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Where are all the testers?


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I honestly login during each new major build to see where the game is at. That's all. Siege Perilous I was able to catch a few streamers and didn't see anything new. Beyond that I don't see the reason to login at this time. The test windows are an issue for me.

 

24/7 testing will see a greater level of activity just because I don't have to schedule my life around it. This or less tests (To make their impact greater) is a good idea.

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I'm sure a lot of people have been slacking on testing due to Overwatch. Nearly 10 million people played the beta so I'd expect that includes a lot of Crowfall backers too. 

 

When Overwatch releases I'll probably slack a bit on the testing until the Druid comes out. 

Edited by Zybak
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I understand where you're coming from OP but your whole plea is based on faulty assumptions, and best case scenario it's useless, worst case scenario it's detrimental to the future of this game. There are a lot of valid reasons why there are so few consistent testers compared to the number of people with access.

 

Take me for example. I backed Crowfall with such a large contribution not so that I could do alpha testing, but because I just wanted to support the devs and their vision. I've popped into a few of the tests just to see how progress is coming along, but never spent much time playing because honestly it's not very fun right now. That's not a knock on ACE or the game, it's just a fact of play testing a game so early in its development - one I fully expected. And I don't feel like there's anything wrong with not testing even though I have access. If I, and everyone else who pledged, had only spent the absolute minimum amount of money needed to get into the latest testing phase that they would be willing to participate in, would ACE or Crowfall be better off for it? That's a resounding no. Besides, if ACE needs more testers then they can just start inviting more people from later phases. I suspect there are a LOT more people in the same situation as me than most people would expect.

 

Other posters have also made some good points. Many people will get burnt out and lose interest in the game if they spend a lot of time testing. Some have already done this, while others are intentionally not testing to prevent this from happening. Work/school/life prevent a lot of people from participating in the tests too. I understand ACE's logic behind the limited testing windows, but the fact is that it also means quite a few people rarely, or never, get a chance to participate.

 

Probably the most common reason for people not participating in the tests is simply that they don't find it fun though. Whether they expected this like me, or were surprised by it, really isn't relevant and either way its a valid reason not to participate. Nobody should feel pressured into participating in the tests, which is exactly what you are trying to do OP. Those who enjoy testing, whether its because they are simply having fun playing the game or they get some satisfaction from helping the devs or shaping the direction of the game, will participate of their own free will. Those who don't enjoy testing aren't going to have their minds changed by some plea about how they are letting the developers down. They are either going to just ignore you, or worse, start participating in the testing process and end up writing off the game due to bad experiences in an early part of development that they never wanted to be part of anyways (not to mention how useless feedback from unwilling testers would be).

Edited by syiss
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1 longer test right after new patch notes for each region will be better.

new patches usually in about 7-10 days. so it will be 4 tests (each region - EU, USA E/W, AUS).

backers are fed up by uniformity. nothing new to test

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Agreed on the testing times.  They're never going to work for everyone, but they don't even cater to the 9-5 workers  (or 6:30-2:30 in my case).

 

Some backers are probably only doing the tests when they introduce significant changes.  I know they're working on combat, but at the same time we need to start seeing more content like the druid and the new campaign world module.

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Agreed on the testing times.  They're never going to work for everyone, but they don't even cater to the 9-5 workers  (or 6:30-2:30 in my case).

 

Some backers are probably only doing the tests when they introduce significant changes.  I know they're working on combat, but at the same time we need to start seeing more content like the druid and the new campaign world module.

 

This. The weekday afternoon tests exclude a lot of North American players with jobs so you are mostly left with an EU playerbase. My guess is that group is somewhat large as its more likely working adults have extra cash on-hand to back a video game that is in development than say your average college or even high-school gamer. 

 

Also as mentioned, when you have 3-5 tests a week it just becomes too repetitive to play during every testing window. There just isn't enough of the game built yet to where I would have fun playing 5+ hours in a given week. That's not a knock against ACE, that's just the reality of the current state of the game. As more content gets added, the number of testers in game will increase, it always does. 

Edited by sangz
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There were more testers when Pre-Alpha and half of Alpha1 had access during HD at the beginning than there are now.

Who's left here will tell you that this is due to schedule or players getting tired... I'll tell you the biggest reason is people losing hope about combat (which is the only thing we're really supposed to test at this stage). So, the moment combat improves is the moment you'll see a lot of testers return.

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Others have said the majority of it, but I'll chime in mostly to agree and add my 2c.

 

For me personally, I jump on some tests when I am able to, but I don't prioritize it as much lately.  As sangz mentioned, there's just not ENOUGH of a game yet to really drive me to be in every test, every opportunity.  I also didn't expect there to be.  I'm one of my guild's primary testers, so I jump on more frequently than most, and certainly any time there's a significant change being applied, but with minor iterations, it's mostly just jumping on to have a little fun and see what I can break.

 

There are definitely a LARGE number of people who have backed at the Alpha 3 and above levels, who have absolutely no interest AT ALL in playing a game in its Alpha state.  It's just not something that interests them.  They purchased their packages, not for the Alpha Access, but for the other benefits of the specific package (Castles, plots, mounts, whatever) that interested them, and aligned with the amount of disposable cash they had.

 

The timing of many tests is just unfeasible for a lot of people.  Mid-day weekday NA tests I can't imagine are able to bring the numbers that a Prime Time EST NA test will bring simply because many of us have full time jobs, of the "9-5" variety.  Tends to help afford $500+ packages.  The tests I've participated in have almost exclusively been the Prime Time tests, and population hasn't been much of an issue.  SP matches pretty much fire one right after the other, and the only delay you get is if you miss one, or come in while one is already in progress, you have to wait for it to end so the queue fills back up.  HD matches generally fired quickly throughout the testing window.

 

Ultimately, it's just the reality that a lot, perhaps even fair to say MOST, people... don't like Alpha testing.  Some of us enjoy it and like trying to break things and find new bugs and enjoy being part of the process.  Others simply don't share that opinion, and that's ok... their dollars still count :)

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I'm going to venture to say, the majority of tests are not at optimal times, people work, very few tests have been slotted during NA prime Time. For me I feel in order to continue testing on a productive level combat and optimization need to happen, they have stated they are going to work on it which is good but trying to test while fighting against the game itself is frustrating. SP is getting old, I suspect you will see more people testing with their next update.

 

  1. More Prime Time slots for testing.
  2. Optimization, combat worked on.
  3. More Classes & Features to test.
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Yeah, it's been timing for me. I really like to stream Crowfall tests, but I have weekend obligations to my BDO guild and mid-day I'm at work.

 

SP does get a bit... Repetitive. It's partially the setup to the fights I think people get bored with. Might also be interesting to do arena type gameplay. (5v5,3v3, 2v2,1v1) best 2/3 rounds. It might also be more beneficial to combat as it forces close quarter combat which is where flow and "feel" can be better analyzed IMO. (Maybe a fort) 

 

Just an idea.

Edited by rostrax
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The current testing windows are tough for me. I work full time on a FX trading desk. I have a nine month old daughter and a wife. I try my best to participate in scheduled tests in the evening when possible but testing a pre-alpha video game is not a priority in my life. When I get home from work between 6:00PM to 7:00PM EST I want to spend some time with my family, eat dinner, put my daughter to bed...you know do life. If testing can fit in and around these other things then I jump on and test. 

 

I backed the game because I love the idea and I want to see the game succeed. Being able to test the game early was just a bonus. Besides all of the above reasons, the game is still very much un-testable to me in its current state with my current hardware. Since ACE removed the option of LOW gfx settings (and whatever other changes they made around this time), doing anything in game other than staying on the complete periphery of all the action is impossible.

 

The game will improve over time, the servers will become persistent or semi-persistent, my hardware will also improve at some point and it will then make sense for me to put more effort into testing.

 

Lopar

The Cult

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There were more testers when Pre-Alpha and half of Alpha1 had access during HD at the beginning than there are now.

Who's left here will tell you that this is due to schedule or players getting tired... I'll tell you the biggest reason is people losing hope about combat (which is the only thing we're really supposed to test at this stage). So, the moment combat improves is the moment you'll see a lot of testers return.

I hear your saying that. I haven't heard many people post here that they aren't testing for that reason. Almost all of what testers are saying about why they test on a limited basis is related to performance or schedule or not wanting to spoil the full game experience.

 

That doesn't mean you're wrong. It just means almost everyone who actually has first-hand knowledge of the reasons they aren't testing and has posted here claim other reasons for limited testing. You may very well have some insight the rest of us don't have. I personally doubt it.

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I hear your saying that. I haven't heard many people post here that they aren't testing for that reason. Almost all of what testers are saying about why they test on a limited basis is related to performance or schedule or not wanting to spoil the full game experience.

 

That doesn't mean you're wrong. It just means almost everyone who actually has first-hand knowledge of the reasons they aren't testing and has posted here claim other reasons for limited testing. You may very well have some insight the rest of us don't have. I personally doubt it.

 

As a member of a larger gaming community, I actually do hear this quite a bit - "Combat is too slow/disjointed/(fill in the blank) and I will come back when it's better."  In fact, it's the only reason offered why the majority of my guild mates with test access are not actively testing right now.  And there was much applause when combat was listed as UGLY during the recent developer state of the game post.  Experienced testers already knew this and it was good to hear that the Dev team agrees and they are taking dramatic steps (including soft release scheduling) to correct.

 

All that said, I also think the testing schedule is terrible.  Last week the only time slot that was not in the regular 9-5 eastern work day was on Sunday night in conflict with Game of Thrones.  At least this week there is a Sat night slot.  But once every two weeks for some hands-on time makes it difficult to feel connected to the testing process.

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I hear your saying that. I haven't heard many people post here that they aren't testing for that reason. Almost all of what testers are saying about why they test on a limited basis is related to performance or schedule or not wanting to spoil the full game experience.

 

That doesn't mean you're wrong. It just means almost everyone who actually has first-hand knowledge of the reasons they aren't testing and has posted here claim other reasons for limited testing. You may very well have some insight the rest of us don't have. I personally doubt it.

 

you're getting to an unhealthy point in your relationship with this game coolwaters... just saying...

 

and I can also speak for my whole guild that that's the reason why noone's testing. The same issues that have been pointed out like 7 months ago, are still not fixed. Once they fix that god awful combat, we might test again, until then, hell no.

Edited by freeze
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They need to invite all some of the beta for that testing module IMO.

 

Hopefully they let people with Beta 1 access into the small campaign testing. Otherwise testing wont be possible I guess, meaning there are almost permanently much too less players online to run the test useful or successful.

 

I think inviting more testers wouldn't necessarily be the best option. Right now there are around 7000-8000 backers with access to Pre-Alpha 2.0 if I'm correct (~4,6K from KS + ~3K post KS) and there are usually between 60-100 testers connected every test. It looks like it's not because of a lack of available testers, probably just a temporary disinterest due to several things, as it has been mentioned in the thread: few features, few archetypes, performances issues, testing spread over several time windows weekly, *edit* issues with combat, etc.

 

Adding Beta testers would help to get an initial peak at the beginning, just like with SP and HD, but if we don't have more players now even though we got 7-8K testers, it's probably not just related to numbers.

 

Once they add enough features and archetypes, improve performances and give us something new to test, we'll probably see more people participating. I agree however, in the case that the population starts declining in mini-campaigns, they could add some beta testers to compensate.

Edited by courant101
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To be honest (as much as it pains me) the best way to get a lot of testers per test is to have FEWER tests.

 

If they only had 1 test per week, or 2 per month. More people would show up. They can also make a big show out of all the changes and new fun things to look forward to in the test.

 

In the CU alpha there were hardly any people there too (when i triedn the early testing stuff months ago) So I think its pretty common for people to skip tests 

 

Agreed, having fewer hours of test usually help to get more people online all at once. However, as you mentioned, other MMO in development like Camelot Unchained and Gloria Victis do not have much testers participating anyway...

 

I think that generally gamers will tend to play finished products and only a very small percentage of players (masochists :P) will want to test games early in development.

 

So yea, not much we can do other than developing the game at this point ^^

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