In July of last year, we announced that Founder packs would be permanently unavailable at the start of September 2017 and the following packs (released today) would only give access to the Alpha 2 phase. At that time, we had planned to release Alpha 1 at the end of September 2017. You can find the original announcement here.
Nearing the end of August 2017, we made a second announcement in which we decided to delay the Alpha 1 phase. We wanted to adopt a more progressive approach in development by improving server stability first before adding additional gameplay features.You can find that announcement here.
Today we announced the Supporter packs, which give the following access:
- Contributor Pack: Alpha 2
- Sponsor Pack: Alpha 1
- Patron Pack: Pre-Alpha
You can find the announcement here.
Why giving the opportunity to access Pre-Alpha immediately instead of Alpha 2?
These are the reasons why we decided to proceed differently:
- A lot of players expressed their interest in testing Dual Universe as soon as possible.
- We have made significant progress on server stability and plan to increase active player counts for future testing.
- Among early backers, some couldn’t have a backer level giving access to the first tests before, but are now able to help us improving the game right away.
Why is Pre-Alpha access only available in the most expensive pack?
While we had solid reasons to offer testing opportunities to our players, we equally had reasons to limit these invitations.
1) Most importantly, we insist that Pre-Alpha access is NOT meant "to play the game early for fun" (even if it’s true that the feedback we’ve received is very positive so far).
We are still in a phase where we are running multiple tests with game versions which can be temporarily unstable or pushing its limits to see where the game breaks.
In this phase, expect crashes and bugs. Lots of them.
If you are not here to help us test the game, that's perfectly fine. We have always said so.
However, if you only want access to the game with intent to play and have fun as soon as possible, don’t pledge for the Patron pack!
We strongly suggest to wait for Alpha 1 access at the very earliest, and not Pre-Alpha.
Please choose the Supporter Patron Pack only if:
- You want to help the Dev team improve the game experience immediately and you are okay to test the game under NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement).
- You wish to support the game extensively without in-game access at this time.
2) While we still consider having access to the Pre-Alpha as a free bonus, we also understand that early gold founder (and above) backers may feel cheated by the fact that we allowed Pre-Alpha access in the end. To be consistent in our appreciation for their early support which made the game possible, we have decided to give Pre-Alpha access only to the tier above the equivalent of the Gold Founder in the Supporter Packs.
3) While we want to welcome new testers into Pre-Alpha to challenge server stability further, we want to avoid the number of new testers rising out of control. We still have the ATV (Alpha Team Vanguard) program which exists to give Pre-Alpha access to the most active members in the community, regardless of their backer status. Even non-backer members are sometimes selected. There will be more ATV member waves in the future. For more information on this program, please read this forum thread.