Patience is a virtue
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 February 2014, 5:59 am
There are a number of interesting MMORPGs currently in development: Everquest Next, Wildstar, The Elder Scrolls Online. Of those at least EQN and Wildstar are games that I will definitively try out, while I'm not yet quite decided on TESO. So why aren't you reading alpha/beta playtest reports on this site? EQN Landmark doesn't even have an NDA! Well, the thing is that I have tested a lot of MMORPGs in beta, and realized that the testing experience has its downsides.

One more recent development which contributed to me not doing beta tests any more is game companies charging people money for beta tests. Why would I want to pay up to $100 to play an alpha version of an editor of a MMORPG? Betas used to be an opportunity to test a game for free, now they being sold as some sort of advance access in "founder's packs" and the like. Being the first in means you pay before you even get other people's opinion on the game. In this day and age, the longer you wait before you buy a game, the cheaper it gets. There is even a good chance of all of these games being eventually Free2Play, although I might not wait that long.

But the main reason I don't want to do betas any more is that they tend to be full of bugs. Well, I did play some betas like Card Hunter which were already at production quality. But MMORPGs are notoriously difficult to run, and server outages and game-crippling bugs are to be expected. Especially if the official state of the software is alpha. And of course the game won't be feature-complete yet. So even if by playing the beta I can get some impression of what the game is about, it would be hard to form a final opinion of the game before release. Anybody who ever complained about something in a beta will know that the standard response to that is "but it is just the beta!", although I would say that if a game is really bad you notice that long before it is finished.

So I decided to be patient and just wait until those games are at least released. Life is too short to spend time and money on buggy betas.
Tobold's Blog



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