We've got some exciting new information to share about Early Access, which is fast approaching.
What is Early Access?
Early Access is the period of the game's life which will follow the Closed Beta. It's also the start of the official "launch" of the game, meaning that we will no longer be doing any mass character progress resets (or "wipes"). There will be a reset in-between the end of the Closed Beta and the beginning of Early Access...after that point, everything is for keeps.
When does it begin?
Early Access will officially begin December 15th, 2017 at 12 PM (Noon) US Central Time. In addition to that, if you pre-purchased the game from our website or backed at the Backer level or higher on the Kickstarter, you will be eligible for a special 24-hour Head Start which will begin December 13th, 2017 at 12 PM (Noon) US Central Time.
Previously we had announced that the head start would be 48 hours, but we are scaling it back simply to make it work better logistically. What's going to happen is that the last Closed Beta period which begins November 15th, will last until December 8th. We'll then take down the server and get it all set up for Early Access to begin. Then on December 13th we'll hold the 24-hour Head Start, which will still use the current custom launcher client. After the period is over, the server will be taken offline one last time until the Early Access launch begins for everyone on December 15th, at which time we'll be using the Steam and Oculus stores to manage the game installs, updates, etc.
Important Note about Head Start: You will only be able to participate in the Head Start if you have bought the game from us directly (or backed it via Kickstarter) by December 1st. At that time we will be turning off direct sales on our site, and the process will move to the third-party storefronts. Purchasing the game via those stores directly will not give you access to the Head Start on December 13th, but it will give you full access to the game beginning with the Early Access period on December 15th.
So, to summarize:
- November 15th - December 8th: Closed Beta
- (Progress is wiped for all characters)
- December 13th - 24 Hour Early Access Head Start (using current launcher)
- (1-day break for us to move everything over to using the new store clients)
- December 15th - Early Access begins for everyone (using Steam and Oculus stores)
How will the game be made available for Early Access?
The game will begin to appear on the Steam and Oculus stores in early December, showing as available for Pre-Order. Up to and including the Head Start, we will continue using our exiting launcher that we have used during the Alpha and Beta; once Early Access kicks off on December 15th, we will switch to using only the Steam and Oculus Stores to manage the sales and updates of the game client. That means you must have the game registered on one of those stores to continue playing after December 15th.
How do I get the game on Steam or Oculus?
If you already bought the game from us, via the website or Kickstarter, then after the Head Start ends, we will send you a special link which you will be able to use to claim a key for either the Steam or Oculus stores. You will enter that key on the store you have chosen and receive a copy of the game on there.
If you have not bought the game from us directly, then you can simply pre-order it like any other game on the Steam or Oculus store once the game shows up on there in early December.
Either way, you will end up with a copy of the game on one of those two storefronts.
The first time that you launch the game on Steam or Oculus, you will be prompted to login to your OrbusVR account (or create a new one if you don't have one already). That will link your Steam or Oculus account to your OrbusVR account, and from then on you will be automatically logged in just by launching the game via Steam or Oculus. In addition, that means character names that you previously reserved during the Alpha or Beta will still be there, since it's the same account you were already using.
How do I gift the game to someone else?
Once the game is available for pre-order on Steam and Oculus, you can send it as a gift via those stores' built-in gifting processes. The person who receives the copy of the game would then just launch it and log in or create an OrbusVR account and be all set.
We'll be back with more info later this week about the new stuff coming in the next Closed Beta period, but in the mean time if you have any questions about the Early Access process or how it will work, feel free to ask in our forums. Thanks!