Betawatch: December 22 - 29, 2012

I see, like, no sand here.  How is this a sandbox?
Are you ready for Origins of Malu? The developers of the sandbox certainly hope so, as the game's beta dates are being announced next week. That's not the only good news for fans of sandboxes over the past week, as Age of Wushu's developers responded swiftly to player outrage at some unexpectedly truncated purchaser benefits. They didn't restore the items lost by some players who deleted characters without realizing that benefits were being deleted as well, but it's something.

Elsewhere in the world, The War Z is facing a potential name change (although it's being fought), and both Ragnarok Online 2 and Power Rangers Online have gone to open testing. But if you're more focused on big names, you can look forward to the beta schedule for Final Fantasy XIV, which has been spelled out in great detail by the developers and will be kicking off early next year.

Need more beta goodness? Check out everything you could want to know just past the break with our full list, and if you see anything we missed, let us know in the comments!

Open testing phase
Massively considers a game to be in open testing if it has open, public signups and plans for a server wipe before its official launch. Self-described "open beta" MMOs that have soft-launched with functioning real-money cash shops will not be listed.

Age of Wushu (Snail Games): Announcement, Signup (US; second closed beta 12/20/12, launching 5/3/2013, beta accessible by anyone with time limitations)
Otherland (gamigo): Announcement, Signup, /r/ (intermittent OB weekends beginning 8/31/2012)
Ragnarok Online 2 (Asiasoft Online): Announcement
Remanum
(Travian): Announcement, Signup, /r/
SmashMuck Champions (Kis Studios): Announcement, Signup, /r/
Soul Captor (Gamania): Announcement, Signup
Taikodom (Gamersfirst): Announcement, Signup
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Online (CyberTime Systems): Announcement, Signup, /r/ (Russian-only)

Closed testing phase
We consider an MMO to be in closed testing if it features either future test signups or an ongoing semi-private beta/alpha that cannot immediately and freely be accessed by the general public. Some are restricted by NDAs.

Age of Wulin (gPotato): Announcement, Signup (Asia, EU)
ArcheAge (XL GAMES): Announcement, /r/ (CBT5; Korean-only)
Black Prophecy Tactics: Nexus Conflict (Gamigo): Announcement, Signup
Born to Fire
(Aeria): Announcement, Signup
Bounty Hounds Online
(Wicked Interactive): Announcement, Signup
City of Steam (Mechanist): Announcement, Signup, /r/ (running periodic beta events)
Dawntide (Working as Intended): Announcement, Signup, /r/ (development on hiatus)
Darkfall Unholy Wars (Aventurine): Announcement (only accessible to purchasers)
Defiance (Trion Worlds): Signup (beta starting 1/18/13)
Dota 2 (Valve): Announcement, Signup, /r/
DK Online (Aeria): Announcement, Signup
Dragon Born (KoramGame): Announcement, Signup
Dragon Crusade (Aeria): Announcement, Signup
Dragon Knights (Aeria): Announcement, Signup
DUST 514
(CCP Games): Announcement, Signup, /r/ (PlayStation Plus beta began 8/21/2012)
End of Nations (Trion): Announcement, Signup, /r/ (beta on hold)
Firefall (Red 5 Studios): Announcement, Signup, /r/ (open beta event 12/7-12/9)
Grecca (Banbox): Announcement, Signup (in "open" alpha)
Grimlands (gamigo): Announcement, Signup (second test running through 12/5/12)
Ingress (Google): Announcement, Signup
Lime Odyssey (Aeria Games): Announcement, Signup
Line of Defense (3000AD): Announcement, Signup
Living After War (Alaplaya): Announcement, Signup
Maestia (Gravity Interactive): Announcement, Signup
Marvel Heroes (Gazillion): Announcement, Signup
Origins of Malu (Burning Dog): Announcement
Path of Exile (Grinding Gear Games): Announcement, Signup, /r/ (open beta on 1/24/13)
Renaissance Heroes (ChangYou): Announcement, Signup, /r/
Salem (Paradox Interactive): Announcement, Signup, /r/
SMITE (Hi-Rez): Announcement, Signup, /r/
Star Conflict (Star Gem): Announcement, Signup, /r/
Starlight Story (Aeria): Announcement, Signup
Starlite
(Project Whitecard): Announcement, Signup (fka Astronaut: Moon, Mars, and Beyond)
Tamer Saga (PopAce): Announcement, Signup
The Missing Ink (RedBedlam): Announcement, Signup
The Mummy Online (Bigpoint): Announcement, Signup
The Repopulation (Above and Beyond): Announcement, Signup, /r/
The War Z (Hammerpoint): Announcement, Signup
Traveller AR (Ingz): Announcement, Signup (beta on hold)
UFO Online (gamigo): Announcement, Signup
Universal Monsters Online (Bigpoint): Announcement, Signup
Venus Rising (FoxySoft): Announcement (fka Orgia Romanus; adult MMO, possibly NSFW)
Waren Story (Aeria): Announcement, Signup
World Alpha (World Alpha): Announcement, Signup
War Thunder (Gaijin): Announcement, Signup, /r/ (fka World of Planes)
World of Warplanes (Wargaming.net): Announcement, Signup, /r/
Xulu Universe (Xulu): Announcement, Signup (testing on hiatus)

Subreddit links helpfully provided by Steven Eyerman!

Betawatch is Massively's weekly report on the latest MMO alphas, betas, and other games still meandering toward an official launch. From ArcheAge to World of Warplanes, it's covered here, complete with sign-up links so that you too can perform the unpaid quality-control work otherwise known as game testing. Drop us a comment if we've missed one!

This article was originally published on Massively.