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Shroud of the Avatar shows new screens, preps for Steam

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar

Shroud of the Avatar's weekly update is here, and as always, there's a good bit of info packed into the lengthy post. There are a few new screenshots featuring scenes from Release 12, though you'll need to explore the game world to find them since Portalarium is coy about the new locations.

There's also a blurb about interacting with SotA's Steam community as well as a helpful how-to list in case you're unsure how to upload screens. Portalarium reiterates that SotA will become purchasable on Steam in early access form on November 24th.

Make My MMO: November 9 - November 15, 2014

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content, Make My MMO

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Shards Online returned to Kickstarter seeking $50,000 and a coat of polish for its player-driven multiverse sandbox. Citadel Studios developers also visited the Massively comment section to answer questions about the upcoming title, which is well over halfway to its goal with 27 days remaining.

Elsewhere, Star Citizen continued to roll around in piles of money, while Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen stirred from its slumber to offer up some early development screenshots. Click past the cut for the rest of this week's MMO crowdfunding news.

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Betawatch: November 8 - 14, 2014

Betas, Business Models, Expansions, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor launched this week, departing the halls of Betawatch. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? Our complete Betawatch roundup is below.

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Shards Online returns to Kickstarter [Updated with the video]

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content

Shards Online is back on Kickstarter, this time with a modest $50,000 goal and a promise to match donations dollar-for-dollar up to the final goal. The multiplayer sandbox made waves earlier this year thanks to its playable pre-alpha client and its unique multiverse built on player-run servers.

We've got the new Kickstarter trailer and the abridged press release below.

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Star Citizen's crowdfunding total tops $61 million

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen

What's better than $60 million in crowdfunding support? $61 million, of course, and that's what space sim sandbox Star Citizen's sitting at today. Cloud Imperium boss Chris Roberts has penned his usual Letter from the Chairman in response to another million-dollar milestone. This particular milestone unlocked the Espera Prowler, which Roberts says will be interesting to watch during the build process since it's an alien design that will be retrofitted for human use.

The letter also features a poll that allows backers to choose Star Citizen's third starter ship.

Revival launches its site, aims to sell houses for cash

Horror, News Items, Miscellaneous, Housing, Crowdfunding

It's like a Kickstarter without the kick or the start.
Revival has just opened the doors to its official site, and it's a sandbox online game with skill-based progression. Or it will be, at least. Contrary to what you would expect from that description in the first sentence, though, there is not a Kickstarter to link to. Instead, the game is planning to help fund itself by selling houses. In-game houses. For real-world cash, right upfront, before the game is out and in the live world.

According to the official site, the rationale is that real estate in the game world is limited, and rather than have generic housing templates, every house has pre-determined architecture and layout to properly fit with the world as a whole. You will also be able to buy ships and take part in sailing, again for real-world money. It's the designer's alternative to ever running any sort of Kickstarter or other crowdfunding campaign; whether or not it seems like a sound investment is up to the potential players.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

Shards Online teases second Kickstarter campaign

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

shards online
Shards Online isn't about to let a flopped crowdfunding campaign get it down, as the mod-heavy sandbox is preparing to launch a second Kickstarter run. According to a development roadmap posted earlier this summer, Shards Online is currently transitioning from pre-alpha to alpha testing, where it will reside for the bulk of 2015.

As part of those preparations, Shards Online has released a quick half-minute video to promote the upcoming November fundraiser. Check it out after the break and see if it's enough to tempt you into coughing up some cash when Shards Online passes around the plate.

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Make My MMO: November 2 - November 8, 2014

Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Star Citizen topped $60 million. I'm just going to let that marinate for a moment.


The Repopulation lowered its alpha access and pledging prices while also detailing some of the tweaks the dev team accomplished in October. Das Tal got Steam's Greenlight, and Ascent: The Space Game squeaked by its funding goal in the eleventh hour. The rest of this week's MMO crowdfunding roundup is just past the break.

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Betawatch: November 1 - 7, 2014

Betas, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

Trove departs the Betawatch list this week, having soft-launched with an open beta destined to go unwiped. Heroes of the Storm will head to closed beta on January 13th. And Blizzard announced Overwatch, a team-based online shooter that'll hit beta in 2015. What else is new in the world of MMO testing?
  • The Repopulation lowered its alpha access pledge prices from $100 to $25.
  • Elite: Dangerous will be emerging from beta and launching on December 16th.
  • Skyforge's first technical beta weekend begins November 13th.
  • MMOTCG HEX dropped its beta key requirement, so it's in open beta, but the studio says it's not in open beta. So yeah.
  • Dawngate announced a sunset while it was still in beta.
  • Korean MMO Echo of Soul immigrates to North America and Europe next year. Beta signups are live.
  • Gigantic will greatly expand its alpha test this fall.
  • Star Citizen passed $60 million in fundraising.
  • Watch two hours of in-beta Civilization Online unfold.
  • Indie MMOFPS Hunternet was revealed; it's currently in alpha.
  • The international version of Journey to the West enters closed beta tomorrow on November 8th.
  • Kingdom Rift began open alpha on November 3rd.
The complete Betawatch roundup is below.

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Das Tal gets the Greenlight, sells supporter packs

Betas, Fantasy, Promotions, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

das tal
The indie sandbox Das Tal is feeling a little more vindicated today, as the title announced that the community voted to Greenlight it on Steam following a three-month campaign. The studio said that it will now be figuring out "how best to use Steam's platform" as the alpha MMO moves forward.

Riding high off of the announcement, the Das Tal team announced that it will not be looking for further funding through a Kickstarter but will be selling development supporter packages instead. These packs go from $30 to $200 and include trial keys, alpha access, name reservations, and concept art.

Star Citizen passes $60M in fundraising, becoming 'single, coherent vision'

Betas, Sci-Fi, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen

Star Citizen appears to be unstoppable, with the in-development space sim passing the $60,000,000 crowdfunding mark this past weekend.

The $60M barrier unlocked the Aegis Bulldog fighter stretch goal. Moving forward, Chris Roberts revealed the next few milestone goals: the Espera Prowler boarding ship ($61M) and the Genesis-class Starliner ($62M).

"I think I speak for everyone on the team when we say it really feels like Star Citizen is starting to go from a series of modules to a single, coherent vision," Roberts said before teasing "a few more surprises" before the year is out.

Leaderboard: Have you tried The Repopulation yet?

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

I'm cautiously optimistic about indie sci-fi sandbox The Repopulation. Most of said optimism stems from people I trust comparing it favorably to the late great Star Wars: Galaxies. I haven't played it myself, though, on account of a full gaming plate and an increasing reluctance to throw money at pre-release products not named Star Citizen.

What about you, Massively readers? Assuming you're interested in The Repopulation, have you tested it? Are you going to? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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The Repopulation lowers its alpha access pledge prices

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, News Items, Promotions, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

Crowdfunded sci-fi sandbox The Repopulation has today announced a change to its pledge packages that should increase the number of backers -- and testers. The new packages cost $50 and $25; the $50 version grants immediate test access, while the $25 edition will sweep buyers into the alpha starting on November 21st. Above and Beyond says it will be altering its packages at that time to remove perks like housing plots and NPC naming, but the $25 buy-in will still "be the cheapest for awhile."

During the ongoing testing, the studio has vowed to keep the servers up around the clock outside of patch downtime, and it will avoid region locking, though the servers are located in North America. As the test is an alpha, a strict NDA is in place and pre-release wipes are still expected.

[Thanks, dirtyklingon!]

The Repopulation tweaked housing, vehicles, and shops in October

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Housing, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation, Player-Generated Content

The Repopulation's end-of-October report has arrived, and in it, Above and Beyond outlines the significant improvements made to the sandbox over the last month. Of note, player shops and vendors were added, along with a slew of enhancements to the player housing and city systems, like remote shopping and Star Wars Galaxies-style house relocation. Vehicles and mounts, genetic engineering, rogue nations, the interface, and cosmetic styling also received hefty upgrades.

Capping off the update are 15,845 words' worth of build notes. Yes, we counted.

The devs note that backers not yet invited to the alpha should all be gaining access in November.

Ascent squeaks by its Kickstarter funding goal

Betas, Sci-Fi, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

The race to fund Ascent: The Space Game through Kickstarter came down to the wire, but in the final moments, the community came through and passed its $35,000 AUD goal by $334 AUD.

This is obviously good news for the game's fans and for Fluffy Kittens Studio (and no, we will never get tired of typing that name). The money will be put to good use, says the lead dev: "The $35,000 Kickstarter goal will allow us to add four months to Ascent's development, resulting in a total of eight months of development time. We strongly believe that the added time will allow us to greatly expand the game's user base by polishing the visuals and fixing the user interface."

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