectively police every aspect of it and where anti-social misfits reside. They know this, the Steam community knows this, and we the developers and publishers, know this.”

He cites “review bombing” and a lack of developer control over the “#1 source of harassment: the front facing Steam store page” in the form of review comments and ratings. The game’s Steam reviews currently stand at 122 negative to 21 positive.

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Livelock reveals its final character, Catalyst

Livelock has revealed its final character out of its lineup of robots, and she’s not going into battle alone. Not just in the sense that the game is a cooperative shooter, either; Catalyst goes into battle with a small group of drones under her control that can serve a variety of functions, from perimeter defense to straight offensive rushes.

On a whole, Catalyst is the most support-oriented of the three playable characters, serving to coordinate and organize the other playable characters while keeping the battlefield lively. You can check her out in action with the trailer and screenshots below.

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Project Gorgon introduces player vendor stalls

There are plenty of ways to sell items to other players in Project Gorgon already, but there are some situations not covered by the current option. Suppose you have a bunch of crafted goods that you want to sell off in short order: You want high visibility to get people’s attention but short availability to encourage impulse buys. In other words, you want the new vendor stalls that are being introduced to the game, rentable NPC vendors that allow for mass sales for a limited time.

Vendors can be rented by players a day at a time, with each day costing more money if requested within 30 days of a previous rental. Players can customize decorations and names for the stall, limit specific items to only being visible to certain players, and even receive notes and feedback from others browsing the stalls. It’s an elaborate system that allows for a short-term sale for mercantile players while giving players the feel of an in-game flea market for those who like to hunt for deals and curios.

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The Black Death starts Steam early access next week

What imaginative little boy or girl doesn’t occasionally escape into the fantasy of being a grubby peasant during one of the worst pandemics in human history? Until time travel is perfected to send us back to the grand times only seen in Monty Python documentaries, we’ll have to content ourselves with playing around in the virtual much when The Black Death hits early access on April 19th.

The survival sandbox is coming along, with a recent update adding three classes, better optimization, combat improvements, and a city arena. Hey, if you’re already dying of the plague, why not fight to the death for the crowd’s entertainment? Truly, those were great times.

The developers put out a new video showing off The Black Death’s progress and what players can expect to see when they enter early access next week. Check out this pre-release update tour after the jump!

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Gloria Victis patch balances weapons and adds armor penetration

The combat in Gloria Victis is a big part of the game, so it makes sense that the developers are taking their time to balance it just right. The most recent patch adjusts the damage and balance of several weapons while also introducing armor penetration to the game, making for a better overall combat experience. Unless you’re feeling very secure in chain armor when someone starts smacking you with a mace; that’s probably not improving your feelings about combat.

The patch also introduces several quality of life fixes for the game, including auto-closing doors in keeps and towns along with a more unified set of environmental interactions. There are also new NPC enemies to slay down toward the south, which is especially valuable for those who manage to claim the Lord’s Wrath Abbey. It’s all about quality of life, or in the case of weapons, quality of tools to end it.

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The MOP Up: Demons invade Skyforge (April 10, 2016)

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!

This past week Skyforge shared some of the workings behind its worldwide demonic invasion, Diablo II got a surprise patch, the 2016 Olympics welcomed esports, and Saga of Lucimia shed some light on its darkness system. Read up on these stories and more after the break!

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H1Z1: King of the Kill adjustments highlight beta process

A new H1Z1: King of the Kill producer’s letter is a prime example of how the testing period of development often goes. Like mechanics at an auto shop, devs often have to hoist a title on the rack, remove parts that aren’t working, and replace ideas with better ones.

The letter highlights some of the issues that the game has been having, from fog being too foggy to bugs that are causing delays in the next cycle of testing. The team also explained why it made the decision to yank all vehicles from King of the Kill’s Box of Destiny mode — and it’s weirdly hilarious.

“We received lots of feedback saying that it was fairly obnoxious to have cars flying all over the place, running into you, along with all of the other things that were happening,” Daybreak said. “We really feel like the experience is better without them for now.  In the future we are looking at revamping the box of destiny and will have a better plan for the role vehicles will play there.”

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