Saturday, 28 January 2012

Beta Roundup - Tera, Guild Wars 2, Diablo III & Others

We've got three games kicking around at the minute that are set to release quite soon. Most are now in beta stages or are set to enter beta fairly soon.

Tera Online
Pre-Beta. Registration open.

An MMO with a difference. Tera brings a new aspect to the world of MMOs - skill. You can, more often than not, get by in most of the MMOs around with some semblance of common sense and hand-eye coordination, specifically in PvE fights. However, Tera takes targeting to a whole new level.

With a crosshair.

That's right, you have to physically aim your spells. After all of the standard 3rd person MMOs I've played, this has been predominantly the case: Click target, cast damage/healing spell, wait for cast time, boom. Next.

Take a look at this video of the Archer gameplay. The mobs know when you've taken aim at them, there is a skill aspect involved in actually targeting your enemy as opposed to just having them on your targeting pane. I have a feeling this will be absolutely hilarious in a PvP environment and cannot wait to give it a try.

Guild Wars 2
Closed Beta, Open Beta in March. Registration not yet open.

We finally see a sequel to the much loved Guild Wars. Again, another MMO doing something different this year. Guild Wars 2 brings a slightly different take to the traditional roles of tank, dps and healer, they name them Control, Damage and Support. For a start, every class will be able to resurrect, at level 1! There are no dedicated 'healers' in the game so to speak either. All healing will be done via self heals, support heals or defensive abilities, protective domes (positional) and so on.

Death is not the end. When you are pummeled to the ground in GW2, you do not die. Nope, you are given a second chance. You are placed into a 'Downed' mode, in which you can fight to your last dying breath. You can still be attacked and defeated in this state, but you are able to use certain abilities to turn the tides of battle. Certain professions (classes) have instant resurrects, that can get you straight back into the thick of the fight again.

Diablo III
In beta - limited keys available.

It's taking a very, very long time for this to be released. The original promise was Christmas last year if I recall. That didn't happen. It was then 'early 2012', which, I suppose is still around now, but no release date as of yet (but we all know what Blizzard are like with their release dates). I would suspect it will arrive at some point during March as they will want to be competitive with other releases at this time, else they risk losing out.

The beta has technically started, however, I've not spoken to one person just yet who has a beta key here in the UK though that may just be not knowing the right people. If you are signed up for beta access, keep an eye on your battlenet account and the associated email address to see if you get in!

A few more...

It may be worth mentioning a few other releases I've had on my radar for a while. Some of these are works in progress, some are just rumours.

WoW: Mists of Pandaria

We all know WoW is a lumbering behemoth of a game nowadays, so with the current content already complete, yet again comes the time for a new expansion. The next major delivery to the monster is Mists of Pandaria. Information was released last BlizzCon on the zones, dungeons, enemies, classes and so on.

The new playable race (Pandaren) are neutral and can 'side' with a faction at level 10 it seems. A new class (monk) is also being released. No auto attack is present on the monk! Their abilities are all active.

I think we should see MoP beta hit in the next three months some time. I would be disappointed if they released the actual game any later than early August, as with half the level increase in each expansion, they should really be bringing the packs at least 6 months closer between each one, so an 18 month release schedule as opposed to a 2 year one. I would hope for a June/July release of MoP.

Infinity Universe

I am hoping for big things from this project. It's being managed by a small team of 8 people but has been going for years now. In short it is a space simulator, similar in a way to EVE, however, there seems to be more emphasis on skill than how long you've had to train a certain ability. Their aim is to create a seamless universe, in which you can travel through space, head towards a planet and instead of a loading screen where you 'land' and then can walk around etc, you should technically be able to fly towards the planet, enter the atmosphere, fly around the surface, and just head towards space again to leave the planet.

This video was recorded almost two years ago:


In conclusion, I think we have a few good games on the horizon for 2012, and some (Infinity) to watch develop into something possibly fantastic over the coming years.

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