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Betawatch

Betwatch: January 25 - 31, 2014

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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