BETA [Definition] - Developers release either a closed beta or an open beta; closed beta versions are released to a restricted group of individuals for a user test by invitation, while open beta testers are from a larger group, or anyone interested. The testers report any bugs that they find, and sometimes suggest additional features they think should be available in the final version ... Open betas serve the dual purpose of demonstrating a product to potential consumers, and testing among an extremely wide user base likely to bring to light obscure errors that a much smaller testing team might not find.
Ah yes, the Beta Weekend. First off, lets dispell any illusions you happen to be operating under when you get accepted into one of these. The only prerequisite required to become part of one of these is a pulse. You were on their mailing list, which means you will more than likely not be troubleshooting in any way, shape or form. You are now a warm body to be used as part of their advertising campaign, nothing more, nothing less.
Is that a bad thing? Well, actually, no. You get to play their game for free and they hopefully get word of mouth off your experience. You might actually find a bug or two, but by this point, it's unlikely. Most of the core features were ironed out by the people who got accepted into the real beta before you, so you're more or less playing the Release Canidate of that title. Such is life... and sometimes, the good life, even.
So what's the problem?
Well, Beta Weekends are starting to piss me off. Not that I have any hard objections to playing their game for free. No, I'm good with that. Just that- and I've bounced this off a few of my colleagues -it's a goddamn complete waste of time. WTF is with the expectation that you'll magically download a multi-gigabyte game sometime between when you actually receive their email and the meager two days you actually have to play it?
I'm sorry, but I don't have a college T1 through which to siphon the advertisement campaign you're labeling a beta when we both no it's nothing of the sort. I mean, sure, if I want to kill my bandwidth for nothing but your download, I guess so... And in the process my regular surfing will slow to a speed equivalent to that of snail shit.
Look, devs... Just stop this bullshit. Really. I'm liable to get a better impression of your game watching youtube than trying to download gigabytes of worthless data, hoping I complete the download- and patching -before my free time is up. Be creative. Think up a worth while advertising campaign that doesn't lock me into such a finite timeframe if you're going to saddle a full download on me. Make it worth my while.
Because frankly, the beta weekend ain't.