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Betas

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]

Transformers Universe rolls out Pandemic and Outsider

Betas, Sci-Fi, Classes, Free-to-Play, Transformers Universe, MOBA

transformers unvierse
Transformers Universe is currently attempting to make waves at Eurogamer Expo 2014 with tournaments, free play, and the addition of two new characters.

Now in the game's beta test are Pandemic and Outsider. Pandemic is a Decepticon sports car controller who has a flexible weapon set that can mess with enemies and pin them down. Outsider is an Autobot who can teleport to and from the front lines of battle as well as yank enemies around with a gravity well.

We've got the first look of these new warriors in a video after the break!

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Test Shroud of the Avatar, get a hat

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Housing, Crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar

SOTA
Release 10 access for Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar sandbox begins Thursday morning, according to an update on the Kickstarter portal. This release is primarily a polish patch, Portalarium says, but housing utility, PvP, and population density were addressed as well:
We also made changes to increase player population densities in the game because we observed players becoming more and more spread out as we added more scenes; especially scenes with player housing. Speaking of player housing, we also noticed many people claiming houses, but not actually using nor decorating them. To address both these issues, we reduced the number of scenes with player housing and we introduced costs to lot claiming and house deed purchases (deeds can be purchased from the bartender in Owl's Head). We also reduced the number of PVP arenas to only two. Hopefully this will concentrate the players in fewer areas, and increase the number of decorated buildings.
In far more important news, SOTA's devs admit that testing participation has been falling off with successive releases; to entice players to test, FREE HAT. No, really; you get a free special hat for completing a quest in each release.

SOTA was greenlit on Steam last weekend after just a few days of campaigning. The full release notes can be found on the official website.

Derek Smart responds to Line of Defense early access mishaps

Betas, Sci-Fi, Launches, News Items, Free-to-Play

Well, we all knew how this would go down once we got on this ship.
So guess what happens when you flag a game as both early access and free-to-play on Steam? Apparently, everyone can get in and play with or without buying the founder's packs that your game is selling. That was the lesson that the Line of Defense crew learned last week when that exact scenario took place. Some players were a little miffed by that turn of events, which led to Derek Smart's penning an explanation and response to the situation.

Smart lambastes those who peppered the game's store page with negative reviews based upon the unexpectedly revoked access, claiming that those who did not own the game but submitted negative reviews were violating the terms of service for Steam. He stresses that the game is currently still very much in testing and access is not being given away to any form of media simply because the game is far from feature-complete at this time. You can read the full update on the official site.

Global Agenda 2's closed beta expected 'before the end of the year if all goes well'

Betas, Sci-Fi, Classes, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, Global Agenda

When last we heard about Global Agenda 2, we learned the promised sequel to 2010's Global Agenda was in line behind profitable MOBA SMITE for attention, and that announcement was made while its developers were admitting Tribes: Ascend was unlikely to ever get more love. But Hi-Rez Studios CEO Erez Goren broke radio silence on GA2 with a slew of spoilers on Reddit yesterday (apparently before he was shadowbanned for "vote manipulation" by angry Tribes players). The highlights?
  • It is in fact a "spiritual" successor to GA.
  • It'll have objective-based, 5v5 PvP with stats leveling during matches. E-sports will be supported, as will spectator mode.
  • Viewpoint is first- and third-person. "Shooting is from first person mostly."
  • There are "no strict classes." There is "no dedicated healer class." You just "select the way you want to play and join the queue."
  • A "dome city area" might serve as a gathering point for players.
  • He rattles off a whole list of weapons and off-hand items.
Clever Redditors surmise that the game might actually be named Global Assault. Closed beta is expected "before the end of the year if all goes well."

[With many thanks to Sorenthaz for the great tip!]

TUG introduces the magic of alchemy

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Sandbox

tug
An early version of TUG's alchemy system has made it into the game. "Sacrifice your energy for the love of magic and bring forth some new surprises," Nerd Kingdom teased.

Players can now get their hands on recipes to help them whip up useful items, mine crystals in the world, and transmute items at a cost. The team also announced that it has made "a lot of progress" on better multiplayer network code and improved terrain generation.

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