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Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 

General Discussion  » Paid Beta = bad practice

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63 posts found
  nilden

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/26/05
Posts: 993

 
OP  4/28/12 2:49:58 PM#1

I feel like it's a bad business practice to charge full price so people can get in beta. Traditionally people would sign up for beta and the company would select people from a pool of applicants then go to open beta letting in the general public and stress testing. These people are free testers for the company of an unfinished product in beta. They would help test, find bugs, provide feedback, and improve the software. All of this free testing for the company. Then when the game is ready to release you would pay the full price for a finsihed,polished, tested product. I feel like it sets a bad presidence when a company takes the full purchase price before they have a fully complete and released product.

Juding by the fact that digital copies were sold out for guild wars 2 it seems like people don't care and are willing to just throw money at companies before getting a finished product. I feel that the company should be more responsible and say please by all means test our game we will only charge you for a released product not something still in beta, which has been the stand for many years.

Pre-orders are fine 5-10 bucks down so you reserve a copy at release is a lot different than paying full price in advance when it's truly only to get in a beta.

Have some faith in your product and charge people at release for a complete game. Am I the only person who feels this way?

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  BeansnBread

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/19/06
Posts: 5562

4/28/12 2:53:39 PM#2

I agree. I think paid beta just makes people hostile when things don't work the way they're supposed to. 

 

SWTOR is the greatest mmo ever!

  Comaf

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/13/10
Posts: 1144

I want an mmorpg where pvp matters, my enemies are not my race or class, and community matters.

4/28/12 2:55:14 PM#3
Originally posted by nilden

I feel like it's a bad business practice to charge full price so people can get in beta. Traditionally people would sign up for beta and the company would select people from a pool of applicants then go to open beta letting in the general public and stress testing. These people are free testers for the company of an unfinished product in beta. They would help test, find bugs, provide feedback, and improve the software. All of this free testing for the company. Then when the game is ready to release you would pay the full price for a finsihed,polished, tested product. I feel like it sets a bad presidence when a company takes the full purchase price before they have a fully complete and released product.

Juding by the fact that digital copies were sold out for guild wars 2 it seems like people don't care and are willing to just throw money at companies before getting a finished product. I feel that the company should be more responsible and say please by all means test our game we will only charge you for a released product not something still in beta, which has been the stand for many years.

Pre-orders are fine 5-10 bucks down so you reserve a copy at release is a lot different than paying full price in advance when it's truly only to get in a beta.

Have some faith in your product and charge people at release for a complete game. Am I the only person who feels this way?

Welcome to the ever improving industry of the massively multi player video game.  Death to the RPG.

  Pocahinha

Novice Member

Joined: 7/14/09
Posts: 570

4/28/12 2:56:21 PM#4
No, the problem is people getting into a BETA thinking it will play without any bugs or probles like a game with 6 years post release...i call that stupidity and there is lots of it .
  stayBlind

Novice Member

Joined: 4/19/06
Posts: 515

4/28/12 2:58:11 PM#5

Oh man, I paid for the beta?

Guess I'll have to buy the game when it comes out.

Little forum boys with their polished cyber toys: whine whine, boo-hoo, talk talk.

  nilden

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/26/05
Posts: 993

 
OP  4/28/12 3:01:29 PM#6
Originally posted by Pocahinha
No, the problem is people getting into a BETA thinking it will play without any bugs or probles like a game with 6 years post release...i call that stupidity and there is lots of it .

Well when you pay full price your not a tester your a customer.

How to post links.
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  CalmOceans

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/06/11
Posts: 1934

4/28/12 3:02:47 PM#7

MMO have become E-sports in the minds of many people. Getting those 2 days of headstart or beta playtime ahead of everyone else is valuable to them, and value can be bought with money.

If players didn't reach the level cap in a few weeks, the offer of a beta test or headstart would become far less attractive.

  Lobotomist

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/20/07
Posts: 4883

I got so much trouble on my mind Refuse to lose.

4/28/12 3:03:33 PM#8
Originally posted by nilden

I feel like it's a bad business practice to charge full price so people can get in beta. Traditionally people would sign up for beta and the company would select people from a pool of applicants then go to open beta letting in the general public and stress testing. These people are free testers for the company of an unfinished product in beta. They would help test, find bugs, provide feedback, and improve the software. All of this free testing for the company. Then when the game is ready to release you would pay the full price for a finsihed,polished, tested product. I feel like it sets a bad presidence when a company takes the full purchase price before they have a fully complete and released product.

Juding by the fact that digital copies were sold out for guild wars 2 it seems like people don't care and are willing to just throw money at companies before getting a finished product. I feel that the company should be more responsible and say please by all means test our game we will only charge you for a released product not something still in beta, which has been the stand for many years.

Pre-orders are fine 5-10 bucks down so you reserve a copy at release is a lot different than paying full price in advance when it's truly only to get in a beta.

Have some faith in your product and charge people at release for a complete game. Am I the only person who feels this way?

Completely agree with you.

  stevebmbsqd

Novice Member

Joined: 9/26/09
Posts: 457

"Evolution thru Revolution"

4/28/12 3:04:09 PM#9
Originally posted by nilden
Originally posted by Pocahinha
No, the problem is people getting into a BETA thinking it will play without any bugs or probles like a game with 6 years post release...i call that stupidity and there is lots of it .

Well when you pay full price your not a tester your a customer.

This. They should have waited for the game to be optimized prior to starting the weekend "events". Note they were called "events" and not tests.

  GeezerGamer

Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 5193

4/28/12 3:07:32 PM#10

The problem here is the strong marketing.

It's one thing to tell people if you pre(whatever) you will recive access to the beta client and a login during times beta is available...And specifically state tha taccess is not guaranteed.

It's another to guarantee beta access. That just makes no sense and I can't imagine how that isn't going to bite the company making that claim.

It's the sad state of the genre. The next big title has as many threads discussing issues with it's business model than issues with the game itself.

  Larsa

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

4/28/12 3:20:34 PM#11

Remember the times when games didn't even have a pre-order?

You went to a retailer and bought a box, just like everybody else. And no special, super V.I.P. or collectors or digital deluxe edition, because all that stuff didn't exist. And then the gaming industry learned that many gamers enjoy getting nickeled and dimed.

And thus you now buy a digital deluxe edition with a "unique" item that every buyer of that edition gets and people don't even complain that their "unique" item is everything but unique. And everybody else can buy that "unique" item in the cash shop 6 months after release anyway.

And now the gaming industry has learned that they can sell the product (pre-purchase) well before release. Won't take long and we'll see deals like "Pay today - play in 3 years". :)

I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  rznkain

Novice Member

Joined: 2/05/04
Posts: 563

4/28/12 3:31:18 PM#12
 Love hearing people say it is a beta or I am a beta tester when the only testing you did was there pre-order website that doesn't even ask your system specs or make you give any info other than your CC info.We all know when you pay to get into a beta you then are a customer and you expect to be inside the game playing the game not looking for bugs or trying to break parts of the game.So please stop sayin you are a beta tester.
  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13756

4/28/12 3:35:05 PM#13

So long as you don't pay for beta access yourself, it's not a problem for you.

If you were running a game company and lots of people were willing to throw money at you to get access to the beta, would you accept it?  If not, then that's why you're not running a game company.

  BeansnBread

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/19/06
Posts: 5562

4/28/12 3:37:15 PM#14
Originally posted by rznkain
 Love hearing people say it is a beta or I am a beta tester when the only testing you did was there pre-order website that doesn't even ask your system specs or make you give any info other than your CC info.We all know when you pay to get into a beta you then are a customer and you expect to be inside the game playing the game not looking for bugs or trying to break parts of the game.So please stop sayin you are a beta tester.

Actually, they have a system where after everything you do, a little questionaire pops up in the upper left hand corner (edit: actually right hand corner. I failed pre-school) where you can rate different aspects of the experience. This like difficulty, characters, fun, etc. They also have a little place where you can add your comments and give feedback about the experience. It's also very easy to report a bug and I've reported more than a few.

 

For instance, I was walking through water and from a certin angle the water appeared to be moving extremely fast. When I took a step forward, it looked normal again. It kept flipping back and forth. I've reported about how I can't put some of my skills in my utility bars for no reason that I can see. I've reported about wanting keybinds to be visible on the hotkey bars because it makes it more frustrating to play the game without them. I've reported like 12 other things that I see here and there.

 

It's a beta and there are a lot of things to fix and there are a lot of people out there reporting things.

SWTOR is the greatest mmo ever!

  centkin

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/01/10
Posts: 828

4/28/12 3:37:42 PM#15

This is these "betas" should NOT be called beta.  Yes they are pre-release but they are NOT beta. 

Beta is when you play a game hunting for bugs, in a game state where there are actually bugs to find. 

Beta is generally a real server where they want you to have time trying to break things etc -- it is NOT a phased thing where you get 2 days this weekend and then another 2 days 2 weeks later.  That is more a marketing ploy -- trying to make you hungry for something you can not have. 

A lot of times "real beta" and beta are run side by side.  Rift did this -- they had the "beta" people who played every other weekend and they had a different set of players who had a server that was actually pretty much always up where they did the real testing.  Pretty much by the time people hit the weekend betas, it was just stress and balance testing things.  The bugs were already hammered out.  Individual feedback did not mean much at that point.

Thing is it is giving beta a bad name.  I go into a beta hoping and expecting to have an experience where I can still influence the course of the game, and make a difference.  That is NOT pre-pay preview faux-beta.

  musicmann

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/25/05
Posts: 1123

4/28/12 3:47:14 PM#16
I agree with the OP. Why take people's money before the game is released. What it tells me is that, even though they have the funds to develope and launch the game they don't have a 100% positive feeling the game will do very well and they want to get that upfront preorder money in case that feeling is correct. kinda underhanded if you ask me.
  User Deleted
4/28/12 3:48:01 PM#17
Originally posted by nilden

Juding by the fact that EA sold over 1 million pre-orders of Star Wars: The Old Republic it seems like people don't care and are willing to just throw money at companies before getting a finished product.

Have some faith in your product and charge people at release for a complete game. Am I the only person who feels this way?

 

FIxed. =D Hey, it was going to happen....

 

Fact of the matter is that just because paid betas haven't been the industry standard doesn't mean that major games haven't had MANY players who would have paid to get to play the game early.

 

So while I think it's fair that say that it's unfortunate that a company would use a beta to drive preorders for its game, it's the players who are perfectly willing to pay for the edge and self-esteem boost from the knowledge that they were *in* right from the start (clearly some beta players ARE people who want the game to be great and will 'test' it and report issues, but we all know that in any beta most are just there to be playings 'early'). Just like it's the players who tolerate all kinds of garbage from the gaming industry like DRM and DLC microtransactions. If there's a market for it, it's safe to say it's going to be exploited eventually.

 

Certainly I agree that GW2 is testing the bounds of the notion of a "commercial release" and the expectations that come with a commercially released game -- if you're in the "beta" you paid for the game, and if you didn't pay you're not in; that distinction is effectively no different than it will be on release day -- but I'm sure some would argue the boundary has been ambiguous for a long time.  On the flip side one can call one version a "beta" and another a "release" but all released MMOs need some degree of work done to be properly functional.  Is there a matter of degree that separates one from the other?  It's an interesting discussion that will come up again and again for some time, I think.

 

<- hasn't bought GW2

  stayBlind

Novice Member

Joined: 4/19/06
Posts: 515

4/28/12 3:49:12 PM#18
Originally posted by musicmann
I agree with the OP. Why take people's money before the game is released. What it tells me is that, even though they have the funds to develope and launch the game they don't have a 100% positive feeling the game will do very well and they want to get that upfront preorder money in case that feeling is correct. kinda underhanded if you ask me.

Or, you know, they are giving people who have been waiting years to play the chance to play it one weekend a month until it releases.

Kind of like a "Hey guys, you were going to buy the game anyways, now you can play a bit before launch ('Cause we know you've been waiting forever!)"

Little forum boys with their polished cyber toys: whine whine, boo-hoo, talk talk.

  sonoggi

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/22/09
Posts: 1151

4/28/12 3:49:30 PM#19
it's an amazing idea. this weekend is easily worth $60 alone, not to mention the upcoming BWE's and the fact i get to KEEP the game. assuming youre talking about GW2.
  gladosrev2

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/21/09
Posts: 204

4/28/12 3:54:33 PM#20
Originally posted by stevebmbsqd
Originally posted by nilden
Originally posted by Pocahinha
No, the problem is people getting into a BETA thinking it will play without any bugs or probles like a game with 6 years post release...i call that stupidity and there is lots of it .

Well when you pay full price your not a tester your a customer.

This. They should have waited for the game to be optimized prior to starting the weekend "events". Note they were called "events" and not tests.


I really don't understand how people can't get it into their heads and learn what beta means. Beta is meant to be broken and laggy and have all sorts of issues, and crash all the time. It's like a preview movie footage with placeholder CGI and temporary editing. That people *expect* to get a fully working smooth game is beyond me, really. Yes, you are a *tester* right now, and if you're disapointed by the state the game is right now, its your own fault, not ArenaNet's. It will be their fault once they release the game, then you can bitch and moan all you want, I'll happily join you.

So far I find the PvP batlegrounds alone are worth the full price. Considering it's still beta gameplay it's phenomenal.

 

 

My Guild Wars 2 First Beta Weekend "reviewette" : http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/post/4944570/thread/349125#4944570

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