Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Betawatch: February 15 - 21, 2014

Eliot Lefebvre

After an NDA that lasted so long it seemed poised to continue until a month after launch, The Elder Scrolls Online has finally dropped its NDA for testers, giving everyone who's played in a previous test a chance to sound off about the game. If you'd like to figure out the overall feel for the game based on that aggregate, enjoy wading through comments.

Elsewhere in the MMO testing space, Holy Blade Online entered open beta (with what appears to be a cash shop); Therian Saga did likewise. Eclipse War Online hasn't actually opened up its beta yet, but the first round of closed testing is slated to start next week.

What else? Oh, right, there's also the usual list of games in testing past the break. As always, let us know if there's a game whose testing phase (or the shift of same) has slipped past our notice somehow.

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.

Margonem (Garmory): Signup
Project Gorgon (Project Gorgon): Signup
SmashMuck Champions (Kis Studios): Announcement, Signup, /r/ (early access on Steam now)
Taikodom (Gamersfirst): Announcement, Signup

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. This still qualifies even if the test does feature an active cash shop so long as the signups are restricted; it also qualifies if the testing is limited to purchasers.

DayZ (Bohemia Interactive): Announcement, Signup (access is for early purchasers on Steam)
Earthrise: First Impact (SilentFuture): Announcement, Signup
Eclipse War Online (Playwith Interactive): Announcement, Signup (from February 25th to March 11th)
Elite: Dangerous (Frontier): Announcement, Early Access Purchase
End of Nations (Trion): Announcement, Signup, /r/ (development in limbo, possibly cancelled)
EverQuest Next Landmark (Sony Online Entertainment): Announcement, Signup (in paid alpha)
Face of Mankind (Nexeon): Signup
Infinite Crisis (Turbine): Announcement, Signup
League of Angels (GTArcade): Announcement, Signup
LEGO Minifigures Online (Funcom): Announcement, Signup (launching summer 2014)
Line of Defense (3000AD): Announcement, Signup
Origins of Malu (Burning Dog): Announcement
Starlite (Project Whitecard): Announcement, Signup (fka Astronaut: Moon, Mars, and Beyond)
Strife (S2 Games): Announcement, Signup
The Elder Scrolls Online (Zenimax): Announcement, Signup (launches 4/4/14)
The Repopulation (Above and Beyond): Announcement, Signup, /r/
TUG (Nerd Kingdom): Announcement, Signup
Venus Rising (FoxySoft): Announcement (fka Orgia Romanus; adult MMO, possibly NSFW)
WildStar (Carbine/NCsoft): Announcement, Signup

Testing Notes
If you're the sort that checks this list religiously every week, you may wish to find other hobbies. You also probably noticed that this week's list is a great deal shorter than last week's list. And while some of that is due to games sneaking in cash shops into supposed open betas, there are a couple of other reasons why a game might get yanked from the listing altogether.

The first is a dead site. Yes, this does happen every now and again, generally with either smaller companies or large ones that have... let's say a history of opening games with a short shelf life. When the site doesn't work, the obvious conclusion is that the game is abandoned; if later developments challenge that assumption, then it can come back to the list.

Lime Odyssey has also been yanked, and this is for a different reason. The site is still working, but the case of that game was covered a couple of weeks back. Since the development has gone silent and the game has shut down in its country of origin, it's a safe bet that it's not going to come blazing back to life like a citrus-scented phoenix.

That doesn't mean we're infallible, though, and there's always room to improve. Are there games on the current list that you feel don't deserve to be there any longer? Let us know down in the comments.

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, and many thanks to Steven Eyerman for the Subreddit links

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr