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Betas

Your worship of EverQuest Next's deities will shape the world

Betas, Fantasy, EverQuest, Lore, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Sandbox

eqn
The gods of Norrath are slated to return for EverQuest Next, and who players choose to worship will have a profound effect on the game itself.

Lead Content Designer Steve Danuser penned a lore blog to introduce Veeshan and the Nor'I for the upcoming fantasy MMO. He said that the team is striving to stick to the "thematic core" of Veeshan for her reimagining: "Veeshan looms large in our story. It wouldn't be an EverQuest game without her!" And while Veeshan is well known by fans, the Nor'l is a new figure, the world spirit of Norrath. The Nor'l gives birth to mortals and flows through the entire world, communicating only through song.

"Your actions in the world determine who controls territory and resources, and one of those key resources is the belief of Norrath's inhabitants," Danuser said. "How strong will Veeshan's influence grow after the Combine return to Antonica? Will the Nor'I be protected or exploited? These are questions that you'll get to decide through the choices you make in game."

A look at the last test session for Black Desert

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Previews, News Items, Black Desert

Run around, smack some things, get covered in blood.  The usual.
Black Desert had its last beta event recently, and if you're not in the Korean beta, you can only watch and wait from the sidelines. So how was it? Steparu has a full review and discussion of the experience available now, and while it's not perfect, it seems to be hitting the notes it's aiming for. There are also plenty of videos if you would prefer to watch and evaluate for yourself; we've embedded a bit of gameplay past the cut.

According to the review, the game's biggest weaknesses are the enchanting system (which is a good system but hard to gain access to and unbalancing for endgame PvP) and the endgame PvE content (which is largely absent). The review praises graphics, customization, side activities, and the overall feel of combat. Check it out if you're looking for an opinion on the game before it launches, and keep your eyes peeled for more details as it approaches localization for the US post-launch.

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Star Citizen hits 55M in crowdfunding, sets a new Guinness record, and rolls out Arena Commander v0.9.1

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Sandbox, Star Citizen

This is $55 million of development.
Ready to command the heck out of the arena? Star Citizen has just rolled out the latest patch to the Arena Commander module, which includes the welcome introduction of customizable keybindings. If you find the default controls for dogfighting or racing to be not to your liking, you can change them now. The keybinds currently support mouse and keyboard options as well as joysticks and and controllers; moving forward, the team wants to allow for options like allowing double-tap bindings and device-specific tuning.

This update also includes a fix for SLI/Crossfire display drivers and an option for backers to control exactly which ships appear in the hangar for use. Of course the full patch notes also explain some other assorted balance tweaks and bug fixes, but we imagine no shortage of people will be happy just by virtue of being able to set up the control scheme just the way they like it.

In more meta Star Citizen news, the game officially crossed the $55 million crowdfund threshold last evening. In his ensuing letter from the chairman, Chris Roberts noted that according to Guinness World Records, the game is now not just the largest crowdfunded game of all time but "the largest crowdfunded anything of all time!"

[Thanks, Cardboard and Oliver!]

RIFT's Nightmare Tide now in open beta

Betas, Fantasy, Expansions, MMO Industry, News Items, RIFT

Trion wants you to know that RIFT's Nightmare Tide open beta is now live. You'll need the company's Glyph launcher, and you'll need to navigate to the server list under the RIFT heading where you can select "PTS."

From there it should be pretty straightforward. If you're not inclined to play a pre-release version of the expansion, you can pick up the real thing on October 8th.

Not So Massively: Patches for Destiny, Path of Exile, and Diablo III

Betas, Business Models, Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Dungeons, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Path of Exile, E-sports, OARPG

Destiny
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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The Crew's console closed beta launches tomorrow

Betas, Real-Life, News Items, Consoles, Miscellaneous

The Crew
Console closed beta arrives tomorrow for racing MMO The Crew, a tweet from Ubisoft has announced. PS4 and Xbox One players can sign up on the official site to secure a spot in the test. Sorry, Wii U and PS3 stalwarts; the game won't be ported for you.

The game's second beta began on PC back in August. It's slated to launch on November 11th.

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Gloria Victis pre-alpha adds recipes, buff system, and potions

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, PvP, News Items

Latest pre-alpha phase of Gloria Victis added recipes, buff system, potions, and more
Crafters in Gloria Victis got a special treat in the September pre-alpha update for sandbox: The patch added a slew of new new recipes. In addition to collecting over over 500 recipes, players will also recover some of the resources used in crafting attempts. Other updates include a new buff/debuff system, an expanded map with three additional islands, and working potions that can be purchased or looted. Testers will also notice that upon resurrecting, characters will have a small safe zone to protect them at the respawn point.

According to devs, the next things players can look forward to are sailing, an improved UI, and the end of the NDA. You can read up on the full details in the update notes.

WoW Archivist: Bottlenecks

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Bugs, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Humor, Subscription, WoW Archivist

Gyrocopter jam
WoW Archivist is a biweekly column by WoW Insider's Scott Andrews, who explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold? It first appeared on our sister site on September 24th and is included here by permission.

Wherever thousands of players try to complete on-rails content, bottlenecks are inevitable. For Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard is trying to be proactive about eliminating them. Back in July, CM Zorbrix posted a "targeted feedback request" about bottlenecks in the beta. Given that the introductory experience is completely on rails before the expansion unleashes players into its less structured zones, this is a real concern.

WoW hasn't had the best track record when it comes to bottlenecks. As we help Blizzard loosen the bottlenecks of the future, let's revisit those of the past.

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Make My MMO: September 21 - 27, 2014

Betas, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO

As usual in the Kickstarter corner of the MMO industry, this week saw ups and downs for hopeful MMOs. Trials of Ascension hit its $60,000 crowndfund goal, Star Citizen broke $54,000,000 (count those zeroes, folks!), and Camelot Unchained got a new website. Yay! But TUG laid off half its staff, Pathfinder Online's early enrollment has been delayed until almost Halloween, and Project Gorgon's Kickstarter campaign has fallen short of its $100,000 goal. Boo! Bringing balance to the universe is Shroud of the Avatar, which was successfully Steam greenlit but has resorted to enticing testers with digital hats.

Read on for our complete MMO crowdfunding roundup in this week's edition of Make My MMO.

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Betawatch: September 20 - 26, 2014

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

Trove
Trion Worlds ended Trove's alpha yesterday... and soft-launched its paid beta (complete with a brand-new class) in its place. Beta, mind you, will not be wiped again, but you've still got to pony up for a starter pack of one flavor or another to access it. What else is new in the land of MMO testing this week? Read on for the complete Betawatch roundup.

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Trials of Ascension will include playable dragons

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Races, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

toa
Pay attention, students: Trials of Ascension is coming up to the head of the class to give a progress report. Don't be timid, fledgling game. We're all listening.

First of all, Trials of Ascension has hit its $60,000 crowdfunding goal. This means that Forged Chaos will be including a playable dragon race at launch, so prepare your Dragonheart names now.

And in a new progress video, Trials of Ascension showed off its new dynamic spawning tech for mobs and plants, its resource gathering system, improvements to combat with full-body animations, items that persist when dropped in the game world, and a naming and chat system that won't automatically identify strangers. There's more to it than that, of course, so check out the full progress video after the break.

[Source: Forged Chaos press release; thanks to Azrile for the tip!]

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Camelot Unchained celebrates new website and forums

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Community Q&A, Dev Diaries, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

cu
Camelot Unchained is now boasting a shiny new website and player forums, according to the game's second newsletter.

That's only the tip of the wordy newsletter. A brief community question and answer section addresses a few in-game topics, such as boat travel and caravan details. Then it dives right into a treatise on world game design and how the team is still attempting to figure out how large Camelot Unchained's landmass should be and how quickly players will be able to traverse it.

"In our case, we are making what is essentially a medieval fantasy war game conquest map, which means things like territory and resource control, logistics, and force projection are extremely important considerations, but things like good quest flow are less so," the team said.

The art department also piped up to say that it's working on the Tuatha Dé Danann race, the Arthurian Storm Rider, and pre-alpha testing support.

WoW's final Lords of War video is not about an Orc

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Video, Culture, Lore, News Items, Subscription

WoW
The fifth and final entry in World of Warcraft's Lords of War video series has arrived, and if you're tired of Orclords of Orcnor, then rejoice because this one is about a Draenei: Vindicator Maraad, the narrator of the series. On the downside, Maraad's backstory is still mostly about Orcs; he's Garona Halforcen's uncle, for example. On the upside, his backstory also involves a lot of killing of Orcs. So there's that.

The full video is below.

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TUG cuts its staff in half to keep moving forward

Betas, Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Miscellaneous, Sandbox

Well, this is a fair bit darker than I had previously anticipated...
There are certain announcements that never inspire confidence, like saying that you've had to remove half of the team working on a project. That's the announcement that TUG's developers recently dropped on the community. An investor that the team had been counting on provided terms that would have meant losing control of the project, so Nerd Kingdom chose to decline the funding. This might have been a great choice from a moral stance perspective, but it also meant that the team had to be pruned to keep the project financially viable.

For fans, the immediate downside is that the game will be running a bit later with its Kickstarter rollouts than previously scheduled. The game is still humming along in development, though, and this reduction should be enough to keep the lights on. You can read the full update on the Kickstarter page, which also details a few potential unnamed spots of hope on the horizon.

Stormthrone debuts and offers alpha signups

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Browser

stormthorne
It's Thursday in MMOland, and you know what that means: It's time for a new fantasy game announcement! Today R2Games unveiled its latest offering, Stormthrone: Aeos Rising, along with a teaser site and alpha signups.

Stormthrone is a browser-based fantasy MMO that calls heroes to "discover the ancient world of Aeos, a world besieged by demons." Players will get their pick of six classes: Knight, Rogue, Priest, Warrior, Sniper, or Mage.

Right now the website has bare-bones information, a link to sign up to the alpha test, and the promise of more information coming soons.

[Source: R2Games press release]

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