The end of the Closed Alpha testing period has now arrived, with the conclusion of our last Closed Alpha test. It's an exciting time to be an OrbusVR player! A few notes from that last test:
- We had 186 participants in this test, well more than double the last test.
- Collectively, you all played 488 hours, an average of around 2.6 hours/person
- The player with the most time played this test was Anise with around 13 hours played.
- Number of characters who reached max level by class: Warrior, 9; Ranger, 9; Musketeer, 10; Runemage, 18.
- 10 players made it all the way through the currently available quests, completing the "Ambitious General" questline.
- 87 players completed the tutorial questline. However, 167 completed the Foraging Training quest. This definitely shows that we made the "King Stag" part of the quest too hard to figure out.
Overall, we couldn't be more pleased with how things went during this test in terms of participation from the community. Getting the Beta participants in for this last Closed Alpha test really made a huge difference in terms of the amount of feedback we were able to get, helped make the world feel more alive again, and just generally gave the game a nice shot in the arm as we head into Open Alpha. So, our sincerest thanks to those of you who were able to spend your time with us last weekend!
Bugs, Bugs, Bugs
I do want to point out that we had a couple of rather nasty client-side bugs during this test, the most egregious of which was a bug that caused the game to crash pretty consistently for some players when doing zone transitions. Special thanks to Luvstosmooch, who spent a good chunk of the test helping us track down the issue and figure out a temporary fix.
Of course, Alpha is Alpha (and Beta is Beta, for that matter), so bugs are to be expected, but hopefully now that most of the major mechanics are in the game the number of major bugs like that will be held to a minimum.
The next major event on the calendar is the Open Alpha test, which will officially begin on July 28th at 12 PM (Noon) US Central Time, and last until 11:59 PM US Central Time on July 30th, for a total testing time of 60 hours. Here's a handy countdown clock.
The Open Alpha is available to everyone. All you have to do is have an account created on our website and you're in. During the last test we saw concurrents peaking around 30 people...my guess is for the Open Alpha we'll at least double or triple that number, so we're upgrading our hardware in preparation for the flood of new folks.
You can help us by spreading the word to everyone in the places that you hang out. If someone has a Rift or a Vive, then we want them to drop by and check out the game! In addition to that, please be welcoming and helpful to the new folks who are joining us. This is our chance to show them how great the community is and how amazing the game will be when it's done. Let's make a great first impression!
There will be a special "Open Alpha Preview" night on Thursday, July 27th beginning at 8 PM US Central Time and lasting for 2 hours. I know that time won't work for everyone, but basically this is just a chance for us to get people on the Open Alpha client and find out if there are any major bugs that need to be squashed before the Open Alpha really begins in earnest. The Preview is only available to those who had access to the last test (so, Founder level backers and above). We won't be widely spreading the word about the preview since we don't want to confuse people, so make a note of it now if you think you can attend.
In addition to that, we'll be doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the /r/VirtualReality subreddit on July 26th at 11 AM US Central Time. So be sure to drop by for that and ask us questions about the game if you're curious, or just help us answer questions from people who are new to the community.
What's coming for Open Alpha?
Our main focus for the time between now and Open Alpha is going to be bugfixes and performance improvements. You can expect a whole host of those little persistent bugs that we just haven't made time to fix to get fixed, and hopefully the game will be running much smoother as well. It's unlikely that we'll add any additional major features, although some improvements to existing things may happen depending on how much time we have.
In addition to that, I'm going to be spending a fair amount of time on promotion, sending out press releases, making a new trailer for the game, updating the website, etc. That's the kind of thing that unfortunately doesn't show up as new in-game stuff, but makes the overall game community stronger as we recruit more people who want to play.
We will not be resetting characters, inventory, quest progress, etc. before the Open Alpha. However, after the Open Alpha, there will be a full wipe before beginning the Closed Beta.
Game Pricing Update
Once the Closed Beta begins, the price of the "Backer" package (which gets you the full game upon release as well as some additional perks) will be increasing from $30 to $40, which is where it will stay through Early Access. So if you have been on the fence about buying the game, it's worth noting that you have until August 18th to purchase it at the current $30 price point.
We'll keep reminding folks of this during the Open Alpha test so they're aware, but just wanted to share that information now.
Okay, well that's it for now, see you in game in a couple of weeks!