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Betawatch

Betawatch: April 12 - 18, 2014

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

Betawatch
This week, Trion expanded Trove's "adventurer" supporter tier, which costs $20, to include instant access to the game's ongoing alpha test. What else is new in the world of MMO betas this week?
  • Shards posted a survey for hopeful alpha test candidates (thanks, Siphaed!).
  • WildStar showed off new body customization options in its latest round of beta.
  • Face of Mankind's open beta begins... today!
  • Swordsman joins our list with its closed beta signups.
  • Archlord 2 opened its closed beta registration earlier this week.
  • Landmark implemented a major building patch for its beta.
  • We streamed Origins of Malu's alpha with the developer team.
  • Icarus Online's Korean open beta got a video preview.
  • HEX announced its closed beta will begin on April 23rd.
  • Monkey King Online soft-launched into open beta.
  • CasinoRPG, which does call itself an MMORPG, officially moved from beta to launch on April 16th.
Read on for the complete Betawatch roundup!

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Betawatch: April 5 - 11, 2014

Betas, Business Models, MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Venus Rising
Venus Rising's internal alpha officially kicked off this week, and we're sure you can't wait to log in and do... whatever it is people do in there. Take totally platonic baths, maybe. What else is new in the world of MMO betas this week?
  • Trion announced that ArcheAge is officially in alpha! The NDA's down, too.
  • WildStar unleased an enormous beta patch, complete with character customization improvements.
  • Elite: Dangerous' premium beta has begun for... premium... people.
  • Argo Online returned to beta testing yesterday.
  • The Crew announced a fall 2014 launch window.
  • EA MOBA Dawngate hopped into an open beta it's calling a community beta.
  • And sandbox Gloria Victis is now in alpha for donors.
Read on for the complete Betawatch roundup.

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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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Betawatch: March 22 - 28, 2014

Betas, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Launches, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

TUG
TUG landed on Steam's early access for $10 today, bringing the indie sandbox that much closer to official launch. What else happened in the land of MMO betas this week? Read on for our complete Betawatch roundup!

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Betawatch: March 15 - 21, 2014

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

Betawatch
SOE announced this week that EverQuest Next Landmark will leave alpha and enter closed beta on Wednesday, March 26th. Land rush incoming! What else is new in the world of MMO testing?
  • WildStar is hosting another beta weekend event and opened up preorders.
  • Black Desert ramps up its beta testing planning; it begins April 4th.
  • Black Gold's closed alpha has begun! If you complete Snail's survey, you've a chance to get in.
  • Shadowrun Online will launch on Steam's early access program on March 31st.
Our complete Betawatch roundup awaits.

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Betawatch: March 8 - 14, 2014

Betas, Launches, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Infinite Crisis
Turbine's MOBA Infinite Crisis soft-launched into beta today, so Betawatch bids it a fond farewell. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? We've got our complete roundup of MMOs in testing after the cut. Read on!

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Betawatch: March 1 - March 7, 2014

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

End of Nations
This week in the world of MMO testing, Trion Worlds confirmed that development on End of Nations is formally and indefinitely on hold, halting its long and convoluted run in Betawatch. What other beta updates have we got for you? All this and more can be found in our Betawatch roundup just beyond the break!

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Betawatch: February 22 - 28, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

MOBAs enter launch after seven years of betas.  They're like cicadas.
Yes, it's true: Infinite Crisis does not sport an infinite closed beta, as it's opening the doors on March 14th for everyone. The Elder Scrolls Online is also running another testing weekend, which everyone can freely talk about now that the NDA is no longer in place. The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot has also moved into open testing, allowing everyone to quest forcefully for loot of the most epic variety. (Presumably. It might be a farming sim, who knows.)

It's also been a week of closed testing news first and foremost, though. Black Gold Online is prepping for its first closed test, Nosgoth has entered closed testing, and Guild Wars 2 is starting off the test process in China while retaining its current business model. So everyone wins in the testing arena after all.

Aside from that, we've got our usual list past the break. And feel free to let us know if something slipped in a cash shop without us knowing down in the comments; it's appreciated, always.

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Betawatch: February 15 - 21, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Audio: Taps.
After an NDA that lasted so long it seemed poised to continue until a month after launch, The Elder Scrolls Online has finally dropped its NDA for testers, giving everyone who's played in a previous test a chance to sound off about the game. If you'd like to figure out the overall feel for the game based on that aggregate, enjoy wading through comments.

Elsewhere in the MMO testing space, Holy Blade Online entered open beta (with what appears to be a cash shop); Therian Saga did likewise. Eclipse War Online hasn't actually opened up its beta yet, but the first round of closed testing is slated to start next week.

What else? Oh, right, there's also the usual list of games in testing past the break. As always, let us know if there's a game whose testing phase (or the shift of same) has slipped past our notice somehow.

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Betawatch: February 8 - 14, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Have fun getting this after it's outdated content!
Is Final Fantasy XIV seriously back in beta again? Yes, but this time it's a beta on the PlayStation 4, all in an effort to ensure that the client works right on the new console before the official port. The first phase of testing starts on February 22nd.

Elsewhere in the beta world, Icarus Online Flying is entering open testing in Korea during the first half of this year, although whether or not the game will make it over here eventually remains to be seen. Mark Jacobs has also promised that Camelot Unchained will not be delayed due to the addition of any stretch goals, so that just limits potential causes for delays to everything else that usually delays MMO launches.

Our usual list of games along with our testing notes are just past the break. As always, if a game added a cash shop, moved to open testing, or otherwise crept under our radar, please let us know down in the comments.

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Betawatch: February 1 - 7, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

I am sure you're not surprised by which one I picked as a header.
Wow. All right. So it's been a quiet year for betas so far. Then EverQuest Next Landmark goes into testing and promptly drops its NDA, resulting in a lot of updates about the game. And today The Elder Scrolls Online finally lifted its NDA in the smallest fashion possible for the press, which resulted in another flood of stuff talking about the game's first few levels. (Although our readers still can't really talk about it, sadly.)

So, yes. Not such a quiet week this time around.

There are still other games in testing, of course, and we have them along with our testing notes just past the break. As always, if we overlooked something such as a game shifting into another phase of testing, please, let us know about it down in the comments so we can correct that as soon as we confirm it. Three or four games could have launched this week without getting noticed, really; somehow we managed to overlook the fact that Face of Mankind hit closed beta testing (with open beta in the near future).

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Betwatch: January 25 - 31, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Much ado about naming states for early testing that's sort of immaterial.
Development on TUG is continuing, but it's shifting gears a little bit. What was originally going to be called the game's first beta phase is now still an alpha phase, even though most of the core systems are in place. But the game's still moving along, and as it enters its next major testing phase, it's looking for fans to help spread the word. The game also went into voting for Steam Greenlight, so there's another option to help support its development.

For the most part, this has been a quiet beta week, but there's still our full list past the break as well as our testing notes. So dive on past the break for the list, and as always, let us know if something managed to slip a cash shop past us or launched without letting us know (which often means the same thing).

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Betawatch: January 18 - 24, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Hovering like some vast, predatory... nah, not going there.
If you're 17 and wanted to play The Elder Scrolls Online, bad news: The game will be shipping with a Mature rating. So if you buy your games from the one store in the United States that actually checks the ratings and your age, you'll be out of luck. You can also take a look at the game's latest preview video on group content.

Hearthstone entered into its open beta, although its functioning cash shop since closed beta puts it directly into the "soft launched" category for reasons discussed in last week's Betawatch. Star Wars: Attack Squadrons has also entered a second phase of closed testing for those who can't get enough dogfighting but don't want to play Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Oh, and there's the usual list of betas and our Testing Notes just past the break. Like always, feel free to let us know in the comments if something slipped into open testing or the like without our catching it!

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Betawatch: January 11 - 17, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

At this point we'll all be able to play it just as soon as we've forgotten why we cared!
Good news to those of you who have been waiting for ArcheAge for what seems like forever (because it has been): The game is in testing! Not open beta testing, no. Or closed beta. In fact, it's really just the most rudimentary stage of alpha testing. But that's something, right? It's at least more than anyone had expected.

Not many new betas kicked off this week, but War Thunder did expand its expansion testing with new vehicles and maps, and Hearthstone's development team took the time to say that fewer card changes will be made in the upcoming open beta. WildStar, meanwhile, shrank a little. After a fashion.

Anything else? Well, we do have our usual list of games in testing past the break, and we've got a bit more in the Testing Notes this time around. As always, feel free to let us know down in the comments if a game managed to add in a cash shop without our noticing.

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Betawatch: January 4 - 10, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

I'm sure there is a very good reason for having a full NDA on a game that's three months away from launch which is in no way unpleasant.
Who wants to talk about The Elder Scrolls Online? Because you can't, even if you're in the group of new beta testers. At least, you can't talk about the game itself. People have taken the time to talk extensively regarding the game launching with a subscription model and whether or not that's a good thing. The actual game mechanics will have to remain under wraps. If you'd like to discuss it down in the comments... please don't. NDA.

Fortunately, there are several games just past the break that are not under NDA. Some of them are even in open testing, so you can just sign up and go. Won't that be fun? As always, you can let us know down in the comments whether something surreptitiously entered a de facto launch state by adding a functional cash shop despite officially being in testing. Those sneaky cash shops really get in if you don't have proper sealing.

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