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News & Features Discussion  » Star Wars: The Old Republic: Do You Really Want a Beta Invite?

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136 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 11/21/07
Posts: 192

6/29/11 1:21:17 PM#61

I bought a founders life time sub to LOTRO because i beta tested it. I think though that this is an entirely different kind of game. The LOTRO I played more than four years ago is not the same one you'll see today as it improves and expands but while story is important its more the major theme thats important in LOTRO and not so much the kind of RPG elements you're going to find in TOR. BioWARE games are phenominal, intertsting and deeply immersive and I'd like to keep that until launch. I want to keep my excitment and experience the game as a player only I think because its so RPG heavy and I dont want the stories ruined for me. I am however with others in that i would definately do an early start pre-order and because I trust BioWARE to put out a fantastic game I'd even do a lifetime sub if they offered one at release.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/16/05
Posts: 264

6/29/11 1:22:01 PM#62

Joining the chorus! I have beta tested only a few games (Rome Rising/Rift/STO et,,) and simply reported whatever I found as requested. For example in Rome Rising I had a serious movement problem with key/move delay. Made it nearly impossible to play (running a 2.7g/4G ram) and it wasn't corrected during the time I struggled to play. Sent in a few bug reports, including what little play I was able to make, added my thanks, departed and uninstalled.


Also played beta for STO (Star Trek Online - a beloved IP) and have it on my computer now. Intend to give it another month then prob close. Playing beta was fun alright but launch content was minimal and to my dismay the gameplay was grindingly repetitive. Unfortunately the gameplay structure is the problem, not the content and I am presently a 500 day veteran.


I regret playing the beta. I would be unable to resist an invite to test but would definitely not really want to play SWTOR before launch. I also want that 'fresh' new game feeling. With so many wanting in testing I figure I am pretty safe from an invite so see you all in game.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/17/11
Posts: 462

6/29/11 1:23:07 PM#63

I haven't beta tested anything in years. Not a fun experience. I'll let other people do it. If I want to try a game I'll wait for the trial.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/17/07
Posts: 6701

"Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.” - Mordin Solus

6/29/11 1:30:24 PM#64

Anything I can do to make the experience less painful is a plus. Ofcourse I would like a beta invite.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/30/11
Posts: 628

6/29/11 1:35:24 PM#65

I think several people have hit it on the head as well...

You have two types:

1)  People who want the game to be better so they provide feedback

2)  People who download PTR (Public Test Realm) patches and do raid content so they can learn the fights and be ready to get "world first" on patch day...

I think it was "WAR" ? that during testing (even live maybe which was kinda dumb) provided a feedback screen after EVERY quest... That's how you do beta testing... FORCE people or spam them with feedback screens that make gameplay shitty as all hell but give developers useful feedback... Gameplay isn't supposed to be fun during beta!


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/02/07
Posts: 5

6/29/11 1:56:42 PM#66

That was the one thing that always bugged me about beta testing.  I would go out of my way to find bugs through exploration, quests, fighting random mobs, etc with the goal in mind to send in 10 bugs a day. (Somedays I found 10 somedays less)  Meanwhile 90% of the other people in Beta were just in there to play the game early and then whine cause a bug kept them from finishing a mission while lighting up the general chat about how poorly the game is made. 


I have been in beta's (Closed not open) for a large amount of MMO's from WoW, SWG, Warhammer, Asheron's Call, Rift, and D&D just to name some of them.  All have had the same problem.  Too many people in there just to play early.  Now dont get me wrong, I am not saying I did not enjoy my early access, but it comes with a price.  You are invited into the Beta to help make the game better. 


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/02/07
Posts: 5

6/29/11 1:58:18 PM#67

And yes, if I was invited into beta, I would not pass it up. 


Novice Member

Joined: 10/21/07
Posts: 846

"Choke on the smoke from my quill."

6/29/11 2:09:09 PM#68

Getting a chance to participate in game's early development is really great. Especially if you love the game. I was with Fallen Earth from early alpha all the way to launch and kept play testing and reporting bugs for almost 1,5 years. Of course I had breaks here and there but I always went back and continued going through quest hubs, maps, typos with npcs etc. And I actually loved being there. As mmopgholic and gamer nerd it was awesome to see that the stuff you do, reports and so on actually get's fixed - or looked into. You felt like you were part of the family. :) Too bad I wasn't getting paid from doing that :P

Another good thing with early alphas and betas is that it's one of those rare moments when the community in game is still 95% good guys and everyone is friendly and helpfull. Usually the IQ of community drops after launch date and that's when you turn off the chat window, or just totally ignore it.

So my answer would be, yeah, I'm always willing to do some game testing if the game's just worthy and something that interests me. :)


Novice Member

Joined: 11/16/05
Posts: 832

6/29/11 2:18:45 PM#69

It's tough to refrain from a beta and it most certainly ends up sort of killing the 'first time' experience that you might get with the game, I think.

A smaller game like Dawntide -- I'd probably be more inclined to accept the beta invitation and file bug reports and test things but I'd probably have ulterior motives of seeing if the team working on the game is actually dedicated to having the game float after testing.  It's nice to help.

Something like SW:TOR, though, I don't really need to be in the beta to know how it will go.  I'm sure Bioware is taking very cautious steps into making things work and they surely have the resources to get as many testers as they need or want.  I still want to hear about the beta, though, but I don't want to go off spoiling it.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/19/04
Posts: 633

6/29/11 2:39:36 PM#70

I don't really like doing betas anymore. I was in very early in the closed beta of warhammer. Did a lot of feedback and practically nothing I mentioned was fixed. I did have a great time playing though for a long time. By the time it released, I bought it because I thought to myself, I've played this for several months, had a blast, but by the time I finished my first free month, I thought it was crap, lol.

A few factors caused that feeling for me:

1. I didn't really want to start everything over again

2. I did just about everything in the game

3. It seemed the game was played a bit differently than with release.

That was probably due to a lot of the people I tested with were ex daoc players and we played it like daoc, and not like wow, as in more open pvp and less scenario wow like pvp which I can't stand.


I did the closed beta on Rift and sent in my feedback and they actually addressed a lot of the concerns I had. They actually listened and it was great. funny thing is, I realized I didn't like the game much and never bothered buying. Saved me money there.

So with warhammer, the game was ruined for me because of the beta, but with Rift, I was saved from buying it. So it is kind of hard to decide when to beta or not, hehe.

As far as swtor, I don't really have much interest in the game, so don't think I would bother either way. If I had to choose though, I would say no because it is story based and a beta would just ruin the experience for me.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/09/05
Posts: 1837

6/29/11 2:49:16 PM#71

I agree that beta testing can often ruin the game experience. The problem for me is that this game has been in development for SO LONG that I am just beginning to lose patience. I would rather play the game now than wait potentially another full year for it to release. Even if I were to experience bugs along the way, I'm sure I would still enjoy the experience. And it would give me a chance to play some of the classes that I am not planning to play at release...

Plus, I would enjoy the chance to actually have an impact on the development of the game. 


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/25/08
Posts: 1807

I'm a lvl 50 Batman!

6/29/11 2:55:08 PM#72

In this case and this case only, I really don't want one. Though I am changeable by nature so what I will actualy do if I recieve one is still open to question. Really had to think about this though.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/25/08
Posts: 2407

6/29/11 3:08:46 PM#73

Well, I sure don't need another invite to the beta :P.  But before I got invited, I sure did want to be invited.  In other games I've tested, there are enough people NOT providing feedback and ONLY playing the game in a way that doesn't help the game grow.  I hate those.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/02/05
Posts: 1667

6/29/11 3:46:30 PM#74

Ok, Mike B. rocks, but I disagree with you in part on this one bro.

If all a beta tester does is play, they are still testing.  Playing IS testing.  The game monitors your every move and makes calculations based on what you do.  Bioware recently posted (publically) an example of the data they gather, showing a zone and all the places people died, etc. That data led to changes in some encounters because too many people were getting pwned in certain locations or conditions.

Giving input is great and identifying bugs is also great .  But mainly (in my opinion) you are there to play the game in the way you would normally play it, and then let them monitor what you do, crunch those numbers and benefit from that data.

I have beta tested a number of games myself, and while yes I gave input and helped squish bugs, mostly I just played like I normally would .

Imagine a scientist was doing an experiment with lab mice.  And the mice, instead of just running through the maze and searching for cheese, pulled up a chair and said "listen Dr., here are our thoughts on how you should design your experiment."  I suppose the mouse opinions have some value, but mostly the scientist would be thinking "man just chase the cheese while I watch you and let me draw my own conclusions."

EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests


Novice Member

Joined: 1/09/09
Posts: 1737

Mr Flibble is VERY cross

6/29/11 4:57:29 PM#75

Im also on the fence about this one. Ive Beta tested several games now and its always been because Im excited about a game and want to help make it a success....thats the whole point of beta, but as Amathe said, I just played the game as normal and reported any bugs I found.....but I do that when Im playing the live game!

Excited as I am though, I love the experience of launch day and exploring the new unknown world with everyone else and Betas just ruin that.....

Cluck Cluck, Gibber Gibber, My Old Mans A Mushroom


Novice Member

Joined: 7/21/05
Posts: 56

6/29/11 5:58:17 PM#76
Playing is not testing. If that were the case, then the devs could do it easily. 4-5 folks playing the game is enough testing if playing is testing.

Beta testing is *NOT* playing, not if you're doing it right. Beta testing is breaking the game deliberately. It's going places you wouldn't normally go because some idiot might go there. It's trying to create dupe bugs deliberately.

Saying "playing is testing" is like saying "walking in your front door is security testing". A beta is trying to climb in your window, or your crawl place, things normal people would not do but random folks might.

There's a huge difference.

Novice Member

Joined: 7/21/05
Posts: 56

6/29/11 6:00:03 PM#77
Oh, that said, the belief that "playing is testing" is why so many MMO's come out buggy, because the people they let in ARE playing and considering it testing. Typically less than 5% of the people in a beta are actually testing. The rest are making notes for spoiler sites when it goes live, or planning out their leveling curve, or just getting free time in a game. You can see this often by looking at the people who complain on a beta board about the stability of the game, like the beta crashing or being offline is an inconvenience for them.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/09/05
Posts: 288

6/29/11 6:01:05 PM#78

I am a dilletante beta tester.  I've been a release engineer professionally and I like bug hunting.  I'm an altaholic.  I like running through the same material with different classes.  So yeah, I'm that kind of geek.  I submit bug reports.  I probably speculate too much in the bug reports about objects inheriting information from yada yada and somewhere there's maybe a function that's causing this count to round in this quest count and all this stuff that may be helpful or may just prove that I'm an ass who used to know how to program and now spends too much time banging on games.  But I like beta testing, and usually am playing one game in production and haunt (sorry) Massively's Beta Watch column on Thursdays to see if there's something interesting I can explore for game mechanics, graphics, concepts, whatever.  Now, SW:TOR is different to me for a number of reasons.  One, I'm a SWG vet, and a KOTOR fan, and was 18 when A New Hope came out which makes me about the same age as Luke at the movie premiere.  It was a big part of my mythology, the whole Star Wars story.  I love Bioware games in general.  And, since I volunteer for The Tor Project, I end up reading all the news for SW:TOR on the Google Alerts for Tor as I monitor their press, even if I didn't want to follow the game.  So, yes, I'm waiting for my invite.  Someday.  Been registered on the site.  Looked for a guild.  But hey...


Novice Member

Joined: 3/07/04
Posts: 169

6/29/11 6:06:04 PM#79

I unchecked the option on the official site.  I'll decide whether to play or not when I get an OB key or pre-order key.  Rather than a CB key, I'd rather EA drop the NDA and just let sites blog and preview the content like Blizzard did with WoW in '04.  I don't want to be behind the curtain.  I want there to not be a curtain.

If you don't worry about it, it's not a problem.


Advanced Member

Joined: 11/03/05
Posts: 345

6/29/11 6:24:23 PM#80

Im kind of in two minds over your points made.

With a game I have so much interest in, playing the beta access like it was a live game would ruin much of the surprise and sparkle of the launched game for sure, even playing storylines from classes I dont expect to play post launch, knowing the base game, how the skills and overall game works would probably be a negative to me to some extent come launch.

But, for any most of us (or maybe just some) helping to test and in a minute way bug hunting and moving a direction of something within a game is a positive thing for the game as a whole.

As to "what if X system changes between beta and launch" affecting impressions of a game, the same can be said when the nerf bat hits or something like NGE occurs (ok a extreme example) post launch. My point being, big change can and do occur post launch too - I always hope that ToR space combat at some stage gets a total revamp out of a rail shooter post launch - but I am sure for some it would not be a positive change


To kind of derail from the actual message in your article...

Game companies often invite people into the semi public closed beta phase with no real direction or true interaction on the forums etc. (sample quest/area/bug forms etc to developer set targets of interest)

Beta testing feels like more than bug reporting / general stress testing to me when there are set agendas such as "we are looking to test area X this week please give all feedback good and bad"

While players may take a more casual view on most beta access and maybe dont report on as much as they could have, I always think the more devs can direct the testing - the more beneficial us public testers can be.

So it kind of works both ways in respect to beta testers usefullness as a whole and companies making the most of the testers they have.

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