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Faxion Closed Beta - what should you expect?

rhinokrhinok Member UncommonPosts: 1,798

I've seen quite a few NDA violation posts, most of which have been deleted. While reading them, however, it became clear that the posters didn't have realistic expectations for the experience.  So, what should be expected of a game in the closed beta process and how does this differ from open beta?  Here's a high level overview of a general development timeline as it relates to input gathering:


  • Development/pre-alpha - internal testing and feedback only

  • Alpha/Friends and Family - open to a very small set of known external users for the sake of gathering input.  One should expect a game in this state to need major revisions. Generally requires an NDA.

  • Closed beta - open to a larger set of external users and exists for the sake of gathering bug reports and overall feedback.  One should expect the game to be buggy, laggy and in need of major fixes and issues.  After all, this is the first time it's been opened up to a reasonably large population.  There may be multiple phases to closed beta as the developer or publisher makes changes and opens up the game for further testers. Faxion is most likely in the first of a few closed beta phases, which might be expected to last for a few months. Generally requirs an NDA (as Faxtion does now)

  • Open beta - this one is a little more nebulous, because different developers and/or publishers use it for different things.  Ideally, the game should be very close to launch ready at this point and players should NOT expect major changes between Open beta and launch, unless something so egregiously broken has been found that has previously not been reported.  Players still have a responsibility to provide feedback, however.  Ideally, Open beta is when the game is opened up to the general public and should be used to stress test the game, which isn't really possible without masses of players.  As such, players should expect lag--sometimes severe--since their whole purpose for being there is to stress the servers. The game should be in  a solid playable state, however, mechanics and feature-wise.  That being said, open beta is more often synonymous with "free trial" and "marketing hype" for many games these days. There's generally no NDA in open beta.

  • Launch - the game's major systems and launch features should be polished.  Remaining bugs should be minor (there will always be bugs and exploits in any MMO).

So, how does this relate to Faxion and it's current closed beta state?  Given the general development information above, closed beta means that players are testers and are expected to provide feedback.  "Playing" might be fun, but it probably won't be all the time.  Players should expect bugs and issues with mechanics and design.  Closed beta games are NOT ready for release, are not polished and, sometimes, aren't always fun.  Closed beta testers shouldn't expect them to be, because that's not what closed beta is for..


 



 


Wanting to help test Faxion Online to make it the best game it can be but didn't get a key from the site?


 


That says it all in terms of what players should expect.  Yes, you get to play, but the reason for doing so is because you need to test and provide feedback.  If you're good with that, great. If you're just  looking for a free game to play and try then you're not really an ideal test candidate.  That being said, ragequit posts and general login data do still serve some purpose.


 


Personally, I think it's a mistake to simply hand out closed beta keys to sites like mmorpg.com, curse.com and ten ton hammer, especially without setting expectations. It's clear that many players think these type of closed betas are  more like open betas and expect closed beta games to be polished and feature complete. This is, unfortunately, perpetuated by developers and/or publishers themselves by "closing" open betas by handing out tons of keys.  Open beta should not require keys since the purpose of it is to be "open" to the general public.  So, by limiting and requiring keys for open beta, they confuse potential players on what's closed and open.


 


~Ripper

Comments

  • zymurgeistzymurgeist Member RarePosts: 5,484

    Believe it or not they want the ragequit posts, but they want them on their internal forums. They're trying to develop a feel for all the reasons people leave the game even at this early stage. They also want to load the server(s) and just inviting friends wasn't doing it so they handed out some keys. They want to see how many of the people they handed keys out to actually logged in and how long they stay. Retention data is important even in beta.

    "We have met the enemy and he is us." ~Pogo Possum. 

  • rhinokrhinok Member UncommonPosts: 1,798

    Originally posted by zymurgeist

    Believe it or not they want the ragequit posts, but they want them on their internal forums. They're trying to develop a feel for all the reasons people leave the game even at this early stage. They also want to load the server(s) and just inviting friends wasn't doing it so they handed out some keys. They want to see how many of the people they handed keys out to actually logged in and how long they stay. Retention data is important even in beta.

    /agree

    Definitely good data to pull, just not on public boards :p

    ~Ripper

  • VryheidVryheid Member Posts: 469

    I will say that the developers of the game are unusually responsive to players on the forums and do a great job improving the game in a timely manner. I have high hopes for the game, the few screenshots available on their website don't do it justice.

  • RudedawgCDNRudedawgCDN Member UncommonPosts: 507

    Yes more people should understand that when they participate in a closed beta that they are there to help the dev's play test a game.

    But they probably get more of their fair share of people who log in just to check out a game.

  • GrammieGrammie Member Posts: 68

    I take the job of beta testing very seriously and go out of my way to post the good and the problems on the forums.  I am not looking for a free game.  I merely want to be able launch the game and play it.  I bet other testers are mainly of my persuasion. 

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