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Thanks Bill !!
I've been ranting about this for a while now, including in some threads in these forums.
If there's no tangible difference between "open beta" and "released", then the game IS RELEASED !
In the case of NWO, quite a few players will probably not even be aware of the fact when the game eventually launches. Most likely, the only thing that will tip them off is that there will be a huge push to market the Cash Shop "special offers" around "launch day".
I agree with the article. I think once games start taking peoples money, then they are fair game for review sites. This idea of being able to essentially hide under the blanket of "it's beta" to stop people complaining about bugs/technical issues, while still taking those people's money, is double standards.
I think MMORPG.com should still continue it's Review's in Progress approach to reviewing games, lest we return to the old review system where certain people gave certain games 8/9/10's out of 10 when these games were merely average (SWTOR review i'm looking at you!). A gradual review over the 1st month/6 weeks gives any company the time to iron out launch bugs that actually prevent players from playing the game etc while still letting the masses, & the reviewer in this case, get a feel for the game.
Again, if they are taking money or in "open beta" then they are fair game to review. Just make sure the review is still done over a period of time and not just after the first week.
Yeah like games are no longer called "games" but services. I say BS-alert!
A game is a game and a release is a release. You pay. You get software to permanently play. Chars are not deleted anymore. So the beta is indeed a lie.
People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert
There is NO miracle patch.
95% of what you see in beta won't change by launch.
Hope is not a stategy.______________________________"This kind of topic is like one of those little cartoon boxes held up by a stick on a string, with a piece of meat under it. In other words, bait."
I think you're worrying way too much about when Cyptic, etc. wants you to review the game. Listen to your gut instinct and review it as soon as possible. The game could have been accurately reviewed on the very first beta weekend. Few games, if any, change much at all after the first day of beta.
MMO developers have been giving gamers the run around and slinging BS for far too long. You are our only hope to turn the tides. That said I much prefer your text rants to your video ones. Much more blunt and real.
I am curious whether or not you feel $200 founder packs are still the best deal, since apparently it was easier to create billions of Astral Diamonds on the AH than it is to breath.
What you did not have a chance to cover in your article before is what happens when the condition of the game actually is beta, but from a revenue perspective it is released?
They are now stuck in the position where traditionally they could say "well we are in beta and everything will be wiped" and instead now they are saying "we will never consider wiping".
Your article was well timed and apparently appropriate in picking on NWO. They may not be able to recover from their open beta, open wallet approach.
I was recently banned for 72 hours for using an exploit to kill a boss in Never winter open beta. I was dismayed at this as its open beta. First off I am not sure what boss they are talking about as they never told me any details. Secondly I was not farming a boss over and over for any loot raking in the cash. If its open beta and bugs are what you want found and reported why the bans? This is exactly what the OP was talking about you cant call it open beta when its convenient then treat the player base like its in release. People are delusional on the forums defending PWE by saying its in "beta". OH the hell it is.
I haven't given up on this game just yet ill take my punishment and demand an explanation of course. I am not going to sit by and say nothing about Neverwinter having it both ways while in "Open Beta".
Long-time alpha/beta tester here, the real purpose of "OPEN BETA" is basically to get people to try the game..buy or pre-order the game. It's the showcasing phase, nothing tricky about it at all. You try it..don't like? Don't buy. Do like? Then tell your friends and pre-order/buy, simple as that, nothing nefarious about it at all. Been beta testing games since 1995. I like to do followups as well read reviews, look at artwork, videos, also have a listen to any devs that are willing to speak up..etc..prior to open beta, or get in on the testing, best way to see if the Devs have their ducks all in a row, I also happen to love the testing phase of a game. That's why I do it.
Exploits ..for as far back as I can remember, have 90% of the time been bannable offenses in online gaming, SPECIFICALLY if you stoop to sharing that exploit with all your little buddies. What you are supposed to do..seeing as you are a TESTER, is to report it so it can be fixed, and it doesn't ship with the finished game.
Obviously the powers- that -be decided you weren't serious about upholding your end of the bargain for testing, and hence why you were banned for 72 hours, as a warning not to do it again. Consequences for actions taken, life is all about choices you make.
I wouldn't touch another Cryptic game, after STO, with a "ten-foot-pole".
And for the overpricing done via Cryptic/PW, this will only last as long as players let it. 40 dollar mounts in NW, $50.00 ships, and $125.00 pre launch packs for a so-called "expansion" in STO will become the norm if people pay the price. But, what if they gave a C-Store "high-priced sale" and nobody came? (or opened their wallet)
I don't tend to buy things like that ..$125.00 for an extra game item seems more than a tad high, and tells me that they need more money for development or something. Not that..that is an excuse, just the same it's not something I would pay for. There are folks out there who have that kind of money to throw around, I'm definitely not in that category. I wouldn't say there are enough of those folks to create a trend towards overpricing pixilated items. Although the so-called "free-to-play" games charge for every little thing..example is S.O.E's extra charges for bank or backpack spaces, or use of epic equipment that falls in your lap, or master skills/spells.
Situations like that are game spoilers for me, why allow me to have it in my hot little hands, but tell me I have to pay you ten bucks for it. Useless item taking up vital inventory space....DELETE. That's my reaction to it. My reaction to a game going free to play? That's one less customer they'll see, namely me. I don't like the element that hangs around those type of games, they are a downer for the most part, spend time trolling chat channels, trying to be a downer for everyone else playing the game. I don't buy into a game to have some spoiled child dictate to me how I am going to enjoy or not enjoy a game. And if free to play means the only way to get ahead is to shop in their ingame stores, then the challenge and immersion. and or fun ..the first reason s I play any game...is lost.
Paying 125 dollars out for Barbie's rainbow coloured horse, addition to the current game I play...will not be on my basket list..I am afraid. :P
When you don't have a subscription, you don't need to launch your MMO. What advantage apart from some more PR will you get at the launch? If you can take money in beta, polish up and launch the game its win, win. Well for you as a company, but not the consumer how is paying to play a unfinished game.
I don't want to hear you are playing for free, that you have paid nothing so far.If they are allowing customers to but things in the cash shop it is not beta. It is that simple.
You should not be able to buy anything in the cash shop until launch. Gaming companies are trying to blur the line and get you to pay, pay, pay.
As we have fewer subscription MMO's we will see more of this, the F2P hybrids will push the boundaries back any way they can. There will be no sub only games out there in a couple of years time, nothing for us to compare these bad practices too.
Players have made their bed, they fell in love with F2P, time for them to lie in it.
You received 25 Agrees. You're posting some good content. Great!
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Now Doesn't That Make You Feel All Warm And Fuzzy? :P
Agreed, while it does suck that companies are doing this...they are only able to do it because players allowed and supported it.
Sub games were always better back in the day. Deal with that fact.
Second off, anyone spending $40-$125 for an single in game item....well, you suckers just deserve each other. If there is anything you can get from a pay store that you can't get in game, then the game is pay to win....plain and simple. There should never be anything in a cash shop that a player cannot get from hard work or time invested.
Lastly, and the only thing I will slightly disagree with on here, is the kickstarter part...and here is why:
The companies with the funds to develop games, are never going to get it right again, they have traveled to far down the wrong paths and only want your money as fast as they can get it. Games are crap right now. Its mostly all the same, its mostly all bad. AAA titles all look the same now, all play the same, all suck. Cash store games suck you dry faster than subs ever did. AAA game titles don't even deserve the right to charge $60 for a box on release now, because its only going to suck and you wasted $60.
The only chance the market has to recover, is from these small indie groups who might actually have a good idea, or properly use an already existing idea, however lack the funds to create a decent mmo otherwise. I've been saying that for about 7 years now. If you are one of those player looking for the next awesome game you can actually play longer than a month or two....its never going to come from AAA developer, and its never going to come boxed with some popular trademarked franchise.
For example...I myself, with all these fancy new titles this year that have come and gone, and the ones coming....there is only one game on my potentially not sucking list...and its not a AAA title. NW can go jump off a cliff since they went off with 4ed.....even Elder Scrolls is sounding more like a flop....and pretty much ever other title sounds like a clone of some other failed game.
That one game, is from a small dev, from kickstarter...and looks like it has potential to not bore me to death and that game is.... http://www.therepopulation.com/
~I am Many~
Originally posted by Scot When you don't have a subscription, you don't need to launch your MMO. What advantage apart from some more PR will you get at the launch? If you can take money in beta, polish up and launch the game its win, win. Well for you as a company, but not the consumer how is paying to play a unfinished game. I don't want to hear you are playing for free, that you have paid nothing so far.If they are allowing customers to but things in the cash shop it is not beta. It is that simple. You should not be able to buy anything in the cash shop until launch. Gaming companies are trying to blur the line and get you to pay, pay, pay. As we have fewer subscription MMO's we will see more of this, the F2P hybrids will push the boundaries back any way they can. There will be no sub only games out there in a couple of years time, nothing for us to compare these bad practices too. Players have made their bed, they fell in love with F2P, time for them to lie in it.
The very definition of any MMO..is they are never finished, there's always updates, patches, fixes to patches, expansions, sequels..etc. So bottom line ALL online games are unfinished. Where and when would you determine a game to be finally finished? When it dies a slow death and all the servers go down?
And I agree...I am one of the old dinosaurs that prefer the pay to play model, I don't like the free to play model, you end up spending way more than your regular ten to 15 dollars a month. That sub model includes everything, doesn't nickel and dime you for every backpack, bank slot or master skill, or epic armor piece. You can make your own potions, gems..statted armor, if you have the time and patience to do so. But these days everyone seems to want the..give it to me not right now..but yesterday..and I won't pay for it dang it, because of course the hardworking devs, coders, and office folks who created that lovely game for you, don't get to have a paycheck..(according to today's gamer..which tells me none of them have held a job down yet..that attitude will change eventually).
Something for nothing, is NOT how the world works. And again will state I agree..in regards to today's gamer wanting everything for free. There's an old saying for just that thing: "Be careful what you wish for." Kind of reminds me of what is going on with desktop computers, the games for PCs get hacked and pirated so much, there seems to be a tendency these days for the developpers to make console only games.. Perhaps computers will indeed be a thing of the past, in regards to gaming. For the time being I am hanging on to mine..much prefer my desktop.
Once there are no more large MMO settings due to costs, and no customers willing to cough up what it takes ...then we'll hear a large and prolonged whine about that. Can't have it both ways. Maybe by that time I will be too old to care, and have retired from gaming..at last. :P
MMO’s are never finished, I was just pointing out that F2P MMO’s have less of a reason to official launch than P2P MMO’s. P2P MMO’s don’t start charging until they launch.
“There's an old saying for just that thing: "Be careful what you wish for."
– Well they got what they wished for, too late for that. I do think the industry is showing some signs of waking up to problems with their current MMO model, not sure if they will be able to effectively do anything about it though. I am including Kickstarter and sandbox MMO’s, time will tell.
Originally posted by Scot MMO’s are never finished, I was just pointing out that F2P MMO’s have less of a reason to official launch than P2P MMO’s. P2P MMO’s don’t start charging until they launch. “There's an old saying for just that thing: "Be careful what you wish for." – Well they got what they wished for, too late for that. I do think the industry is showing some signs of waking up to problems with their current MMO model, not sure if they will be able to effectively do anything about it though. I am including Kickstarter and sandbox MMO’s, time will tell.
Far as Kickstarter is concerned, I look at that as a way for Devs to get out from under the middleman, namely EA and others who profit hugely from MMOs, buying them out taking over the developper "house" and eventually gaining complete control, again referencing EA and others like them. One such example is the original Mythic Ceo, Mark Jacobs, he did Magestorm, Daoc, and lastly Warhammer, before as he said he sold his soul for a few shiney beads to EA. He's starting out small, new company,( CityState Entertainment ) new contacts, adding a couple million of his own cash, and did a successful kickstarter recently.
I took part in that, as I am an old DAOC fan from way back and he's talking about old school ways of doing things. Game will be all pvp rvr...Tri-realm. Something the old faithfuls have been asking for for a long time. His sub model will cost less per month than the commonly used 15 bucks a month, with a promise of no hand holding.
Perhaps if enough devs succeed with this kickstarter model, they can keep their costs down...and the game has more of a chance of succeeding with a lot of feedback from backers such as myself, if the Devs are willing to have a listen now and again, on what their audience would like to see and not like to see. A refreshing idea coming out of the gate..no hand holding, and not trying to be a wow clone. I think devs should shoot the wow clone idea in the head and leave it in the dust, there was only one company able to pull it off and that was a fluke...I would like to see games that are uniquely themselves, and CHALLENGE brought back, instead of the idea of walk two steps to the next quest giver and gain a pat on the head and a cookie every time. Bring the challenge and the personal stories back. Easy is boring....BORING.
"Beta, named after the second letter of the Greek alphabet, is the software development phase following alpha. It generally begins when the software is feature complete. Software in the beta phase will generally have many more bugs in it than completed software, as well as speed/performance issues and may still cause crashes or data loss. The focus of beta testing is reducing impacts to users, often incorporating usability testing. The process of delivering a beta version to the users is called beta release and this is typically the first time that the software is available outside of the organization that developed it."
Now, where does it say "cannot be called beta if money is being received"?
For a "gaming" article site, MMORPG seems to know very little about the Gaming/Software industry. All I see here is a site thinking they can redefine words.
For a retail launch you may have a point, but you are talking about F2P, a totally different system of game.
Nothing smacks of stupid more than someone complaining about a free games launch...
Save your complaints for SUBSCRIPTION games that launch before they are ready because they are taking your money. Wow, talk about a bunch of crybabies.
Path of Exile was released months ago, this is definitely a sham made to hide the flaws with a game. As soon as anyone can join, you are charging money in some way even if it is a cash shop, you no longer will ever wipe characters and you aren't focus testing at all you are released.
Just cuse you keep saying does not make it right lol. I have launched new networks with new software/OS etc. CB does not fully test your systems and you never know how systems will work till you do a large scale launch in a real world environment. You may not think its needed and I agree marketing saw the demand to get into beta and stopped giving it away for free. Thats free trade supply and demand. But here is the FACT and where you are wrong. Till you do a large scale launch like an open beta, you have no clue how things will go till then.
Its at open beta they get to know their real problems and holes. You may think its not needed and just a marketing ploy, but you are so wrong. Love you still as a reviewer and I know where to take what you say with a grain of salt. But from the tech and software side you have no clue it seems. Maybe the marketing side of things has made you cynical and I think many have the right to feel that way. Still does not change the facts. You still need an open beta and a game is not launched till thats finished.
As far as the no wipes, I think they had to do that to be fair for charging for betas. /thred sorry Bill. Still wrong. I also think its awesome you can buy into beta. As a gamer I get to buy into the games I want to give feedback to. This has been great with Landmark. Even getting to talk directly to devs at times in game. This is a much better system then just hoping for a random invite.
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Originally posted by Terranah Maybe there are legal advantages. For instance, we all know mmo's typically have crappy launches. By having a soft launch and calling it beta, they remove the class action lawsuit or demands for additional time tacked onto accounts, not to mention refunds. I've noticed this more and more. I don't necessarily mind.
That's like building an anti-zombie shelter in your basement 99% of those threats are just forum posturing.
However the first part of your post is correct imho, it does deflect some of the crappy launch anger away... although most players have caught on to the soft launch gimmick by now and are just as intolerant about crappy launches for early access or open betas. We saw this with the early release of H1Z1 on steam.
I'd say the gaming media can help put an end to all this deceptive crap by doing just what mmorpg.com and other sites are doing: if the cash shop is active or they are collecting subs (I'm looking at you Pathfinder) it's review time - warts and all.
Originally posted by Iselin Originally posted by Terranah Maybe there are legal advantages. For instance, we all know mmo's typically have crappy launches. By having a soft launch and calling it beta, they remove the class action lawsuit or demands for additional time tacked onto accounts, not to mention refunds. I've noticed this more and more. I don't necessarily mind.
I agree its review time, but what I dont agree with Bill on is the final review is at open beta. I think their should be a review when the game is officially launched.