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Alpha-1 availability

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Alpha-1 is available for purchase again via the Adventurer pre-order pack from May 5, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific until August 13, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific.[1][2][3]

Alpha-1 playtest schedule

Hail and well met glorious Ashes of Creation testers. My name is Sean Farrens. I am the manager of quality assurance on Ashes of Creation and on behalf of the Ashes QA team I would like to extend a deep and heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in testing Ashes of Creation during the weekend of May 14 through May 16th for our Alpha 1 build. In spite of instability and uncertainty you have all proven to be invaluable in regards to your feedback and bug reports; and for that I cannot express my gratitude enough. As many of you know, developing an MMORPG is an epic endeavor that is filled with trials and tribulations that no other kind of game will ever encounter; and your illustrated dedication has proven to our team that we are on a high road to the best MMORPG gaming experience to date. During this most recent testing period we received over 2,600 bug reports, which have been an absolute boon to our testing process. We review each report individually and I continue to be impressed with how detailed and helpful each of these reports has been. Like seriously you guys give repro steps and everything. Super duper handy. I greatly look forward to your feedback in the future and hope you enjoy our content so far, so thank you so much everybody.[6]Sean Farrens

While we will have specific spot tests for certain systems as we develop them post the Alpha one month, it should be expected and understood that after this Alpha one month there will be probably a significant amount of downtime where there won't be spot testing as we kind of break apart a lot of systems, take what we learned from alpha one month and implement and iterate upon those learnings. So there's gonna be several months probably worth of significant downtime where there will not be access to spot testing, where we are going to go in and really rejigger a lot of systems[7]Steven Sharif

Phase Release Estimated/Actual date
Alpha-1 Alpha-1 early preview livestream.[8] March 27, 2020.[9]
Alpha-1 limited QA testing (NDA).[10][11] May 28, 2020.[12][13]
Alpha-1 preview pre-test 1 (NDA).[14] Dec 18 - Dec 21 2020.[14]
Alpha-1 preview pre-test 2 (NDA).[14] Feb 19 - Feb 22 2021.[15][16]
Alpha-1 preview intermittent spot testing (NDA).[17][18] Mar 19 - Jul 9 2021.[17][18]
Alpha-1 preview weekend (no NDA).[17] July 9 - July 11 2021.[19][20][17]
Alpha-1 (no NDA).[17] July 14 - August 13 2021.[17]
Alpha-1 intermittent spot testing.[7][21] After August 13 2021.[7]

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.[14]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.[14]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 testing goals

Server deployment and performance testing
  • Stress-test our server deployments and player concurrency numbers with high volumes of player activity and interactions.[17]
  • Stand up multiple world server deployments across different geographical regions.[17]
  • Soak test server grid health over a continuous period of production use.[17]
  • Evaluate current networking architecture, and identify non-performant code and areas for additional optimizations or refactoring.[17]
  • Test our build strategy and hot-fix deployment procedures, account services, web-based systems, launcher and patcher stability, and cloud-based infrastructure.[17]
System functionalities and behavior testing (in their core state)
Player character systems (in their core state)
Ancillary systems (in their core state)

The above is not a comprehensive list of everything being tested in Alpha One, but it hits the primary points. There are many other data metrics being collected for our approach to the content production pipelines, system definitions, and refactoring as well. Not to mention a plethora of technical art implications and optimizations, but you get the gist. This is a very fundamental test that will impact the direction of development post-Alpha One, so you can understand the importance of testing and its need for player participation, attention, and feedback.[17]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 participation

Alpha-1 testing is available to the following participants:

There were approximately 9,600 participants in Alpha-1 testing as of August, 2018.[22][23]

  • As of May 31, 2021, just under 5k additional participants have been added since Alpha-1 sales resumed. Less refunds and unclaimed codes, leaves a total of slightly over 13k testers.[22]
  • The weekend test of May 27, 2021 saw 5,300 unique logins over the 3 day period.[22]

There were roughly 9600 if I recall A1 participants prior to my closing the preorder packs in 2018. Since opening them up again there have been just under 5k additional participants added. And prolly around 300 refunds give or take. Of the roughly 14,000 a1 testers, there are still about 1k unredeemed ks codes which leaves a little over 13k testers? The weekend test saw 5300 unique logins over the 3-day period. And I think discord flags stand around 4k roughly?[22]Steven Sharif

Adventurer pre-order pack FAQ

How long will the Adventurer pre-order pack be available?
If I purchase the Adventurer pre-order pack, when can I participate in Alpha-1 testing?
Will there be a limited number of Adventurer pre-order packs available?
  • We have not announced any plans to limit the quantity of available Adventurer Pre-order Packages. However, keep in mind that the Adventurer Pre-order Package will only be available for purchase until August 13, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific..[1]
If I already own a pre-order package, how can I get access to Alpha-1?
If I’m a Kickstarter or Summer crowdfunding campaign backer, how can I get access to Alpha-1?
Who is eligible to participate in Alpha-1 testing?
Where can I get more info on Alpha-1 testing if I’m participating?
  • Keep an eye out for emails from our team with more details on how to download and play! We'll also email you more info on how to get the latest testing updates on our Discord and forums. If you don’t receive any emails and you believe you should, please reach out to our Support team directly here.[1]

Alpha-1 NDA

Alpha-1, Alpha-2, Beta-1, Beta-2 releases are not covered by NDA (non-disclosure agreement).[24]

  • Alpha-1 testing prior to the full release of Alpha-1 was covered by NDA.[25][11]
    • NDA review and acceptance is done via the game client.[26]
    • The text and voice NDA was lifted from the PI QA testing phase on May 28, 2020.[25]
    • The verbal NDA was lifted from Alpha-1 preview testing, and future testing, on May 17, 2021.[27]
    • The NDA was lifted on July 9, 2021 for the three day Alpha-1 preview weekend test.[20][17]
    • The NDA was lifted on July 14, 2021 for Alpha-1.[28]

We are extremely excited to invite folks to this glorious milestone of our development journey with NO NDA as we want everyone to be able to provide feedback unfiltered. During Alpha One testing, we'll be looking for your feedback specifically on the following things: download and installation process, client performance, and server performance.[28]

Alpha testing system requirements

Alpha-1 stress testing, March 17, 2021.[29]

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?[29]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.[30]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation alpha testing minimum system specification.[31]

  • 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: 35 GB of available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

Recommended specification.[31]

  • 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: 35 GB of available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

See also

References