Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

How can a game be BETTER during Alpha/Beta, than during Launch?

MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCMember Posts: 6,435 Uncommon

I heard stories of this sort of thing happening in a MMO often.

But what leads up to a game being previewed as more fun during the Alpha/Beta testing phase, than during the Launch?

I heard this happen in Warhammer Online, as well as SWTOR. But what exacly happen that made them worst of Launch than during the testing?

image

«1

Comments

  • WeretigarWeretigar winifrede, WVMember Posts: 609
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    I heard stories of this sort of thing happening in a MMO often. But what leads up to a game being previewed as more fun during the Alpha/Beta testing phase, than during the Launch? I heard this happen in Warhammer Online, as well as SWTOR. But what exacly happen that made them worst of Launch than during the testing?

    A large population didn't hit cap in the betas would be my guess.

  • ForumPvPForumPvP KingstownMember Posts: 871

    devs:its going to get fixed,its going to get better,its going to be amazing,not ready yet but i will be superamazing,we are going to bring and this and that,this is till beta.

    public pay to play beta  tester : oooo geeee ooo weee -> heads to public forums "its going to be amazing"

     

    reality : 10 months after launch ,drops from the sky and landing is pretty hard,still not in game.

     

    Edit:  I think I saw just some thread about some unnamed game,where devs were saying something like this,maan our game is going to expand when you come back to starting area it will be amazing.

    reality: you dont need to kill 20 kobolds anymore ,theres 50 imps too.

     

    Edit2 : if this thread is about real alpha/beta testers who usuallyrespects that game,they wont tell you anything and are most likely testing a game that they like,so i thought its about this trend what is going on right now.

     

    Let's internet

  • IkedaIkeda Largo, FLMember Posts: 2,455 Uncommon

    IMO Matrix Online's beta was phenomenal.  Had a huge community.  DJ live streams.  Lots of stuff going on.  Then they did the end of times with Sam Jackson's character, redid the look of the game (made it more "Matrix-y" but the look was far from ideal).  Lost my purchase because of that last patch to take it live.  I know MANY people who felt the same.

     

    With WAR, they took out the classes earlier in the Beta but they should NEVER have launched without Dwarven Slayers.  I STILL to this day hold a grudge about that.

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCMember Posts: 6,435 Uncommon
    Originally posted by Weretigar
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    I heard stories of this sort of thing happening in a MMO often. But what leads up to a game being previewed as more fun during the Alpha/Beta testing phase, than during the Launch? I heard this happen in Warhammer Online, as well as SWTOR. But what exacly happen that made them worst of Launch than during the testing?

    A large population didn't hit cap in the betas would be my guess.

    but if the game was fun without reaching leveling cap, why wouldnt it still be fun with reaching it after launch?

    image

  • DrakynnDrakynn The Pas, MBMember Posts: 2,030
    For the two games you mentioned War and SW:TOR it's partly the engine they used.They both used the Hero engine which seems to be a technical mess and very poorly optimized.Both games have ahd similar performance issues and degrading performance over time since launch and both seem to break so easily when patched.This is jsut my experience and opinion though.
  • itgrowlsitgrowls newport news, VAMember Posts: 2,951
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    I heard stories of this sort of thing happening in a MMO often. But what leads up to a game being previewed as more fun during the Alpha/Beta testing phase, than during the Launch? I heard this happen in Warhammer Online, as well as SWTOR. But what exacly happen that made them worst of Launch than during the testing?

    Well in the case of SWTOR they had a programmer's error that forced the launch code into an earlier beta version so their final beta code was lost and the code they were using at launch wasn't even close to their final beta code.

  • NakedFuryNakedFury Cabo RojoMember Posts: 410 Uncommon
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    I heard stories of this sort of thing happening in a MMO often. But what leads up to a game being previewed as more fun during the Alpha/Beta testing phase, than during the Launch? I heard this happen in Warhammer Online, as well as SWTOR. But what exacly happen that made them worst of Launch than during the testing?

     

    Atlantica Online. During Beta it was phenomenal, some weeks before going live they added some bullcrap stamina system for the cash shop crap and that went downhill.


    image

  • WeretigarWeretigar winifrede, WVMember Posts: 609
    Originally posted by MMOExposed but if the game was fun without reaching leveling cap, why wouldnt it still be fun with reaching it after launch?

    Once you finish you main char's story you could re-roll I guess. Unless you do the oppisote faction thou the majority of Everything is the same. 

    In WoW even at lauch there were 2+ ways to travel to get to 60 per faction. Idk A lot about swtor was done wrong.

  • DarLorkarDarLorkar Texarkana, TXMember Posts: 881 Uncommon

    Would imagine that the majority of the time this is said, that the Dev's didnt let the whole game be tested/played. 

    So the whole "picture" was not aparent during beta.

     

    Only other thing i can think of is how some beta's set the exp rates to very fast, then reduce that for launch and totaly mess up the "feel" and how slow or fast areas get gone through, and possibly run out of quests, as well.

     

    Just from my personal beta experiences,  i seem to have a better feel, and liking for the ones that do not do "focused" testing. Push out the whole game you have and let the testers see what happens really playing it. Not try to adjust it a few days before the launch. 

     

    MMO players (on the whole) really hate a game that is changed on them every few days. And i bet that that is where a lot of theses statements come from as well. What they could do one day, they get face planted the next day.. drives players crazy:P

  • MMOwandererMMOwanderer LisbonMember Posts: 415

    My guess is that people didn't play all the available content over a long period of time.

    Also, it's still fresh and new in alpha/beta. 1, 2, 3, months after launch, it's not fresh and new anymore, so it begins to suck.

     

  • DOGMA1138DOGMA1138 none of your buidnessMember Posts: 476 Uncommon

    It's quite simple during the beta you play the game for the first time, unless its horrible you are going to have more fun than playing it for the long run just as every other game there is.

    Also since its beta people are fooling around, exprimenting, and epecially if you get in rather early you get to see somthing new every other weekend or so.

    When the game launches like every other MMO out there is the same old race to max level, grind gear, find a guild rutine that you've done in just about every other game you've tried. And unless the game is really ground breaking you have all that set up for you allready in your old game. Not to mention that ever since the MMO market exploded after WoW there wasn't a single smooth game launch, even with out login issues, servers crashing, and other techinical stuff the fact that instead of couple 1000's of people you get 1-2M people flooding the game can really spoil the exprience of actually playing trough the leveling content untill the dust settles, and ofc if you do choose to wait a week or 2 before jumping in the preasure to close the gap with the rest of the players prevents you from enjoying it too.

    This is why i miss the early days of WoW, it didn't had 2-3M pre-orders, the leveling was painfull as fuck but the fact that it took so long to actually reach 60, and the fact that there was a shitload of stuff you had to do when you actually got there before you could start raiding(gear up your tanks, your main healers, collect mats for potions, and other consumables etc`) as a group gave you the freedom to fool around. Heck waiting like a moron untill you could find 2-3 people to do the escort quest in the caves in redridge, or wait 2 hours untill you would find a group to do the Dead Mines or Gnomergan was much more fun than getting insta qued with 4 strangers and ported to the instance.

    I miss the simple old days when you could logon and not know if you are going to get a group for UBRS or spend 3 hours moonwalking naked in lagforge....

  • ToxiaToxia Member Posts: 1,306 Uncommon
    Originally posted by Flex1
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    I heard stories of this sort of thing happening in a MMO often. But what leads up to a game being previewed as more fun during the Alpha/Beta testing phase, than during the Launch? I heard this happen in Warhammer Online, as well as SWTOR. But what exacly happen that made them worst of Launch than during the testing?

     

    Atlantica Online. During Beta it was phenomenal, some weeks before going live they added some bullcrap stamina system for the cash shop crap and that went downhill.

    Amen. Loved Atlantica online and played it for almost a year.

    Was just a fantastic game in the beginning, then they started adding more and more stuff to the CS and made it totally P2W.

    Game was still very fun, but it cost me lots. Spent hundreds on the game lol. Had fun though.

    The Deep Web is sca-ry.

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAMember Posts: 2,646

    There are many reasons, but a few off the top of my head: (I'll use SWTOR as a recent launch example, since you mentioned it earlier.)

     

    1) The game in beta is new.  Everyone is happy to have gotten into the beta, and they are actively learning how to play and being social about it.  Once the game goes live it becomes a race to max level and quickly becomes anti-social.

     

    2) Some features and stabilities are present only in beta.  In the case of SWTOR, some features and items present in beta were stripped out for the launch build.

     

    3) Stability.  When stuff was stripped out, it caused some instability in the code, leading to various bugs.  Remnant "Hooks" left in the code left to an overall unoptimized engine which actually still hiccups even today (although not as bad as launch).

     

    4) Migration from beta to launch.  SWTOR's beta version post pre-launch (Dec 20+) was not compatible with a new launcher version to download the new game packs.  EA claimed repeatedly that there was no need to redownload the client software, but when the time came, they were wrong.  Users either had to redownload the game or spend a full day on the forums discussing how to tweak the config files to make the game run.

     

    5) GM help.  In the case of SWTOR, beta tickets were resolved very quickly.  However post-launch had multiple millions of new tickets that the presence of GM's became but a myth.  Issues were never looked into, and users just got automated bot responses, "We apologize", "Thank you", "We appreciate your business".  It didn't help much to fix lost items / money & broken quest chains.

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • GamerUntouchGamerUntouch smithville ON, ONMember Posts: 488

    Community

     

    Also SWTOR genuinely removed features from alpha -> launch.

  • ChiramChiram Milwaukee, WIMember Posts: 642 Uncommon

    EverQuest: Beta went as expected, launch was equally as impressive. Very minimal issue compared to nowadays.

    EverQuest 2: They increased exp gain needs, massive lag issues. I was bored and insanely frustrated by level 20.

    Anarchy Online: Beta freakin' rocked!. At launch major load issues, people getting stuck for hours or days in loading situations where their character(s) couldn't be retrieved. Those of us lucky enough to get ahead of the rush ( me) were found with a lag free existance and the world was ours for the taking :).

    Auto Assault: Don't even get me started.

    Star Wars Galaxies: Major towns were crowded in the bars. Peeps playing music, talking during beta. Everyone loved it. At launch, some lag issues and plenty of server downs. Everyone was to busy skilling up only to learn there were literally whole planets unfinished.

    Warhammer Online: I played a finished class in beta. I played a magus at launch. Nuff said.

    DAOC: One of the smoothest beta to launch transitions I have had. Matter of fact I have never seen a happier overall playerbase even 3-6 months post launch.

    Guild Wars: Half of my original gamer buds decided not to play after beta. The PVP combat was fast and furious in beta but just before launch they doubled hitpoints. It killed the feel for most of us.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INMember Posts: 4,669 Rare
         WoW was much better in beta than it was at launch...IT was often unplayable also when it launched...There were long wait times on some of the servers, then it had a bug where everytime you tried to loot you froze and couldn't play anymore....I'd imagine the majority of Anets problems are there are too many people who pre-ordered.
  • IndolIndol O''Fallon, MOMember Posts: 189

    Last minute decisions and the unforeseen.

     

    Sometimes devs are their own worst enemy, other times they're just naive and inexperienced.

     

    It's a tough business.

  • niceguy3978niceguy3978 Gainesville, FLMember Posts: 1,969 Uncommon
    Originally posted by Drakynn
    For the two games you mentioned War and SW:TOR it's partly the engine they used.They both used the Hero engine which seems to be a technical mess and very poorly optimized.Both games have ahd similar performance issues and degrading performance over time since launch and both seem to break so easily when patched.This is jsut my experience and opinion though.

    WAR didn't use the hero engine, they used an upgraded version of their DAOC engine that existed long before the Hero engine was even thought of.

    Edit:  Actually Mythic didn't develope the DAOC engine, but licensed it, it is called Gamebryo, same engine WAR uses and Rift as well as several other games.

  • YakkinYakkin irvine, CAMember Posts: 919
    Well if I would have to wager a guess, I'd say it's because there are not as many people in Alpha/Beta than at launch, so the servers don't suffer the same degree of stress. But other than that, not sure; never went to a beta.
  • StoneRosesStoneRoses Seattle, WAMember Posts: 1,272 Uncommon
    Oh, it's you again!

    image

  • dermydermy asheville, NCMember Posts: 12

    I can only atest to seeing this in one beta i have been in which was swtor. 

    A few months before launch a lot the classes had massive nerfs to their game play (cool downs added, target limits added, and some got poorly thought out mechinics changes)making the gameplay feel chuncky and  much less fun to play. 

    The item system in beta was basicly ungrade a peice of gear you like as you level but this changed to a mostly replace gear as you level system. 

    Those two reasons are why i thought beta was better then relaese.

  • worldalphaworldalpha Milton, ONMember Posts: 403
    Expectations during beta are lower than after launch. With higher expectations, any issues are magnified and frustrate gamers to no end.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Working on Social Strategy MMORTS (now Launched!) http://www.worldalpha.com

  • Crazy_StickCrazy_Stick Privacy Preferred, NCMember Posts: 1,059

    I am reminded of a browser MMORPG called Nadrim. During alpha and beta it used a differing model of play but as launch date approached the publishers and development got nervous. They changed the play model to be like every other game on the market and ditched the unique flavor previously cultivated leaving everyone surprised. It was like they grew afraid of taking a chance and hoped for a more sure return by being like everyone else by using a “proven and familiar set of mechanics.” I never thought it even half as good again.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONMember Posts: 3,099 Uncommon

    Players don't play MMOs the same way in a beta that they do in production.

    If there is not a proper development freeze and things are tight or anxious, you can end up have mechanics radically changing right up until the launch day.

  • centkincentkin Asbury, NJMember Posts: 1,033 Uncommon

    Usually it is a last minute feature change or activation...

    For example -- you might be able to jump to Height X during the beta -- then near or at launch they decide to enable the obstacles they had by lowering the jump Height to X-1.  Now all of a sudden things you could leap over are now obstacles you have no way to get over.   A huge annoyance factor is added and this picks apart the game.

    They could radically change the way things work right near the end.  I have seen this as well, where they have a fun mechanic that works quite well but they percieve it is "too difficult" or "has the potential for being too unbalanced if played well" and they up and change the mechanic.  All of a sudden the gameplay becomes tremendously different.  If you prefered the old mechanic then the game could no longer be fun for you.

    They could radically change things for balance.  A game could have a tank class that can actually put out a little dps and in the end they decide to clamp down and make them no dps at all like in most games -- or they could remove the armor factors from the priests, or they could do all sorts of nerfs that would make riots if done when the game was launched. 

    They could add obstacles -- faction requirements and level or quest requirements to access X content, or add in artificial stats to block your progress for fear people will get to the end too rapidly.  A lot of times this exposes a weakness in the game as the game might have been fun played straight but when you have to do questline X , well questline X wasnt as fun as the way you would have played it otherwise but you have to do it anyway changing the whole experience of the game.

    They could massively simplify crafting right at the end, or make crafted products go from being utterly useful during beta to utterly useless upon launch. 

    ----

    Typically any last minute change made in the beta cycle has been a disaster from my standpoint as a tester.   There just isnt enough time to find all of the implications and ramifications of the change unlike if it were done say 6 months+ before release.

    ----

    Oh and one other thing -- in an early beta or alpha they seem to think more of the players than later on.  They tend to make the games require more grey matter to play them and then dumb it down with time till the game is more populist/lower common denominator.  I have seen tons of really neat ideas get flushed down the toilet.

    At least for me, I tend to have the most fun playing a good MMO 9-15 months before it is released in the strictly closed beta timeframe with the strong NDA intact.  This is from all standpoints from the community to the dev access to the true mechanics as envisioned before they get hyperbalanced and watered down.  The devs also tend to be "playful" which is really quite an experience.

«1
Sign In or Register to comment.