There’s beta and then there’s BETA!

So over the next few days there are a new batch of beta invites going out for both Europe and the US. Good luck everyone (unless you are already in beta in which case, carry on as you were)!

There are different types of beta test. And in each type, the company is going to want different kinds of results. At the end of the day, if you do get into beta, your ‘job’ is to play the game and report anything that looks bugged. Usually they’ll give you an easy way to do this, maybe a form to fill out or something you can do on the UI in game.

Closed beta:

This is where WAR is now. Primary goal of the testers is to try the game and report any bugs. Also to give feedback if anything runs especially badly on their hardware (companies will often try to get a mix of hardware platforms involved so that they can pick anything like this up.) In EQ2 the company organised quite directed testing. A lot of the time you could just wander around aimlessly but they’d post times and dates on the beta boards where they planned to test specific instances, encounters, or classes and if you were free, you’d be expected to go help with that. In WoW they also tested the races in phases (ie. a dwarf phase, then an undead phase, etc).

It’s quite likely that the WAR team will organise their closed beta similarly. So if you do get in on this phase, keep an eye on the boards and get stuck into the stuff they specifically ask for.

Open beta:

Open beta has become more of a PR exercise and a chance to test out the GM and complaint handling procedures for the company than for pure bug finding. This usually happens a few weeks or even days before the official launch and they either invite large numbers of people or just drop the need for an invite at all. By this point, although you can report any major bugs or imbalances, the chances are that they can’t fix it before launch anyway. So its mostly a chance to wander around, see how you like the different classes, and report any minor issues (like typos) that you find using whatever procedure they ask for.

Stress Test:

Like an open beta but more directed. The goal of this phase is to test their hardware and network code, not yours. All you really need to do is log in and do stuff. If the server falls over or your screen freezes, then that was a successful stress test! Main thing is to not assume that if performance is bad during a stress test that it won’t be better in live. It may well be better in live! This beta is intended to bring out performance issues so that the team can address them.

European/US beta:

So why do they need to do betas in both europe and the US. Partly it’s because the euro team also wants to test its hardware and player complaint/GM procedures. They also need to test their translations — not sure how many languages GOA plan to run WAR in but french and german is likely. But apart from that, Mythic can get all the bug reports they need from the US beta testers, and it’s mostly a PR effort.

3 Responses

  1. […] “There’s Beta and Then There’s BETA!” over at Book of Grudges clarifies what’s going on with WAR’s varying beta levels. […]

  2. Maybe not the best spot to post this, but WELCOME TO THE COMMUNITY! I’m looking forward to reading your older posts and keeping up to date with the new ones!

    ~Snafzg of TheGreenskin

  3. Thanks, Snafzg! We’re looking forwards to it as well!

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