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Game Betas are overrated?

Discussion in 'Gaming Arena' started by Tiberius, Feb 25, 2014.

?

How do you feel?

  1. Betas get me more invested in a game

    9 vote(s)
    69.2%
  2. Early access makes me lose interest faster after it is officially released

    4 vote(s)
    30.8%
  1. Tiberius

    Tiberius Cupcake-About-Town

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    My question for you, the community, is what is your experience with early access or beta programs?

    Every single game these days has a beta. Sometimes they're purely promotional, others are primarily about getting a large group of testers. With ESO and WildStar ramping up, more and more players are screaming to get in to the betas.

    I get hyped for up and coming games just like everyone else, but in my personal experience the more exposure I get to actual gameplay the quicker I lose interest in the game after it's release. After seeing this habit of mine over and over, I've begun avoiding spoilers for pretty much everything I'm hyped for, and even have stopped applying for most early access to games. If I do get access, I only participate long enough to check if the fundamental mechanics are sound.

    In particular, I've seen this fatigue happen to other people when it comes to MMOs. WoW is a solid example here, because of how they use PTR realms. In WoW, upcoming patch contents can be played months in advance by logging into the PTR servers. When the patch is officially put into the full game most high end players begin to complain about how easy all of the end game content is. They treat it as if they've never seen it before, but in reality spent the last 3 months on it. WoW has certainly changed a ton over its life, but just imagine how different it might have been perceived if the top guilds hadn't been making walkthroughs for raid bosses before content was released.

    The same concept applies to so many other games. A lot of Steam early access games get a TON of press and players hyped for it and log in. The moment the game is officially released though people almost always seem to lose interest. Some people are legitimately interested in the game, but all too often it's really just hype or the feeling of being special, chosen, or the elite few.

    While getting a ton of feedback this early can be incredibly helpful to developers, I can't help but wonder how it changes the player base, especially after the inevitable rage-inducing character wipe. I understand that this poll is going to be heavily skewed in favor because this is a fan site, but I was curious to see some numbers past all of the front page "give me beta" screamers.

    Thanks for considering my rant, and here's a summary from my idol, Cookie Monster.

    TL;DR
  2. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

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    Whenever I get Beta acces I play enough to get a good view on the game.

    But i'm not someone who (after reaching the max in that Beta) makes more characters to do the same. I want atleast 1 way of leveling to be ''surprising'' for IF I play the game when it comes out.

    For me it's both your answers:
    1. If I play too much I will get bored.
    2. I use the Beta to get invested in the game even more, but again....I don't go ''outplay'' the Beta so there will still be ''some'' surprises.
  3. ImpactHound

    ImpactHound Cupcake-About-Town

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    I see a lot of screenshots of the official forums on other forums, and it certainly looks frustrating to see some of the temporary players are reaching higher levels than established testers, then getting kicked out. It looks like one of the weirder beta environments I've ever seen as an outsider. :confused:
  4. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

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    Why is that weird?

    A temporary tester would want to get to max level ASAP.

    Someone who has more time would slowly take his time and enjoy/search more aspects of the game.
    + some tester might be in their 3rd, 4th Beta test? Try stay leveling at the same pace if you've made your character all over after so many times.

    So again, why is it weird? I feel it's more ''normal''.
  5. ZachA

    ZachA New Cupcake

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    Exactly, someone who power levels just wants to get as high as they can as quickly as they can. Usually means that they don't read much of the lore, quests, story and just want to get through it all, which is fine if you just enjoying seeing the 'YOU LVLED CUPCAKE!' *queue rock music and [bleeps]*

    For someone who takes their time, goes to EVERY quest giver, doesn't leave any rock unturned and reads every bit of paper or book they pick up to fully become immersed in the game, it will take them quite a bit longer to catch up as far as character level goes.

    Just depends on what kind of play style you want.
  6. ImpactHound

    ImpactHound Cupcake-About-Town

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    I disagree with the underlined premise. One could argue that a temporary tester instead wants to sample a little bit of everything with their limited time, rather than focus on one aspect. I only stated I've seen complaints from people with beta access that some short-term players have gotten much farther than those who've had long term access, and that surprises me compared to the betas I've been a part of; CoH, WoW expansions, GW2, SWTOR. I'd get access at a later phase and everyone would be much higher level or farther along in the content, rather than dinking around with the peasants who just got access.
  7. Dirty Outlaw

    Dirty Outlaw Cupcake-About-Town

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    I know I did on the ESO beta weekend I was on
  8. Alenaar

    Alenaar Cupcake

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    Not sure if overrated, probably depends on personal view.
    I was playing more or less one game for nearly a decade, got used to it and enjoyed myself really much. I am following Wildstar's developement since the announcement in 2011 over those years

    I severaly changed my attitude towards it - sceptical, enthusiastic, looking forward, optimistic, pesimistic - zigzagzigzag.
    Nearly two years ago I met a friend I really enjoy playing with, however WoW is not a game for us both. Therefore I decided to leave it and get myself ready for Wildstar. I mentioned it once or twice on WSC - I am mostly at home cause of nasty conditions and WoW was my only source of enjoyment for many years.

    I told myself I will wait for CBT key, "I signed in 2011, sure i will get in!" So far nothing.
    I really thought that if there is anything that will make my transfer from Azeroth to Nexus less unpleasant, it is an oportunity to participate in improving game, seeing it grow from early closed beta up to release and even more. If I put it in a bit silly way "helping with building new world for myself and others"

    That is where all of my ramts come from, waiting over year while having +- nothing to do. I think of beta not only as a way to help the game, but also a way how to bond with it. Not an option of "trial". I have reservation of CE in local shop for around year as well.

    I stopped doing "creativity" contests after I saw wsbecky bull<REDACTED> on twitter. "Not angry of losing, just feeling angry cause of which entries won".... and cannot help myself then being dissapointed every monday. Random quizes and similar things - I am doing them but learn to not have my hopes high. Stream giveaways .... I ... gently put ... do not like streams.

    So yeah. I really wanted WS CBT key to strenghten my "relation" to WS and weaken the one with Wow.

    Sounds a little like drama, doesn't it? :D I am sorry for stupidly long post but it is probably better to give a reason of such opinion :)
    Mougwee likes this.
  9. Laban

    Laban Cupcake-About-Town

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    I think it's a bit of both, lets take Wildstar as an example. I've only been able to try it out during their last weekend test and I got totally hooked. Managed to decide on what class fits me the most and how the different paths feel, and that the game runs smoothly on my computer. Now I'm more hyped than ever, but I don't really want to play the beta anymore, because if I were to have a full beta key I know I'd just play it to bits and that would make it a loss less exciting come release.

    Obviously a big MMORPG needs beta testers to test every aspect of the game, but I wouldn't want to be one of them because then I'd just feel "been there, done that" when the game is released.

    On the point of early access, do you mean like a 2-3 day head start that's pretty common in MMORPG's these days? I feel those are fine, I enjoy them because I get to escape the starting zones before the extreme masses flood 'em.
  10. BlueDragon18

    BlueDragon18 Cupcake-About-Town

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    I LOVE betas, mostly because I can figure out which games are NOT worth dropping any bucks on. Sometimes the videos look really good, but when you actually play the game...well, not so much.

    Wildstar, thankfully, is even more fun to play than it is to watch - and I really enjoyed watching.
  11. ImpactHound

    ImpactHound Cupcake-About-Town

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    Before they lock on us, saving this for posterity.

  12. Konoko

    Konoko Cupcake-About-Town

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    Typically beta's for me can be a very very bad thing. In most cases I see major issues with the game BUT that is not really the problem. The problem is in the details. What I see in regards to how the company in question deals with these major issues. Typically I've seen way too much consistency in a "smoke and mirrors" mentality. Game companies treat the MMO community with kid gloves and as if they are walking on glass in general.

    So what you see is that they tend to do the following:
    • Ignore major issues or deflect them in some manner (Ie. "That will get addressed in CBT4." or "We have a fix in the works." etc..)
    • Pretend there is no issue. (Very common in EQN Landmark. Team members in response to issues.. "I think the tools are great!")
    • Focus on the positive. ("Wow the graphics are really coming out nicely!" "Look out how cool that double jump works.")
    So this is your typical smoke and mirror philosophy. You try to show off all the good and work out ways to not show what you know is not working so well. Or to deflect it if you can.

    Coming from programming background I see the signs immediately when this occurs.

    Testing games like WildStar, EQN Landmark, ESO, Nosgoth.. and others I see these issues crop up over and over.

    I think gaming companies need to understand their community better. I know they want to target what they feel is the sweet spot but a better overall management of the expectations of the target base is needed.

    They are managing their money to some degree. The community pays their bills. They want to make everyone happy. That is hard thing to do. They need to have their goals and stick to them knowing they will lose some people. Being honest is good but you have to communicte with the community in a clear and orderly way. So far this is done pretty poorly. WildStar and Nosgoth did decent jobs with this. EQN Landmark has too much information. The process has to be clean and easy to use (referring to issue management).

    So beta's.. do I like them? Sometimes.
    Do I feel companies do a good job with them? Not generally
    Do I like the more modern approach of getting the community involved earlier? Not really
    Do I feel like they need to do Alpha's? Not really


    This is all pertaining to me but I've seen beta's go smoothly and I've seen them ruin player expectation. More of the latter in most cases.

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