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Eonwe

Alpha/Beta Testing - Things to consider

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I know this is a long way off, but I just wanted to say - when this happens please don't expect that the game is going to be up 24/7 or you are going to have a fun experience (especially in alpha). I have a feeling that unlike most actual alpha and beta tests, these will be actually pretty close to actual alpha/beta testing. This probably won't be a glorified demo.

 

I know it seems like this goes without saying, but I pretty much always see complaining threads. Sometimes there is a delay in starting testing and people get upset, but honestly, that's part of it.

 

So please, when testing does start actually try to consider that the primary purpose isn't to play a polished game, but to make it better. Also - don't just blindly defend something in the game. Wildstar in particular had a lot of players in beta who would defend every decision the devs made, good or bad. That isn't going to make this game better in the long run. This game doesn't have actual feelings, so criticizing bad parts of the game will only make it better.

 

I really didn't have a reason for typing this up now so thats my story ok bye


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So please, when testing does start actually try to consider that the primary purpose isn't to play a polished game, but to make it better. Also - don't just blindly defend something in the game. Wildstar in particular had a lot of players in beta who would defend every decision the devs made, good or bad. That isn't going to make this game better in the long run. This game doesn't have actual feelings, so criticizing bad parts of the game will only make it better.

 

This especially. Don't be afraid to criticize the game and don't be afraid to disagree with the devs on things. Constructive criticism is what makes games better. But definitely make sure to point out the good stuff as well if you genuinely think something is done well, so they know what they should be keeping. Too many people are afraid to say anything remotely bad about a game they're into. It doesn't mean you aren't a fan if you say a lot of negative things about the game - it just means you care enough to help make it better.

Edited by Leiloni.

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My concern is mostly that our feedback will go on deaf ears. Alpha & Beta tests have changed immensely in the past few years. It's weird to think people actually pay extra to test the game earlier when in reality it shouldn't have been treated as a privilege on your behalf as you're basically helping them finding bugs and such.

But I guess people disregarded the whole beta & alpha and just treated it as early access, which is why it is the way it is.

 

Too many times have I been invited to a beta and all feedback I & the community gave them, fell on deaf ears and it certainly came to bite them in the ass later on. 

I expect more from ACE. It seems like they've got their poorly made socks together. 


What's a 1000 minus 7? 

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But I guess people disregarded the whole beta & alpha and just treated it as early access, which is why it is the way it is.

 

feedback ....fell on deaf ears

You contradict yourself here.  The reason it is "the way it is" is that feedback falls on deaf ears, not because people treat beta as early access.

 

As probably many people on this forum, I have done a lot of alphas and betas, and I can't think of a single time that the developers ever listened to feedback. I can think of several times that they simply made up imaginary feedback and announced that they had listened to their players!

 

Why does this happen? Well I do have some idea, as a software engineer myself I have been on the developer side of alphas and betas.  And the truth is, we just couldn't hear what people were telling us.  This was for many reasons.  First, the code that testers were give was already weeks or months old by the time the feedback got back to us, so it seemed totally irrelevant to us (surely we already fixed anything they might have found!).  Next,to be quite frank, we didn't give a damn about feedback from individual testers.  As often happens, we valued the idea and the theory of critical feedback, when when it came right down to it, we didn't care about the same things that the testers cared about.  It was boring little details that didn't matter, and seemed like obsessiveness on their part, and we (the coders) just didnt' respect their opinions that much.   It took other non development people to coax or coerce us to do what the customers needed.  But we didn't like those people much because they made us do stuff that wasn't very fun.  So it is with human nature.  

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well the situation is the following.

In terms of mmos we mostly see the korean mmos. And as they are already released and are live for several months before they hit our markets, we mostly see Betas which are nothing more than plain hardware stress tests, bug hunting, translation correction and testing the availability of services such as website, forum, support services, etc.

 

Major changes of core mechanics usually do not happen at this state of the game. Also because it is developed in another country with another infrastructure, social structures, player mentality, etc.

 

However Crowfall is different - for US (and probably European players also). 

 

The game is still in a very early stage. So my guess is that an Alpha will have the "normal" purpose of an Alpha. Also the fact that the Alpha Gameplay can be available to many players through Streaming platforms will result in many opinions in this early stage of development. 

This can be a good thing and a bad thing too. (Depending if a feature or mechanic is turned into something epic or something ****)

The same goes for the beta versions just that with each beta more and more people get access to the game and get the feel "hands on". I mean no one can really experience situations like "someone stealth kills you and loots your kickstarter horse" by watching. You have to feel the rage. 

 

Anyway I think (and hope) that the way they introduced the game so far will result in a good Alpha Testing so that we can ultimately create a solid core. 

 

And regarding the early access thing. 

Of course the earlier you have information about how things work , the better prepared you are for launch is a factor which drives many players into the betas. However that goes for betas & alphas which won't change anything significant. Like ArcheAge for example. Of course the implemented the infamous 1.2/1.0 (?) patch but in general they didn't change that much. 

 

However if you have 3 different Alpha versions - each with unique adjustments and maybe a common base you will not take much information out of them for the published version. 

Maybe if you enter Beta 3/4 out of 6 you may treat the game as finished and get some info out of it. Because I think  Closed Beta 3/4/... and Open Beta are only hardware & software stress tests with no adjustments to the core mechanics of the game itself. 

 

So I really expect that people treat the Alpha and Early Betas as unfinished games and do not cry about bugs and what not. 

 

As an example for the first part:

 

I participate in the closed betas of Bless Online (Korean MMO). They changed an incredibly amount of things because of the feedback the players gave. However I won't expect that the game (if it hits the NA&EU market) will give us the same feedback possibilities. 

 

Same with Black Desert. I highly doubt they make their promises true and adjust the game for us. I mean things like PvP rulesets, etc. are easy. But some things go deep into the core mechanics. And these stay - as far as I can tell from previous korean releases

Edited by Thyr

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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I've already seen more community involvement and respect from ACE than I have seen in quite a few games, I have no concern whether they listen to us or not, because I believe they will, they may not always interact in the forums and it might be hard to answer questions or concerns seeing that their entire time is dedicated towards creating something brand new from the ground up instead of patching, tweaking and working on new content.

 

I also feel a good portion of us on the forums here at least, will treat Alpha/Beta more as a testing phase rather than early access, simply because a lot of people are emotionally (and financially) invested in this game and we want to not only see it succeed, but flourish. I really want Crowfall to be the next 'big online game' and would do as much in my power to see it happen. We want this to be great and we have to help ACE make it great, and I really think they will listen to us on most things, even if we are the 'vocal minority'.

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I feel it is important to realize that Alpha starts with an A and Beta starts with a B.

 

Also, this might already be known, but they are Greek letters.


 

This game looks like a larger scale version of marvel heroes so far with forts.  - nephiral marts 7 2015

 

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I feel it is important to realize that Alpha starts with an A and Beta starts with a B.

 

Also, this might already be known, but they are Greek letters.

Wait.. what if this is all a trick, and Alpha and Beta are just different campaigns on release and there is no actual alpha or beta test. D:

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Wait.. what if this is all a trick, and Alpha and Beta are just different campaigns on release and there is no actual alpha or beta test. D:

I feel like this is also very important.

 

Thank you for bringing this important point up.


 

This game looks like a larger scale version of marvel heroes so far with forts.  - nephiral marts 7 2015

 

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Don't forget that while a thousand people may think something is a good idea, there could be something fundamentally wrong that a non-developer wouldn't realize. It could be applicability of the idea, an unseen balance, misrepresentation of the data, or, as ACE has pointed out before, cost-effectiveness. I think we can trust they'll acknowledge issues even with a simple "Sorry, no."


Deadman; FIGHTER OF THE LIFE MAN, ooooAAAAH AHHHHH! CHAMPION OF THE... Oh. That's not how it goes...

http://www.twitch.tv/alt_delete - Alt Delete Gaming: Lose Ctrl.

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Don't forget that while a thousand people may think something is a good idea, there could be something fundamentally wrong that a non-developer wouldn't realize. It could be applicability of the idea, an unseen balance, misrepresentation of the data, or, as ACE has pointed out before, cost-effectiveness. I think we can trust they'll acknowledge issues even with a simple "Sorry, no."

Totally agree. There are times when bugs go unanswered and cause havoc on live servers, but just saying "we gave them our opinions and they didn't listen" doesn't really mean anything. There could be a very good reason for not making changes that players suggest. 

 

Players aren't developers and don't have the long-view mindset. I see this happen all the time in "AAA" MMOs where developers cave to players who want more and more convenience, faster gearing, easier leveling, etc. Then they rush to end game (faster and more geared than ever), and complain they have nothing to do, then quit the game. I mean you got what you asked for right? You basically wanted to be able to quit the game faster, since it takes less time. 

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Totally agree. There are times when bugs go unanswered and cause havoc on live servers, but just saying "we gave them our opinions and they didn't listen" doesn't really mean anything. There could be a very good reason for not making changes that players suggest. 

 

Players aren't developers and don't have the long-view mindset. I see this happen all the time in "AAA" MMOs where developers cave to players who want more and more convenience, faster gearing, easier leveling, etc. Then they rush to end game (faster and more geared than ever), and complain they have nothing to do, then quit the game. I mean you got what you asked for right? You basically wanted to be able to quit the game faster, since it takes less time. 

I believe that the devs would know when and where to take their criticism. They already have a firm enough standpoint on their core design philosophy that they're not going to stray from, but when it comes to bugs, certain player/class interactions, things that could play differently or objective balancing, things of that sort. Not the "OMG MYRMIDON AEC PLZ NERF" or "waaaaah, I got dedded and lost all my stuff, I don't like this, please change or I quit forever." As long as the discussion and criticism is well thought out and not just crying out because something you tried didn't work, I think they will listen.

 

Also try to remember that the guys developing this game, or people who want to make a game that they also want to play. I really don't think our words will fall on deaf ears, even if it can seem like that from time to time.

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I feel it is important to realize that Alpha starts with an A and Beta starts with a B.

 

Also, this might already be known, but they are Greek letters.

A and B are two letters. E and K are also two letters, therefor Alpha and Beta will be about EK. ITS ALL CONNECTED.

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I am replying to this post for two reasons.  The main reason is to see my cool new badge.  The other reason is I am a software tester for my job.  One of the most important things in testing is communication and collaboration.  It is important to clearly and concisely state an issue that you think is a problem and if possible give clear steps on how to reproduce the issue.  By stating when I do this I expect to see this, however I see this you aren't offending anyone you are merely discovering a bug or issue.  The game industry is unique in that people have many different expectations in the mechanics, aesthetics and what not which leads to discussions and when improper communication is used arguments.  To the team keep up the good work, to the community I look forward to seeing you on the battlefield hopefully on the friendly side of my axe!

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CopperStall started a thread under the Suggestion Box here: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/5644-minimum-alpha-content/

 

And I started a similar one here: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/6179-thoughts-for-alphabeta-testing/

 

Trying to give suggestions which would aid not only the developers in obtaining a good amount of feedback, but make the testing a bit more enjoyable from our perspective.  It doesn't need to be a job and if you enjoy what you're doing it never is one.


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

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