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Betawatch

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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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

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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

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

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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

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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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