For those of us in this part of the world, this has been a quiet week of little news, because, well… Thanksgiving. (That is, a quiet week of little news for betas. Everything else has been exploding and on fire at the same time.) But Moonlight Blade has gotten plenty of new videos released into the wild, because it’s not Thanksgiving in South Korea. Moonlight Blade badger don’t care. Moonlight Blade badger does whatever it wants.
Other beta news? Oh, of course! It’s still been out there in the trenches.
- The third alpha test for Prosperous Universe kicked off, and at last report everything was running smoothly. If something broke horribly during the holiday, well… these are the breaks.
- There’s a new slot machine in FreeSO, if you want to watch your Sims watch things roll around in a circle and then not give them any money back. Living on the edge!
- Magic: the Gathering Arena, the online version of the real card game, is kicking off its beta testing on December 4th. You could also probably test the game by actually playing the card game that’s been around for nearly three decades, although we suspect the beta test will be more focused on “make sure the software works right” and less on “do the tapping rules make sense.”
- If you were worried about the future of Fortnite’s PvE mode (aka “the mode the game was actually sold on before someone realized they could tack on a battle royale version”) we have good news. It’s getting some love in December and January, so it shan’t end up like, well, Just Survive.
- Oh, hey, speaking of Just Survive, it got some maps! And some free reward crates. That’s cool.
A full list of games in testing? What do you think this is, Betawatch? Because you’re right. Like always, do let us know if something skipped test phases without us noticing, we really do appreciate it.
It looks like any hopes of a Sims Online resurrection as a fan emulator project might be put to rest for good. The creator of FreeSO, a somewhat popular Sims Online emulator, announced that Electronic Arts had been talking with him about TSO. While he complied with the initial communique to remove blatant Sims references and related logos, the games developer sent a second email that basically put the kibosh on FreeSO as well as a side project to bring the original Sims to mobile devices:
“I received further correspondence from EA, regarding my plans to bring TS1 to mobile devices, as well as potentially FreeSO. To protect their IP, they asked that I cease and desist any efforts to bring either of these games to mobile or any other plaforms. While both projects are entirely legal (copyrighted content and references to The Sims provided by the user, not the replacement engines themselves), I do not want to step on EA’s toes, and will obviously comply with their requests rather than starting some kind of expensive legal battle.”
In just two weeks, a long-forgotten social MMORPG might be making a comeback. The team behind FreeSO, a Sims Online emulator, announced on Twitter yesterday that “on 15 May 2017, things are coming.”
Excited about the upcoming announcement? Some members of the community set up a FreeSO Discord channel to chat about the game.
This is the first word we’ve heard from the FreeSO project since its update in late March regarding the progress of its test server. In January, the game had to downshift from open to closed beta due to the popularity that it was generating.
The underground revival of The Sims Online is seeing marked interest from the community, as players are checking out the current FreeSO beta. In fact, a month ago, the team set up a Sunrise Crater test server and has been pleased to see the activity that it has generated.
“At max, we’ve sustained 350 concurrent players in around 60 lots, on one server box,” the team reported. “There are just over 2,000 lots on the map, and 11,521 avatars in existence. Cumulatively, sims have §75,528,319 in the bank, and have bought §92,393,467 worth of objects (191,956 objects)!”
A wipe will eventually hit the test server, but this won’t be coming for a while. The lead developer said that players shouldn’t expect any major new features soon, as he needs to finish up his Masters project first. So for the time being, “bug fixes and stability” are the mantra of this game. FreeSO actually had to downshift from an open beta to a closed one back in early January due to the server getting swamped.
‘Tis the season for emulators! Think back to 2002 MMORPG The Sims Online, what our own Justin Olivetti once called “an interesting failed experiment” for the genre and one of the worst-squandered IPs in online gaming. Do you miss it? Do you miss the isometric views, the typewriter grind, the weird porn chat?
Well, you can have some of that back, or will soon. A group of players released an emulator — sorry, a “reimplementation” — last weekend for the long-shuttered game called FreeSO. In fact, so many people wanted to log in and play with wallpaper and bears and toilets that they crashed the emulator, which was built for under 1000 people. DDOS attacks didn’t help either.
The developer has consequently shut down the short-lived open beta, requested help, promised particular support for the oddly large Brazilian playerbase, and put the game back into closed beta, from which he can work on super exciting things like bot detection and moderator tools while slipping out player invites and increasing server capacity incrementally.