+1teddy and santaclaus
too bad we just have one reply from P.S. owners (ThiefShaman)
This is a discussion on BETA Testing? Please leave your opinion! within the Private Servers forums, part of the Knight Online (ko4life.com) category; +1teddy and santaclaus
too bad we just have one reply from P.S. owners ( ThiefShaman )...
I honestly only skimmed (will read it later), but this right here:
It shouldn't; not a lot of effort's meant to be put into beta, which is why things like exp rates are typically increased.To a significant part of the core MMO audience Starting over feels like cheating.
If players feel this way, they shouldn't have decided to play the beta in the first place, IMO. It's pretty clear what to expect from a beta; unless they explicitly state progress will not be lost (quite rare), assume that it will. At this stage, even if rates aren't increased and everything behaves as it would on official release, you'd still have to be aware of critical bugs that may arise, which players obscenely unfair advantages. In this case, it isn't going to be wise to keep progress.
Really, it's just a testing stage. No more should be expected from it than that. Don't play to make progress. 'Play' to test, or just wait for official.
As for why? In practise, most PSKO servers just use it for hype, but it should be used for actual testing..
I get where they're coming from, and certainly those people who do abuse beta testing as a demo (or as ilterates said, bug hoarding for their own use later) exist, but in those cases there is still a real-world need to ensure the game is running (at least mostly) correctly, and with some stability before release.
In PSKO's case, it's so much of a lesser risk with typically database bugs (and, occasionally, unpatched server code) to worry about, not to mention ensuring your setup can reasonably withstand attacks, but this is work that should be allotted to this stage, not release, with live players representing an actual populace (or subset of one, anway) to run through all things they should be playing through.
Release, on the other hand, should be about supporting & maintaining the game, ideally with more emphasis on newer content (and player support) than fixing problems with old content (but hey, it happens).
When it comes down to it, beta could really be described as a "trial run"; put everything to the test, spend the effort fixing, tweaking until it's going to be stable enough for release (whether that be release, exploits, or just a really horrible system).
Whether players have to start again after playing beta is something that's really only determined by:
- the game (if testing rates is part of it, 1:1 testing's not so bad -- though typically rates are tweaked specifically *for* beta, so players can progress faster and hence test more content)
- whether or not any serious issues are found which provide an unfair advantage (or disadvantage) to the beta tester's character -- in this case, it really is up to the server/game, but typically wiping is a good idea here, and therefore they'll just have to start again. This, in itself, is a very good reason for NOT leaving out beta, can you imagine dealing with something like that in release? Messy!
Beta may mostly be marketing/hype, but I still think it's a required phase. It should really be the closest thing to release, with the opportunity to find & correct issues with minimal fuss (i.e. worrying over player's data). Players should acknowledge that a wipe is more likely than not, and provide feedback on the game (rather than just act it's a demo, or for that matter: the real thing) & any issues they encounter. Typical testers (those that are cared about) do, which coincidentally (in my experience) leaves only those that really don't like to contribute their feedback complaining that they'll have to start again... but perhaps the fault lies more with the server for not explaining how that works better, and not ensuring better communication between players and staff.
For the majority of servers here, though, despite all that, I'd say just skip the beta testing. If they can't manage a server, just skip straight to (not doing) that, rather than drawing out players' expectations. ;_;