Tobold's Blog
Friday, July 02, 2010
You're not alone, Larísa

Larísa from the Pink Pigtail Inn is a bit miffed for not having been invited to the Cataclysm alpha. Don't worry, Larísa, that is hardly a unique fate. I wasn't in the alpha either, nor did I get an invite to the beta yet. And if I got an invite, I couldn't use it before August, due to going on holidays without taking a computer.

The upside of being invited to an alpha or beta is being able to see the new game or expansion before most other players. But for a game like WoW the number of alpha / beta players is so huge, that you can get all information without an invite. There were numerous alpha leaks, and although the current Cataclysm beta is "closed", the NDA is already lifted, and just about every WoW site is full of information, screenshots, and videos.

There are some things that I would like to know about Cataclysm before its release, for example about the new skill cap on the old tradeskills, and to what level I would have to bring my alts to be able to max tradeskills (In WotLK a level 65 alt can learn tradeskills to the cap). But if I were in the beta, I wouldn't really play there all that many hours, for several reasons:

It is likely that Blizzard will take over a year from the release of Cataclysm to the release of the 4th expansion, and that I will run out of things to do during the Cataclysm expansion, as it happened in both previous expansions. Thus an earlier start basically means getting bored earlier, which is not something I endeavor to do.

I don't really like blogging about beta content, because obviously the game is not yet in its final state, and there is a lot of discussion wasted on features that won't happen like that in the release. Just look at everything written about the Path of the Titans, which then got cancelled.

Anything I do in the beta is being wiped at the end of beta, so I will have to do it again in the release version. It is inevitable that the second time around will be less fun, so if I, for example, level a goblin in the beta, I'll have less fun with the permanent goblin character I want to create. If I level a copy of one of my characters to 85, I'll just have to start over on release day, presumably faster, but less fun.

So while, yes, I would appreciate a beta invite, I'd probably just use it for a short look around. And as I wouldn't do much playing, my input as a beta *tester* would necessarily be limited. So if I don't get an invite, I wouldn't be terribly unhappy either.

Are you in the Cataclysm beta? What are you planning to do in the beta, if you are or get invited?
I'm also not interested in the beta. What's the point in levelling my character to 85 when I'll have to do it all again just a few months later?

I prefer to just read up on wow information sites about the new talents and spells.

And the release itself should remain a surprise. It's fun to visit new zones you've never seen before.
In launch, i'll never roll a goblin, I'll most likely not level my paladin nor my rogue.
Already there are 3 things I could do in beta that would be fun, informative and maybe change my mind about either of the 3, before launch.

And since I am already bored with the content, it would not be a loss.
I for one, am very much hoping for a beta invite.
Path of the Titans getting cancelled disappointed me horribly.

The prospect of taking my warrior down a NON OPTIMAL path but that still had interest, and provided some other kinds of perks/benefits was extremely compelling - a way to differentiate myself from every other warrior with the exact same gear, spec, abilities, etc... :(
Soaking up the information but leaving the actual playing till it gets released. I agree with what Carra said.

Also, I think i forget, but what was your opinion on FFXIV? I'm actually quite piqued by the game, with the crafters being an actual class in the game and the group dynamic being optimal when you have your crafters and gatherers in your party as well as your tanks, healers and dps. Not to mention no need for alts, since a single character can be any class.

Reading back, that does sound a bit strange, but i'll try to answer your questions on the character advancement system.
I didn't get an invite so I guess blizzard doesn't care about balancing their economy much... /licks wounds

Just kidding, as I understand it the alpha was only if a blizzard employee granted it to you and the beta was just random.
I'm dying to get a beta invite. As i was 4th 80 on my server at wotlk launch and 1st night elf and druid. That was with very little beta playing. For cataclysm i want to up my game and get realm first realm, And i want to really spend alot of time learning the quests and preparing for the launch.

Sounds dumb and a waste of time, But the race to 80 was the most enjoyable few days of my time playing WoW. There was another Night elf Druid No more then half a level ahead or behind the whole time which made it incredibly tense and such a great achivement when i got it :D
Sounds dumb and a waste of time.
Tobold says "there is a lot of discussion wasted on features that won't happen"

I see a good discussion as an end unto itself, so even though the topic of discussion may never see fruition, the discussion itself is both fruitful and enjoyable.

More on topic, I'm not interested in the beta, even though I applied simply to give myself the option. I was in the WotLK beta, and didn't play it all that much, but the bit I did play tended to spoil the "new car smell" when the expansion did release.
What a downer!

Your argument is that taking part in the Beta would make it "less fun" to play later. And then if you play the expansion too fast your fun won't last long enough.

But, you blog about the game. Very well, I might add. Oh yeah, you also said that discussing things that don't end up in the final game is a "waste of time".

Whoops, a commenter above is STILL wasting time talking about Path of Titans!

Are you're saying you just aren't interested in participating in the development of the game? Which is certainly understandable. It might make it more like "work", or like, "don't tell me anyting about the movie or it will spoil my experience"?

But, seriously, you wouldn't want to have early access to wandering around "New Azeroth" looking for bugs or just sight-seeing?

Even just for a little while? If I had the opportunity, I'd choose a race/profession that I had absolutely no interest in playing later. But I'd sure jump at the chance.

I guess maybe it could get dull...but aren't we all bored with the game now?

and Jonathan: grats!
I used to do a lot of beta-testing and I took it pretty seriously, doing many bug reports, providing reams of feedback and generally doing a lot more actual testing than playing. I still do some of that, but mostly for games that I don't plan on playing when they go Live.

Nowadays, though, I generally don't even apply for betas of games/expansions I plan to pay to play at launch. Experience tells me that to do so just spoils my own enjoyment, giving away all the surprises and often making me repeat the same content twice or even more before I end up with a character that isn't going to get wiped.
Once I decide that I'm going to try out a game I usually try to limit how much news and info I find out about that game before launch. It really adds to the fun when I get to explore new games and new content without having it spoiled for me in advance. I'm really looking forward to taking a new character from level 1 to 60 and taking my druid from 80 to 85 but I don't want to know much before launch day.
I am in the beta (alpha too) and am doing testing. I test out the death knight changes, with bias to tanking, but also for dps. I test for bugs in quests including typos. I also try to offer constructive opinion when I have a view about systems changes. I have uploaded videos of some beta content too to YouTube. Links are at has gotten into the Beta and often links his beta videos - worth checking out :)
Am I think only one that see's Tobold going on vacation from sometime now till... August?

That's possibly 3-4 weeks you'll be taking off? Without a computer? Are you going to abandon us for 4 weeks just to soak up some sun?

**grin** Have a good vacation :)
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