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Regional FlagAre betas hurting games?Source
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Theremin
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#1 - 2012/07/20 12:44:00 PM
I haven't played the Beta despite having a key because I don't want to spoil the content of the expansion, however I feel that everybody else going to the beta is still going to hurt my experience on launch. Sure beta testing means we get a few less errors and bugs, but personally I would prefer it if Blizzard cleared up as many problems as possible using internal testing and then dealt with the "beta" issues once live.

When TBC came out there was a huge amount of anticipation and excitement about going through the portal and seeing what was waiting there. There were a few bugs and crashes but we were all in it together. Now it seems like everybody already knows what to expect there's no surprise and no figuring out encounters. I suspect I'm going to get into my first 5-man and probably find that at least 1 person already knows exactly what we all need to do. Maybe some people prefer that but I don't.

Also I fear that a lot of players will put so much time in on the PTR that they will already be burned out when the expansion launches, and be itching for the next one - which will inevitably cause some amount of drop-off.

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#2 - 2012/07/20 02:04:00 PM
You do bring up some good points Theremin. It cannot be denied that there are a lot of spoilers being leaked into the community during a beta, and I can totally understand why that is very frustrating for those who prefer the new content to remain a secret until release, so that the experience of something new and the thrill of discovery is fully preserved. I am sure you are right that some people who do play the beta will not be as excited as they otherwise could have been upon release.

That being said, the benefits of the beta far outweigh the drawbacks, and here is why:

An internal test can never be a proper substitute for a beta, simply because of the fact that a beta resembles the live environment much more accurately.

In a beta, there are always players who play the game in ways that were never imagined by the developers, and there are always players who are so creative or so skilled that they can approach or defeat content in ways that were never expected. There is an incredibly huge variation in play styles amongst the beta players, and just by playing(or trying to play), they unearth many glitches and bugs that would never have been found by the dedicated team of internal testers tasked with hunting for glitches and bugs.

Having a huge pool of players in the beta will also help the developers determine if the new content they are working on actually works as intended or not, if the new content is fun or not.

Also, betas are much better at testing both hardware and connections, which helps immensely in the preparations for the launch and the live environment.

What I am trying to say is that having a beta test before release is a better way to ensure a high standard of quality.

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#6 - 2012/07/20 02:57:00 PM
20/07/2012 15:49Posted by Mazzop
really, u need to test hardware and connections for 4th expansion? yea right.


Very much so. Our hardware systems and architecture has changed significantly over the years with every expansion, and this one is no different... a lot of things are going on behind the scenes my friend :-)

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#28 - 2012/07/23 08:48:00 AM
May I field you a quick question?
When Cata & D3 came out the servers were heavily fluxed with players, down time and angry mobs of people in a certain nation we will not mention... my question is have the errors of the past been noted and improved on ?


We have been rather overwhelmed in the past with more players than anticipated logging in upon release, but have taken note of past launch experiences indeed, and we will of course do everything we can to improve ourselves. More than anyone, we would like a smooth launch, and we want people to be happy and have fun when they log in after release.

20/07/2012 17:52Posted by Rorcanna
I'm just wondering if the stuff reported in the beta really gets noticed...:-/. I've been reporting bugs like a woman crazed, but I guess those bugs are not "important" enough for recognition since they still are left unfixed. Namely visual bugs and such.


All reported bugs (that can be verified and reproduced of course), do get noticed and put on a list of things to fix. However it can take some time before they get fixed, as some bugs are more difficult to handle than others, and the less severe bugs do not have as high a priority as the really critical ones... I hope this makes sense to you :-)

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#37 - 2012/07/24 01:40:00 PM
22/07/2012 13:05Posted by Drboomkin
I do agree that betas have changed over the past 6 years tho.


They have indeed. Beta tests tend to have multiple functions and purposes these days, but the primary purpose of beta tests remain the same as always though, which is to test the new game/content.