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Betawatch

Betawatch: July 13 - 19, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

If we can do this a few more times, it might finally see release as a third-person cover-based shooter.
What a long and strange road it's been, End of Nations. At first you were an MMORTS; then you lost your staff and sat in limbo. Then you were rebranded as a MOBA and went back into testing, and then... well, I guess that's the end, actually. So not such a long road after all. But still a bit strange.

The road to Dragon's Prophet is not nearly as strange, with the game recently getting a big drop of additional beta content. Ultima Forever has had to delay its US release for more testing, which doesn't qualify as strange either, although it is somewhat inconvenient. Last but not least, Eternal Saga moved into open beta, which is actively the opposite of strange. It's what you do.

While this week didn't have the beta shakeups of last week, we've still got a nice long list of games in testing just past the break. As always, if something sneaked into a different sort of testing (or launch) without our noticing, feel free to mention it in the comments.

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Betawatch: July 6 - 12, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Meanwhile, my cats are unhappy with one another.
After a couple of quiet weeks, the beta scene exploded this past week. In an ideal world we'd have Tom Lehrer sing about all of these changes like the elements on the periodic table, but times being what they are, we'll have to make do with text.

To start, Firefall is finally out of closed beta and into open testing. Dota 2 has also waved farewell to testing just as Eternal Saga has kicked off alpha tests. Age of Wulin moved into open beta or a soft launch depending on how you view it, The Elder Scrolls Online sent out a new wave of test invitations, Final Fantasy XIV started the last round of closed beta testing, End of Nations has been rebranded, and TUG is launching its first alpha on Monday.

These are, of course, some of the most noteworthy beta-related developments, but there are certainly many others embedded right past the break. If something managed to sneak past us, please, let us know in the comments.

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Betawatch: June 29 - July 5, 2013

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

Or maybe you're the guy who shoots someone and never was seen before that point.  I don't know!
If you can't get enough of vintage war machines blowing one another to bits, you can start blasting planes apart in World of Warplanes right now because it's in open beta at long last. Finally, you can enjoy the thrill of carefully lining up your shot only to be shot out of the sky by someone you never saw before you can actually pull the trigger.

Most of the beta world was fairly quiet this week, possibly owing to the holiday. The people who soldiered on seemed to do pretty well by it, with Dragon's Prophet getting a big beta content bump and The Elder Scrolls Online sending out another wave of testing invitations.

You want more? Well, take a glance past the break and see if there's another game to strike your fancy down there. As always, let us know if something managed to sneak under our radar.

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Betawatch: June 22 - 28, 2013

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

Why this isn't in every game baffles me.
This week has been pretty quiet for games going into or leaving beta, but EverQuest has started testing its Heart of Fear update, which apparently involves players riding on giant disembodied hands used as mounts. So that makes everything bright and wonderful within the world again because you can't say that isn't hopelessly awesome.

Beyond that, MU Rebirth is allowing signups for its closed test. Arena of Heroes has opened up for everyone who enjoys cross-platform MOBA play. Firefall is readying the last bit of its pre-open beta, WildStar is teasing us with patch notes, and Final Fantasy XIV is getting more beta teasers. It's a pretty normal week, in other words.

But there's also a huge list of games past the cut! Is that normal? Yes, yes it is, even if it might be missing a few games that we've removed (like Broken Realm, The Mummy Online, Lunaria Story, Scarlet Blade, Smite, Aurora World, Born to Fire, Dragon Crusade, Living After War, Maestia, Traveller AR, and Xulu Universe) for various reasons. Take a look for more games in testing, and if you notice something that's crept into launch without calling it that, by all means let us know in the comments.

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Betawatch: June 15 - 21, 2013

Betas, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

This doesn't look like much of a desert.
This week, the biggest beta news is that Black Desert Online's beta testing has been slightly delayed as the developers put a final bit of polish on the game. Of course, that's just for the game's Korean beta, and considering how long it's taking ArcheAge to come over it's probably safe to bet on not seeing Black Desert Online for a while.

Beyond that, Neverwinter launched again (but this time for real, you guys) and Final Fantasy XIV rolled out a beta version of the community site in addition to the game's beta. Turn-based MOBA Arena of Heroes also found the time to hit open beta, so if you feel like something with a bit slower action there's that option.

And, of course, we've got a whole list of games in testing just past the cut. Check it out, and if there's something egregious that we missed, feel free to point that out in the comments.

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Betawatch: June 8 - 14, 2013

Betas, Events (Real-World), News Items, Humor, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

You should have seen that sun rise with your own eyes.
The third phase of Final Fantasy XIV's beta has started, so I don't see why you're still here.

What? All right, there's the open beta date for World of Warplanes, English beta signups for ArcheAge, a look at the standalone client for DayZ, and the start of closed beta for Soldier Front 2. I guess all of that stuff happened this week. And I guess Neverwinter is running an event before it really launches on the 20th. Oh, and E3 was this week, so of course there was a lot of talk about games that are currently in beta or are heading into open beta in the near future. Plus, we probably still have our full list of betas just past the cut, because that's here most weeks and it's kind of silly to remove it.

But really. FFXIV beta. That's the important takeaway, right? Right.

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Betawatch: June 1 - 7, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

That's Our Doom! (TM)
If you've been waiting for Marvel Heroes or Arcane Saga to launch, the wait is over for both. Neverwinter also announced its official launch date, if a game can really launch from an open beta with no character wipes and a functional cash shop. (A glance at the past several weeks makes our views on that clear.)

Meanwhile, the rest of the game world buckles down for E3 next week, which promises to have goodies for several MMOs and points related. Aside from pre-convention hoopla, World of Warplanes has detailed its open beta, offering players treats for shooting down a lot of enemy fighters, and we were reminded that EverQuest Next is still a thing that will happen.

But while you languish here, countless other games are still in testing. Check out the full list past the break, and let us know if something managed to evade our notice in the comments.

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Betawatch: May 25 - 31, 2013

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

If your dragon needs are not served in one of the millions of games currently dripping with dragons, have more dragons.
With E3 on the horizon, it's been a quiet week in the beta space as companies prepare for that battlefield. It's not been entirely silent, however; Dragon's Prophet took the opportunity to enter open beta in both the EU and the US. Marvel Heroes also kicked off its early access, although the general launch is not scheduled until next week.

Otherwise, the quiet hum you hear is the buildup to E3, with Snail Games promising big stuff on the horizon. We also got a pre-convention look at The Elder Scrolls Online, if that's what you're looking forward to seeing on the show floor. Or reported on from the show floor, if you're not attending.

Beyond that? Well, there's always the big list of games in beta testing. A list we should probably keep somewhere safe, like, perhaps... right past the break? Sounds good. Take a look, and let us know if something sneaky slipped past us!

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Betawatch: May 18 - 24, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Space troopers always look space trooper-y.
This has been quite the week if you're interested in hearing about what's going on behind the curtain. Destiny offered everyone a new trailer, WildStar gave us plenty of information to chew on, The Elder Scrolls Online talked crafting, and Final Fantasy XIV announced a definite date for its relaunch with a new video. Tons of stuff behind the scenes.

Meanwhile, Eldevin quietly moved into its second phase of closed beta. Oh, and Neverwinter's economy completely collapsed, which is either bad for the beta or bad for the game's launch depending on how you see the game's current state.

How do we see it? Well, you can take a look at our testing list for an idea. In fact, you might want to take a look at the list anyway just to see what's out there. If you notice something erroneous on there, feel free to let us know so we can take a look ourselves.

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Betawatch: May 11 - 17, 2013

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

But Iron Man 3, amirite?
Early access for Marvel Heroes is just around the corner, if you consider 11 days to be a corner. It'll be a chance for everyone to get started on the process of hitting the level cap... or at least getting halfway there before grinding dailies. Your mileage may vary. DUST 514 finally ended its testing earlier this week, meaning that you can go be obliterated by an orbital strike right now if you own a PS3.

Elsewhere in the testing world, Anno Online quietly went into open beta (keep an eye out for our own Beau Hindman's look at the game later this month). There are games preparing for a beta in the future, as well, and more information about popular titles still in beta. It's been a quiet week otherwise.

That doesn't mean there isn't a list past the break. There's always a list. As always, if you see something odd on there, feel free to let us know in the comments.

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Betawatch: May 4 - 10, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

It's really good, it is.
You don't need to read the rest of this column, folks. City of Steam goes into open beta in two hours, so there is no reason for you to be sitting here when you could be playing that. Oh, and Marvel Heroes is running one last open beta weekend. And UFO Online is also in open beta. Plus, Arcane Saga launched (or re-launched) its beta. There is too much stuff to play for you to be sitting around reading columns about betas. You've got your project right there.

Still here? You're really dedicated to that beta list, huh? Well, we appreciate that. And you can find it just past the break as always, and you can feel free to let us know if we missed anything down in the comments just as always. But seriously, you don't even need to close your browser for City of Steam. That's accessibility right there.

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Betawatch: April 27 - May 3, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

You get a week, then I'm calling your bluff.
So Neverwinter launched this week. Or it went into open beta. Or it did both. We've kind of got a Schrödinger's Launch going on here. You can read our first impressions of the game if you're curious about its overall quality regardless of whether it really launched or not. Lost Saga enjoyed a comparatively unambiguous launch, complete with new content compared to beta.

There's not a full open beta for Marvel Heroes yet, but you can still jump into the game this weekend in celebration of some new movie or another. Representing the other major superhero franchise is Infinite Crisis, which announced that the start of its closed beta testing will be on May 8th.

Oh, and there's the usual assortment of games in testing listed just past the cut. See something amiss? Feel free to let us know about it down in the comments.

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Betawatch: April 20 - 26, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

The streets are alive with laughter.  Also plague germs.
Do you want to build an entire functional city? How about a barely functional one? You can do either in Anno Online, which has launched its closed beta test this week. Lunaria Story has started its open beta, and Marvel Heroes is launching a big push to give away keys prior to its launch in June.

Long-time browser-based darling City of Steam scored a major coup by getting listed on Steam Greenlight this week, and the early access beta is starting on May 10th, ramping up to a full open beta not too long after that. Neverwinter founders are already getting to enjoy the game's early access to the open beta, which begins next week.

But there's more testing afoot always, and we've done our best to compile all of that into the list just past the cut. Notice something that we've missed? Feel free to let us know about it down in the comments.

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Betawatch: April 6 - 12, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

On the bright side, I'd barely have any time to play WildStar right now even if I were in the beta.
Have you eagerly anticipated the start of WildStar's beta testing? Good news for you, then -- it has started. The bad news is that odds are fairly good that you aren't in it, but at least now you can look on longingly from behind glass.

Of course, the beta news of the week hasn't just been about big names. Genia: Brain Storm is currently looking for beta testers interested in a game of wits, and Yitien is just what you've been looking for if you're looking for a high fantasy browser-based MMO. Neverwinter is gearing up for one of its last beta weekends before the open beta test at the end of the month.

Looking for more testing goodness? Take a look at the full list past the break. If you notice anything missing that's in testing, feel free to let us know about it down in the comments.

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Betawatch: March 20 - April 5, 2013

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Runescape like you have never seen it before but not all that different from how you have played it before.
Runescape 3 is entering beta soon! Of course, it's less of a new game and more of an upgrade to the existing Runescape, which is a bit less enticing. Arcane Saga is also entering its closed beta on May 7th, but that too isn't a new game, simply a rework of the closed game Prius Online. Ecol Tactics is also entering its open beta, and it... wait, that one actually is a new game. Shame, we had a pattern going.

We also found out that purchasers of an Earthrise: First Impact Founder's Pack will have priority access to the relaunched game's beta to start at an unannounced time. Darkfall Unholy Wars will finally be wrapping up its beta and relaunching on the 16th, and Final Fantasy XIV is moving closer to its own relaunch with its second phase of beta testing.

Oh, yes, and there's a full list of betas past the break, as always. Feel free to let us know if there's something missing!

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