To The Server Owners or To be owners: Please enlighten us with your reason for Beta testing
To the Beta Users: Please provide reason why you join to beta servers!
To the Mods: I wanted to share these 2 articles with everyone (mostly the PRIVATE SERVER Owners and to be owners to know their reason for Beta Testing!
"Beta testing in that era (late 1990's)was often a challenging experience. These were unfinished games with incomplete rules and unpolished content. Hardware upgrades were often necessary to simply run many of these titles, especially games like the 3D-accelerator necessary EverQuest. Game installation seldom went smoothly, and many players found themselves wondering if they would ever find a way to get into beta. Once gamers were playing in the new world, they’d often fall through the landscape, zone into a “nothing” space, or simply experience other strange issues due to the relatively new technology powering these titles."Code:The Rigors of Beta Testing: The Past, Present, and Futuremmo
When asked a question about whether the MMO testing phases have changed in the past 5-10 years, the Ten Ton Hammer premium members suggested that beta tests are now almost solely about marketing and are populated with testers that ignore the “/bug” option and simply use the beta to demo the game. Even when the gamers do discuss the problems they see in the game, some MMO companies don't know how to handle the input these gamers provide.
“[Beta] seems to be more about marketing the game and hyping it up,” RawGutts
“Beta tests now are glorified demos for the games,” Condar
“I wish there were more people submitting bug reports, but that’s the way it goes with beta, and we’re still finding them regardless. Besides, I need all types [of players]. I need the exploits so we can find them...I need the jerks.” - McQuaid talking about Vanguard’s beta phase
" By the time beta begins, you've made decision after decision that have compounded on each other. Your assumptions' assumptions' have assumptions about what your game is. The whole product, systems, content, operations, marketing, PR, community ramp, you name it -- is built upon them. Changing core assumptions about the product itself is unlikely to be possible without significant delays " - former EverQuest II senior producer and creative director, Scott Hartsman
“I no longer believe that beta’s purpose is to find bugs. I think beta’s purpose is to market your game. I mean it is the only way you can find things like huge balance issues and what happens when a bunch of players do something you never expected. It’s certainly there to find those things, but if you’re running beta for a game and you have crashes and bad frame rates, it’s not good.” in later interviewwith former EverQuest II senior producer and creative director, Scott Hartsman
"There is no science or rule book to follow for conducting a beta. It’s really a judgment call by the development team as to when to let players into their game. They need to decide if the game is ready for “primetime”. Make the wrong decision, and it could adversely affect your sales. Make the right decision, as DICE did with the Battlefield 1942 demo, and it could turn a new title into the “must have” game of the year!" - Steve Perkins, the director of marketing for Mythic Entertainment and Warhammer Online
The only time a Beta can hurt a game is if the game is not ready when it enters Beta. It all comes down to managing player expectations in terms of what they can expect in Beta, and how it does/does not relate to the game they will buy at launch. Clear, constant communication is the key, as well as demonstrating a facility to understand feedback, and respond effectively and appropriately. As usual, it all comes down to giving the game the time is needs to become a great game and truly ready for launch. As long as players see that commitment from you, they will be flexible in their assessments during Beta. - Turbine's Craig Alexander, VP of Product Development
"Perhaps developers should expect a bit more out of testers?" "I don't think the whole beta process would be hurt by developers outlining what is expected of testers to maintain their position with the testing 'team', and booting those that don't submit bug reports or feedback to make way for others who may be more inclined to take the process seriously, and not treat it as a free trial of the game." - Ten Ton Hammer members, Annatar
(Bye, 2009) Available from: The Rigors of Beta Testing: The Past, Present, and Future | Ten Ton Hammer
To a significant part of the core MMO audience Starting over feels like cheating.Code:MMO Betas: Tying Budgets to Beta Size to Production to Fun
One of the best things you can do in a game is to give people opportunities to feel like they’re cheating, or at least getting away with something, in a way that doesn’t make them feel guilty for doing it. Feeling like you’re pulling one over on the system is a good motivator.
It’s smart of developers to give people “safe” ways to derive that feeling from playing the game. Better they’re “cheating” by zooming through something they know than by becoming destructive cheaters - botters, hackers, and the like.
Given that, an outside observer can treat the size of the final beta as a referendum on the developer/publisher’s confidence in the game itself. That’s what I meant in the clip above referring to movie analogies.
It’s not a 100% correlation - But in general, the bigger the beta, the more confidence. The later and smaller the beta, the less confidence, and the higher internal pressure (usually driven by the cost) to get something, anything out the door, as a hail mary.
By now most of the core audience realizes The Miracle Patch doesn’t exist, and it never has.
Smart developers know that (enough of) their audience knows this, and are planning their beta’s progress accordingly. If you’re operating in the launch-big-or-die model, and you put an un-fun or unstable beta out on promises of a future patch coming out to Make Everything Awesome, people will see right through it, and you’ve just shot yourself in the foot.
(hartsman, 2009) Available From: http://www.hartsman.com/2009/04/22/m...uction-to-fun/