open beta

The Crew 2 jolts into open beta with the help of Red Bull as Steam reviews hit ‘mostly negative’

There’s the waving flag for The Crew 2’s open beta test, so get out on the track this weekend and take the multiplayer’s vehicles for a drive before it’s all over on June 25th!

The test is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One and is free to all players. You will need an Ubisoft account to access it, however. There’s a lot to be mastered with eight modes that include street races, powerboats, aerobatics, motocross, and touring cars. All beta testers will secure an exclusive gold helmet once the game launches on June 29th.

If all of that isn’t crazy enough, Ubisoft and Red Bull partnered up for a “Face Your Ride” challenge. Players can submit their craziest stunts during beta in the hopes of driving a real Red Bull racing vehicle. The energy drink company said that this is the first of several promotions planned with the game.

As you caffeinate up for beta testing, make sure to watch the preview videos down below, and maybe keep an eye on the reviews too: On Steam, they’re already in the “mostly negative” zone.

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Ship of Heroes discusses the difference between Alpha and Beta

What makes an alpha? If your answer is “marketing jargon,” you’re not entirely wrong. But the team behind Ship of Heroes is going for a slightly more formalized definition, and it’s explained on the official site right now. In short, an alpha is when you have people who aren’t part of the development team running around in the game, because that’s when you can find the bits that are broken without developers who just know to avoid that stuff.

The team is also preparing for its next major alpha milestones, starting with a 50-player login test with everyone logging into a spot and running around. Assuming that goes well, it’s time to move on to the same thing with a full-fledged invasion, adding combat into the mix. If you’re curious about the exact divisions between alphas, betas, and closed vs. open status, check out the whole piece on the official site.

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Dauntless beta testers face staggering queue numbers

This just in: Dauntless is hot stuff right now!

Hopeful testers, crowding in to try Dauntless’ new open beta, quickly racked up massive queues over the weekend. While large queues is nothing new for popular online games, these numbers — sometimes rising above 150,000 — left players waiting for hours and laughing about the ridiculousness of it all.

Phoenix Labs scrambled to shore up its servers and matchmaking process so as to get players in faster without crashing the game itself. The goal was finally reached on Sunday as the game achieved “zero queue.”

“As we move forward into Monday and beyond, we will continue to improve our services and fix bugs,” the studio posted. “As we’ve said many times before: We want Dauntless to be a live service for years to come. Already the team is hard at work on a large-scale matchmaking overhaul that will help Dauntless accommodate even more players.”

Source: Reddit, Twitter. Thanks Sander and PorkTater!

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H1Z1 has a huge debut on PlayStation 4 with over 1.5M downloads

Could H1Z1 be saved through the PlayStation 4? There is no doubt that Daybreak is banking heavily on the battle royale title striking big on the console — and it may do just that.

In the first day of the title’s free-to-play open beta, over 1.5 million players downloaded the game to give it a try. While definitely popular, the crush of players and 200K concurrency have caused issues, and Daybreak has been scrambling to deal with power outages, missing items, and other server problems.

“A huge THANK YOU to the 1,500,000+ of you who have joined us in The Arena since the H1Z1 open beta launch on PS4 yesterday!” Daybreak tweeted. “We’re continuing to work to resolve login and purchase issues, and are committed to bringing you a pure battle royale experience.”

The PlayStation 4 version of H1Z1 differs from the PC client with features such as “a radial weapon menu, grab-and-go equipment system, and no inventory management.”

Source: The OP, Twitter

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Legends of Aria works toward June open beta

Hope you haven’t booked that summer vacation just yet, because Legends of Aria would like to interest in a fantasy holiday. The studio announced this week that it is a patch or two away from open beta, which it hopes to start in June.

The wider testing base is necessary, Citadel Studios said, in order to “start addressing the issues we can only find with lots of people.” So there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be in and enjoying this Ultima Online spiritual successor before too long, assuming that you are interested.

Following June’s open beta, Legends of Aria will go into an early access soft launch through its own client. Citadel is still holding back on its plans for going live on Steam and rolling out a marketing campaign as it evaluates how the next few months progress. However, the studio said that in all likelihood these events will happen this autumn.

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The Daily Grind: How long is too long for early access?

Let’s be real here, there’s no question in anyone’s mind that DayZ has been in early access far longer than it should be. By the same token, I don’t think anyone would begrudge Radical Heights for still being in early access. But somewhere between those two extremes lie a large number of games, some of whom have been in ostensible early access for months, some of which have been there for years, and so forth.

In many ways, early access is like the new version of the game in perpetual open beta; there were many free-to-play games that never technically launched, just stayed in open beta forever until they finally shut down. And yet those games were selling things normally, making the distinction between launch and open beta into a very blurry and nebulous thing. Early access is already blurry, since it asks for money for a game that is decidedly early in its development cycle.

So what do you think, dear readers? How long is too long for early access? Is there a clear limit beyond which games should just bite the bullet and launch, or is it entirely down to the specific game?

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SoulWorker Online leaves open beta, preps for release [Update: It’s launched!]

Say farewell to SoulWorker Online’s open beta — and hello to release! Gameforge announced that the import has wrapped up its one-month-plus open beta test and is preparing the title for an official release.

The good news for any testers is that they won’t be losing their progress in the transition, as Gameforge won’t be wiping the game. The better news is that any tester will get a whole parcel of beta rewards when the release happens.

It’s a little unclear whether the launch will be today following maintenance or at some point in the future, but it does look to be soon. The team behind the adaptation said that it is taking action on much of the feedback that was gathered during the test.

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TERA kicks off a second console beta on March 16

The second open beta for TERA’s console edition arrives on March 16th, but if you weren’t part of the first test, you won’t be part of the second. Seriously, it’s only available to testers from the first round, that’s just the way it is. (One could argue that isn’t the definition of an “open” beta, but let’s not quibble.) Of course, it’s also running for only two days, so it’s more about being around for stress tests as well as putting a variety of bug fixes and UI improvements to the test for veterans.

The level cap for this test has been buffed to 58, with players able to unlock the Reaper class once they successfully hit level 40. (Whether or not you should fear it is an open question.) Taking part will also net participants a Blue Angel Halo, if you needed a little extra bribery to get you motivated. So pop on in and see if the changes have significantly improved the experience of playing the game.

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TERA recaps its first console open beta

So, how did the first open beta for TERA on consoles go? In brief, it went well. In more words… well, why not take a look at the recap on the official site? There were some performance issues and some problems, and as a result the team is holding a second open beta this weekend to identify and fix some of those problems. Players who want to take part should leave the client on their consoles so that they can update quickly.

Players also managed to unlock all of the stretch goals for participation over the weekend, which means that all players will earn special masks upon logging in at the official launch. In other words, it wound up going pretty well! And you’ll have a little more time to test the game from the comfort of your couch again, so it works out well no matter what.

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TERA offers stress test rewards for this weekend’s console beta

The open beta for TERA’s console edition has arrived, and as a result, the developers want the servers under pressure. It’s the only way to be sure that when the game launches they can handle the mass of players logging in, after all. So how can you help with that? Get into the open beta and stress the heck out of those servers, obviously. There’s even a schedule of specific stress windows just for logging in and staying logged in on Saturday and Sunday (March 10th and 11th, don’t you know).

Players can also earn rewards by getting up to the open beta level cap of 38 during the open beta period. In fact, you’ll earn rewards for every 10 levels you reach, but the best rewards are reserved for those at level 38. So get into the game, stress those servers, and start pushing yourself to the level cap. It’s how you win fantastic prizes, after all.

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SoulWorker Online opens its cash shop

We already know that SoulWorker Online will not be wiping characters before its full launch, and now we find that the game is going even further into a launch-like state by adding in its full cash shop now. Yes, you can hop in the game and drop money for real if you’d like. Some players are crying that the prices are exorbitant or unfair, so keep that in mind before you dream of spending four dollars to double your experience gains or something similar.

Players can also collect two free daily items from the game’s cash shop in response to the feedback regarding the energy/fatigue system; further player input is being collected and considered by the developers. That doesn’t mean much will change, but at least it might.

The latest episode of the game’s accompanying anime has also been released, letting players see a bit more of the story and lore behind the title. Of course, it’s not exactly a lengthy episode at three minutes, so you can watch the whole thing just below if you’d like.

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SoulWorker Online will not wipe servers but will apparently be IP blocked

There are certain expectations you have when a free-to-play game is in open beta with a full launch planned for later. For example, you kind of expect a character wipe. But not so with SoulWorker Online; the developers have confirmed via Twitter that no character wipe is incoming, so anything you do now will still be relevant when the game fully launches later. That does make the distinction between the current state and launch a bit fuzzier, though.

What’s not fuzzy is the game’s IP blocking, which apparently rolled out without warning for all players not located in North America or Europe. As MMO Culture reports, no confirmation or explanation of IP blocks or the lack thereof had been offered by publisher Gameforge prior to the blocks being rolled out, and the game’s Twitter and Steam landing pages still make no mention of them.

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Paladins begins testing its battle royale mode and removes controversial lootboxes

While it’s not as cool of a name as “Thunderdome,” Paladins’ Battlegrounds is still likely to attract plenty of bloodthirsty savages looking for a good scrap.

The new game mode, which is pretty much your now-standard battle royale (complete with the ever-shrinking walls of poison fog), arrived in Open Beta 66 this past Wednesday. Other changes that came with the patch include a Facebook Live streaming option, changes to the minimum system requirements, and a required level of 15 for the classic siege mode.

Hi-Rez has had its hands full this week. The studio faced an uprising from players following the addition of lootboxes in Update 64. These lootboxes, which came in the form of cards, were seen as pay-to-win by many and resulted in players flooding the Paladins subreddit with crappy card art as a way to mock the move. This goofy protest paid off, and Hi-Rez announced that it will be removing and replacing the system.

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