It’s important in an MMO to feel like you own the bundle of stats and spells that you lovingly refer to as a character. Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen has taken a step toward improving that feeling with the first version of its character creator, just patched into the game’s test client. Hooray for making characters!
Meanwhile, Defiance 2050 has moved out of its test phase and into full-on relaunch territory. Hooray for launches!
There has been some other beta movement, too. Some of it is rather silly. Cases in point:
So, somewhat silly, but rather quiet. Not a bad week! We’ve got our usual list of games in development just below, and as always we appreciate anyone letting us know if something swapped phases without us noticing down in the comments. It’s very kind of you.
There is something faintly familiar about Rend’s Rocs. Sure, they are hardly the first example of big bipedal birds, but… something about the way their bodies are shaped? Or their legs? Maybe it’s those yellow feathers a bunch of them have? Eh, it’s probably nothing. And even knowing what they resembled wouldn’t help you deal with them, since Rocs are not particularly friendly birds and tend to serve as pack hunters in wide open spaces.
Players will need to content with the savage beaks of these birds from multiple angles, as they tend to hunt in threes and can be led by powerful matriarchs who put the fear of birds into any unwary travelers. Of course, dispatching them can produce meat and eggs for cooking, and black Roc feathers are quite useful for crafting. Check out the full rundown to see how you’re going to handle these birds in the game.
The nice thing about early testing is that big things can change and it’s really all part of the experience. Sure, Saga of Lucimia fans may have gotten used to the game’s combat before, but now it’s been completely updated and everyone has to get used to it again. This includes the first iteration of Masteries that are actually meant to be in the game instead of random throwaway ones, so that’s a good thing.
Meanwhile, we eagerly await news about Camelot Unchained’s beta next week. It’s supposed to happen! We’re close!
Other beta news? Sure! Let’s go for it.
- If you want to make more headway in OrbusVR thanks to various sales, the early access title is hosting a bonus XP weekend this weekend. So you get to make more progress in the same time!
- MapleStory 2 fans and hopefuls can sign up now to take part in the game’s beta testing. You can’t get in if you don’t sign up. You might not be able to get in even if you do sign up, of course, but roll with the chances.
- A great big graphical update is due for Legends of Aria as the game heads toward another closed beta phase. The key word here is “drastic.” But a good sort of drastic.
- Rend has a roadmap, which is not a map of roads but a set of plans for future development. You can check it out now. That’s like roads.
- Last but not least, Citadel: Forged with Fire is testing out a major game overhaul. You might think that the game is already in early access and thus by definition is getting major overhauls, but our more cynical readers probably will point out that “early access” can really mean anything. And they’re right. Have fun!
In short, it was a quiet week, and next week is a holiday so that’s likely to continue the trend. Ah, well; why not enjoy some of the items down on the list below? Or perhaps enjoy letting us know if something skipped test phases without us noticing. There’s enjoyment to be found in many things.
Curious where the survival sandbox Rend is at in its alpha development? The dev team posted a roadmap on the site that shows current (control points, the Reckoning, taming) and future (UI polish, character rework, more biomes, talents, perks, high-tier crafting, social systems) feature goals.
The team also shone a spotlight on another one of the game’s biomes, the Highlands. This wild are will be full of “stony fields and sloping foothills,” marked also by huge monolithic pillars that can be seen across the landscape. It’s these pillars that form part of the mystery of this biome, which players will uncover as they rush to build an outpost and defend it from other factions.
Get to know what Rend is about with our extensive look at the title from E3, in which we said that we were “optimistic about what Rend brings to both the MMO and survival genres.”
For MMO players, Improbable brought some interesting ideas to GDC this past spring. It also brought some games I wasn’t expecting, and the ones I was expecting were kind of downplayed. On the ground floor, developers from some of our favorite MMOs hadn’t heard of SpatialOS, a platform that allows games to be “bigger” by running multiple game engines in an innovative way, with a few developers being exceptions. I was set up for a meeting with Improbable CCO Bill Roper to help figure things out, but soon into our physical meeting he was pulled away and we had to follow up with emails, which rarely goes as well.
Fortunately, Roper had time to sit and chat again with me at E3. With SpatialOS’s first game out in the wild and more on the way, I felt like there was a lot Roper could explain about SpatialOS, MMOs, and Improbable’s role in it all.
We’ve finished rolling out all of our E3 2018 content this year, save a few last stragglers coming this weekend, so now we’ve chosen our favorites out of what we got to see in person and from afar. Read on, then vote for your own best-in-show!
Everything is moving in Rend. That much should be expected, of course, because the game is still early in its testing cycle. In this particular case, though, the faction base is moving from the prior location to a spot closer to Yggdrasil. This has a number of benefits, as it gives players a taste of what to expect during the first journey to the base, provides clearer movements to the other biomes, and offers the developers a chance to change the map a bit further.
This also helps adjust the overall balance of the game by setting creature movement speeds to account for the new location, and since the game’s taming system is arriving in the same update it addresses multiple issues at once. None of the changes impact the overall timeline, so you can look forward to seeing the results of these shifts yourself sooner rather than later. Our own Andrew got a chance to see how the game is coming along on E3, so you can also take his word for it.
Frostkeep Studios showed off plenty for Rend at E3, as you can see from our hands-on with the game, but the studio still has more to share. It unveiled another boime last Friday, showing off the lush landscape that surrounds hearthhome with a flyover video. Stagswood is home to — you guessed it — stags. But this survival PvPvE game doesn’t feature just ordinary stags. No, these majestic luminescent creatures have beautiful flora growing out of their mighty antlers. They live among the skogurfrut bushes and hardwood saplings under the canopy. Also living amid the foliage (likely stalking you) are wargs, and down in caves you’ll find vicious looking Ursas. Check out some screens below, then watch the flyover and collect a few survival tips on Rend’s official site.
When I met Frostkeep Studios’ CEO Jeremy Wood and crew at GDC earlier this year, I walked away impressed. I finally felt like I understood why other MOP staff are so excited about this flying-under-the-radar title. And this year at E3, I not only saw a more finished build of Rend but got some hands-on time with the game. I can’t say the floor demo did the game any justice, but what I heard from Wood and co-founder Solomon Lee sounded like the kind of forward thinking that only comes from developers who know the history of the genre and their playerbase.
Although I think I could start a hype train, I’m going to try to try to reserve judgment for a little longer. Rend may not be an MMO (it’s a moddable survival game with factions), but it has the potential to feed that MMO hunger we know you’re craving.
The big focus in Rend is about building and augmenting your faction’s base, but there are other parts of the map worth vying for as well. The first development roadmap feature, control points, is currently available to test in the alpha, and it gives each faction a chance to earn valuable resources at the cost of a more vulnerable outer base.
Nine control points are available across the map, in strategic locations as well as on borders and near the center. Once a faction captures a control point, it can build bases around the control point, and the point itself will enjoy a few hours of safety before it can be recaptured. However, it’s still vulnerable, as all three factions will want it for their own due to a steady stream of spirits and the bonus for capturing.
Of course, attacking and recapturing the point lets you take anything still there when it swaps sides as well as offering other rewards based on how long the prior faction held that point. So it’s something to skirmish over as you fight for control of the overall map.
The day we all thought would never come finally arrived, Bless Online is here! First it was in the head start, then it was fully into its… open beta? Early access? Whatever it’s calling itself these days. And it is having some pretty serious issues. So what we’re learning here is that the beautiful dream you have might not hold up to the cold light of reality.
Other beta news, huh?
Wow, there’s more bad news in there than any of us thought. Let’s try to assuage any of that bad taste with the list of games in testing just below, although some of that might have put another bad taste in your mouth by swapping test phases without us noticing. If that’s the case, do let us know in the comments? That’s helpful.
The alpha testing for Rend has just recently begun, and as the game’s official Twitter account helpfully informed us, the game is still on track for its Early Access release later this year. Of course, distinctions between Early Access and alpha testing can be rather hazy at this point, so it’s a good thing that Rend’s developers have a roadmap both outlining the overall plans for the game and explaining that they see “Early Access” as the point when the game could be seen as complete without any further updates.
Eager to be part of the testing but not there just yet? Good news; the next wave of test invitations should be getting sent out along with the improved PvP mechanics update, which lines up with the first bullet item on the alpha development roadmap. So things are moving along quite nicely as the game’s development continues. If you’re excited for the game moving forward, there’s every reason to get further pumped up by the news.
Sometimes, the title “survival sandbox” might seem a bit inaccurate or limiting. But then you get into stuff like Conan Exiles and Wild West Online, games that… well, pretty much place you inside of a box of sand to survive. And they both launched this week! Which means that we’re waving farewell to them from this particular column, but we hope everyone has fun in that box full of sand. Oh, there’s so much sand there, you wouldn’t believe. Sandy everything.
Other beta news? Hey, why not, it’s a free country. How fun.
Want more betas? Boy, you always want more. Good thing there’s a list just below! But do let us know if something slipped into proper launch without letting us know or if the developers seem to have dropped off of the face of the planet. That… latter one might be more likely.