Tuesday, 25 January 2011

It's a beta...

So I got back from work, a quick bite to eat and catch up on Keaven and Steven in the Morning and I figured it's time to check what's happening in the world, in particular the Rift beta. The girlfriend let me know she couldn't log in and sent me some links to check out and the number of people that are bitching and complaining that they can't login is unbelievable, add to this a few folks saying the races are completely imbalanced due to broken racials (hmmm, see below post) and I wonder what on earth people actually expect from a beta...

To give the population complainers a bit of credit, Trion have invited the Internet and its dog into the closed beta and while it might be used as a stress test this is the sort of thing that will make 50/50 players actually turn away from the game. It's a double edged sword as you get things smoother for launch but at the potential of losing players who may have otherwise wanted to get a 'free demo' of the game. But lets give Trion something back here and as the title says.. It's a beta. What the heck do people honestly think they are doing? If they think it's a way to give the game a free test then sadly it's not. There is a sense of responsibility to give constructive feedback and if all you can do is bitch about not being able to log into a stress test or complain that shit is imbalanced and then not offer constructive feedback (I know most will though) then please don't bother signing up for a beta.

Is this though what being a beta tester means to folks though? Is it a epeen brag "Oh I beta tested it and it was shit" or a way for people to trial the game first in an untested state. I'd like to know what % of beta testers actually offer constructive feedback in an average game beta. I actually liked the closed beta test in Warhammer Online. We got pop up surveys after some combats and quests and before we logged out and after we had logged in asking us specific questions. Yes we could ignore them but I wonder if people who did would find themselves out the beta... Who knows and I know the Rift Alpha testers are held to much more focused feedback requirements.

Well it all stems back to one thing though.

It's a beta.

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