Tomorrow at Noon (12 PM) US Central Time, we'll be kicking off our first Closed Beta Test which will last until Monday night. (Here's a handy Countdown to the start of the test).
If it's your first time in the Beta
Everyone who has backed the game at the Founder tier and above has the ability to participate in Closed Beta testing.
Be sure to check out the Getting Started Guide on the Wiki. There is now an in-game tutorial as well that you will see when you first log in on a new character, but the Guide is still worth reading.
Download the launcher to install the game: https://community.orbusvr.com/t/beta-game-client-download/1261?u=riley_d
If you don't already have access to the Beta, you can purchase access on your My Account Page at any time.
For our testing veterans
This test's feedback thread is here: https://community.orbusvr.com/t/closed-beta-1-feedback-thread/2389/1
It's only been a few weeks since the Open Alpha ended, but it already feels like a lifetime ago! The major new additions for this test are new locomotion options, the new Obnobi Desert zone, the new World Boss, Sanyael, and a ton of quality-of-life and polishing improvements to the game.
Today's test is the first time that you'll be able to set foot in the Obnobi Desert. The desert is a an area with an intriguing past, full of unique creatures and sights. And sandworms...don't forget the sandworms.
With the release of this new zone, the level cap of the game has been increased to 16. I'm not sure how many people will actually make it all the way from Level 1 to 16 during this first test, but fear not, we have plenty of time in future Beta tests to get you there. For now just take it slow and enjoy the journey!
The new World Boss that is located in the Obnobi Desert is known as Sanyael, or "the grand worm." Hunting down this elusive beast may prove very difficult, and you'll need a full complement of Level 16 adventurers to take it down. My guess is that it won't be felled during this test, but I encourage you to die trying!
On a side note, Elongata, our previous World Boss, has been moved to its permanent location in the Patraeyl Rainforest, and has been re-turned for Level 16 as well. All of our World Bosses will be tuned for Level 20 in the next patch with the release of the combat balance re-work.
Leveling Curve Changes
All characters will be reset back to Level 1 at the start of this test. We don't anticipate doing another level reset during the Closed Beta. We've now adjusted the leveling curve to be closer to what it will be during the final game, and the overall "Alpha XP bonus" has now been greatly reduced. Instead, Main Story Quests will now give you large XP rewards for completing them.
Our goal is for you to spend about 1/3 of your time doing Main Story Quests, 1/3 doing Side Quests, dungeons, and hunting log, and 1/3 of your time doing camping/grinding with your fellow players. So we are still giving you a bonus to the XP you get from doing the monsters since the side quests and hunting log aren't in yet.
Note that currently there are only Main Story Quests through Level 8 in the game. That means if you choose to try and advance beyond Level 8 in this test, you will find the game to be quite "grindy." In the next test we will have the Main Story Quests through Level 16 available at least. So, a good goal for this test would be to get to Level 8. We estimate that this will take around 12 hours, although of course for veteran testers it will likely go much faster.
Quality of Life Improvements
We've spent a lot of our time since the Open Alpha focusing on bug fixes and quality of life improvements for the game. A few highlights:
- We've added different background music to each zone, as well as music to the login screen. No more of the same thing over and over again!
- We've added native Oculus SDK support, so if you're using a Rift you no longer need to have SteamVR installed. In addition, we've adjusted the angles of some of the weapons (such as the Sword) to better match the Rift controller.
- We've added some new journal entries that explain concepts such as Dying (and durability damage), looting, etc. In addition, Guardian Bart will now give you a map during your training of the area around Highsteppe with major landmarks noted.
- We've added a ton of new locomotion options to the game so you can really customize how you get around to suit your own personal play style.
And that's just the highlights! For the full listing of everything that we've added/changed in the new patch, consult the Patch Notes on the Wiki, which are now up to date.
See you in-game tomorrow!