Thus far when playing OrbusVR, players have had no ability to send private messages to one another. As a result, you’ve had to rely on context clues; perhaps your friend is running toward you screaming while brandishing a sword because she’s bringing you a free sword and she’s very excited. When the game’s second closed beta starts up, though, she’ll be able to send you a quick message to let you know ahead of time that she’s doing a new cardio routine requiring her to run and scream, and the sword is a good weight to use when it’s over her head.
Players will be able to send private messages to friends or Fellowship members, with Fellowships also getting added to the game (if you’re thinking that sounds like a guild by another name, good job). There’s also new market stall functionality, so NPCs run by players can just sell you stuff and you can buy it. And if dealing with a merchant’s prices cause you to subsequently run around screaming with a sword over your head, well, you can send messages about that.
It’s the last big update for Albion Online’s beta test, it’s named Hector, and it’s here today. You can even check out a whole trailer explaining the update just below. Of course, if you’ve been paying attention to news about Hector over the past few weeks, you probably already have a halfway decent idea of what it contains. Players can sell equipment to the Black Market to serve as worldwide drops, experience major revisions to the game’s Hellgates, and explore a largely redone and refurbished set of Outlands.
The update also brings new mounts, UI improvements, and various other improvements to ensure that Albion Online is ready for launch when the testing period ends in July. Check out the video just below for a high-speed tour of all the changes brought along with Hector, and feel free to explore the world before the last rounds of bugfixing and launch preparations are done. It’s almost time.
And lo, it did pass that a select group of players of Diablo III were invited to test the Necromancer in the beta version of the game’s next major patch. And those players did test, and they experimented, and there was much rejoicing. But then Blizzard did decree that the Necromancer would be removed from testing for an unspecified timeframe as of today, and Blizzard didst encourage its testers to continue testing, but without the new class.
Now there was time when those who had seen the message (and those who had not, for it could only be accessed by those in the test) didst debate why the Necromancer was removed. And one soul rose with a speculation, saying this: “Could it be that the Necromancer is going to undergo major changes and the developers don’t want us testing it until then?” And many did raise their voices in assent. But then one soul offered a different idea, saying this: “The developers want us to be testing the other parts of the patch and this is the only way to be sure that happens.” And many more did raise their voices in assent. And the speculation reigned, for all that was known for certain was that it would indeed be removed from testing for a time.
I respect the fact that Revelation Online is in beta right now. It’s closed testing and there’s going to be a character wipe. I respect that a lot. That’s a pretty significant difference from, say, H1Z1, which has been asking for money for quite some time now if you want to play the game and functions as a live game, but still technically squeaks into the “Early Access” wheelhouse.
Of course, it’s not always cut-and-dried. Shroud of the Avatar is a game that many people point to as being functionally launched, but it’s also a title that has been visibly in development and hasn’t pretended otherwise at any point. It’s been a little while since the game’s final wipe, though, so you could argue that it really should have pushed that big red “Launch” button then rather than several months later.
And let’s not get into the many, many free-to-play games which are in open testing for a year or more while claiming to be in beta, despite the lack of any sort of wipe. So what do you think, dear readers? Which MMO is doing the worst job of pretending it’s in beta?
You can download and play Wild Terra right now without having to pay a dime. The game has opened testing briefly for everyone, allowing you to play for free until September 14th, complete with a discount on founder’s packs for the duration of the open test. There’s also a reward promised at the end of the test, although the designers could probably get away with telling you that the real reward was the friends you made along the way. It’s not exactly wrong.
This coincides with the game’s most recent patch, which implemented stoneworking skills and expands the leatherworking discipline. The patch also made various client and UI improvements to make the game that much more playable. You can check all of it out for free for the next couple of days, although you may lack a basis of comparison for the original versions. You might want to bring your own localization team with you, though.
The team at Motiga
is happy that players have logged in to stress test Gigantic
‘s servers. But it’s not enough stress. More stress is needed. So why not put the pressure on this weekend during the game’s special one-day-only stress test on Saturday, July 9th
? There will be a prize, if you consider “playing Gigantic
while stress-testing the servers” to be a prize.
Servers will be up from 1:00 p.m. EDT until 7:00 p.m. EDT, giving you plenty of time to log in and do your best to put the servers through their paces. The test is open to everyone who participated in the previous testing, so if you weren’t previously involved you’ll just have to remain on the outside looking in. Still, you’re promised that you’ll get to play in the near future, hinting that the increased number of stress tests are the prelude to a more… constant stress test.
Last week’s announcement that Perfect World Entertainment would sign on as a publisher
was good news for fans of the MOBA, but it also leads to plenty of questions. What will change with the game’s new publisher, especially in terms of monetization? Staff for both Motiga
and Perfect World Entertainment
recently took to Reddit
to answer questions about the transition, so you don’t need to wonder about it too much.
Monetization is something that still doesn’t seem to be finalized, but it isn’t meant to be predatory or overbearing, with player retention serving as a first goal for the game’s development.
Our focus as PWE is to help bring Gigantic to market and make it accessible to the players. To pull back to the curtain some more, our goal with Gigantic and the launch is very strongly focused on fun. Let’s partner with Motiga to continue the development of something that we as gamers in the company would be proud of and want to play. Monetization will make sense for the game. Our goal is to not have that be predatory to the core values of the game.
Fragmented is plotting a stress test tonight in prep for its early access launch next week.
Above & Beyond says that participation in its Repopulation-spinoff survival sandbox stress test will reward players with triple experience rate and spawned vehicles. The test begins tonight at 9 p.m. EDT on US West 1, near the western tip of the central lake. Go hammer those servers!
The current test module of Crowfall, Siege Perilous, is all about taking on a keep’s defenses and taking control. In theory, anyhow; in practice the point of the battle is, well, testing the battle. You’re not really taking control of anything in the longer term. But the next test incarnation, Throne War, will see you tying the game’s combat and sieges together into a small version of how the game will play out in the end.
Throne War is something of a mini-campaign, much smaller than an actual campaign and with far fewer moving pieces. Players will still be able to capture resources, hold keeps, defend them, take control of them, and so forth. It won’t be everything offered by the game in the long term, but it should give fans eagerly awaiting more of the core game a preview of how things will play out in longer conflicts. The test’s “campaign” period is planned to last for around half a week. It’s still a ways off, but that alone should be enough to get players excited about the prospect of the next stage in testing.
It’s been a rocky few months, but The Repopulation is getting back on track with development of the main game and its interim survival spin-off, Fragmented. And the developers behind the game want you to test it. Assuming that you were a backer who was testing the main game before the Hero Engine mess, that is.
Beta registration is currently open for everyone who has pledged money to The Repopulation or purchased a copy of the game via Steam while also registering said copy on the game’s site. If you do own a Steam copy and haven’t registered yet, you can still do that now. This is just a signup, so you don’t have a certain slot just yet as the team is slowly adding people to the testing phase, but you can be at least reasonably certain that you will be added if you’d like to test the spinoff.
You wouldn’t think that you could have world bosses without instancing in this modern age of MMORPGs, but Bless Online manages to have exactly that setup. The key, as explained by Steparu, is that there are a certain number of slots available for players to fight the boss, available on a first-come first-served basis. That also means that players have every reason to engage in the age-old art of killing other players to make sure that they don’t get to kill the boss, which means that you might spend as much time fighting each other as the enormous beast.
Check out a video of the boss fight, which includes more than a few sudden death mechanics clearly designed to destroy unsuspecting or suspecting-but-unready players in an eyeblink. Steparu claimed to enjoy the whole “fighting other players” aspect more than actually fighting the boss; watch below and see whether you can’t wait to fight the bosses yourself.
A couple of weekends back, I — like many other players — took part in the beta weekend for Ubisoft’s upcoming MMO shooter, The Division. I also — unlike many other players — was actually able to gain access at the start of the weekend, and over the next few days I spent the vast majority of my free time exploring the game’s recreation of post-apocalyptic Manhattan and trying to see everything there was to see before the test came to a close.
As it turned out, that wasn’t too much of a challenge, all things considered, because the amount of content accessible to players was somewhat restricted. Despite the limited scope of the test, however, almost all of the game’s core systems were available in some form or fashion, and there was still plenty to see and do over the course of the weekend. But when the test came to a close and servers went down, I realized that, despite having spent a significant portion of my weekend in the game and having experienced everything that was available to me (as far as I’m aware, at least), I still wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about the game. Even now, I’m still rather undecided, but perhaps putting it all down on paper will help me to sort out my obviously conflicted feelings. At the very least, I hope it will provide an informative preview of what we can expect when The Division goes lives next month.
The level cap is going to be where you spend the lion’s share of your time in any online game just by the nature of the games; there’s no real way around that. So what does the endgame currently look like in Bless Online? Steparu has taken on the role of intrepid explorer and compiled a look at the game’s current PvE endgame dungeons as well as what the max-level PvP looks like.
In the former case, the game currently doesn’t have any sort of group finder in place, so successful completion depends not just upon knowing the mechanics but also upon knowing the culture of loot distribution. All bosses drop crafting materials rather than gear, which means many runs are necessary to actually craft something. Meanwhile, the 100 v. 100 PvP battlegrounds seem to be very lag-heavy for little reward, but the game’s open PvP earned Steparu’s praise and enjoyment. Check out some of the (many) videos on this content just below.