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]

Camelot Unchained passes ‘send more programmers’ stretch goal

Camelot Unchained just announced that it’s passed its “$3,900,000 – Send more programmers” stretch goal, which enables City State Entertainment to hire “two additional mid-level, gameplay-focused programmers for the team” and further expand the core programming team beyond the game’s original plan. That ought to come in handy since the devs are currently in a hard crunch in prep for beta 1.

The game’s next goal — at the $4,025,000 mark — should make the roleplayers happy; it’ll pay for a huge number of non-combat animations for the game, including “dancing, racial idles, [and] class-based taunts.”

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Darkfall: Rise of Agon is now in development

Are you interested in a Darkfall reboot? No, not the official one that rewrote the game’s core structure, but something throwing the game back closer to its original incarnation. Big Picture Games announced today that it has acquired the rights from Aventurine, and Darkfall: Rise of Agon is moving forward in development, with fans already encouraged to sign up for alpha testing of the new old version.

This comes a month after the announcement that fan-based remake New Dawn was being allowed to move forward as well; it remains to be seen what this will mean for that reboot, the currently running game, or the price of peas in Denmark. The studio plans to release a development roadmap on Friday if you’re curious about the particulars of what separates this full-loot free-for-all PvP reboot from the others.

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Star Citizen promises larger server capacity, talks about procedural tech

Seventy-seven episodes in, you’d think that Chris Roberts and the Star Citizen community would run out of questions about the game. But it looks as though there is no bottom to this well, as another batch of 10 Q&As have been released this week.

So what’s on tap for this round of 10 for the Chairman? Roberts talks about increasing current server capacity, support for three monitors, different types of ship carriers, and how the game will be using procedural technology to generate massive play areas for the population.

We’ve got the half-hour episode for you after the break!

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Check out footage of the Figureheads Online pre-open beta testing

There’s still no official announcement about Figureheads being localized in English, but Square-Enix‘s upcoming third-person mech-based shooter does have English localization files in its latest pre-open beta testing round. It also has plenty of mecha shooting one another and moving around a tactical battlefield, which Steparu helpfully compiled into a series of videos. If you’ve been curious about this title since it was first mentioned – or you’re interested now because the word “mech” was mentioned – you can check those out below.

The game is apparently very tactically focused rather than being a game one simply picks up and plays, with an emphasis on teamwork and squad participation in taking and holding objectives. It does, however, sport several tutorials to ease you into the process, and once you understand that it’s a game about teamwork you can more easily disrupt your opponents and lead your team to victory. It also features all of this while stomping around in giant customizable robots, which may very well be the biggest appeal.

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Chronicles of Elyria eyes May for its Kickstarter campaign, posts new footage

While it once started as a very small and inexpensive indie project, Chronicles of Elyria has grown over the past two years to the size that it needs a sizable budget to help push development forward. Hence, the team announced today that it will be launching its Kickstarter campaign on May 3rd with an initial goal of raising $900,000.

That might seem like a lot for an indie MMO, but the devs say it’s worth it: “Chronicles of Elyria is unquestionably one of the most pivotal games of the decade. It’s a game which encourages massive player collaboration through new game mechanics such as contracts and an evolving story line. It encourages meaningful player decisions through a risk-reward system that truly forces players to make those tough decisions. It connects players to their characters in a way no MMO ever has, by bringing the human condition into the game.”

You can check out a first look at Chronicles of Elyria after the break and check out the series of dev blogs from the game that we ran last year.

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The Daily Grind: If an MMO has a cash shop, when should it launch?

Massively OP reader Leiloni pointed out to us something unusual about Black Desert: Its much-talked-about cash shop wasn’t originally going to open until March 10th, a full week after the official launch, never mind the headstart.

This means that whatever advantages an early player with a credit card might have hoped to glean were nullified, and it also probably means Daum wouldn’t have made as much money as it could’ve (although as we reported over the weekend, Daum relented and will now launch the cash shop on the 3rd; headstart players still can’t access it).

While some players didn’t really care and looked at this move as akin to Blizzard or ArenaNet holding raids back until players have progressed through regular content, others — particularly those who preordered — are ticked that they thought they were getting an early advantage here and aren’t.

What do you think? If an MMO has a cash shop, when should it launch?

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The Culling runs through its closed alpha test

The Culling, that Hunger Games-inspired multiplayer deathmatch game, is currently in the thick of its closed alpha test. A “select number of participants” pulled from those who registered have been bludgeoning, stabbing, and shocking each other over the weekend in an attempt to be the last man or woman standing.

If you were disappointed that you didn’t get a spot in the alpha, then there might be some good news for you today. The devs are looking to expand the test’s population and have encouraged fans to like and share the game’s Facebook page as a way to enter their names in for a testing spot.

The early access launch for The Culling will commence on March 8th.

Source: Facebook

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Shroud of the Avatar brings in fast travel and new player towns

More and more these days Shroud of the Avatar is looking like a whole game. It probably helps that the game seems to update every other day, although in reality it’s once a month. This past week the fantasy title lurched forward to embrace Release 27, another small milestone on its way to this summer’s final character wipe and pseudo-release.

Release 27 has a buffet of all types of content. There’s a couple of PvP areas, the new PvE dungeon of Artifice, fast travel, and plenty of new player towns and variations of player town templates. For the fashion-conscious, there are now kilts and walking canes. Now you can be jealous that every other MMO doesn’t have them, yes?

The team also addressed how it will be handling the tricky issues of player towns and housing with the big upcoming wipe. Portalarium said that it has already sold between 200 and 300 player-owned towns so far and will handle the transition with a deft hand.

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Marvel at The Division’s PC visual tech at work

One element that’s attracted some to The Division is its level of attention to detail and its visual mastery that’s making this post-apocalyptic New York City a fascinating place to explore.

In a new trailer, The Division Technical Director Anders Holmquist shows off some of the techniques and technology that’s gone into making the PC version sparkle, shine, and grime. These include scary-sounding acronyms like PCSS (I had a case of that, once) and are shown with before and after wipes so that fans can appreciate the improvements that these make.

We’ve got the video for you to watch after the jump!

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How player healers will cure disease and set bones in Revival

In my very first MMORPG, I was obsessed with the idea of becoming a healer — not someone who cast healing spells but someone who used bandages to heal the people around her. But video games, never mind MMOs, aren’t known for their realistic portrayal of medicine; even in a sci-fi game, you’re likely to be lobbing heal stims or something equally silly. That’s why Revival’s approach is so novel.

In its latest dev blog, the Illfonic team discusses chirurgeons, the physical healers in the game who utilize the fleshmending skill to diagnose and mend their patients sans magic.

“[The chirurgeon’s] player uses diagnose and clicks on the [sick] girl. [He] kneels before the girl as the game camera pushes in to focus on the girl, with certain aspects of the girl’s form glowing subtly. Each of these is a ‘diagnostic indicator’ and if the player clicks on them he will see the information related to the indicator. How accurate these indicators are depends on two aspects of Chirurgie: The character’s fleshmending skill, and the suite of medical ‘flags’ the character has acquired in its data; the medical knowledge the character has amassed in the world. Each diagnostic indicator the player can see is related to a tag or game effect package attached to the client that falls into the medical categories the character knows about. The larger the character’s collection of knowledge and the better the character’s fleshmending skill, the more details these indicators will be and the more obvious the correct diagnosis becomes.”

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Eight tips for success in Epic’s MOBA Paragon

Nobody ever claimed that MOBAs were easy to comprehend in full. Sure, you can get in and start playing relatively quickly, but to truly master the game and not be the video game equivalent of a Mr. Magoo, you need to study and learn all of the systems, strategies, and techniques.

Epic Games has that in mind as it presents its latest Paragon video. This time around, the studio lays out a tutorial of sorts with eight tips to succeed in the game. Some of these tips are pretty standard for MOBAs, including pushing your lane and letting minions do the work for you.

You can watch the tips video after the break!

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MMO Week in Review: Black Desert’s headstart is here (February 28, 2016)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

As the staggered headstart period for Black Desert preorders has gotten underway, we’ve been asking where you’re playing and what you think so far. Daum has already opened new servers to handle the influx, mused on its future plans, and mapped out events that run throughout March.

Stay tuned to Massively OP this week as we bring you coverage of the official release of the game and launch our Black Desert column!

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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The MOP Up: Top raiding guild quits World of Warcraft (February 28, 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 a top raiding guild up and quit World of Warcraft, Jagex’s devs got threatened with unicorn poo, creepy dolls invaded Final Fantasy XIV, and more!

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