MMORPG News: Blue Protocol Release, Elyon Release, New World Alpha Test, Ashes of Creation Alpha One
Alright, brand new week, brand new selection of games to talk about!
And we got plenty of news.. a few of which I know you guys are going to want to hear about. So let’s jump right into this week’s Weekly Byte of MMORPG News!
Elyon: Ascent Infinite Realm
Let’s start this off with some Elyon news.
The devs behind the game have been working quite extensively on Elyon ever since they rebranded from Ascent: Infinite Realm and it shows. They’ve released plenty of screenshots and there have been a ton of videos surface of the type of game it has evolved into.
However one important bit of information always escaped us: When is it coming? Turns out next weekend we’ll have a definitive answer on that front. Next weekend the team behind the upcoming Unreal Engine 3 MMORPG will reveal when the MMO will finally launch officially.
I believe the South Korean incarnation of the game is slated for release initially, but they confirmed back when the game was Ascent: Infinite Realm that the international version in North America and Europe would launch shortly after – mere months if I recall.
Phantasy Star Online 2
Have you ever wanted to dress up like 2B? Of course you have. Everyone has. Even I have. Wait, what? Fresh off the success of their latest Episode 5 release, Phantasy Star Online 2 is receiving two new collaboration events.
The international incarnation of the game is getting a NieR: Automata pack that allows you to.. well, as one would guess, dress up like characters right out of the NieR: Automata game, and the Japanese version is getting a brand new upcoming Sword Art Online crossover slated for release in December 2020.
Whether or not the international version of the game receives the same event at a later date remains to be seen but it’s probably one of the better selections of outfits available – if a little expensive at $35. Now we just have to wait for the release of Episode 6 and the New Genesis game.
I’d reported earlier this month – heck, even last month that I thought Gameforge might end up being the publisher for TERA after En Masse, the publisher for the game since it released in North America, shut down.
People were like “Oh god no, there’s no way, Gameforge is a European publisher, they don’t do North American games.” Well.. here we are, with the announcement that Gameforge are going to be the new global publisher for the MMO.
While En Masse were a pretty bad publisher for the game, it’s worth noting that Gameforge might potentially make the game even worse.
A lot of players are concerned that this is a step in the wrong direction after the developer opted to take over direct control over the console version and have announced they’re going to continue active development of the console port.
Yup – while the PC version essentially goes into maintenance mode, the console version will continue to be actively developed with new classes, races and content being added. RIP TERA.
Despite the negative press its predecessor received as Bless Online, and despite the negative press the PC iteration of Bless Unleashed will receive; The upcoming MMORPG is holding its Closed Beta test for the PC version on November 4th, 2020.
Players are capable of pre-registering for the Closed Beta right now if you’re interested, but note that unlike the PS4 and Xbox versions which are published by Bandai Namco, this will be handled by the very same studio that handled Bless Online.. so be careful, and if you’re interested in the game, I’d advise against purchasing any Founder’s Packs.
We all know how well those went over the last time this launched onto Steam.
We’ve already signed up and will hopefully be streaming the Closed Beta to give players a look at the game before it launches over on our Twitch channel.
It was recently brought to my attention that Astellia Online, after shutting down in South Korea and launching within North America, is getting a complete overhaul.
And by overhaul I mean it’s getting a small content update and completely rebranding under a new title: “Astellia Royal.”
Yup, the team are going to re-release the game under a brand new title and are actually targeting a global release for the game, even though a version of the game already exists outside of South Korea.. the current buy-to-play Astellia Online.
It’s unconfirmed what will happen to the North American version of the game but it looks like the new Astellia Royal title will be completely free, weirdly enough.
I guess this is what they did with the funds they made from the international audience?
After the monumental failure that was their Kickstarter, the devs behind the upcoming Titan Reach MMORPG have opted to take a different route: Instead of Kickstarter, they’re taking their campaign to Indiegogo, the much less secure crowdfunding platform.
The Kickstarter in question managed to only raise $125,000 out of their $420,000 goal.. which honestly goes a ways to show the overall appeal for the game.. which obviously isn’t there for many players.
Whether or not they manage the funds using Indiegogo remains to be seen but I would urge you to all be very, very careful with not only the developers but also backing the game going forward.
World of Warcraft
I know a lotta players have been eagerly anticipating playing the brand new Shadowlands expansion, especially after it was delayed to an undisclosed date. So when the pre-patch released earlier this month I was ecstatic to play it with Mrs Stix.
The pre-patch squished the max level for the game down to level 60 and provided an entirely overhauled leveling experience and introductory zone for players to tackle when first beginning the game.
While not much in the way of additional content was added, it is worth noting that you now have access to the overhauled classes, allied races and everything else you would have if Shadowlands were playable right now.
Perfect World Remake
It was revealed in 2016 that a brand new console sequel to the popular Perfect World PC MMORPG was in development.
However after 2016 went by the game largely flew under the radar for 4 years, with the developers finally reassuring players as of 2020 that they are still largely at work on finishing the game, but instead of its original title “Perfect World Console Version,” it was titled “Perfect World Remake.”
Not only that, but instead of remaining a console exclusive, the MMO was going to launch cross-platform between consoles and PC – yes, no mobile functionality – we have Perfect World Mobile for that.
Perfect World Remake is going to embrace a brand new graphical style, being built on Unreal Engine 4 and will do away with the tab-target combat the PC MMO had been known for while keeping various features the franchise has been known for – aerial combat, extensive customization options and its large, open world.
It doesn’t currently have a release date, however, so it could be a ways off still.
During September 2019 I covered an upcoming MMO called Profane. It wasn’t your typical MMO – it felt more like a generic survival game with MMO elements meshed together, with a large focus on the game being crafting, building and exploration, and being full-loot like most survival games tend to be.
Meaning that if you die you drop all your items and gear and other people can loot it. Now there were plans in place to run a limited test phase towards the end of 2020, however as of earlier last week it was revealed via their Discord that they were actually going to be delaying those tests indefinitely.
The game is planned to launch as a free-to-play title when it eventually makes it out of its Early Access in the next few years.. if they ever make it that far.
Ashes of Creation
Ashes of Creation is still years off from being available to play in any fully functional form, but that hasn’t stopped the team behind the game from releasing their Alpha One Playtest Schedule.
In this they went on to detail the first three stages of their first Alpha, with the first pre-test going live on December 18th through 21st. There will be an NDA in place during this test.
The second pre-test will be going live February 19th through 22nd and will again feature an NDA. The third pre-test will be held from March 19th through 26th.
That will have no NDA present, and will allow specific content creators into the game to capture and showcase the game and the progress they’ve made over the course of the development cycle.
Finally, the first official “Alpha One” test will go live on April 6th through May 6th, lasting an entire month. Note that as this will be an Alpha test phase, the game is going to be barely functional and not at all the final stage the game will be in once it ultimately launches several years from now.
Let’s just hope that when the game does finally launch there’s still some hype left for it and a market left for it to launch into, especially since it’s trying to compete with WoW and Final Fantasy XIV as this will require a monthly subscription fee to play.
Every few months we get little trickles of information pertaining to Mad World, today, we got a brand new gameplay video featuring the latest gameplay for the game.
This comes after the statement released by Jandisoft recently, the developers behind the game, concerning the release of the MMO and their goal of releasing some time before 2020 ends.
A Twitter user dropped a comment on one of their Tweets asking “how many months” it will be before the game releases, followed by “Are you sure it’s coming this year?” Which the official Twitter responded with “We are doing our best to do that.”
While they’re still hard at work with Netmarble to get the game into a stable state to release, they’re trying their best to communicate with their community and meet the goals they imposed on themselves.
I know Torchlight III isn’t technically an MMORPG anymore, but you know what? That doesn’t mean we won’t still cover it. This WAS an MMO at one point – Mrs Stix even did a video on it, but.. it has changed so drastically that it’s not the same game it once was.
After repeated delays, and evidently mass overhauls to the entire game, Torchlight III has finally launched, and.. it had somewhat mixed reviews. 40% positive thus far but tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of players have played it so far so they’ve seen quite the return on investment made.
The game is available cross-platform between PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4 for $40.
New World has resumed it’s Alpha testing as of October 20. With the mass amount of feedback, both positive and negative, Amazon Game Studios are taking the game back into Alpha testing in an attempt to remedy the issues players had ahead of their supposed Spring 2021 Beta test and launch shortly thereafter.
Players can apply for the Alpha test if they want to, but there won’t be too much different from the incarnation of the game that was present during the Preview.
Noticeably different though was one feature in specific, while there were balance changes made to different weapons and abilities, the most noteworthy change was providing each weapon type with independent ability cooldowns.
During the Preview, players complained, quite extensively that clicking an ability on your hotkey would make that hotkey go on cooldown for all weapons and abilities sharing the same keybind, but this change removes shared cooldowns entirely, something that never should’ve been in the game to begin with.
I have a dedicated video coming on New World and everything you have to look forward to coming on Monday, so stay tuned for more info!
miHoYo have revealed their plans for the upcoming Patch 1.1 for Genshin Impact, their plans on what it’ll include, their plans on Patch 1.2, 1.3 and more.
Overall we don’t have much in the way of story coming but we have 4 new characters, new banners, new features and more to look forward to in the coming weeks.
The new Inazuma region isn’t planned for any currently revealed patch with the earliest release being with Patch 1.4.. but even that isn’t looking entirely likely.
New patches will come out every 6 weeks with Patch 1.1 coming out just a few weeks from now!
Finally, Blue Protocol.. I know this, as always, is what quite a few of you guys are after. And we have a few different things to talk about after Bandai Namco’s most recent livestream for the game.
First, they announced there will be a brand new Closed Beta test phase happening on November 7th for players that want to participate. I have a guide on how to sign up for those of you interested. Second, they confirmed that not only is the upcoming MMO coming out next year in 2021 within Japan, but also that they are 100% working on an International version of the game as well coming out in either 2021 or 2022 – the wording was a little vague on that.
They’ve made progress in various areas, character creation, matchmaking, class balancing and are planning more going into the future as they approach the official launch next year.
This is also pertaining to brand new classes as well – something that many players were actually concerned with. Multiple are currently in the works with them having an entire list of classes they’re interested in implementing in the future.