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Betas

Dino-survival: Hands-on with The Stomping Land's early access alpha

Betas, Bugs, Business Models, Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions

Stomping Land
Yesterday, I examined up-and-coming dinosaur-survival MMO Beasts of Prey. Today, let's look at another game in the same niche genre: The Stomping Land.

The Stomping Land isn't technically billing itself as an MMO, but it boasts a semi-permanent world. But my experience in it was nothing like the trailers shown back in May. The current game is totally different. In fact, it seems to have regressed. There's no customization, there are no berries, and no one I talked to knew how to name a tribe. It feels like a semi-permanent shooter, similar to other survival games except without a lot of the building. You either make a teepee or you don't. You make a bow or you don't. You have a dinosaur mount or... you don't. The biggest servers I saw had 24 people, meaning I was able to avoid other players very often, but the game was more fun when I encountered people -- at least people who didn't one-shot me and waltz away.

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The Stream Team: Living like a Teir'Dal in Landmark (and a beta giveaway)

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

The Stream Team:  Touring racial builds in Landmark (and code giveaway)
Landmark just wrapped up its first racial contest and will soon be exploring the building styles of the next. That makes it a perfect time for Massively's MJ to show off some of the Dark Elf contest submissions that players have built. Come join MJ as she tours various bridges, towers, and castles in all their sinister glory. Need more incentive than just staring at awesome creations? How about free beta and portcullis codes! Join us live at 3:00 p.m. for the latest tour and a chance at your own codes to join in the fun.

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, July 11th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Here's 13 minutes of Moonlight Blade in HD

Betas, Fantasy, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items

Steparu is still playing around in martial arts MMO Moonlight Blade. In addition to this week's beta review-in-progress, there's now a lengthy hi-def video that captures the title's beautiful environments as well as a few of its fancier outfits.

Click past the cut to see for yourself!

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Landmark contest winners enshrined in game world

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Landmark

landmark
The vaunted Landmarks of Landmark Competition is over, and the player architects who out-designed the rest have secured a spot in special claims across the game world. These structures will be retained for and used when the game goes live.

The contest winners' displays are one part of a modest-sized patch for Landmark that was released today. The patch also added customizable keybindings, Marketplace recommendations, and new craftable outfits that come in various colors (mmm... minty).

Dino-survival: Hands-on with Beasts of Prey's early access alpha

Betas, Fantasy, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, Post-Apocalyptic, Crafting, Buy-to-Play

Beasts of Prey
When I first dived into the horror-survival genre, I knew there would be zombies, but I never expected dinosaurs. You don't get much bigger than a T-Rex stomping around your neighborhood (though I am still waiting for an underwater survival game that randomly has blue whales unintentionally ruining your kelp fort as they hunt for krill). When dinosaurs started to replace zombies, I knew that my inner child would drag me in, even if I once again had to pay for alpha.

It's this very idea of "paid alpha" that inspired me to tackle not one but two titles from the newly spawned dino-survival based genre. Apologists will say that it's just alpha, but the reality is that you get only one launch, and to me, launch is you start letting people buy your game and don't hold them under an NDA. With this in mind, I decided to try my hand at both Beasts of Prey and The Stomping Land to see which, if either, feels the most deserving of my time (and money). Today, I'll start with BoP.

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Choose My Adventure: Adventuring in ArcheAge

Betas, Fantasy, Polls, Video, Free-to-Play, Choose My Adventure, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Stream Team

Although ArcheAge has many different things to do, you decided that Massively's MJ should continue her adventures with quests, so that's what she's been doing. After showing off her favorite spot in game and brilliantly demonstrating death by jellyfish, she's been running to and fro delivering notes, assembling statues, and killing whatever vermin are bothering the locals. And there's certainly no lack of vermin!

During those questing adventures MJ has come across a dungeon, and she's looking forward to taking you inside. Hopefully she'll find other in-game companions to enter with her as well, else she'll surely experience death in a new and spectacular way! If she's alone, will you still have her enter? Join us live at 7:00 p.m. to decide her fate live! And don't forget to participate in the next vote to decide which crafting profession MJ should pursue next week.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Roberts' latest post peeks behind the Star Citizen development curtain

Betas, Sci-Fi, Bugs, MMO Industry, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Star Citizen has opened another window on the world of game development, this time courtesy of a Chris Roberts post that details the investigative process behind Arena Commander's lag and rubber-banding issues. In a nutshell, the problems surfaced with patch 12.4 as Cloud Imperium expanded the pool of AC participants past the initial 60,000-player threshold.

"Like doctors trying to identify a mysterious illness, we looked for common environmental factors," Roberts writes. "Was there a significant geographic distance between players? Surprisingly, no: in many cases, players with almost no latency between them were still having issues. The team moved on to examining our own code." He goes on to explain how CIG translates potential problems into JIRA tasks and assigns them to engineers who are responsible for repairs prior to the next patch.

[Thanks Cardboard!]

TUG rolling out new features and blocking Proving Grounds

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, News Items, Sandbox

It's a proven fact, even.
The latest update on TUG is both good news and bad news. The good news is that the game is getting ready to roll out a major update that will include a lot of fun stuff for players. Like what, you ask? Like hunting, and farming and all the goats you can ask for. Even if you ask for a lot of goats, you can have never have enough goats.

So what's the bad news? Well, it turns out that the team kind of broke Proving Grounds on the way to adding in new features. Rather than delaying the update, the current stopgap solution is to block off Proving Grounds and simply add it back in during a later update. You can read the full update if you need some specifics; the hope is that players won't ultimately be surprised when the update goes live for everyone.

Archlord 2 kicks off open beta

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play

archlord 2
"Are you Archlording it up today?" "Oh you know it, brah!"

Well, while those might not be words that you'll hear in your average game store, it doesn't stop the fact that Archlord 2 is picking up steam as it chugs toward release. Today the title has entered open beta, which means that you and all of your brahs can check it out to see if this is the MMO for you.

The open beta test comes with a new patch that increases the level cap to 41, adds the Aquila Arena skirmish, and toggles on battlegrounds on every day of the week except Sunday. Because battlegrounds are forbidden on the sabbath? We're not sure. Former closed beta testers will also get a unique cape for their efforts.

Battleborn melds the MOBA with a first-person perspective

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, New Titles, Consoles, MOBA

battleborn
Challenging the notion that all MOBAs must be played from an omniscient isometric viewpoint, Gearbox revealed its own MOBA, Battleborn, that takes place from a first-person perspective.

Battleborn promises a wide array of character variety as heroes battle on an alien planet, including Elvish archers, steampunk riflemen, and minigun-toting heavies. The lore hook is pretty solid, too, with the good guys fighting to protect the very last star in the universe against a faction called the Varelsi.

The MOBA will feature both a co-op campaign and multiplayer PvP mode, and will be coming to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC next year. You can check out the reveal trailer after the break.

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A preview of the third closed beta for wuxia MMO Moonlight Blade

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Miscellaneous

If you wanted to see more things you may or may not ever have, well, here you go.  (Image via Steparu.)
Would you say there's a distinct lack of wuxia MMORPGs in your life at the moment? Then you might be interested in learning more about Moonlight Blade, a wuxia game published by Tencent and currently in the midst of its third beta test in China. Steparu recently discussed the beta test, covering everything from missions and quests to character customization, with the caveat that the author doesn't speak a word of Chinese and has muddled through much of the game with the help of friends.

Moonlight Blade features three different combat modes based on player preference, ranging from traditional point-and-click gameplay to fully active combat. While the game looks gorgeous, according to the beta review it's still very buggy and the combat lacks some satisfying impact. Check out the full piece if it seems like something you'd be interested in; there's no word on a Western release, but showing interest can't hurt.

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Frontier opens Elite single-player combat build to all pre-order pilots

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Frontier has doubled the number of players fighting, trading, and exploring their way through the sprawling cosmos of Elite: Dangerous. The firm released Elite's single-player combat build to all beta backers earlier today in preparation for the multiplayer beta launch on July 29th.

If you've pre-ordered or backed Elite, you can download the launcher by logging into the game's website and pointing your browser at the "My Downloadable Products" link. Frontier also wants you to know that you can still pre-order the multiplayer beta and receive immediate access to today's single-player release.

[Source: Frontier press release]

Not So Massively: Destiny's beta, The Witcher's MOBA, and the IeSF's gender ban fiasco

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Lore, Previews, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Transformers Universe, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Hearthstone

NSM
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Destiny reveals beta dates, expansion pass, and special edition pricing

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, MMOFPS, Destiny

Destiny
It's open war across the cosmos, and your wallets look to be the first casualty in Destiny's interplanetary conflict. Bungie announced today that it will be pre-selling two DLC packs and revealed the contents of its special editions. The studio also said that the PlayStation beta will start on July 17th, with the Xbox beta kicking off a week later on July 23rd.

Despite the name, the Destiny Expansion Pass isn't for full-fledged expansions but for the first couple of post-launch content additions. The first pack, The Dark Below, will explore an ancient tomb underneath the Moon's surface. Bungie is promising exclusive PlayStation content for both expansion packs. Players can buy the expansion pass for $34.99 or individual packs for $19.99 apiece.

Alternatively, thrifty Destiny fans can pick up one of the special editions that come with the two DLC packs included. These packages include the Digital Guardian Edition ($89.99), the Limited Edition ($99.99), and the Ghost Edition ($149.99). While the editions each contain a different mix of goodies, by pre-ordering any of them players will have early access to weapons, gear, and emblems.

Bungie also released the official beta trailer, which you can watch after the break.

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Skyforge abandons leveling in favor of a prestige system

Betas, Sci-Fi, Free-to-Play, Community Q&A, Skyforge

skyforge
The Skyforge development team has been on a streak of answering pressing community questions over on the game's Facebook page, with one question answered per day over the previous week.

A few of the questions centered around how Skyforge has eschewed a traditional leveling format in favor of a "prestige" system. Prestige is like gearscore, a sum total of the stats from a player's equipment. As a player gains more prestige, more content, gear, and followers are unlocked. "Instances are tied to the amount of prestige your character has," the team explained. "The better your character[s are] developed, the higher their prestige is and the more adventures they can go on."

Other questions concerned whether there will be a test server (there will be) or a global chat channel (there won't be). The team did indicate that there would be a multi-platform chat system on launch, however: "Our programmers wrote a special chat service that will allow players in the game to chat to friends that are reading messages from other devices. This means that you can chat with other players regardless of whether they are in the game or not."

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

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