Posts Tagged ‘open beta’

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Open Beta: Facts and Speculation

June 26, 2008

As we chomp through the summer, salivating for Warhammer’s release while the dev team hunches over computer monitors and vaguely recalls what their families look like, the biggest milestone between now and then is the fabled open beta. We’ve even been taking bets (of a sort) here at WAAAGH! to see when this date would occur.

I thought it might do some good (to me, at least) to cull the chaff from the wheat — or, if you’re not into biblical metaphors, the facts from the speculation.

Open Beta FACTS:

  • “Open Beta” to Mythic does not mean “anyone can play”; however, a large amount of new testers will be invited into the program.
  • People who have pre-ordered the Warhammer Online Collector’s Edition have codes that guarantees them a spot in the Open Beta.
  • If it hasn’t happened already, Open Beta will coincide with the drop of the NDA — Non-Disclosure Agreement — and allow previous and current beta testers to open up about the game. Expect to see many, many articles and reviews at this point.
  • Mark Jacobs elaborates: “As to when, it’s pretty safe to say that we are going to follow what has become conventional wisdom within the MMO community to have an OB about a month before launch. It certainly is possible we might extend it by a bit or even shrink it but no decision has been made yet. And since we haven’t locked in a date yet other than to say Fall 2008…. I expect the NDA will be lifted before OB. Hopefully quite a while before OB. As I’ve said for years, you can tell how much faith a developer has in its game by when the NDA is lifted.”
  • From Sanya Thomas, previous WAR community relations manager: “[Open beta means] no NDA. Because there is no NDA, people often refer to this as ‘open beta.’ But I wanted to be really clear with you guys – we are not planning the kind of open beta where everyone with internet access can download the game and hop in. That’s nutty. Right now, we are tentatively considering having everyone who pre-orders the game invited to this phase of beta. This phase will also invite winners from our big media promotions.”
  • Both North America and Europe will have an open beta.
  • Mark Jacobs expects between 750,000-1 million open beta users (or at least signups, if this blog poster got the quote wrong).
  • The open beta will most likely not include all areas and all features of the game, according to the devs — some parts will be locked up from players.
  • Open beta characters will NOT be carried over to live release, but the Head Start characters will. (Mark Jacobs: “We wipe after OB (100% chance) but not after HS.”
  • You can still apply to the closed/open beta on Warhammer Online’s main page.

Open Beta SPECULATION:

  • Open beta will eventually encompass all willing players — we simply don’t know how many they’re going to add to the beta before release.
  • Open beta will be more of a “stress test” in terms of numbers of players flooding into the servers, and less of a focused area test.
  • There might be an option to artificially level a character to 40 to stress test city sieges.
  • Most people speculate that the OB will begin between early August and early September.
  • The NDA drop is a one-month to zero days countdown to Open Beta
  • Open Beta is a one-month countdown to lauch — probably so, according to dev comments, but nothing is definite.
  • WAR JOL has a cool chart speculating on the beta release windows.
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Office Pool: Open Beta Date

June 8, 2008

Ever since the dawn of time and the dawn of the corporate office, there have been office pools — mindless, fun bets on various subjects. Why not us? Let’s take a topic that we all have in mind — the fabled date of the open beta start — and see if we can’t prognosticate a bit.

This is how it’ll work: just leave a message in the comments section stating your best guess for the open beta start. Month AND day. One guess per person. And those of you in the closed beta? This is not for you, sonny Jim.

I’ll keep updating this post with the guesses, and when it happens… well, we’ll see who’s right and who was lucky. Who knows, there might even be a prize in it for ya!

OPEN BETA DATE GUESSES: [Updated July 18]

  • DarkGobbo – July 4
  • Anonymous – July 14
  • Nostradomus – July 18
  • COS – July 29
  • Arbitrary – Aug 1
  • Suchey – Aug 1
  • Medrin – Aug 1
  • BloodnGlory – Aug4
  • Incognito – Aug 5
  • Gomf – Aug 4
  • DMNYO – Aug 7
  • Moxie – Aug 8
  • Syp – Aug 10
  • Xin – Aug 12
  • Bryon – Aug 15
  • Svoald – Aug 18
  • RJO – Aug 19
  • Scarybooster – Aug 21
  • Snorii – Aug 22
  • Eekanti – Aug 23
  • Bob S – Aug 26
  • Ardua – Aug 27
  • Wrenn – Aug 28
  • Sonny Jim – Aug 29
  • Steve – Aug 30
  • Daveturnbull – Sept 1
  • Bildo – Sept 1
  • Matt G – Sept 2
  • Johnny Walker Black – Sept 3
  • Traya – Sept 4
  • Thor 123 – Sept 5
  • Lepinski – Labor Day
  • Railith – Sept 6
  • Castigador – Sept 7
  • Drew S – Sept 9
  • Vayu – Sept 10
  • JayDizzle – Sept 11
  • Dave – Sept 15
  • Zypher – Oct 1
  • Mowowii – Oct 2
  • Elnan – Jan 2, 2009
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Massive Overload

June 6, 2008

I started writing a superlong article analyzing all 15 or so new posts at Massively concerning their trip to Mythic and quickly ran out of steam after about the fifth piece. I’m sorry, I know you all expect me to be superman, but I’m more like his dog (who could both fly AND lick his own genitals). So instead, here is a list of the 40 most interesting tidbits from all these posts! In no particular order!

  1. The Magus will get summonable demons (with limited movement).
  2. The possibility of us moving into open beta is set at a minimum of “one month”.
  3. The “Old World Armory” (items) is one of the last sections currently in development for the Tome of Knowledge.
  4. There will be Tome unlocks for having your city statue destroyed, completing a public quest without wearing armor, and for killing guild leaders.
  5. WAR is described by Mythic as “hardcore”, so they’re focusing hard on making it easily accessible to the casual player willing to learn.
  6. You can have only one gathering and one crafting skill; you can’t have two gathering or two crafting skills.
  7. Crafting can result in both criticals and “supercriticals” — ooh, I like the sound of that!
  8. Talismans are magical because your characters *believe* they are, not because they actually are.
  9. The contested city instance is 48 v 48 players for capital city warfare.
  10. There’s a suit of armor that you can earn only through doing PQs in an enemy city.
  11. Capital cities are laid out in a way that will allow designers to go back and add more to them later!
  12. You will be able to visit a capital city as early as level 7-8, but some sections of the city are closed off until you’re a higher level.
  13. In Altdorf, there’s a traveling troupe of actors that wander through the city and put on shows!
  14. Cities have programmable events/looks for certain occasions and seasons.
  15. There’s a PQ in a city that’s nothing more or less than a BAR BRAWL!
  16. Alliances are formed from up to 10 different guilds.
  17. There will most likely be an out-of-game guild component to keep guildies up to date on news and events.
  18. The icons available for guild heraldry number in the “hundreds”.
  19. Standards can only be wielded by select people in a guild.
  20. Mythic’s first office was actually two condos, one across the street from each other.
  21. Each career has its own unique UI design!
  22. Goblin shamans channel two types of Waaagh!: Mork and Gork (not Mork and Mindy?).
  23. Shamans have 28 spells and abilities to choose from (including masteries).
  24. The UI ring at your character’s feet always points to teammates and objectives.
  25. Items and gear can actually increase your spells and skills above level 40.
  26. Instead of cloaks, Engineers have backpacks and Black Orcs have backracks.
  27. The Engineer has at least three types of turrets to place, including machine gun and flame.
  28. Other Engineer tricks include healing ale, barbed wire and land mines.
  29. You can make your character dizzy if you spin the screen too much.
  30. Engineers can get a huge sniper shot skill at the end of one of their masteries.
  31. A Chaos Marauder’s mutations have different graphics for the same mutation.
  32. Marauders get — pretty much — a grappling hook ability to suck enemies right up to them.
  33. Squigs can fart!
  34. White lions can catch an enemy and toss them back to their master with a flip of the head.
  35. Rune Priests can bestow temporary abilities on classes that normally couldn’t use them (like tanks using healing skills).
  36. Chosen can have up to three dread auras up at a time.
  37. Everyone at the end of a PQ gets a roll for good loot, but those who participate more get roll modifiers.
  38. You also build up “influence” for PQs, which will eventually unlock good loot from nearby vendors.
  39. “Public Quests are raids without the bullcrap.”
  40. You can participate in scenarios even at level 1 — and be effective.
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Da Newz – May 1

May 1, 2008

Beta Ticker Update: 677,318 (+6,599 from last week)

Quote of the Week: So, if you’ve been reticent about PvP combat, or ignoring Warhammer Online because of it, it’s about time you stop doing so and start getting yourself ready – [WAR] is coming, and it’s going to change absolutely everything.” ~ CVG

Big Story of the Week: “The April Newsletter” Days before the official announcement, pages and contents from the official WAR site were mined, and you can go ahead and check out Paul’s Video Blogs, Scenarios 101 Part 4, Eataine Overview, the Beta Journal, the Grab Bag and the Guild Podcast. The highlight of the newsletter? Huge chunks of info on the “living guild” system!

Plug of the Week: Two up-and-coming WAR wikis need your help to fill in content, so get ye over to HammerWiki and MMO Wikis Warhammer to do your duty!

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Da Newz

April 3, 2008

Da Newz is WAAAGH!’s weekly wrapup of WAR news bits and chunks.

BETA TICKER: 644,508 (+20,120 from last week)

  • Massively reports that WAR will have no dance emote.
  • Only-WAR.com is another site that got an interview with Mark Jacobs about the WAR delay. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man give out so many interviews, so it’s logical to assume he’s a cyborg.
  • “WAR’s delay: from the fallout comes further details” from Massively. In short: WAR news and media will continue at a good pace, WAR is not afraid of WoW, and the CE head start will be more than just a day.
  • New videos: Altdorf City and Dark Elves at GameSpy. High Elves and Altdorf City at IGN.
  • IGN wrote up a piece on City Sieges. As the cities — 9 in total — will be the ultimate focus of the RvR conflict, this is of special interest to many people anticipating WAR. Cities are being approached a bit like RPG characters: they have five levels to progress through as players accomplish tasks for the city, which will change the face of the city and allow players to access new content. There will even be dungeons under the city to explore.
  • GameSpy explored Chaos’ Inevitable City to their glee. More discussion in here about the “leveling up” of a city, the RvR war waged between capital cities, and capturable keeps.
  • GameSpy has its take on the Collector’s Edition, and it’s… pretty much the same as mine, only less swearing and rants against corporate greed in the Bahamas.
  • Check out Eurogamer’s interview with Jeff Hickman at the Paris event! VERY interesting quote about the release date: “I know the actual dates and it’s not six months. Let’s call it three to six months.”
  • Mark’s said that not all of the servers will be available for the head start (and, apparently, they are planning on “lots” of servers).
  • Open beta will begin this summer.
  • Cool Greenskins wallpaper over at Warhammer Vault.
  • GU Comics muses on class balance in WAR.
  • Mark specified what he includes as autumn/fall in terms of the release date: “I posted earlier in the week that I consider the Fall between September 23rd – December 21st. So, if you’re counting on August…”
  • WarCry gets their interview in with Mark Jacobs about the delay. At this point, is there any need to keep touching on this subject? Is there any previously unhidden factoids that might come to the light? I don’t think so.
  • A couple of video interviews with Jeff Hickman in Paris, talking about WAR.
  • Keen reports on a few tidbits of news coming from Paris: WAR might cost 14 Euros a month, and Mythic is estimating about 200-250 hours (8-10 days) /played to hit level 40 (the cap).
  • Videogamer.com has a great “Hands On” article about WAR. “And so I beg Mythic to convince me to stop playing WoW and start playing WAR.” Amen.
  • Warhammer Vault’s April Fool’s: Warhammer’s first expansion announced!
  • April’s High Elf calendar wallpaper at Warhammer Vault.
  • Josh Drescher recaps the Paris Event, blog-style.
  • Hexus.gaming interviews Mythic about PQs, social networking and other fun topics.
  • WarCry got a nice hands-on experience at Paris, and you can read all about it here.
  • The Greenskin is there for us with their weekly Forum Watch – check it out!
  • Keen reports that Mark Jacobs expects over one million beta sign-ups before it’s all said and done. Holy schnikey!
  • Paul Barnett says that he’s working on an audio “read along” for the art book in the CE, probably to be downloadable after the CE ships.
  • “Chaos, Panic, Disorder: WAR CE Pre-Order Run-Down” at Massively.
  • Warhamma #13 is out — give it a good listen!
  • “One Week Later: WAR Collector’s Edition” at The Greenskin.
  • New Secret Life of Mobs comic: “Relationship Trouble”.
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Eleven Best WAR Features Touted This Past Week

April 2, 2008

Because everything should go to eleven, dontcha know?

1. The Collector’s Edition – In the field of collector’s editions, WAR is poised to outdo them all with a collection of great out-of-game bonuses (art book, graphic novel, figurine) and plenty of in-game goodies (character heads, unique quests, fun items). $30 for all this? Consider it a steal!

2. Mark Jacobs weathering the delay fallout on Warhammer Alliance Forums – Right, wrong or somewhere in the middle on the decision to delay, Mark nevertheless hit the community with a preemptive olive branch of communication and diplomacy. For a good couple days, he answered the many, many worries and questions people had about the WAR delay. It proves we have a great dev team that not only cares about the game, but in the community.

3. This quote by Paul Barnett on a video interview – THEM: “W-w-why would that be there?” PAUL: “‘Cause it’s a Chaos Demon!” THEM: “Well what’s the reason for it being there?” PAUL: “Because its CHAOS! It’s just there…” THEM: “W-well won’t people get upset?” PAUL: “No, they’ll get KILLED! …It’ll be AWESOME!”

4. Plungers of the World – Instead of falling off a cliff to your death or getting stuck in an obscure piece of terrain, WAR will reward you for your exploration and then blow you the heck back into the map with large explosives.

5. Crafting – Really nice to get to see a bit of this, nicer still that gathering will come solely from mobs you kill (no node farming!), but it would be the nicest of all to get a more complete run-down on this facet of WAR.

6. Altdorf/Inevitable City walkthroughs – Since these will not only be the capitol cities of their factions but also the staging ground for end game RvR battles, it was great to get fully fleshed-out tours through them.

7. There’s a guy. In Altdorf. Who’s sitting on the can in an outhouse. And you can get a quest from him.

8. Guilds get their own UI look, as well as their own banners. Spiffy!

9. Open beta is announced to start “sometime this summer”. I know it can’t be soon enough for most folks.

10. The new WAR website – not only looks great, but they’re being pretty good with updating it regularly!

11. The March Newsletter – and I’ve been so busy going through all the other WAR info released recently, I haven’t even read mine yet!

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To Beta Or Not To Beta, That Is The Question

March 25, 2008

With the expected announcement of the Collector’s Edition tomorrow and the pre-order offer to get a foot in the door of the beta, a lot more future WARions will have to ask themselves: do I really, REALLY want to get into the beta, especially if the chance is sitting right before me?

For many people and certain species of hummingbirds, the answer is “What are you KIDDING? Of COURSE yes!” They hunger, they can’t wait, their patience is finite and the sweet nector of gameplay is an irresistible siren’s song.

I am planning on preorder the CE for sure at this point, if only to get a jump start on the live servers right before the release. However, I’ve had to struggle with the temptation of joining in with the Open Beta before release. As much as I really do want to get playing WAR, you do make some sacrifices by joining up with the Beta Squad (formerly BetaMax):

1. Any characters you make and grow attached to have a very limited lifespan — I hate making characters I know will be wiped. I’ve been in the Mythos beta for months and have a hard time playing it, not because it’s dull (it certainly isn’t!) but because I loathe losing a character I’ve poured time and effort into.

2. You forfeit the innocence of your first day live server WAR experience for something that’s, in my opinion, lesser. You won’t be playing a final build, you will be taking away some of the elements that make the first real day such a rush, and what information you may have gained will be just as easily attainable after the game comes out.

I’ve been in my share of betas, and I’ve always regretted that I caved in and joined the WoW open beta a few weeks before launch. My first day in the beta was magical for many reasons, but like sampling the forbidden fruits of carnality before you say “I do!” at the altar, I robbed the main event of its full impact.

So, barring another lapse into temptation, I’m going to elect to remain outside of the beta and just wait for the early jump onto the live servers (whoops… almost typed “liver servers”, which might be higher in iron but lesser in gameplay). While I’ll have to wait until then to write about my first-hand experiences in WAR, I think it’ll be okay — there’s more than plenty to jaw about between now and then.