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Feedback Sought: The new access tiers

24

Comments

  • KrullenKrullen SydneyPosts: 18Member

    Mark,  is timezone or playtimes of the testers significant?

     

    I'm in Australia,  and while I'm keen, do I need to be online at the same time as the dev crew? is it a live interaction? I don't want to join up and have my primetime be in the useless offline state and take a spot I shouldn't.

     

    On the other hand, do you want a nightshift grinding it out while your all alseep and potentially have a swag of bugs ready for the next day. 24hr testing so to speak.

     

     

    DAOC - Krullen - Hero/Tristan

  • MarkJacobsMarkJacobs CEO City State Entertainment Fairfax, VAPosts: 468Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Raagnarz

    Very impressive new layout. Much clearer and honestly more practical for balancing your needs as a developer versus prospective players desires. The IT tier should be an eye opening experience for those that get involved with it. It would be a great experience for those that are curious about game design, world building, and want to see how its done almost from scratch.

     

    I was going to do alpha access and will probably stick with that since my work and travel schedule might make exact times a problem. So I think I'll stick with the alpha access and wish those in IT the best of luck. I do really like this new layout and the fact that access is more clearly and logically structured.

    TYVM.

    Originally posted by Aeodo

    Originally posted by BowbowDAoC

    I also want to add that all that we just read on IT/alpha/beta tiers should totally be visible on KS page when it starts, to avoid any complainings afterward with a "important" mention on them.

    I'm pretty sure that's the plan, but just an extra thought :)

    This. If you don't make this statement clear on the KS page, you may have some very annoying whiners... whining at you.

    I'd love to have a flashing red light, klaxxon, etc. I'll have to settle for less.

    Originally posted by meddyck

    This does clear things up. I think I finally understand and agree with your logic behind not giving the alpha (now internal testing) tier all the goodies tiers below it get.

    The answer to the following question seems obvious but let me just ask anyway. These beta stages are not weekend events like many MMOs do these days but are 24/7 beta access except for maintenance, patches, etc. Right?

    Does Kickstarter require you to post the dates for the betas? If not, it seems like a mistake to create (potentially) false expectations that you will be ready for this or that beta stage on a specific date so far in advance.

    Thank you, glad you agree. 

    As to the 24/7, not likely. As to beta weekends, not likely either. It will be something in-between, especially for beta 1. Alpha will be much more limted in the beginning and then will expand the time the servers are open. The reason this time is less monetary than it is dev time. Getting one week's worth of data = good. Getting three week's worth of data where most of it is simply a rehash of the first week = bad. If we weren't giving people access to the forums it would be more manageable but since we will encourage people to post, getting 1K posts all saying the same thing is a really, really bad idea.  As you know, if we end up getting caught up in "The devs don't listen! Yeah I did was post the same message that So&So did but  should get a response!!!!"  or the ever-popular "Oh, I didn't know that was reported 5 times already. I don't have the time to read ALL the messages in this thread!" :) it's a lose-lose for all of us. The last thing I want is for us or our CM team to feel stressed during alpha/beta and I also don't want our backers to feel like we're not listening or behaving badly. Expectations need to be termpered on both sides, even during alpha and early beta.

    As to the dates, KS does ask that you place estimated delay notices on things so we will do the same. The key is estimated of course whether it applies to any created good.

    Mark Jacobs
    CEO, City State Entertainment

  • SensaiSensai Princeton, WVPosts: 88Member

    This too may be a stupid question but it still bears asking:  Will the IT tier grant access to all testing phases (alpha and all betas)?

    image

  • observerobserver Houston, TXPosts: 3,006Member Uncommon
    Ok, i understand that a huge project such as an MMO needs testers, but it just leaves me concerned when you allow people to pay for internal testing.  They will never be qualified as a professional tester, and thus, the product will suffer because of it.  Their main interest will be getting a first-look at the product, and their concerns will not be focused on quality assurance, and why should it?  They can't get "fired" for doing a bad job.
  • MarkJacobsMarkJacobs CEO City State Entertainment Fairfax, VAPosts: 468Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Bordog

    I would love to pledge for IT and break the game but I'll be in Taiwan studying until May 2014, so Alpha tier it is for me. My only questions is, Will I still be able to purchase the 3 year subscription with the Alpha tier? If not and I decide to purchase a higher tier for it I'll simply be moved to Alpha access since I wont be able to join the IT access?

    Edit: PS - Thanks for listing approximate dates! Very helpful for planning.

    Enjoy Taiwan, I loved my brief visit there. As to getting alpha with lifetime sub, yep, alpha access is in the lifetime sub tiers.

    Originally posted by Krullen

    Mark,  is timezone or playtimes of the testers significant?

     

    I'm in Australia,  and while I'm keen, do I need to be online at the same time as the dev crew? is it a live interaction? I don't want to join up and have my primetime be in the useless offline state and take a spot I shouldn't.

     

    On the other hand, do you want a nightshift grinding it out while your all alseep and potentially have a swag of bugs ready for the next day. 24hr testing so to speak.

     

     

    Hey greetings! One of these days I'm going to have to visit Australia, been trying to get there forever. As to it being significant, not really. Given the time zone differences, we should be able to arrange a testing shift in IT for our backers. If you are really interested in one of those tiers, I'm sure we can work something out especially given that we will have people backing this game from all over the world (we hope) since we aren't planning on farming out CU to a European partner as we would rather operate the servers ourselves (see, I can be taught!). :)

     

    Mark Jacobs
    CEO, City State Entertainment

  • Ice-QueenIce-Queen USA, GAPosts: 2,451Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by observer
    Ok, i understand that a huge project such as an MMO needs testers, but it just leaves me concerned when you allow people to pay for internal testing.  They will never be qualified as a professional tester, and thus, the product will suffer because of it.  Their main interest will be getting a first-look at the product, and their concerns will not be focused on quality assurance, and why should it?  They can't get "fired" for doing a bad job.

    That's not necessarily true. I know when I test an mmo, I do my best to try and see if I can break stuff and do everything I can to find any bugs or exploits and report it promptly. Not all of us are there to goof off.

    image

    What happens when you log off your characters????.....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
    Dark Age of Camelot

  • MarkJacobsMarkJacobs CEO City State Entertainment Fairfax, VAPosts: 468Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Sensai

    This too may be a stupid question but it still bears asking:  Will the IT tier grant access to all testing phases (alpha and all betas)?

    Yes but please only choose it because you want to really help us out.

    Originally posted by observer
    Ok, i understand that a huge project such as an MMO needs testers, but it just leaves me concerned when you allow people to pay for internal testing.  They will never be qualified as a professional tester, and thus, the product will suffer because of it.  Their main interest will be getting a first-look at the product, and their concerns will not be focused on quality assurance, and why should it?  They can't get "fired" for doing a bad job.

    I agree but with a few caveats:

    1) I've seen some phenomenal testing/reports from players. Nobody knows the genre better than some of these guys and man, some of them are just the world's best ferrets. 

    2) I've seen some really crappy testing from players. 

    3) I've seen some phenomenal testing from paid testers.

    4) I've seen some crappy testing from paid testers.

    In my perfect world, we have both.

    Mark

    Mark Jacobs
    CEO, City State Entertainment

  • Originally posted by MarkJacobs

    Originally posted by Sensai

    This too may be a stupid question but it still bears asking:  Will the IT tier grant access to all testing phases (alpha and all betas)?

    Yes but please only choose it because you want to really help us out.

    Originally posted by observer
    Ok, i understand that a huge project such as an MMO needs testers, but it just leaves me concerned when you allow people to pay for internal testing.  They will never be qualified as a professional tester, and thus, the product will suffer because of it.  Their main interest will be getting a first-look at the product, and their concerns will not be focused on quality assurance, and why should it?  They can't get "fired" for doing a bad job.

    I agree but with a few caveats:

    1) I've seen some phenomenal testing/reports from players. Nobody knows the genre better than some of these guys and man, some of them are just the world's best ferrets. 

    2) I've seen some really crappy testing from players. 

    3) I've seen some phenomenal testing from paid testers.

    4) I've seen some crappy testing from paid testers.

    In my perfect world, we have both.

    Mark

    Lets not forget we need a game to launch in order to complain about poor testing!!!

    Their $$$ will help even if their testing does not.

  • meddyckmeddyck Athens, GAPosts: 1,140Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MarkJacobs
     
    Originally posted by meddyck

    This does clear things up. I think I finally understand and agree with your logic behind not giving the alpha (now internal testing) tier all the goodies tiers below it get.

    The answer to the following question seems obvious but let me just ask anyway. These beta stages are not weekend events like many MMOs do these days but are 24/7 beta access except for maintenance, patches, etc. Right?

    Does Kickstarter require you to post the dates for the betas? If not, it seems like a mistake to create (potentially) false expectations that you will be ready for this or that beta stage on a specific date so far in advance.

    Thank you, glad you agree. 

    As to the 24/7, not likely. As to beta weekends, not likely either. It will be something in-between, especially for beta 1. Alpha will be much more limted in the beginning and then will expand the time the servers are open. The reason this time is less monetary than it is dev time. Getting one week's worth of data = good. Getting three week's worth of data where most of it is simply a rehash of the first week = bad. If we weren't giving people access to the forums it would be more manageable but since we will encourage people to post, getting 1K posts all saying the same thing is a really, really bad idea.  As you know, if we end up getting caught up in "The devs don't listen! Yeah I did was post the same message that So&So did but  should get a response!!!!"  or the ever-popular "Oh, I didn't know that was reported 5 times already. I don't have the time to read ALL the messages in this thread!" :) it's a lose-lose for all of us. The last thing I want is for us or our CM team to feel stressed during alpha/beta and I also don't want our backers to feel like we're not listening or behaving badly. Expectations need to be termpered on both sides, even during alpha and early beta.

    As to the dates, KS does ask that you place estimated delay notices on things so we will do the same. The key is estimated of course whether it applies to any created good.

    I'm glad I asked that beta question now because my obvious answer turned out not to be. Follow up question: will there be a separate closed beta that anybody can apply for on your website that will be up all the time?

    Camelot Unchained Backer
    DAOC [retired]: R11 Cleric R11 Druid R11 Minstrel R9 Eldritch R6 Sorc R6 Scout R5 Healer

  • gylnnegylnne South Hutchinson, KSPosts: 320Member
    Originally posted by observer
    Ok, i understand that a huge project such as an MMO needs testers, but it just leaves me concerned when you allow people to pay for internal testing.  They will never be qualified as a professional tester, and thus, the product will suffer because of it.  Their main interest will be getting a first-look at the product, and their concerns will not be focused on quality assurance, and why should it?  They can't get "fired" for doing a bad job.

    I really don't understand your concern as many dev teams invite in their family and friends to do internal testing and some of these folks are not a "professional tester". 

    Where do you go to college for that anyway?:P

    People will come into internal testing to just get a look at the product? Come on if they don't focus there will be no product to eventually play.

     

     

  • Plastic-MetalPlastic-Metal Highland Heights, KYPosts: 405Member
    Originally posted by observer
    Ok, i understand that a huge project such as an MMO needs testers, but it just leaves me concerned when you allow people to pay for internal testing.  They will never be qualified as a professional tester, and thus, the product will suffer because of it.  Their main interest will be getting a first-look at the product, and their concerns will not be focused on quality assurance, and why should it?  They can't get "fired" for doing a bad job.

    Would you rather CSE hire additional personnel or outsource for professional quality assurance?  If that's the case, they've just spent a pretty nice slice of their development fund that could have been used for further development via additional programmers, environmental modelers, animators, or the various party buses that have to be rented for achieving milestones.

    Fiscal responsibility includes utilizing all available resources, even if it means unconventional methods. :)  If someone signs up for the Internal Testing (or even Alpha) tier and fails miserably, I seriously doubt Mark will turn the blind eye. 

    My name is Plastic-Metal and my name is an oxymoron.

    image

  • Originally posted by meddyck

    I'm glad I asked that beta question now because my obvious answer turned out not to be. Follow up question: will there be a separate closed beta that anybody can apply for on your website that will be up all the time?

    My guess.

    A year and 6 months minimum from now.

    Yes, but it will roughly be Beta 2 but probably more like Beta 3.

    Depending on how the kickstarter goes within that time frame maybe a lil earlier or later.  KS is important if it's an indication of direct representaton.

    EDIT: Got me thinking about PR and its importance.  How much is word of mouth, website, genre site to push the Kickstarter.

  • SensaiSensai Princeton, WVPosts: 88Member
    Originally posted by MarkJacobs

    Originally posted by Sensai

    This too may be a stupid question but it still bears asking:  Will the IT tier grant access to all testing phases (alpha and all betas)?

    Yes but please only choose it because you want to really help us out.

    <SNIP>

    Mark

    Mark,

    That is why I asked the question.  It would be difficult to be involved in the IT stage and then not see how the testing proceeded throughout the remaining stages, or if inclusion in the later stages of testing was random.  I can only speak for myself, but if I am part of the IT stage (which I hope to be), I want to see it through to the end of the final beta and not just be involved in bits and pieces as the game evolves.

     

     

    image

  • MarkJacobsMarkJacobs CEO City State Entertainment Fairfax, VAPosts: 468Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by meddyck
    Originally posted by MarkJacobs
     
    Originally posted by meddyck

    This does clear things up. I think I finally understand and agree with your logic behind not giving the alpha (now internal testing) tier all the goodies tiers below it get.

    The answer to the following question seems obvious but let me just ask anyway. These beta stages are not weekend events like many MMOs do these days but are 24/7 beta access except for maintenance, patches, etc. Right?

    Does Kickstarter require you to post the dates for the betas? If not, it seems like a mistake to create (potentially) false expectations that you will be ready for this or that beta stage on a specific date so far in advance.

    Thank you, glad you agree. 

    As to the 24/7, not likely. As to beta weekends, not likely either. It will be something in-between, especially for beta 1. Alpha will be much more limted in the beginning and then will expand the time the servers are open. The reason this time is less monetary than it is dev time. Getting one week's worth of data = good. Getting three week's worth of data where most of it is simply a rehash of the first week = bad. If we weren't giving people access to the forums it would be more manageable but since we will encourage people to post, getting 1K posts all saying the same thing is a really, really bad idea.  As you know, if we end up getting caught up in "The devs don't listen! Yeah I did was post the same message that So&So did but  should get a response!!!!"  or the ever-popular "Oh, I didn't know that was reported 5 times already. I don't have the time to read ALL the messages in this thread!" :) it's a lose-lose for all of us. The last thing I want is for us or our CM team to feel stressed during alpha/beta and I also don't want our backers to feel like we're not listening or behaving badly. Expectations need to be termpered on both sides, even during alpha and early beta.

    As to the dates, KS does ask that you place estimated delay notices on things so we will do the same. The key is estimated of course whether it applies to any created good.

    I'm glad I asked that beta question now because my obvious answer turned out not to be. Follow up question: will there be a separate closed beta that anybody can apply for on your website that will be up all the time?

    Do you mean a private, secret beta? That usually leads to tears.  :(  OTOH, if you mean will there be a developer-centric version where we test stuff before we post it to LIVE, of course there will be and yes, people who can contribute to that as well as us will be asked to join us at times. There are days when we need 1000s of people to play but there will also be days where we need a few dozen and we will open and close based on those needs and, of course, the game's basic stability.

    Please keep in mind I'm just being cautious here. We both know that if I say that the servers will be up 24 x 7 in beta and they can't be because we did something dumb or we just need to take a break from new user feedback, etc. what the response will be from some corners (not you). :)

    Mark Jacobs
    CEO, City State Entertainment

  • MarkJacobsMarkJacobs CEO City State Entertainment Fairfax, VAPosts: 468Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sensai
    Originally posted by MarkJacobs

    Originally posted by Sensai

    This too may be a stupid question but it still bears asking:  Will the IT tier grant access to all testing phases (alpha and all betas)?

    Yes but please only choose it because you want to really help us out.

    Mark

    Mark,

    That is why I asked the question.  It would be difficult to be involved in the IT stage and then not see how the testing proceeded throughout the remaining stages, or if inclusion in the later stages of testing was random.  I can only speak for myself, but if I am part of the IT stage (which I hope to be), I want to see it through to the end of the final beta and not just be involved in bits and pieces as the game evolves.

     

     

    Understood. If you want to talk about this before you pledge, send me an email here and we can take it offline. I don't want anybody to feel like they ended up wasting their money on a tier. That's one reason I added the FPs. :)

    Mark Jacobs
    CEO, City State Entertainment

  • ShadowhellzShadowhellz Deltona, FLPosts: 16Member

    Now will IT have time specific restraints? (This should be put on the table before you offer it to help us figure out if we can do IT or just stick with alpha).

     

    The last game I beta'd (And I can't say due to the NDA and such) we had two typs of testing.

     

    One was kind of a "On the spot" testing where they gave us short notice to test a specific thing or area out. They didn't really mind if we could or could not make it (They knew we had day jobs) but help was great.

    And another was "Test this over the next couple days, then give us as feedback at/by x date and time. Which was required to stay in the beta.

     

    Just for Timezone constants. If you do testing during a specific time and people live in a timezone where it's 4-5 am during the testing, it'd make more sense to get alpha over IT :).

     

    Just curious! Regardless I can't wait to fund the game.

     

    Thanks!

     

    Edited to clarify.

  • MaricMaric Roseville, CAPosts: 72Member Uncommon

    Mark,

    For the IT phase tier, or where you define on Kickstarter what the requirements will be for IT phase, please if possible state whether or not IT testing would be viable for West Coasters.  For example, due to time zone differences, would it be very rare that a West Coaster who works a 9-5 job be possible to assist at this stage of testing?

    Thank you.  Good work communicating on various sites.  Looking forward to Kickstarter going live!

    EDIT:  Nevermind my concerns.  I see you addressed this on another post!

     

  • Whisper135Whisper135 Laval, QCPosts: 2Member

    Hi Mark,

     

    I posted earlier today about this on massively, (you can see my comment here - http://massively.joystiq.com/2013/03/25/massively-exclusive-camelot-unchained-unveils-pledge-tiers-see/) and I just wanted to say thank you very much for this update!

     

    This cleared up a lot of confusion for me, and i'm sure you will get a lot of backers for the IT phase who will care about your game as much as you do! I will hopefully be one of them. I really think you went in the right direction with these new pledge pricings and rewards. Can't wait to see the finalized version on Kickstarter!

  • Whisper135Whisper135 Laval, QCPosts: 2Member
    Originally posted by MarkJacobs

    Originally posted by Sensai

    This too may be a stupid question but it still bears asking:  Will the IT tier grant access to all testing phases (alpha and all betas)?

    Yes but please only choose it because you want to really help us out.

    Originally posted by observer
    Ok, i understand that a huge project such as an MMO needs testers, but it just leaves me concerned when you allow people to pay for internal testing.  They will never be qualified as a professional tester, and thus, the product will suffer because of it.  Their main interest will be getting a first-look at the product, and their concerns will not be focused on quality assurance, and why should it?  They can't get "fired" for doing a bad job.

    I agree but with a few caveats:

    1) I've seen some phenomenal testing/reports from players. Nobody knows the genre better than some of these guys and man, some of them are just the world's best ferrets. 

    2) I've seen some really crappy testing from players. 

    3) I've seen some phenomenal testing from paid testers.

    4) I've seen some crappy testing from paid testers.

    In my perfect world, we have both.

    Mark

    I just wanted to adress this as well. As a quality assurance tester in the videogame industry, Mark hit the nail on the head here. You don't have to be "paid" to be good at what you do. I've seen new employees walk into the company and blow QA who have been around for years right out of the water. Quality testing really comes down to the players attention to detail, imagination, and their love for the project to be honest.

  • dynamicipftwdynamicipftw Arrow, ALPosts: 207Member

    The main reason people will buy the $25 tier is just to enter the beta. Putting them in the last beta (13 months after the alpha and 7 after the first beta) will make that tier very unattractive IMO. 

     

    Watching everyone else play the beta when you have paid for it sounds VERY frustrating. 

     

    There should be no segregation. 1 alpha/beta for all.

     

    Even if there are 20k backers they will be from different timezones and they will never be online at the same time. They can fit on 1-2 servers easily. 

     

  • SorninSornin Richmond, BCPosts: 1,133Member
    Originally posted by dynamicipftw

    The main reason people will buy the $25 tier is just to enter the beta. Putting them in the last beta (13 months after the alpha and 7 after the first beta) will make that tier very unattractive IMO. 

     

    Watching everyone else play the beta when you have paid for it sounds VERY frustrating. 

     

    There should be no segregation. 1 alpha/beta for all.

    The trouble is that in early testing, they do not want or need as many testers. Therefore, they need to slowly increase the pool. How do you propose to do that with "1 alpha/beta for all?"

    image

  • dynamicipftwdynamicipftw Arrow, ALPosts: 207Member
    Originally posted by Sornin
    Originally posted by dynamicipftw

    The main reason people will buy the $25 tier is just to enter the beta. Putting them in the last beta (13 months after the alpha and 7 after the first beta) will make that tier very unattractive IMO. 

     

    Watching everyone else play the beta when you have paid for it sounds VERY frustrating. 

     

    There should be no segregation. 1 alpha/beta for all.

    The trouble is that in early testing, they do not want or need as many testers. Therefore, they need to slowly increase the pool. How do you propose to do that with "1 alpha/beta for all?"

    Why don't they want more testers? More testers = better beta = better game. They already paid for it after all.

  • RealLifeGobboRealLifeGobbo Yorktown, VAPosts: 218Member

    To add a little bit of light on the topic:

    The Alpha stage is not nearly as refined as the Beta stage.  Typically, the during the Beta stage, most of the games mechanics have been worked out, while the rest of the content (artwork, sounds, item graphics, etc) is added, so it's fully playable.  Alpha is the rough bones of the game.  It is not nearly as rough as the "Internal Testing", but a good chunk of the game is missing. 

    Aspiring Game Musician <<>> Inquiring ears, feel free to visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/vagarylabs

  • sweetdigssweetdigs Washington, DCPosts: 196Member
    Originally posted by dynamicipftw
    Originally posted by Sornin
    Originally posted by dynamicipftw

    The main reason people will buy the $25 tier is just to enter the beta. Putting them in the last beta (13 months after the alpha and 7 after the first beta) will make that tier very unattractive IMO. 

     

    Watching everyone else play the beta when you have paid for it sounds VERY frustrating. 

     

    There should be no segregation. 1 alpha/beta for all.

    The trouble is that in early testing, they do not want or need as many testers. Therefore, they need to slowly increase the pool. How do you propose to do that with "1 alpha/beta for all?"

    Why don't they want more testers? More testers = better beta = better game. They already paid for it after all.

    1.  Fewer players = less demand on the server = lower testing costs.

    2.  Fewer players = more focused, streamlined feedback.  They can sort through posts by 1000 folks much easier than 10,000.  Information overload doesn't make the game better.  It just makes for a muddled message.

    At each stage of beta, there will be more players involved.  There will be far more folks involved when the game reaches Beta 2 and is doing class balancing discussions than when they are doing basic crash and burn testing on basic game mechanics (where, frankly, you don't need 1000 people telling you that sprint isn't working).

  • sweetdigssweetdigs Washington, DCPosts: 196Member
    Originally posted by Shadowhellz

    Now will IT have time specific restraints? (This should be put on the table before you offer it to help us figure out if we can do IT or just stick with alpha).

     

    The last game I beta'd (And I can't say due to the NDA and such) we had two typs of testing.

     

    One was kind of a "On the spot" testing where they gave us short notice to test a specific thing or area out. They didn't really mind if we could or could not make it (They knew we had day jobs) but help was great.

    And another was "Test this over the next couple days, then give us as feedback at/by x date and time. Which was required to stay in the beta.

    I don't want to speak for Mark, but I'm pretty sure he stated that IT will have specific testing windows.  It is not going to be available 24/7.  In fact, IT is not a full fledged game.  It's just testing out various mechanics and trying to break stuff.  You might be thinking more of alpha or beta, and even alpha and beta won't be available 24/7, but will have limited testing windows.

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