Tobold's Blog
Friday, April 25, 2014
Another Wildstar beta weekend

Maybe I was born a cynic. More likely, having played MMORPGs since the last millenium and thus having read thousands of official communications of game companies about their MMORPGs has turned me into a cynic regarding such announcements. In any case, if I read an announcement from a game company, I always assume that there is more to it than just what it says.

Carbine a while ago gave a very detailed explanation about why there is just a limited number of beta weekends. Basically the devs wanted people to beta test, but the sales people wanted to limit beta access so that people don't play too much Wildstar for free and then don't buy it. Great piece of communication, and very much understandable.

But if you keep all those differing interests in mind, you interpret the announcement of a "bonus" beta weekend (starting today) with different eyes. It is unlikely that the sales people changed their mind. If Carbine changed their beta schedule, it is because the devs were able to persuade the other people in the company that they really, really needed more testing. Or, in other words, the last beta weekend with the new user interface went badly. We don't get a "bonus" beta weekend because Carbine loves us, but because last week's version of the game wasn't exactly "launch ready", and now they need more testing in a hurry to make it so.

It's okay, I still have some things to try out regarding the possibility of making money with crafting as long as I stick to the lowest level of recipes. But I clearly see the negative side of this bonus beta weekend as well. I've seen the bugs in the new UI, I know that this bonus weekend isn't a sign of generosity.

Tid "bonus" beta weekend might be a bit of a marketing thing to since it seems like everyone i know that signed up for beta got a key for this weekend.
I got a bonus invite out of the blue....I'm debating whether to bother or not...IO can't quite get past that idiotic squirrel-mascot-thing in their ads.
Seems like it's more of an open beta weekend for everyone who registered that was planned all along but the company wanted to ensure the maximum number of people pre-orded to gain access.
A beta just before launch has advertising value, and I would guess that the burnout issue is less because launch is just around the corner.
How did we reach the point that testing your work became an activity that warrants scorn.
While I agree it ain't 'love', I don't see it quite as negatively. ;) I'm all for a developer taking more time or opportunities for more polish. It's what many MMOs fail to do, "it's finished when it's finished" is always the preferable option even if they can't deliver on a promise.

so hey, am all for WS bonus weekends if that helps to get some last-minute fixes. I wish ESO has done more of those.....a lot more. ;)

Let's be honest here, i really do not believe there is 1 in a million chance that this beta is not a part of a marketing campaign.

I personally would not have any inclination whatsoever into buying the game without testing it first.
We all have TOO MANY bad experiences with MMORPGs in the past that it is not all that weird too be overly skeptical now as opposed to five years ago (even Aion hit 4mil players remember? ).
reached level 2 and I already got bored of the questing style... the combat looks good though (responsive, flawed animations)
reached level 2 and I already got bored of the questing style

That's the tutorial. It opens up a bit more after level 6.
I hope so... cause for an hour I was just running inside a building and using things that have a cogwheel on top of them...also I didn't liked my first path quest (explorer). Probably I ll try out a settler
If you don't like running around using things with a cogwheel you won't like the settler!

Gotta say this game has the best mmorpg combat model out there. It strikes the perfect balance between action combat and the tab target style. It feels really sweet. Given that you will spend most of your time repetitively killing stuff I think it is really promising that the combat feels so right.

But I don't think I've seen anyone here mention those dumb quests to kill a load of mobs in a set time period? Shocking as I thought the devs had really learned all the lessons from other MMO 's until I saw that one.

Last week was my first beta weekend and it seemed quiet compared to this weekend and suddenly this weekend there were loads more players and I realised what a major annoyance it is. Took the shine off it. How could they be so stupid?
But I don't think I've seen anyone here mention those dumb quests to kill a load of mobs in a set time period?

I wrote a whole post about those on Tuesday.

Even more embarrassing is that I commented on that post! No idea how I missed that paragraph.

In my defence I was at work and trying to read your blog and post on my phone without the boss spotting me.

Anyway the more I play this beta the more I like it but the more bugs I am spotting.

As highly polished as this game is I am still tempted to just sit out for the first month or two. Bugs will be fixed, less players will be around, SLI will finally be enabled. I will lose my free month and any head start but such is life. I'd rather not tarnish the experience by playing it as is.

Tried the Warrior/explorer and wasn't keen. My original Esper/settler remains the favourite. I found the explorer to be far more time consuming and frustrating.
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