Alpha-1 testing

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I am happy to announce the dates for Alpha One testing. This schedule will include Alpha One testers for a 4-day stress test starting on December 18, 2020. Now this first test will remain under NDA, as there will still likely be some considerable polish and bug fixing necessary. I will of course provide some recorded footage of the event so the community at large can see the testing. The gap between the December test and the February test will provide our team with the time necessary to iterate and fix bugs, then in March we will aim to have a 1-week test stood up in preparation for the final month-long test in April.[1]Steven Sharif

Prior to these testing dates, users who have Alpha One access will receive emails with their testing instructions and a known issues list, along with the testing focuses and objectives. As I said, the Alpha One for Ashes of Creation is intended to test the base mechanics of many systems. We leave much room to iterate depending on how the testing data goes.[1]Steven Sharif

Phase Release Estimated/Actual date
Alpha-1 Alpha-1 early preview livestream.[2] March 27, 2020.[3]
Alpha-1 limited QA testing (NDA).[4][5] May 28, 2020.[6][7]
Alpha-1 preview pre-test 1 (NDA).[1] Dec 18 - Dec 21 2020.[1]
Alpha-1 preview pre-test 2 (NDA).[1] Feb 19 - Feb 22 2021.[8][9]
Alpha-1 preview pre-test 3 (no NDA).[1] Mar 19 - Mar 26 2021.[9][1]
Alpha-1 release (no NDA).[1][10] April 6 - May 6 2021.[9][1]

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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.[1]Steven Sharif

Revamps to the combat system are expected in the Alpha-1 March preview testing.[11]

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.[1]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 availability

15 August 2018 was the last day for purchases of Alpha-1 through Intrepid pre-order packs (History).[12]

  • The developers have stated that sales will not be re-opened until stability issues have been addressed with current Alpha-1 testing. Further updates will be provided in the near future.[8][13][14]
  • If Alpha-1 sales are opened up again, there will be normal upgrade paths as before for pack holders.[15]
  • Ample notice will be given prior to A1 sales being reopened.[16]

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.[8]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 participation

There are slightly under 10,000 participants in Alpha-1 testing.[17]

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.[18]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 servers

Alpha-1 servers will support 1,500 concurrently connected users per server.[20][21][22]

Alpha-1 servers will be provisioned in the following regions.[23]

Alpha-1 NDA

Alpha-1, Alpha-2, Beta-1, Beta-2 releases are not covered by NDA (non-disclosure agreement).[10]

  • QA testing prior to the full release of Alpha-1 is covered by NDA.[26][5]
    • The text and voice NDA was lifted from the PI QA testing phase on May 28, 2020.[26]
    • The NDA will be lifted for the March 2021 Alpha-1 preview tests.[1]

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![27]Sarah Flanagan

Alpha testing system requirements

Ashes of Creation alpha testing minimum system specification.[28]

  • 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.[28]

  • 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

Alpha testing zone

Alpha-1 testing tropical zone featuring a war beast and a tribe of pigmy goblins.[30]

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.[31]Jeffrey Bard

Alpha-1 testing takes place in a zone to the north west of the world map.[32] This zone has many islands and a mainland area.[33]

See also

References