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Waikikamukau

Thoughts For Alpha/beta Testing

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Okay, so having been testing for 15+ years I thought I'd compile a list of suggestions to ease us into it.  I'm sure this is rather redundant for you all as you have a metric crapton of talent that's been doing this for awhile but I wanted to reiterate anyway.  

 

1) Early Alpha is always the most difficult.  We'll be pushing mechanics, trying things the average user wouldn't think about and just generally trying to break it like the Hulk.  Please, please, please have an easy way to report bugs.  A difficult or inefficient reporting GUI is the number one reason I tend to slow down or stop reporting everything I come across.  It should include a coordinate system so we don't have to go back and forth to get our exact location (rock at 125, 52 is floating above terrain, tree is clipping through terrain at 79, 34).  A reasonable list of categories should be included (character issue, mob issue, inventory issue, etc).  A character limit is fine for a text box to describe the issue but please make it at least 1000 characters.

 

2) Please allow us to test as early as possible ALL roles.  Tank, Support, Specialist, Melee DPS and Ranged DPS.  As anyone who is in the earlier stages of alpha and beta has paid for the opportunity, it never hurts to be able to have some enjoyment while doing it.  Testing is a plodding, methodical 'job' and we all will be donating our time to assist in the development process.  One thing I've found is that some people tend to lose interest if they can't playtest what they'd like to playtest.  If we can only, say, create a Knight, there will be a few who will do some testing and drift away.  Giving us less feedback and less bodies to break things.  Diversity is key and will keep more testers engaged IMO.  Don't rush things but do what you can to keep it engaging.

 

3) A good /stuck or /respawn system is very crucial.  Things happen.  Especially in the early stages of testing users will get stuck in the most random locations.  Please create a solid command that can get us out of crazy situations so we do not have to try to run down a GM because we wanted to see if there was anything behind that outcropping of rocks (protip: 90% of the time it's nothing and we feel like idiots getting stuck).

 

4) Regular updates and varied testing schedules.  One thing I've noticed about Alpha/Beta tests lately is Devs seem to love putting servers up for testing for a few hours.  On a Tuesday.  At 1pm EDT.  Seriously...how many people are available on that day at that time to test?  I'd assume everyone who put into Kickstarter has a job or they wouldn't have been able to back it.  If you're only going to have the servers be up for a few hours on a particular day, vary it a bit.  That way more people can test (the whole point, right?) and provide more feedback.  Or do it in blocks, one week Tues, Wed, Thur from 9am EDT to 3pm EDT, next time do it Fri, Sat, Sun from 9am to 3pm EDT.

 

5) Character boost or accelerated skill learning in order to test endgame content.  In most MMOs there is a leveling curve/gear curve from 1-max.  If there is anything like that in Crowfall, offering a boost would be appreciated.  We are aware that the skill system will be a hybrid of skilling up by use as well as real time training a la EVE Online.  As we don't have too many specifics on this system yet, please be cognizant that the players would appreciate a boost to see what kind of differences there will be between a brand new player and say a 6 month veteran. (thanks to Jihan for pointing this out)

 

6) Accelerated timelines for the Campaigns (days or weeks perhaps instead of months?) so that we can see how things progress and if there are possible holes or exploits in the timeline.  This would be dependent on how long each testing phase lasts and how many users are available for the test. (thanks to HyperStan for adding this point) 

 

7) Open up the character creation restrictions so that people can create and test an array of characters.  Users tend to get attached to their characters and will be reluctant to delete them if they can only create 1-3.  Thus, you will get deeper testing of certain archetypes but there will be others that will be neglected due to the focus of the more popular ones. (thanks to Abyssalgod for adding this point)

Edited by Waikikamukau

http://www.twitch.tv/Waikikamukau Yes, it's Why-Kick-Uh-Moo-Cow / Twitter: @TheMukau

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Great post. I'd add accelerated skill gain or some other method for bumping up character power- testing Level 1 is important but you need softcap balance tested too.


Official "Bad Person" of Crowfall

"I think 1/3rd of my postcount is telling people that we aren't turning into a PvE / casual / broad audience game." -

Tully

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Great post. I'd add accelerated skill gain or some other method for bumping up character power- testing Level 1 is important but you need softcap balance tested too.

 

Added this point in the original post.  I don't know how relevant it will be considering the skill system but it would be nice to see what kind of differences we can look forward to after playing the game for 6 months as opposed to a fresh character.


http://www.twitch.tv/Waikikamukau Yes, it's Why-Kick-Uh-Moo-Cow / Twitter: @TheMukau

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i agree on this

also fast progress in the conquests of the beta phase to better test every section of ti more efficiently

 

Added this point to the original post.  Definitely something they will need to consider if testing is going to be in short bursts.  We won't have months to invest in a Campaign if there are going to be character wipes and other software/hardware necessities at varied intervals.


http://www.twitch.tv/Waikikamukau Yes, it's Why-Kick-Uh-Moo-Cow / Twitter: @TheMukau

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Allow for loosened creation ability too. Instead of limiting to 1 or 2 characters, give VIP access to everyone to test alts as well.

 

Added to the main post.  Good suggestion as that will give more variety of testing and less neglect of certain archetypes.


http://www.twitch.tv/Waikikamukau Yes, it's Why-Kick-Uh-Moo-Cow / Twitter: @TheMukau

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This is a useful topic to discuss. You might also be able to mine a similar thread I created a while back for ideas.

 

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/5644-minimum-alpha-content/

 

CopperStall

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I agree. I might even go as far as to say if they need to, temporarily use a knight model but give him "ranger" abilities for pre-alpha/early alpha testing. Same goes for female variants. Choosing your gender for a character isn't crucial to testing to if it comes to it, only make one gender per archetype for testing purposes. Because if I want to test a druid, I won't be insanely hurt if I need to play female for a few months since the male model is still in development

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This is a useful topic to discuss. You might also be able to mine a similar thread I created a while back for ideas.

 

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/5644-minimum-alpha-content/

 

CopperStall

 

I knew I saw something on this before but couldn't find it using the Search feature which was the main reason I started this one up.  You stay classy, Copper.


http://www.twitch.tv/Waikikamukau Yes, it's Why-Kick-Uh-Moo-Cow / Twitter: @TheMukau

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I always found it amusing that game companies expect the general user to jump hurdles to report bugs and report them in such a way that the information is useful.  A good form goes a long way.  Something that leads the tester to give the information you need.  You should totally get a pro UI/UX person to tackle this concern. 


Just imagine a smiley after everything I say.  Works out best for us all.

 

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really good post. But initially I just want to say that within the Alphas they have to communicate with us what we should test.

For example Day 1 - Auth Servers/Login Servers. Please log in and out repeatedly or something like that. 

 

I just don't want to sit on Alpha 1 and just fill out a survey on it's end. I want specific testing like Let's test the creation and destruction of buildings/environment. Let's test the PvP Balance. Let's test the UI and what not else. 

 

I just want a general direction what the devs expect from the tests. 

 

Also a good point is that we can use recording software and maybe capture some bugs on video to recreate them. 


You get the wolves...lots of wolves...and sheep that wear armor and have developed an appetite for blood soaked grass - dubanka

Even insects smell good when roasted - a random confessor

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really good post. But initially I just want to say that within the Alphas they have to communicate with us what we should test.

For example Day 1 - Auth Servers/Login Servers. Please log in and out repeatedly or something like that. 

 

I just don't want to sit on Alpha 1 and just fill out a survey on it's end. I want specific testing like Let's test the creation and destruction of buildings/environment. Let's test the PvP Balance. Let's test the UI and what not else. 

 

I just want a general direction what the devs expect from the tests. 

 

Also a good point is that we can use recording software and maybe capture some bugs on video to recreate them. 

 

You're so right and I'm sure they will.  I think Tyrant stated that the initial tests will be short and focused on certain aspects while the succeeding ones will be longer and broader.


http://www.twitch.tv/Waikikamukau Yes, it's Why-Kick-Uh-Moo-Cow / Twitter: @TheMukau

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