How would you like to be a beta tester for Lord of the Rings Online? You’re not being paid for it, of course, that’d just be silly! But if you’re a devoted fan that would like to try to make the MMORPG better, then perhaps the LotRO Palantir Preview Program is for you.
The Palantir Preview Program is much the same as the preview program prior to July 2012. Players who are VIP or Premium members in good standing and are 18+ can apply to join the program and test in-development LotRO content and provide feedback to the devs. It’s basically like a regular beta test but in smaller scale and for a period of six months.
There are a number of caveats potential applicants will want to bear in mind before submitting their information for consideration. Notably, regular participation in both the server and with the developers. Applicants are also being asked to stay on-task and keep pace with an “aggressive development cycle.”
If none of those are roadblocks to you, then you can learn more about the Palantir Preview Program, including an FAQ, on the game’s forums.
So on the one hand, free labor, guys? Really? On the other, those who would be interested in joining this preview program are likely more interested in trying to make LotRO better for everyone overall than they are in getting compensated, so perhaps that’s a moot point. In any case, we do hope that these unpaid testers provide the devs with the kind of feedback they seek in order to keep this MMORPG growing.
Fallout 76 still doesn’t have a date for its Break-it Early Test Application (B.E.T.A.) just yet, but there are a couple of notable Fallout 76 FAQ updates. For one, there will not be a Fallout 76 Steam version and any progress made in the beta test will be carried over once the game goes live.
Yep, in spite of all popular wisdom to the contrary, Fallout 76 is going to eschew releasing on Steam in favor of its own dedicated launcher. The FAQ first explained that PC players will only be getting into the game’s beta via the Bethesda website, and a rep has confirmed that no Steam release is confirmed.
“The PC version of Fallout 76, for both the B.E.T.A. and the launch, will be available only via Bethesda.net, not on Steam,” reads the statement provided to PC Gamer.
In addition to this new revelation, another addition to the FAQ has revealed that the devs plan for the beta version of Fallout 76 to be the full version of the game. As a result, any progress made during said beta test will carry over to the full game.
As a reminder, the only way to get access to the beta – which now pretty much sounds like a soft launch to us – is by pre-ordering the game. “Testing” is expected to begin at some point in October.
Well then! Those are some pretty significant updates to Fallout 76’s plans! We’re curious why Bethesda has decided to snub launching on Steam. Perhaps Bethesda is looking to have its own dedicated launcher for all of its games like Trion or Nexon? In either case, this all may be a moot point as the game could always arrive to Steam later post-release anyway.
First! Don’t you hate when people exclaim that in comments? Well, consider Xbox One to be that annoying commenter with the revelation that the Fallout 76 beta test will be arriving to the console first before PC and PlayStation 4.
The FAQ for Fallout 76 has updated with word of its Break it Early Test Application (B.E.T.A.) opening up to Xbox One players first. Specifics of when this beta test will begin were not included, but it does suggest that fans keep eyes on the game’s website and social media for times.
In addition to the news of Xbox One’s early beta access, details about the game have begun to slowly surface. A write-up from PCGamesN has offered some insight into Fallout 76’s version of S.P.E.C.I.A.L. and how leveling up works.
Fallout 76 will let you ramp up one of your attributes at every level up just like before, though each of the stats seem to operate differently in the interest of online multiplayer balance. The game will also have Perk Cards, which function similarly to perks in previous entries in the series. The major differences here are that you can only have a limited selection of Perk Cards active at one time and you can share Perk Cards within your party.
Finally, for the more stealth-minded player, a very brief video on the game’s official Twitter has explained that player dots on the minimap will quickly fade away the moment you hit the crouch button.
Console exclusivity, amirite? Anyrate, we’re just happy to see some more details of how Fallout 76 will play come forward, even if those details are a bit of a trickle. Let’s hope for some more in-depth information soon!
This weekend is likely one of the biggest for the team at Rare Ltd. as the final Sea of Thieves beta test is officially underway and has opened to a significantly larger audience. Specifically, anyone who feels like playing in the pirating online sandbox.
The final test for Sea of Thieves can be snapped up by anyone from either the Windows 10 Store on PC or the Xbox Store on the Xbox One console. Participants will need to have an Xbox Live account on either platform and will need to have an Xbox Live Gold subscription on the console version.
Naturally, the final beta is intended to test how the MMO operates under a heavy load of players, so those trying to get in should expect a number of problems. According to executive producer Joe Neate, the team will be minding the shop with regular updates via a status page and updates on Twitter. That said, players should also expect some new content in this final build, including the addition of the Merchant Alliance faction and their relevant Voyages and skeleton forts.
Testing will run from today, Friday March 9th until Sunday, March 11th and will not be locked by an NDA. Patch notes for the latest build are found here, and word from the producer regarding the test can be found in the video below.
All the way through this game’s development, we’ve witnessed intriguing ideas and baffling decisions, but now it’s all coming to something of a crescendo. Here’s hoping players in the Sea of Thieves beta have a good time and the developers of the game are able to handle the crush.
Ain’t no party like a Skaven slicing party and the Skaven slicing party won’t stop for another 24 hours or so. As a result of what’s reported to be a successful Warhammer: Vermintide 2 beta test, the devs at Fatshark Games have elected to extend things by one more day.
With a whole bunch of Skaven and Chaos enemies laying dead at the feet of players, the game’s online multiplayer beta will press on for another 24 hours from 9am PST/12pm EST. In addition, another 10,000 beta keys have been made available at this web page, though said keys are on a first come, first served basis.
“It’s been an amazing weekend, with millions and millions of Chaos and Skaven enemies eliminated”, says Fatshark CEO Martin Wahlund. “We are also very appreciative that media and influencers have taken the game to a large audience around the world.”
Yay, more rat people slicing! Personally speaking, I had a pretty good time in the Vermintide 2 beta, so getting another 24 hours’ worth of video game melee bloodletting is good news indeed. Have you been among those playing the Vermintide 2 beta? What are your thoughts on this game? Feel free to share your impressions with us below.
Admittedly, Stardew Valley is not a title that’s entirely “in our wheelhouse”, but hey, a Stardew Valley multiplayer beta fits the mold and I super adore this game anyway, so let’s talk about it! Solo developer ConcernedApe has offered a new dev blog which provides a bit more insight into what steps have been taken and what steps are next.
As of right now, all of the coding for the game’s online multiplayer component is done (with the help of one Tom Coxon of Chucklefish), and all of the new features are in place. In the meantime, all of the new text is being sent off for translation into multiple languages and bug fixes are in the works. Once the translation is complete, a “serious QA phase” of bug squashing will be underway for both single and multiplayer.
So, where does that leave said beta? ConcernedApe is eyeballing that for sometime this coming Spring. As beta gets closer to launch, there will be further updates on how multiplayer Stardew will work, along with a more concrete features list and an ultimate timetable for final release.
We can perhaps expect to see multiplayer farming as a feature, as evidenced by the screenshot above from ConcernedApe’s Twitter in mid-January.
Never in our wildest 16-bit-playing dreams did we ever think we were going to get online multiplayer gaming of this sort. It’s not an MMO in the typical, traditional sense, but sometimes being able to play a more peaceful, pastoral game with others is better than entering an online PvP blender or PvE Skinner box.
Sometimes the only way you can build things up stronger is to break it down. Iron sharpens iron. Gotta fall to get back up. I’m done with typing axioms now and will just instead start typing about the upcoming Sea of Thieves stress test, which is looking to put the game’s backend through its paces.
As a result of connection issues that popped up during the first round of closed beta, the devs at Rare Ltd. are looking to see how their systems work at scale, and so will open up a large-scale test starting on Friday, February 16th at 2am PST/5am EST and ending on Sunday, February 18th. at 2am PST/5am EST. The stress test will be open to all who have signed up to the game’s Insider Program as well as all previous closed beta entrants.
According to executive producer Joe Neate, the purpose of the test is precisely that – to test things. As such, players will be seeing content similar to the last closed beta test. They should also expect a lot of things to go wrong including interrupted sessions, problems with in-game shops, and general inability to join in the game. The devs will also be running deliberate drills such as throttling performance or simulating deliberate outage in an attempt to learn how to handle these issues come launch.
“If there were times where you couldn’t start the game, or sell items at outposts, this was where the biggest bottleneck of data was seen, and it’s where our areas of focus are now,” writes Neate. “The goal of this is to test a lot of the work we’ve done since the Closed Beta, and to try and hit a higher concurrent players number than we’ve ever seen before.”
If you’d rather hear this information from Mr. Neate’s handsome self instead of read about it further, you can watch the accompanying video below.
It’s good that they’re setting expectations with this stress test this time around instead of having people fall into the trap of thinking the beta was just a demo to drum up sales. We hope that this stress test proves useful and hope that people participating in said test don’t lose their cool when things go wrong…because they will go wrong.
The war path is open and PC players can now try out the massively multiplayer online war game for a few weeks. The MMOWG. Which probably isn’t an acronym that will stick. At any rate, now is the start of the Conqueror’s Blade beta.
We’ve kind of been here before, admittedly, but the recent announcement has brought some more details on what gameplay will be available during the test. Events will make up the crux of beta, such as the Kingdom War event that will have player House Units of 1-40 players occupy territory for resources used in the formation of rare Legions. There will also be limited-time events and even a PvE event where players can team up to take down a powerful enemy of some sort.
10 different weapons will be available for players to use against their enemies, along with up to 20 siege weapons from Eastern and Western civilizations such as battering rams, siege towers and Congreve rockets.
The announcement also brought to light some additional gameplay details of what Conqueror’s Blade will offer in full. Players can look forward to 15v13 multi-stage siege match PvP, 8v8 or 5v5 deathmatch, and a PvE match where players must successfully escort an NPC. Of course, the main meat of Conqueror’s Blade lies in its Big World PvPvE, with territory occupation and all-out war being played out in 15v15 Stronghold skirmishes.
Beta for Conqueror’s Blade will run from now until Saturday, February 3rd at 1am EST. The game will be down for regular maintenance daily between 2am and 5am EST.
Our curiosity for Conqueror’s Blade continues to grow the more we hear about what this new PvP game will be offering players. Here’s hoping that the beta test is both fun for players and informative for the devs.
…but wait, isn’t this month January? Why yes, yes it is. In spite of that, the Conqueror’s Blade beta is indeed slated to kick off this month according to an announcement made by developer Booming Games.
While the announcement doesn’t provide a firm date for the beta test, it does state that testing will feature active clan wars with territory borders expanding or receding based on how battles in the game play out.
The announcement also features a closer look at its “Big World” map which players will need to…well…conquer. According to the announcement, the devs of Conqueror’s Blade have taken great care to consider geography in designing the game’s world and herald features like a day/night cycle, weather systems, and land features that can have an effect on the travel speed of units.
Of course, no conflict is complete without a resource chain, so players of Conqueror’s Blade will first need to occupy areas or cities that offer ways to train armies or create equipment. Luckily, spaces on the map are replete with resources to help players build a force at every stage.
Interested players can apply for a spot in the beta on the game’s website. You can also take a look at the “Big World” of Conqueror’s Blade in the trailer below.
Well! That’s quite a bit sooner than we expected, honestly! We’re certainly intrigued by how Conqueror’s Blade battles will play out and are looking forward to seeing more information on that front as well as a more specific date for the game’s beta test.