Wild West Online rides into early access, full release later this year

Gun-slinging MMO Wild West Online will enter non-Steam Early Access on November 15, offering early purchasers the chance to shoot their way through 100 quests. The servers will be live 24/7 for the first time, and would-be cowboys will fire 20 historically-modeled guns, hunt animals, mine for gold, unlock new gear and upgrade their horses (which is the bit I'm most looking forward to). 

The Early Access Alpha will also include PvP combat and two public events, Artifact Hunt (fairly self explanatory) and Golden Road, of which little is known. Players will be able to claim a plot of land in preparation for building a homestead later on.

After a few bumps in the road the game is progressing at a fair trot. It held its first alpha test in September, prompting fears that it wouldn't be ready as planned before the end of the year. But it's still due in 2017, developer 612 Games said. 

To take part you'll have to buy the game here: three versions are available, the cheapest of which is $29.99. If you want to learn more about the game, read James' piece after his hands-off demo in August. He generally liked what he saw.

You can read the full announcement of the early access alpha on the game's Facebook page.