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Betawatch

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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Betawatch: November 2 - 8, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

It didn't work the last time, but this time might be different.
Are you ready for more brick-based adventures? Because LEGO Minifigures Online is already ramping up to start its beta testing early this month. Signups are available now, though we don't yet have an exact date on the test start or even an idea of how long the overall testing will be.

But maybe you're not really a building sort and you'd rather blow holes in things -- specifically, tanks. From inside of another tank. And that's all right, too, because World of Tanks is holding an open beta weekend for its Xbox 360 client. Everyone can get in on it, and anyone who doesn't will just have to wait for a bit, as beta registration closes after the weekend ends. Consider that motivation.

None of that tickles you? Perhaps you'll find something more to your taste in our beta list past the cut. As always, let us know whether something on the list slipped past our radar into a soft launch.

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Betawatch: October 26 - November 1, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

At least the winter won't be boring.
WildStar is not yet into the open testing phase, but it is ready for another round of closed testing starting this winter. If you've already been playing the game in previous testing phases, you'll get to see all of the changes; if you've been invited to the new testing, you'll be able to try the game in a whole new light. And if you're left out... well, it won't be all that different.

Meanwhile, other games in testing are strutting their stuff. Aura Kingdom has revealed its last set of classes, Shroud of the Avatar has brought out a new development video, and The Repopulation has also put out another trailer for the viewing public to enjoy. Browser-based Blood and Jade has also opened up its beta testing doors.

Oh, and there's a list of games past the break of games that are testing, as always. Let us know if there's something we've missed, from games opening cash shops to changing beta phases.

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Betawatch: October 19 - 25, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Hooray for anything featuring bards, really.
It's beta time, ladies and gentlemen, and there's been a lot of fuss this week about the first beta for Black Desert in South Korea. We've had a look at housing, at parkour, and at the free-for-all PvP that's turned a lot of people off from the game just from that combination of phrases. But this week's header nod goes to Aura Kingdom and its class reveal, chiefly because any jokes to be made about Black Desert never coming to the West have already been made.

Aside from that, we've got Hero of the Obelisk having just finished its first closed test. Oh, and there are the usual suspects past the break in the full game list. If something has sneakily added a cash shop or opened its beta without us noticing, let us know so we can double-check that. Being banished from our list is apparently kind of a big deal in some circles.

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Betawatch: October 12 - 18, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Is the eponymous black gold oil or something else?  I don't know.  I'm not following the game.
Black Gold is not in testing in the west yet, alas, but there is hope over the horizon, as the game is probably going to enter testing in the start of 2014. That might seem like quite a wait, but we don't have all that much of 2013 left at the moment.

Other games have been a bit more active. Excalibur has finished porting its sidescrolling mobile take on the MMORPG genre to the iOS platforms, while Blood & Jade kicked off its first testing phase on the 14th. Heva Clonia Online kicked off its first open test event and second overall beta, and with no more wipes before launch it's one cash shop away from "launch." We don't cotton to soft launches in these parts.

There are other games still in testing, and you can find the full list of them just past the break. As always, if a game has a cash shop or has opened testing without our noticing, please, let us know in the comments so we can investigate.

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Betawatch: October 5 - 11, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Here a tank, there a tank, someone really likes tanks.
If you can't get enough games on your Xbox 360 that involve blowing up and/or driving tanks, you'll be happy to know that World of Tanks is running a beta on the platform this weekend. Take part and you will win more tanks. This is probably a good thing since the whole game centers around tanks. It's the entire world.

Heva Clonia Online is pushing to open testing starting on the 17th, meaning that you have less than a week to wait if you're enthusiastic for the game but somehow missed the previous (first) closed test. City of Titans, meanwhile, isn't in beta yet, but it is far beyond funded to ensure that there will (hopefully) be a beta down the line.

Oh, and there is a list of games past the break in various states of testing. If something has sneaked into a new beta phase without our noticing or has added a cash shop without warning, let us know so we can investigate.

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Betawatch: September 28 - October 4, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

If you pre-purchase without ever having played the game, you're going to have a bad time.  Maybe.
So, do you want to play Destiny? Go pre-purchase it and you'll get some definite beta access. It's an old plan, but it's one that works out fairly well for everyone involved. The company gets a nice chunk of purchases and plenty of beta testers, the players get an easy pass into the game. Everybody wins. Aside from the people who buy the game and decide they dislike it after the fact. They sort of lose.

Beyond that, the Hearthstone wipe took place, bringing in one more patch and the promise of more open beta testing soon. And, of course, we have the usual list of games in testing just past the break. As always, we strive for accuracy, so let us know if something has opened a cash shop or the like without us catching it. Some games do so like to let those creep in without notice.

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Betwatch: September 21 - 27, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

A Warcraft to play when you're not playing Warcraft?
Playing a beta means you're going to see your progress evaporate. So it can't come as much of a surprise to Hearthstone players that everything is getting wiped away with all real money spent on the game being reimbursed. Still, you can't help but feel a little twinge of regret at the hours of progress gone in a moment's notice.

After being told that Black Desert was nearing its test stage, we've finally got a date of October 17th for the first Korean closed beta. And while we mostly cover games rather than expansions in here, it's worth noting that Lord of the Rings Online was giving away beta codes for the game's next expansion on Facebook. It's first-come first-served, so they might still be there, even!

Oh, and there's the list past the break like always. As usual, if something has slipped in a cash shop without us noticing, please let us know so we can check it out ourselves.

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Betawatch: September 14 - 20, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

It's not different at all, is it, Steve?!
It's hard to make a free-to-play Eastern-style fantasy MMO stand out amidst a sea of similar games. Heva Clonia Online is hoping to be seen as unique thanks to its pet system; it's just entered closed testing, so you can see for yourself how successful it's been at that goal.

There's no barrier to entering World of Warplanes at the moment, as it's in open beta, but its official release date has been moved ahead by a month and a half. Silent Hunter Online will provide lovers of military hardware another open-testing outlet for their enjoyment, although the game struggles a bit to really justify the "online" portion of its title.

Oh, and there's still a big old list of games just past the break for anyone interested in a title not mentioned here. If something in the list has sneaked in a cash shop, please let us know down in the comments.

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Betawatch: September 7 - September 13, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

That guy's skeleton must look kind of weird.
If you're reading this, odds are you're going to have to wait quite a while for Black Desert. Yes, the game is finally getting ready to move into its closed beta phase, but this article is being written in English. You're likely reading this somewhere other than Korea, which means that you're not invited to that first beta and will have to wait until it gets released, then gets localized, then gets a release over here.

I'm not saying it's never going to happen, but I am saying it'll probably be around 2038.

Other than that, it's been a quiet week for game betas. But there are still a lot of games in testing in the list down below, so you can certainly check one of them out. And as always, if something sneaked its way into having a full cash shop and no character wipe or something similar, let us know down in the comments.

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Betawatch: August 31 - September 6, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

We'll stop yanking games with cash shops from the list when companies stop staying in beta for eternity with an open cash shop.
Betawatch only covers some of what could be considered in beta testing. We have rules about what is and isn't in beta, for example. But the fact that Anarchy Online is currently beta testing its new graphics engine is worth a mention just the same because that's just plain nifty.

In more testing-related news, Ran Online is gearing up for a European beta after quite some time. CasinoRPG has gone into open testing after a successful Kickstarter earlier in the year. And Heva Clonia Online will be going into testing starting on September 19th, fulfilling a need for anyone addicted to the idea of cloning defeated monsters for pet battles without first shoving those monsters into tiny balls.

As always, the full list is past the break, and feel free to let us know if you've seen something that slipped our notice so that we can check and verify. We ain't perfect, after all.

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Betawatch: August 24 - 30, 2013

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

Because this worked so well last time.
Some weeks, there's so much going on with beta testing you can barely account for all of it. This week was not one of those weeks. Heck, the biggest news remotely related to betas was Funcom's dipping into LEGO MMO waters. It's not in testing, but it should provide a test to look forward to for LEGO Universe fans.

However, that has given us time to scour the list of a few games with live cash shops, games that have effectively soft-launched. So we can wave farewell to Anno Online, Dragon's Prophet, Eternal Saga, The Missing Ink, and Legend of Edda: Vengeance. Ambiguously launching-but-not-launching games is all the rage these days, apparently.

Despite these removals, the list past the break still promotes a variety of titles that we could not conclusively identify as having functioning cash shops, so they still count as betas. Check out the list past the break, and if we've missed something, feel free to let us know in the comments.

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Betawatch: August 17 - 23, 2013

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

Personally, I prefer Firespring or Firewinter.
Players enjoying Firefall's open beta were probably pleased to hear about the plans being made for the game's next phase of open beta testing, although a bit less pleased that the announcement didn't specify what those plans actually were. Players enjoying World of Warplanes, on the other hand, had absolutely no ambiguity to cope with regarding the game's announcement of a September 26th release date. And World of Tanks has expanded its console beta testing to Europe, giving players a new chance to enjoy the game on a different platform.

There are things to be said about other games that happen to be in beta testing, but this is Betawatch, not Businessmodelwatch. As a result, you can find a list of games in testing just past the break -- and if you see something that's missing or has sneaked a cash shop into open testing, let us know down in the comments!

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Betawatch: August 10 - 16, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

I excuse myself from the audience.
Welcome to another installment of Betawatch, ladies and gentlemen. To start the show, I'd like to note that all our audience members waiting for Final Fantasy XIV can go ahead and leave now; you're not going to pay attention and we all know it.

This week's surprising beta tidbit was Aeria Games' announcement about Aura Kingdom at Otakon, not usually known as an MMO reveal venue. Hearthstone has also entered its closed beta phase and done away with the stifling power of the NDA. Beyond that, it's been a fairly quiet week, with NCsoft making noise about the Lineage Eternal beta but not actually announcing any dates or details. We also heard about the MMO-like Nether moving into early testing, though it's really not a proper MMO title.

As always, you've been a great audience, and we hope to see you again next week. The full list of games we know of in testing is just past the break, of course, so you can feel free to check it out (and let us know if something slipped past us).

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Betawatch: August 3 - 9, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Do a little dance.  Other activities tonight are at your discretion.
It's been a long wait for Final Fantasy XIV fans, but the relaunched version has almost finished its beta testing. R2 Games has also released the first alpha of its upcoming side-scrolling Android title, Excalibur. If you'd rather sling pretend cards around, you can look forward to the upcoming beta test for Hearthstone. Meanwhile, WildStar has finished a phase of testing and is looking toward the future, which means a better game when it finally launches.

Unfortunately, it's not all good news this week, as Civilization Online doesn't appear to be heading this way in the near future. But it is mostly good news.

Of course, if that's not good enough news, you can feel free to peek into the list of games in testing just past the break. As always, let us know if there's something we missed or if a game's trying to sneak past the launch radar with surreptitious sales.

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