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I am a dilletante beta tester. I've been a release engineer professionally and I like bug hunting. I'm an altaholic. I like running through the same material with different classes. So yeah, I'm that kind of geek. I submit bug reports. I probably speculate too much in the bug reports about objects inheriting information from yada yada and somewhere there's maybe a function that's causing this count to round in this quest count and all this stuff that may be helpful or may just prove that I'm an ass who used to know how to program and now spends too much time banging on games. But I like beta testing, and usually am playing one game in production and haunt (sorry) Massively's Beta Watch column on Thursdays to see if there's something interesting I can explore for game mechanics, graphics, concepts, whatever. Now, SW:TOR is different to me for a number of reasons. One, I'm a SWG vet, and a KOTOR fan, and was 18 when A New Hope came out which makes me about the same age as Luke at the movie premiere. It was a big part of my mythology, the whole Star Wars story. I love Bioware games in general. And, since I volunteer for The Tor Project, I end up reading all the news for SW:TOR on the Google Alerts for Tor as I monitor their press, even if I didn't want to follow the game. So, yes, I'm waiting for my invite. Someday. Been registered on the site. Looked for a guild. But hey...
I unchecked the option on the official site. I'll decide whether to play or not when I get an OB key or pre-order key. Rather than a CB key, I'd rather EA drop the NDA and just let sites blog and preview the content like Blizzard did with WoW in '04. I don't want to be behind the curtain. I want there to not be a curtain.
If you don't worry about it, it's not a problem.
Im kind of in two minds over your points made.
With a game I have so much interest in, playing the beta access like it was a live game would ruin much of the surprise and sparkle of the launched game for sure, even playing storylines from classes I dont expect to play post launch, knowing the base game, how the skills and overall game works would probably be a negative to me to some extent come launch.
But, for any most of us (or maybe just some) helping to test and in a minute way bug hunting and moving a direction of something within a game is a positive thing for the game as a whole.
As to "what if X system changes between beta and launch" affecting impressions of a game, the same can be said when the nerf bat hits or something like NGE occurs (ok a extreme example) post launch. My point being, big change can and do occur post launch too - I always hope that ToR space combat at some stage gets a total revamp out of a rail shooter post launch - but I am sure for some it would not be a positive change
To kind of derail from the actual message in your article...
Game companies often invite people into the semi public closed beta phase with no real direction or true interaction on the forums etc. (sample quest/area/bug forms etc to developer set targets of interest)
Beta testing feels like more than bug reporting / general stress testing to me when there are set agendas such as "we are looking to test area X this week please give all feedback good and bad"
While players may take a more casual view on most beta access and maybe dont report on as much as they could have, I always think the more devs can direct the testing - the more beneficial us public testers can be.
So it kind of works both ways in respect to beta testers usefullness as a whole and companies making the most of the testers they have.
Years ago being a beta tester meant something to me. It meant that I got to play the game first and got to experience it before anyone else. It was an exciting prospect! As time went on though, I started realizing how it really is not all that great. Often times during a beta you will hardly get the joy out of the live game. Let's face it, you know they are going to delete your character, you know everything you do is pointless, (not entirely of coarse for testing purposes) and even if you say it does not bother you...somewhere in the back of your head it is nagging at you; taking away some of the fun of the game. That fun and joy is something you will never get back later, either, since you already experienced the game for the first time even though the next time you do play it is for keeps.
I cannot personally remember the last MMORPG I played that I had not played the beta for in recent years. The last game I did not get into the beta of was DAOC. I loved the game from the moment I stepped foot into it and that new feeling would not have been nearly as exciting had I played it before. Another game even much further before that I did not play beta for was Ultima Online. Yet another game I really loved the experience I had as a new player.
Playing the beta for an MMO may seem harmless, but I think, if ATLEAST physchologically, it hurts the experience of the live game. I may be opted in for the SWTOR beta among many others, but I'll be damned if I don't play it if I get in. It makes me sad really. Part of me hopes I don't get in the beta, but I really want to see the game.
Im excited by this game and i still want to be excited on it's release when i first log on
Yes, I really do. I will NEVER buy a game without trying it first, and I really want to be able to begin playing this game at launch.
Originally posted by Terena You are right most of the players who is registered is just want it to paly the game. It was some for me when I joined my first closed beta so many years ago. Than I realise that I can change things in the game. Only at close beta DEVs realy listen what players thinking. I'm a computer engineer and my dream was to work and design MMO games since I played UO when I was 10 or so. I found the chance to do it while I was a student as unit designer for Earh and Beyond for Westwood Studio as a freelance designer. People who selected for beta must realise that they have responsibility against entire TOR comunity. It was their decisions with DEV team to shape the game. I joined ower 10 closed beta test till now. At some DEVs just using testers to hunt bugs. For example Warhammer Online, Start Trek Online. They did not listened a single world we cried so loud at beta forums and ingame surveys. So 4 classes removed from game (ex: Choppa ) at War Hammer Online even tho every tester demand otherwise and at Star Trek online Klingons have only PvP at the launch. I'm in alfa test of two games right now which I cant give their names because of the MMORPG.com forum rules. DEV listen what we are saying right now. They value our ideas even DEV team of one of the game ask me for a detailed report for " PvP and BG mechanic I wished to implant which I'm working on it for last 2 weeks. Blizzard's DEV team at beta was great when it comes to listen players. Yet some how after beta DEV is terribly at it .) I'm also waiting for TOR beta invite. Tho game will be out in 3-4 months ( my guess ) I dont know how many thing a better tester can effect after a certain point. There can be mistypos even grammer errors so I'm sorry if there is any. Thanks for reading this
Obviously in STO you were not paying attention because they did listen, they had feed back on a daily bases as to what they were working on and what was being focused on. They said repeatedly that Klingons having only pvp was the way it was originally intended and that there focus was getting the game working as intended before they went messing with the intended content. They also stated they did not expect the Klingon faction to be as popular as it was. They listened it is not there fault that most did not look beyond what they wanted for the reply.
As far as Swtor I do want an invite simply because I take testing seriously, most tend to rush to the top lvls Ignoring the text and any story available and then have the nerve to complain when they find a spelling error when it very well might have been found had they been testing and not been in a spitting contest with others. When they get there they cry they are bored because they failed to consider that a game in beta has probaly not had a lot of focus on end game yet.
I explore every avenue available to me read every bit of text pushed my way, if there is a mini-game to be played I play it, I will check the bazzar/auction house/ whatever you want to call the public sell method, I try diff weapons, diff templates and generally ignore all the whiners that claim they know it all 2 weeks into beta because they rushed to the top. Most of them did not play, most of them found an exploit that allowed them to lvl fast and instead of repoting it as they should they decided to make them self's a legend in there own mind by cheating there way to the top rank of a beta. Morons.
People who say they need to be paid to test are simply selfish, sadly that is the way of today's typical gamer "what do I get out of it ?" you mean aside from playing one of the hotest titles before anyone else ? You are playing a video game so apparently you have spare time or you would not be playing a video game. Why not use just a little of that time to help others ?
I signed up as a beta tester the first hour we could despite the server freaking out.
But now from all I have seen if they were to send me a Beta invite I probably would not bother. Right now I am intending to play the game for the bounty hunter storyline and that is about it. I dont think the game will have much longevity for me so participating in the beta would likely spoil the one remaining positive I hope to take away from SWTOR.
As for the Article, I stand by my previous statements that Open Beta's are a waste of time, assigned time & date load testing is about as much Open Beta as I really think is required now since Open Betas are treated simply as "headstarts" now by players.....
Originally posted by TheCrow2k ... now since Open Betas are treated simply as "headstarts" now by players.....
I haven't yet encountered a mmorpg, where you are allowed to save your beta character and bring it into launch. They usually do a clean wipe of character database to get rid of the possible bugs and broken things some beta characters might still have.
Originally posted by Warny No Im excited by this game and i still want to be excited on it's release when i first log on
I don't want to ruin the plot lines for myself.
I know..it's kinda selfish....because when I beta test a game, I look at it like a job...I am there to test things and find / report issues....but this time I'm gonna let others do the hard work, and just enjoy the finished product
I have been in Beta tests for a number of MMO's and find it a challenge to work out what bugs are about. I hate exploiters and anything I can do to minimize exploitation of bugs in a game to ensure it is played how it was meant to be played, i will do.
This is a game the world is waiting for and I would hate to see it have the issues like some other MMO's at launch (AoC for example).
If they have a good group of dedicated testers and not just free riders, then at launch this game could very well be the one to knock the beast (WOW) off its perch.
Man, I cant wait for this game :P
Originally posted by Mortemia Originally posted by TheCrow2k ... now since Open Betas are treated simply as "headstarts" now by players.....
Well, in FFXIV, you could save your beta character name for the launch to be sure that nobody takes it if you are, for some reason, unable to get in on the launch day (I was waiting for a delivery for a whole week, for instance). So it can sometimes help as well
For me, Betas are only for deciding on which race / class /name I'd like to play on release day, since it always takes me ages to decide ^^
"Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world." Hans Margolius
Originally posted by Mortemia Originally posted by TheCrow2k ... now since Open Betas are treated simply as "headstarts" now by players.....
Ive been beta testing a lot of MMO's in the last few years.
The recent trend now is to wipe all characters at the end of Closed Beta, Open Beta Characters are generally carried over to release although occasionally stats get reset before going live if there has been some sort of exploiting or faster than intended gain going on. Dont worry its reaching the point where Developers are treating Open Betas as headstarts or Free Trials themselves.
By Headstart I was also referring to the growing number of people who explore and find the path of least resistance to leveling or find exploits to use on launch when they should really be reporting them.
I know of several people from AoC Beta who found a way to get to level 60 in about 4 hours and they never reported it. Infact it became a widely known bug fairly rapidly and sure enough on day 1 of launch there were people hitting 60+ barely breaking a sweat.
The Beta guys who were involved in that exploit were actually banned in the end but you get my point.
Originally posted by findarato I think there are a set of people who actually test things, -SNIP-
Yeah those are your Closed Beta testers and by Closed Beta that does not mean just Bioware employees. But these are the people who will generally show up when you want them to, actually report bugs & exploits, know how to use a bug tracker and correctly fill in bug reports the way they are asked for.
I wouldn't mind testing the game out. First off I have a good ammount of experience testing mmo's. Secondly, I don't plan to play the republic at launch, or anywhere in the forseeable future. So Beta testing would give me a good excuse to check out the republic storyline.
I like beta testing because with games like WoW and STO i saw many improvements and thought WOW thats great they added that or took that painful problem away after a couple of months after launch. I find it fun.
I love beta's becuse I have that hope what I sugest will acually be looked into, I like to testand try to help the gams be better and great
nothing worth saying =-)
Originally posted by Karnage69 I sincerely want a beta invite. I have been around the mmo block a few times, and then some. When I test a game, I give actual/usable feedback, unlike what I assume the majority of testers do - mess around for awhile and quit or play hardcore but never actually give any feedback. Why do so many games launch in such a poor state? Is it the lack of testers feedback or is the lack of gumption from developers? I would like to think its the testers' faults, but I guess I could be wrong.
So true, I played as a tester in many MMO and i want to try this too and help to make it better..
I'd like to be a tester for simple reasons : the success or unsuccess of a game is also occuring at its launch; if the game has too much bugs then this could ruin the game. But we need a lot of player to start playing and KEEP playing the game. I know some mmo that started well only because they were highly expectated and after few weeks the number of players dropped down drastically because of too many problems in the game. Furthermore we are now starting summer's break and people will have more time to play and test ! This is something Bioware must be aware of I am sure.
Then, let us not be totally naive, it is also a pleasure to "play" before the others and deiscover what deves have prepared for us, in true, and not just via some nice videos.
All in all the possible disappointements are largely counterbalanced by the pleasure to find bugs and see players happy to play when the game start. At least for me it worth the time spent in debugging.
I would want a beta to make sure it doesnt end up like SWG : I've tested tons of games before including guild wars which makes me feel a lil old...
Take that stuff seriously dawgs! It is true that sometimes it could ruin the whole launch experience for you but testing is like community service, it shouldn't be fun if you want to do a good job.
I'm not interested in beta testing this game in the slightest. I've been part of many of them over the years and though I always start out with good intentions I end up burning myself out on the games by playing through every bit of content as though it was the live version.
I do the devs and myself a favour by not taking part in betas anymore due to this.