Alpha-1 availability

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Alpha-1 sales will resume in May 2021.[1] Pre-order pack upgrades will be possible for current pack holders.[2][3]

  • In Feburary 2021, the developers stated that sales will not be re-opened until stability issues have been addressed with Alpha-1 testing.[5][6][7]

We did have our second preview test that was last weekend, and we did hit some snags. That's okay that's a good thing in my opinion and right now this week we have spent the majority of this week- countless hours deep diving into those snags and deploying fixes for them. We will likely be having some additional spot testing with our NDA alpha 1 testers probably starting early next week I'm going to imagine, in order to address some of those issues. As a result I know that I had mentioned I would give an update on the reopening of alpha one sales: At this moment in time I cannot commit to reopening alpha one sales. So we're gonna wait to see if we can get over those issues in a relatively short period of time and then I will come back and give you guys an update on that front- mainly to speak a little bit about you know what we experienced. You know we are obviously trying to push as much as possible getting higher concurrencies on the servers and with that you know we do some changes on the networking side in order to facilitate those those goals and it's a step-by-step process where you know we make changes, we collect data, we analyze the data, we deploy fixes, we make additional changes. This is what the iteration process looks like at least from a technical perspective and how we want to accommodate what our overarching architecture goals are.[5]Steven Sharif

  • In March 2021, the developers stated that they have overcome the obstacles found in the February testing; and will be considering reopening Alpha-1 following an internal review over the next month. No date for reopening the sales has yet been given.[8]

I said I was going to be considering opening up Alpha One sales again once if we hit a certain level of achievement that I was waiting for. It is looking very good that that's going to be the case here. Over the next month we're going to evaluate internally but with the testing that was done over the past couple of weeks I am very, very happy to see where we've gotten to overcome those February obstacles; and we'll be considering opening alpha one sales again.[8]Steven Sharif

I know that for the past several months we have received a considerable number of requests with regards to opening Alpha One sales again. Well, I am happy to announce that we will be reintroducing Alpha One options sometime in May. More information on this will be posted to our website around the end of April and we will announce this across our socials, so make sure to keep an eye out if you are interested in participating. I do, however, want to give a stern warning - participating in our Alpha One test should not be regarded as playing a game. You are helping to test our work in progress. You will be expected to provide feedback to help us iterate on systems and designs. We love and appreciate our testers and the support they provide Ashes, and each and every one of our Alpha One testers will have a special place in Ashes’ history. So, if you plan to participate, take the commitment seriously and know you have our respect and appreciation. This will not be everyone’s cup of tea.[1]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 playtest schedule

In our February testing, we hit some challenges and have spent the last few weeks addressing those issues. Of course, at the onset of our Alpha One schedule we acknowledged that we may see some changes as we move through the different phases and undiscovered work becomes visible. As we have been addressing these challenges, my team has determined that additional polish is needed in order to guarantee a smoother Alpha One testing phase, and yesterday I approved this NDA extension. I know that is not what you want to hear, but my team and I are committed to excellence for Ashes of Creation, and honestly, this is the purpose of these Alphas and Betas - to discover issues and address them as early as possible. I am committed to bringing you along on that journey, regardless of the good, bad, or ugly.[9]Steven Sharif

In the meantime, we will continue with our periodic spot testing under NDA with our Glorious Alpha One testers, as we work to deploy updates between now and May's testing. We, of course, will continue to show footage of testing in our March and April live stream updates, so please make sure to tune in there and on our socials for more updates! It’s been a thrill to see the world of Verra take shape with each update - this would not be possible without the help of our glorious community and hard work of our incredible Alpha One testers. Thank you all for your continued support, patience, and feedback as we march forward towards our major Alpha One milestone.[9]Steven Sharif

Phase Release Estimated/Actual date
Alpha-1 Alpha-1 early preview livestream.[10] March 27, 2020.[11]
Alpha-1 limited QA testing (NDA).[12][13] May 28, 2020.[14][15]
Alpha-1 preview pre-test 1 (NDA).[16] Dec 18 - Dec 21 2020.[16]
Alpha-1 preview pre-test 2 (NDA).[16] Feb 19 - Feb 22 2021.[5][17]
Alpha-1 preview intermittent spot testing (NDA).[9] Mar 19 - June 1 2021.[9]
Alpha-1 preview one week test (no NDA).[9] May 14 - May 21 2021.[9]
Alpha-1 one month test (no NDA).[9] June 1 - June 30 2021.[9]
Alpha-1 additional tests.[18] To be announced.[18]

Read more...

The term "alpha" is a tricky one, and it typically has 2 meanings in gaming. The development meaning for alpha is a point in the process where we are ready to test the fundamental systems in their core form, without polish and without much of the content. Then, there is the external or "marketing" term for alpha. This is typically applied to Eastern-ported MMORPGs, when in fact that is a completed game being localized for a region, and not really indicative of a true development alpha. As you may know by now, game development has many stages - from the initial tech demos to the pre-production and pre-alpha states, then on to the alphas and betas and eventually launch.[16]Steven Sharif

I want to make emphatically clear, our alphas and betas are true development alphas and betas, and some have said I am crazy to allow these phases to be seen without an NDA…maybe I am crazy? lol… But I am trusting the community of gamers out there to get a glimpse into the process, and understand the long road ahead for what will eventually be worth the wait. Given time and talent, amazing things can happen, so make sure you help us in communicating that we are in open development which means people get to see the bare bones before the meat. And look, I know people see our 4K footage and say, "This looks better than most released games!", but trust me when I say, you ain't seen nothin’ yet.[16]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 testing zone (Alpha island)

Alpha-1 testing tropical zone featuring a war beast and a tribe of pigmy goblins.[20]

This is a rather large tropical area; and what we use some of the creatures for is kind of like establishing character for different parts of this tropical place. So that even though it's the same biome, it feels different when you are going from place to place based on what's there and how those things are interacting with the environment.[21]Jeffrey Bard

Alpha-1 testing takes place in a zone to the north west of the world map.[22] This zone has many islands and a mainland area.[23]

  • There are 12 different (sub)zones in the Alpha-1 testing location.[21]
  • The Alpha-1 zone is almost 100 km2 in size.[21][23] This is approximately 20-25% of the total world size.[21][24]
    • This was estimated to be 70 km2 by Steven Sharif in a recent podcast. Since this was an estimate, the original sizing has not been updated.[25]
    • Traversing the width of the zone (10 km) on a mount would take about 30 minutes.[26]
  • Alpha island (also called Alpha-0 island) was the first open-world testing zone for Alpha-1 participants.[27]
  • There are approximately 4 biomes in Alpha-1: Flood plains, Sahara (Desert), Snowy mountains.[28]
    • A tropical/jungle zone was added for the December 2020 Alpha-1 preview tests.[22][20][21]
  • Temporary teleportation points will be present in early tests until ships are introduced later in the alpha testing.[29]

Alpha-1 participation

There are slightly under 10,000 participants in Alpha-1 testing.[30]

Intrepid packs were discontinued to keep the participating testers below the 10k threshold so as not to exceed potential issues on our backend. My statement just now was, if testing goes fine and we are able to handle the number of players fine, I do not see an issue in offering additional intrepid packs. Alpha One was not exclusive. We did indeed end sales for the past 2 years.[31]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 NDA

Alpha-1, Alpha-2, Beta-1, Beta-2 releases are not covered by NDA (non-disclosure agreement).[33]

  • QA testing prior to the full release of Alpha-1 is covered by NDA.[34][13]
    • The text and voice NDA was lifted from the PI QA testing phase on May 28, 2020.[34]
    • The NDA will be lifted for the May 2021 Alpha-1 preview spot tests.[9]

Our plan at the moment is for you to review and accept the NDA as part of the game client itself. Keep an eye out for emails in your inbox on how to test as we get closer![35]Sarah Flanagan

Alpha testing system requirements

Alpha-1 stress testing, March 17, 2021.[36]

Funny story; So yesterday as we are stress/density testing with our NDA testers, I accidentally summoned 5k bears around our few hundred players. But hey, it didn’t crash! Can you spot Lt. Toast here?[36]Steven Sharif

These are fully operational NPCs. They have behavior trees, they have AI blackboards; you know they are functioning as an NPC would; and to my surprise, to everyone's surprise actually, the server handled it quite well: 5000 entities all within a very dense area.[37]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation alpha testing minimum system specification.[38]

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-2125 3.3GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 3.3GHz
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 or AMD Radeon 6870 HD with 1GB and DirectX 12
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 15 GB of available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

Recommended specification.[38]

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz / AMD FX-9590 4.7GHz
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon R9 Fury with 4GB and DirectX 12
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 15 GB of available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

See also

References