Ashes of Creation's upcoming NDA-less Alpha One test was scheduled to take place on June 1st and run the whole month, however in an update Intredpid Studios has announced that the test will be delayed into July.
There are two Alpha tests happening in quick order for Ashes of Creation, the first of which kicks off this week. And while that test is unaffected by this delay, the month-long NDA-less test scheduled for June has been pushed back a month. The team cites a few reasons for this test, but most prominent among them is the timing of other MMO expansions and releases and its affect on the testing playerbase.
Creative Director Steven Sharif notes on the update:
"Some recent developments have caused me to reevaluate our upcoming test schedules and make some necessary adjustments. I will be moving the NDA release and the June 1st Alpha One start date to July. I know this is not ideal, and you have no idea how much it pains me to disappoint our community, but it is my responsibility to make these difficult decisions in order to ensure the test is successful.Testing for the 14th of May will continue for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with an updated schedule being sent to testers today."
Those recent developments Sharif talks about are, in large part, the release of a few MMO expansions on June 1st (both The Elder Scrolls Online's Blackwood and World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Classic launch that day). As such, Sharif estimates that due to those launches, 25% of their testers would likely forgo helping with Ashes, instead adventuring in those worlds.
"Finally, several new expansion launches for other live games were announced that would have coincided with our test starting June 1st. We estimate roughly 25% of our current testing pool are active players across these titles combined. This fact presents us with forcing our testers to choose between participating in our testing environment (which will be a long and arduous responsibility), or playing an expansion with their friends in other popular titles. As I outlined earlier, this testing period is an important one. It will require not only participation, but also the attention and feedback from both our testing audience and the broader Ashes of Creation community and general public."
Sharif also notes the impact this would have on media coverage of the Alpha, with sites and content creators having to choose covering Ashes of Creation or the other "live launches on June 1st."
It isn't just these launches Sharif says that is driving this delay, but also the team's timetable of moving back to working in-studio after working remote due to the global COVID situation. Sharif also mentions the combat backend revamp and seige systems caused their "internal code-lock dates to slip a bit," and as such this has bled into the team's normal time used to QA and optimize the code.
As such, the team is also extending their refund policy from 30 days to 90 days for those who purchased an alpha pack with the anticipation for testing in June. You can check out the full update from Sharif and the Ashes team on the official website.