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Betas

Destiny screenshots show the wonders and horrors of space

Betas, Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, MMOFPS, Destiny

Destiny
Outer space won't be the technocolor thrill-romp that one might assume from pulp sci-fi, at least when it comes to Destiny.

Bungie released five new screenshots showing some of the visually impressive if intimidating vistas as well as one or two of the threats that players will encounter in the game. The studio also mentioned that it won't be utilizing NPC companions, players will be able to customize and upgrade gear, and Guardians can change loadouts on the fly.

Check out the new screenies in the gallery below.

Here's how you can customize your Black Desert character

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Black Desert

Black Desert character creator
Black Desert's second Korean closed beta test starts on April 22nd, and one of the new features on display in the fantasy sandbox will be a more robust character creation system. Daum and Pearl Abyss have released a four-minute video showing the system in action, and we've embedded it for you after the cut.

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Trove offers a peek at March improvements

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Trove

Lousy Smarch zombies.
If you want to invest yourself in voxel-based crafting and destruction, you're not starved for options. Trove might not be the highest-profile option within that field, but the game is still in heavy development and updating regularly. An official update shares what the team has been working on in March for anyone who hasn't been kicking around in the game itself, starting with laser mining. Yes, you're not hacking away with a pick any more; you're burning things out with laser beams.

March also saw the inclusion of ultimate abilities for the Knight and Gunslinger and the rollout of Personal and Adventure worlds. Players can also forge their own dungeons and wear gear free of the threat of decay. For April, the development team will be hard at work with a forging system to upgrade equipment as well as the inclusion of the Fae Trickster. Isn't it nice to have options?

Landmark roundtable video on giving the toolset love

Betas, Video, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crafting, Housing, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

Landmark
In this week's Landmark roundtable video, SOE Senior Brand Manager Omeed Dariani is joined by Lead Building and UI Designer Jake Sones to discuss the results of a player poll about which Landmark tool needs the most work and love. Sones tells viewers that the results of the poll were even; apparently there's no one tool that needs serious work, just plenty of player sentiment that many of them need something. He specifically addresses changes being made to how tweak mode handles pasting large objects; ideally, the game will detach the preview from the mouse cursor and provide menus similar to those used by the prop tool.

The pair also explain the studio's hesitation in implementing specialized and redundant tools like the cylinder tool, citing microvoxels -- a feature the developers didn't even know the game could do -- as something players came up with that might never have been discovered had every imaginable tool already existed to stifle their creativity.

Enjoy the full video!

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The Stream Team: Taming the wilds of WildStar

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, New Titles, Livestream, WildStar, The Stream Team

It's a bonus day! Because we have to wait another two weeks for the next WildStar beta weekend, Massively's MJ is returning to Nexus today for some more adventures as an Exile. Why live life as an Exile? Being an Exile isn't nearly as bad as it sounds: You rescue animals, save people, and drive the forces of evil out of the land. And you can do it all with a swishy tail! Join us live at 2:00 p.m. for another round of Esper-ific exploits.

Game: WildStar
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, April 5th, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Betawatch: March 29 - April 4, 2014

Betas, Launches, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

ArchLord II
The Elder Scrolls Online officially launched today (actually, it launched yesterday, and early!), so we bid it a fond farewell from the pages of Betawatch. What else is new in the world of MMO beta testing? The complete Betawatch roundup awaits.

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See players take down WildStar's Forgemaster Trogun

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, WildStar, Dungeons, Subscription

Wildstar
If there's one thing that MMOs have taught us, it's that blacksmiths are eternally on the verge of snapping and becoming supervillains. It was true in many fantasy titles, and it's true in WildStar, where Forgemaster Trogun dominates as the final boss of the Ruins of Kel Voreth dungeon.

Bog Otter survived his encounter with Trogun in the beta to bring us back a 13-minute boss fight full of tricky telegraphs, giant hammers, and oh so much fire. Give it a watch after the jump and see if you can't figure out a strategy or two that might work when you come up against this dastardly fiend in the live game.

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WoW's Warlords of Draenor alpha patch notes are huge

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Subscription

WoW
Blizzard has released today a massive dev blog with preliminary annotated patch notes for the Warlords of Draenor alpha test, which itself was just officially announced yesterday.

The big additions relate to garrisons, stat squish and balancing, talents and Draenor perks, racial traits, crowd control, and yet another major healing revamp. Nearly every class in the game has a hefty entry outlining which skills are being changed and which are being deleted from the game entirely. Sounds as if returning players might be needing that newbie tutorial for Draenor after all. Have a look at your class changes and let us know whether you think you're getting buffed, nerfed, or just set up for another cataclysmic reset of the game's combat meta.

The Stream Team: Returning to my Exile roots in WildStar

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Livestream, WildStar, The Stream Team

She couldn't hack it: Masssively's MJ just wasn't cut out to be Dominion, so during this WildStar beta weekend, she's returning to her Exile roots. She'll be bounding across Nexus with a spring in her step, searching for adventure on her Esper and hoping to right the wrongs of the universe (read: Dominion). Join us live at 3:15 p.m. to start your beta weekend off with a bounce... er, a bang!

Game: WildStar
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, April 4th, 2014
Time: 3:15 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Blizzard kicks off WoW's Warlords of Draenor alpha

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, News Items, Subscription

WoW
In a blog post on the official site today, one interestingly timed to coincide with a big launch going on today and tomorrow (ahem), Blizzard officially announced the start of the World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor alpha test. The studio cautions players that not all of the promised content is in the alpha client, so don't panic when dataminers can't give you all the nitty-gritty on garrisons. They're not in yet.

Players interested in signing up for later phases of testing are instructed to create a beta profile on Battle.net. Applicants will be selected randomly.

Shroud of the Avatar has raised $3.7 million to date

Betas, Fantasy, Anniversaries, Crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar

SOTA
Shroud of the Avatar hasn't launched yet, but Portalarium is celebrating its anniversary nonetheless. The studio pointed out that next monday, April 7th, is the title's one-year mark since it concluded its $2 million Kickstarter campaign.

Portalarium is throwing several promotions for the anniversary, one in particular being a last chance to get or upgrade to the founder level at the original Kickstarter prices. Other anniversary events include developer hangouts, special access to Release 4, and prize giveaways.

Shroud of the Avatar has gathered more than $3.7 million in crowdfunding to date and is eyeballing a late 2014 launch window.

[Source: Portalarium press release]

ArcheAge FAQ mentions testing plans, optional subscription, and housing limitations [Update]

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Free-to-Play, Community Q&A, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Housing

ArcheAge
Trion Worlds has published a new FAQ for ArcheAge today that concentrates on testing plans and core features of its upcoming Western version.

The team said that alpha testing is imminent and will be followed by beta events leading up to launch, still set for sometime in 2014. While fans can sign up on the site for a chance at a key, Trion said that soon-to-be-revealed founders packs will guarantee beta access.

ArcheAge will be adopting a hybrid F2P model including an optional subscription. This subscription will be necessary if a player wants to own his or her own house in the game, as the "limited real estate" will be earmarked for paying customers only.

Trion addressed its level of control over the title in its relationship with developer XLGAMES and indicated that the Korean 1.0 patch changes will not be coming to the West: "We work with XLGAMES to understand and new features that are added to ArcheAge in the East to determine how well they will be accepted in our regions, and then offer feedback. XLGAMES has been fantastic in addressing that feedback as best as they can. In situations where a feature is added that we don't think will be appropriate for our audiences, we work with XLGAMES to modify or remove that feature from our version."

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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WildStar LEGO rocket house landing at PAX East

Betas, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), WildStar, Subscription

WildStar
If the Venn diagram of your interests overlaps at "loves LEGO" and "looking forward to WildStar," then boy howdy will PAX East appeal to you.

Carbine Studios has commissioned a LEGO artist (yes, that is a real thing) to create a massive 50,000-piece rocket house for PAX East's main lobby. This ship will be donated to Child's Play with $10,000 after the convention, and a smaller version of the LEGO rocket house will be given away to one fan who pre-orders WildStar while there.

WildStar will be at booth #562 during the show.

[Source: Carbine Studios press release]

Norrathian Notebook: Grading Landmark's first beta week

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Opinion, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Closed beta is now in session! After a couple of days of downtime to prepare for the transition, EQN Landmark moved out of the alpha phase. And now, the first week of this long-awaited beta has concluded. Like most initial weeks, it's been an eventful one; from opening itself to a slew of new players to ditching part of its name to announcing the launch of Player Studio, the voxel-based sandbox has changed and evolved from its previous state. But how exactly is this beta different from alpha? What is new, what has improved, and what still needs improvement? How did Landmark fare during its first week? Norrathian Notebook is here to bring you the game's one-week report card!

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The Stream Team: Scoping out the land in Landmark

Betas, Fantasy, Video, New Titles, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Livestream, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

Have you seen a giant Voxopoly or checker board and played a game or two in Landmark? If not, you're going to see them now! After a week of upgrading tools and gathering resources in closed beta, players have finally been able to put some of their impressive alpha creations down. New players have joined in the onslaught of creativity as well! That means it's time for Massively's MJ to head in and tour some of these pièces de résistance. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. EDT for a look at what's new and to talk about all things Landmark.

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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