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Betas

Betawatch: October 18 - 24, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Camelot Unchained - Betawatch
Camelot Unchained ran a pre-alpha test for backers this past weekend, allowing players to test out character creation and PvP. What else is new in the realm of MMO testing?
  • Justin test-drove Lord of the Ring's Online's in-testing Beorning race/class.
  • Trove has a fully open, no-wipe, everyone-welcome beta test running this weekend.
  • World of Warcraft previewed the creatures of Gorgrond, a zone in the upcoming Warlords of Draenor.
  • The Repopulation discussed its plans for healers and combat medics.
  • Shroud of the Avatar's Release 11 preps players for its Steam debut.
  • MJ pondered what "beta" means for Landmark and what backers' obligations to the game really are.
  • Life is Feudal sold 100,000 copies of its survival MMO in its first month on Steam early access.
  • EverQuest Next devs discussed playable Ogres and Dwarves.
  • Goblinworks defended the FFA PvP design of Pathfinder Online, currently in alpha.
Read on for our complete Betawatch roundup.

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Seldon Crisis rebrands as Sudden Crisis

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

sudden crisis
Seldon Crisis -- the name, at least -- is no more. The science-fiction sandbox has rebranded itself as Sudden Crisis following an IP dispute that left its Kickstarter campaign neutered.

"We want to let everyone know that the project and game now has a new name: Sudden Crisis," the studio posted to Facebook. "Everything stays the same, this is the last change needed to separate us from one world and open a new one, one wholly created by us and you. You will shortly see the change take effect across our sites."

Sudden Crisis is currently in the middle of an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the project.

Play Trove for free this weekend

Betas, Events (In-Game), News Items, Miscellaneous, Player-Generated Content, Buy-to-Play, Trove

Trove
If you've been itching to playtest Trion Worlds' voxel-based sandbox Trove but haven't wanted to pony up cash for the beta, then you're going to love the next three days. Trion has announced a free weekend event starting today at 2:00 p.m. EDT; everyone is invited to dip in and give the game a look.The only catch? You'll have to play through Trion's Glyph client. "Trove will automagically appear in your Library game list this weekend!" says the studio.

The freebie weekend is timed perfectly to coincide with Trove's ongoing Shadow's Eve Halloween event, which offers bizarre prizes like piñata mounts and Smashing Pumpkin recliners.

The free play period ends at 2:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, October 27th. Shadow's Eve ends November 2nd.

Shroud of the Avatar Release 11 helps prepare for Steam debut

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Patches, Shroud of the Avatar, Buy-to-Play

sota
With Shroud of the Avatar's launch on Steam Early Access next month, the team is eager to test crucial systems to prepare for a wider playerbase. As such, Release 11 has gone into testing from today through Monday, October 27th, and will allow backers to access a Steam-specific test as well.

Release 11 patches in a character advancement system, major combat improvements, crafting additions, and a big change to the game's overworld map. "We are also moving towards each of these maps being visually distinct (albeit similar when part of the same area)," the team posted. "The result, we feel, is a map that is MUCH easier to navigate and coordinate with other players. We know this is slightly different than what we have presented in the past, but we feel this is the right direction for the game."

Shroud of the Avatar will go live on Steam Early Access on November 24th. The video guide on how to install the Steam test is all yours after the break!

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Norrathian Notebook: Remembering that Landmark is in beta

Betas, Bugs, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Norrathian Notebook:  Remembering that Landmark is in beta
An interesting thing happened on my way to pay upkeep. It hit me full force that Landmark is indeed in a true beta. I know, I know -- I have said this before. And I know that I know it. Yet sometimes that fact still sneaks up and wallops me in the face! I mean, it's pretty obvious the game is incomplete (hurry to me, AI editor!) and that there are definitely bugs to squash. But for the most part, I have not be too inconvenienced by bugs, so I guess the fact that it's a beta just floated to the back of my mind.

That all changed this past week. I encountered a bug so big that it squashed me. In fact, it was so intense that it effectively prevented me from continuing my gameplay. That's when it hit me: After eight months of playing and enjoying Landmark, I had forgotten that this can actually happen. But it is important to remember, to keep this fact at the forefront of our minds. Why? It's not to be a defensive rallying cry for why something isn't in game/isn't working as intended; it's so we can get the game we want, sooner! How? By doing our job as beta testers.

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The Stream Team: Tricks and treats on another Landmark Halloween tour

Betas, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

The Stream Team:  Tricks and treats on another Landmark Halloween tour
Halloween may not be until next week, but Massively's MJ simply can't wait that long! So she's going to immerse herself in more holiday builds in Landmark. Folks have been preparing many more haunted mansions, pumpkin patches, graveyards, and witches lairs since MJ's last Halloween tour, so there is a lot to try and see in one little stream. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to see all that is spooky and collect some treats as you go! (Yes, there will be codes of all kinds to give out!)

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Infinite Crisis reveals creepy alien starfish Starro

Betas, Super-hero, Galleries, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, Infinite Crisis

Infinite crisis
Crowd-control fans, listen up: Turbine MOBA Infinite Crisis has today announced Starro, a new playable controller champion going live on November 5th. For those not up on their DC lore, the short version is "creepy alien starfish." Long version?
Starro is a Star Conqueror. These nomadic and parasitic creatures roam the cosmos in two forms: motherstars and parasites. Motherstars are sentient, while parasites are extensions of the motherstar's consciousness. A parasite attaches itself to other sentient creatures, allowing the motherstar to control that creature's mind. Once controlled, the victims work toward growing more motherstars to go out and bring universal harmony to other planets-by conquering them. Little did the Star Conqueror who came to be known as Starro know how difficult carrying that plan out on Earth would be! Starro has little concern for what happens to the individuals it controls. They're a tiny part of the whole. When Starro speaks to creatures it doesn't control, it does so telepathically, urging them to join in universal harmony.
We've got some pics and a video below to finish out Starro's reveal.

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Camelot Unchained 'in great shape' following first pre-alpha test

Betas, Fantasy, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

cu
Camelot Unchained's first pre-alpha test wrapped up after running this past weekend, and according to reports from the devs, the MMO saw strong server stability and performance. Mark Jacobs reported that a "vast majority" of testers approved of the detailed character creation system and up to 200 players were able to duke it out in the same battleground area.

"It is safe to say that, considering where we are in development as compared to other games Andrew and I have worked on, that we are in great shape. Especially since we are building almost the entire engine from scratch," Jacobs said.

Camelot Unchained will continue to run pre-alpha tests, with the devs promising "at least one testing day" every week or two.

GoblinWorks: Pathfinder's PvP 'provides meaningful context'

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online

GoblinWorks' latest Pathfinder developer blog went live this week, and in it CEO Ryan Dancey previews alpha version 10.0 which "closes a number of critical game loops" by adding several features.

Testers will experience increased character power, increased crafting abilities, and a new company/settlement UI, to name just a few of the improvements. Dancey also says that Pathfinder's PvP will "provide meaningful context" while acknowledging that "many people have serious reservations about PvP."

Dancey says that the solution to the problem of bad PvP behavior and "no-fun experiences" is the context. "When people struggle over something meaningful they behave differently than when PvP is just [a] random fight." How exactly will Pathfinder provide this context? You'll have to read the dev blog to find out!

[Thanks Chrysillis!]

Betawatch: October 11 - 17, 2014

Betas, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

Landmark
This week, Landmark introduced lava. Also new gear, appearance slots, a better UI, and a zillion other tweaks. But lava.

What else is new in the realm of MMO testing? The complete Betawatch roundup is below.

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Kingdom Under Fire II took seven years and $50M to complete

Betas, Fantasy, Interviews, Free-to-Play, MMORTS

kuf2
After spending over seven years in development, Kingdom Under Fire II may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It's currently in beta testing in southeast Asia and has plans for US and EU tests before the end of 2014.

Game Director Sang Youn Lee said that the title's lengthy development was compounded by a format switch from a single-player Xbox title to an MMO for the PC and PlayStation 4. The cost for the game also spiraled upward over the years. "The scale of the game has expanded to three or four times what it was at first," Sang Youn Lee told Kotaku. "$15,000,000 was the first budget for the game. Now it is $50,000,000."

Kingdom Under Fire II blends RPG and RTS elements to allow players to lead up to 500 soldiers in battles against each other rather than against the computer. Reportedly, the game can handle displaying 10,000 troops in combat at the same time.

Elite gets mining on October 28, premiere event on November 22

Betas, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous

This is the best header image in the history of header images
The latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter brings word of a premiere event for the space sim sandbox to be held on November 22nd. It's all happening at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridgeshire, UK, but if you can't make it in the flesh you can tune in via Twitch.

Newsletter #45 also looks at mining, which is scheduled to arrive in Elite's Beta 3 on October 28th. Click through the links below to give it a read.

[Thanks Cotic!]

The Stream Team: Checking out Chaos Heroes Online

Betas, Video, New Titles, PvP, Livestream, MOBA, The Stream Team

Have you heard about Chaos Heroes Online? The fantasy MOBA is currently in open beta, and Massively's MJ is heading in to check things out. Her first visit also happily coincides with the new Halloween event, which is by far her favorite holiday. Want to see what's behind the beta curtain? Or maybe you just want to watch MJ's first real experience in MOBA? Either way, join us live at 3:00 to get a glimpse of this new game!

Game: Chaos Heroes Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, October 17th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Sevencore launching globally on November 4th

Betas, Sci-Fi, Launches, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play

sevencore
Sevencore might not be your typical Cinderella comeback, but the tenacious little science-fiction title will have a fairy tale moment when it releases globally last month after being shut down in 2013.

Sevencore's previous provider, Route Entertainment Korea, Inc. will be merged into Webzen, which will then operate the title worldwide through its game portal. There will be two servers for this launch, one in English and one in Spanish, although there are plans for other languages.

Focusing on mounted combat as players explore an alien world, Sevencore features three races, three classes, and "incredible depth" of customization.

[Source: Webzen press release]

Seldon Crisis removes Asimov references following IP dispute

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Legal, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

seldon crisis
The sci-fi sandbox Seldon Crisis initially tried to draw attention to itself through copious amounts of name-dropping with revered author Isaac Asimov, although it turns out that this marketing plan may have backfired. Its Kickstarter campaign has been canceled, with page saying the game is "the subject of an intellectual property dispute."

The team attempted to clarify the situation with a post earlier this week: "We were/are speaking with the Asimov estate regarding a partnership, but until those talks are concluded we were asked to not mention certain elements of his novels. This is completely understandable (copyright law demands holders actively protect their copyright or they can lose it). We have taken the necessary measures to fully comply with what has been stated."

In the meantime, Seldon Crisis' fundraising efforts have moved over to Indiegogo, where the team is attempting to rake in £250,000 over the next month.

Featured Stories

Betawatch: October 18 - 24, 2014

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