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Betawatch

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Have fun getting this after it's outdated content!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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Betawatch: December 28, 2013 - January 3, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Hopefully you hadn't cleared your schedule.
Mabinogi II: Arena might have sounded too good to be true. A sequel to Mabinogi that features an active arena with spectators allowed to watch teams clear through challenges? It turns out it was, in fact, far too good to be true, as development has been discontinued. Neat idea, though.

Meanwhile, as a whole, the beta front continues to be largely quiet as we all slowly arise from our holiday-induced coma. Black Desert shared a few more details about its upcoming second beta test, though most western readers are not going to be able to take part.

We have our full list of games in beta just past the break, as we have every week. Feel free to take a look to see if anything there grabs your interest with a bit more zeal, and let us know down in the comments if something slipped into another testing phase or added a cash shop.

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Betawatch: December 21 - 27, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Let's do the time warp again?
If you had fond memories of Sevencore during its brief original run, you'll be happy to know that the game is getting a new lease on life via Ignited Games. Whether or not it will go better than the game's first go-round remains to be seen, but the beta is set to last until January 13th of next year.

Otherwise, it's been a quiet week for betas, almost as if some major holiday took place over the week. War Thunder expanded its Ground Forces beta for more players, and Black Desert plans on adding a new region during its next beta test. It's region-locked, for the record.

Oh yeah, and we also have that full list of games in testing just past the break as we always do, in case none of the above stories meets with your particular tastes. As always, let us know if something added an active cash shop without our noticing or otherwise switched beta phases.

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Betawatch: December 14 - 20, 2013

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BABY WE WERE BORN TO RUN (FROM ZOMBIES)!
After a wait so long that you could be forgiven for thinking it would never happen at all, DayZ's standalone version is finally in testing! It's a buggy and early sort of testing that requires you to drop money for it on Steam first, but it's still testing. The standalone reincarnation of what was previously a mod for Arma II seems to have done brisk business.

A lot of games have moved into the testing phase for the holidays: Inferno Legend opened its beta doors, Strife did the same, and ArcheAge went into beta in Russia. (It will never happen here.) Meanwhile, Ingress polished off the last of its testing and went out into the world, while Hearthstone announced an open beta delay.

Yes, there's a full list with more games and such past the break. As always, we appreciate people letting us know if a game crept between testing or launch stages without our noticing!

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Betawatch: December 7 - 13, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

It's archaic, yes, but there have been worse approaches to saving the print industry.
If you really want to get into the EverQuest Next Landmark beta, the good news is that there's a more or less foolproof way to do so. The bad news is that you're going to have to buy a magazine first, as US editions of PC gamer contain a code this month. And yes, that's just the print edition. I know; you haven't actually bought a magazine in years. It's all right. It's a means to an end.

Meanwhile, Elite: Dangerous began its alpha phase, Diablo III's Reaper of Souls expansion has officially entered closed beta, Shroud of the Avatar opened up its first playtest for backers, Aura Kingdom showed off more of its endgame, Inferno Legend started closed beta, and Blade Hunter kicked off its own testing cycle. The beta testing for World of Tanks on the Xbox 360 is also now open to everyone, if you really can't get enough console-based tank shooting. Not to mention the full list of games in some form of testing past the break. Let us know down in the comments if something has installed a cash shop or changed testing phases without our noticing.

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Betawatch: November 30 - December 6, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

The zombie craze, ironically, seems to just keep coming back.
The entire idea of game testing has been put through the wringer in the past few years, with betas that aren't and open betas that are release in all but name. But when DayZ actually goes into testing, rest assured, that "alpha build" is actually going to be an alpha build. We applaud the bold decision to use a game's testing phase as, well, a testing phase.

League of Angels entered its beta testing this week, complete with events for testers to take part in. War Thunder also kicked off the testing of its Ground Forces expansion, expanding its previous world full of planes to include a few more... what's the word for those other things? Like cars, but with turrets and treads? Rhymes with pranks? Whatever it is, there will be a world of them.

Oh, yes, and there is a full list of betas past the cut, just as there is every other week. If something sneaked a cash shop in without our noticing, please, let us know down in the comments.

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Betawatch: November 23 - 29, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

The Hi-Rez circle of life continues.
Good news, everyone! SMITE is going to be launched in March of next year! You might argue that it's kind of a silly distinction seeing as the game has been in open beta with a functional cash shop for quite some time now, but this is different because there will be a big tournament before the launch. Any previous tournaments don't count because of reasons.

In other news, Hero of the Obelisk entered its open beta yesterday at a point when most of us were stuffing ourselves with far more food than we really needed. Defiance is also opening up its public test server, which doesn't really count as a standard beta but is still a thing.

Is that all? Well, you know, it's a holiday weekend, but we've still got our usual list of games in testing past the break. Let us know if a game on our list added a cash shop while we were eating a bunch of turkey, please.

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Betawatch: November 16 - 22, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

All the people without beta invites who want one must be very unhappy right about now.
Yes, The Elder Scrolls Online fans, another set of beta invitations has gone out, making for a large number of very happy fans. ArcheAge fans, by contrast, are probably extremely unhappy. Unless they're in Russia, which is apparently higher priority for release than over here. This is why we can't have nice things.

Speaking of games that seem to outright refuse to launch over here, we learned Blade & Soul is doing quite well in its Chinese beta. The good news is that open beta is launching on the 28th and will feature no IP locks; the bad news is that it will obviously be in Chinese, which may be quite a hurdle for anyone not fluent.

Other than that? Oh, you know, the usual list of tests past the break. Let us know if something crept into open testing or added a cash shop without our noticing!

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Betawatch: November 9 - 15, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

I fell in to a burning house of fire.
City of Steam went into beta as a promising browser title, got a publisher, lost some of its charm, and then died... and now it's heading back to development again. The circle of beta continues. Meanwhile, Darkfall is currently in its open beta in the East, which appears to be going quite well for the sandbox.

After spending many moons in beta testing, World of Warplanes has finally launched for real, along with a unified account for those who can't get enough different games in which World War II military vehicles blow one another up. Oh, and Bless announced its beta plans, although those don't yet include any plans for release in the West.

Is there more? Of course there is! There's a whole list just past the break, as always. You can let us know whether something sneaked into open beta or similar without our noticing or one of those darn cash shops sneaked into a game ostensibly in beta testing. (They're sneaky.)

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