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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] Elder Scrolls Online: The Importance of Testing

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  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 13281

 
OP  4/23/13 3:39:22 PM#1

Beta testing has become something of a sales tool in many games but it is really much more than that. In today's Elder Scrolls Online column, we take a look at why testing is important to games in general, and ESO specifically. Check it out and then head to the comments to continue the discussion.

A few of us here at MMORPG.com have spent a decent chunk of time with ESO already, but to be sure, it’s not enough to fully judge a game on.  A few hours in a highly controlled press demo experience aren’t exactly where you’re going to get the best and most objective look at a game. Garrett is more excited than I am by the title, while I remain cautiously optimistic about its prospects until we see it in a more near-finished state.  Once an NDA drops, for any game, I figure it’s then that we can start to take criticism seriously.  Because if a company says “You lot that have been playing this title can say whatever you like” largely means that they feel its in the best shape it’s going to be before launch.   

Read more of Bill Murphy's Elder Scrolls Online: The Importance of Testing.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  orbitxo

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/25/06
Posts: 1153

4/24/13 12:10:26 PM#2

iam  a Big Skyrim fan.

 

saw the leaked video to this mmo= not impressed.

ill wait for offical release-  but prob wont be playing it.
 
 
 
 
 
  ZedTheRock

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/15/13
Posts: 175

4/24/13 12:14:13 PM#3
I feel there needs to be some kind of litmus test for testers and one of those litmus tests are people who are keen on the overall design decision of the game.  I would bet a hundred lifetimes that the guy who released the 20 min leak was a "hater" before he even downloaded the game.

SUP

  nationalcity

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/31/04
Posts: 328

4/24/13 12:26:08 PM#4
Originally posted by orbitxo

iam  a Big Skyrim fan.

 

saw the leaked video to this mmo= not impressed.

ill wait for offical release-  but prob wont be playing it.
 
 
 
 
 

And there in lies the problem people thought this was gonna be Skyrim the MMO......

 

 

 

 
  Nanfoodle

Elite Member

Joined: 5/23/06
Posts: 3431

4/24/13 12:27:16 PM#5
Originally posted by orbitxo

iam  a Big Skyrim fan.

 

saw the leaked video to this mmo= not impressed.

ill wait for offical release-  but prob wont be playing it.
  

Thats what beta is all about. Seen many MMO in beta be a totally play different by release. But I have also found game play footage not to be very telling on how fun a game is to play. 

  Battlerock

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/12/11
Posts: 731

4/24/13 12:53:09 PM#6
This is a damage control article. Moving past leaked footage, I think its going to be real interesting to see how this game launches and then grows. I think this game will grow after launch. Expectation has dropped out largely due to the leaked footage. So this game launches, lower numbers then expected, people pick up on it realize its fun, word spreads and suddenly we have what will appear to be sustained growth. Keyword " appear "
  codifier

Novice Member

Joined: 4/14/12
Posts: 49

4/24/13 12:59:05 PM#7
Originally posted by Nanfoodle
Originally posted by orbitxo

iam  a Big Skyrim fan.

 

saw the leaked video to this mmo= not impressed.

ill wait for offical release-  but prob wont be playing it.
  

Thats what beta is all about. Seen many MMO in beta be a totally play different by release. But I have also found game play footage not to be very telling on how fun a game is to play. 

Tell me an MMO which was "totally different" from it's beta state. MMO releases ends up being pretty much same as betas. You could say that if it was an Alpha.

  Purutzil

Elite Member

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 2849

The Critical Hit Pretzel!

4/24/13 1:21:23 PM#8
Originally posted by codifier
Originally posted by Nanfoodle
Originally posted by orbitxo

iam  a Big Skyrim fan.

 

saw the leaked video to this mmo= not impressed.

ill wait for offical release-  but prob wont be playing it.
  

Thats what beta is all about. Seen many MMO in beta be a totally play different by release. But I have also found game play footage not to be very telling on how fun a game is to play. 

Tell me an MMO which was "totally different" from it's beta state. MMO releases ends up being pretty much same as betas. You could say that if it was an Alpha.

Some do change quite a lot actually. While its not a massive scale change usually (graphics are likely to remain the same as well as core elements) polish and changes can be added to 'spice up' things. Closed beta tends to be for those purposes of fixing up issues or even making some changes to how things are. Graphics? Yeah, outside special effects its not very likely it will change? Combat? Mostly the core of it is the same but the way games work there can be skill changes or additions that enhance it as well. Games like 

 

That being said, its important to stress that, as far as I've seen, the leaked footage itself seemed quite poor, in terms of the user in some ways trying to mock the game more then show it off. Unless you consider standing around or doing jack in the limited combat as being 'productive' in demonstraiting it. You can tell from the video the user wasn't trying to really impress much at all or really show anything very useful.

 

I must stress, I'm not saying its going to be a good game. Simply put, dont judge leaked footage as being the 'final product' or really a good judge for just how the gameplay functions. The footage a 12 year old kid messing around isn't going to be as good as a professional reviewer checking things out.

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17123

4/24/13 1:21:48 PM#9
Originally posted by codifier
Originally posted by Nanfoodle
Originally posted by orbitxo

iam  a Big Skyrim fan.

 

saw the leaked video to this mmo= not impressed.

ill wait for offical release-  but prob wont be playing it.
  

Thats what beta is all about. Seen many MMO in beta be a totally play different by release. But I have also found game play footage not to be very telling on how fun a game is to play. 

Tell me an MMO which was "totally different" from it's beta state. MMO releases ends up being pretty much same as betas. You could say that if it was an Alpha.

Except that in the case of this game and this leaked footage we find people not thinking. Surprise surprise.

So let's really look at it (again).

What won't change:

Art Design (which is different from "graphics")

How quests are disseminated and offered

Animations (possible some could change but I've never seen them change dramatically in any beta I've played with the exception of adding some animations that weren't available in the beta)

general game design - won't go from a sanbox to themepark to sidscroller to "whatever"

What might change

Possible High rez textures, lighting, etc will be added into the game over time

Possibly animations but nothing drastic

Possible combat Balancing

Landscape if  additional areas are added

What will change

Higher level content will be added into the game

Additional quests will be added into the game

Additional voices/replacers for place holder voices

Additional cosmetic options though this won't be drastic

pvp system will be added

Crime system will be added

Additional combat skills

What the footage showed us?

Art design

How quests are disseminated and offered

 

that's pretty much it. This isn't an open beta/stress test. It also isn't an alpha or pre-alpha so one should recognize the same game at launch.

 

 

  Jaedor

Elite Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 876

4/24/13 1:30:34 PM#10
Originally posted by codifier

Tell me an MMO which was "totally different" from it's beta state. MMO releases ends up being pretty much same as betas. You could say that if it was an Alpha.

TSW was one of those. Character creation was very much changed from closed beta to launch. Still scratching my head on why they let it get to open beta that way but it's a moot point now.

  Battlerock

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/12/11
Posts: 731

4/24/13 1:35:44 PM#11
In beta Basketball started out with a rock and a milkcrate
  Suilebhain

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/08/07
Posts: 33

4/24/13 2:00:18 PM#12

My guess is that the producer of the footage is some WoW Fanboi who feels threatened by the prospect of a fantasy MMORPG that may actually attract people away from WoW. Even while playing other games I heard people in general say, almost unbidden, that "TES online is going to suck". When I would ask them how they knew that, they would say something like "I heard some things".

I was in City of Heroes beta and let me tell you, that game transformed radically from when I joined in to when it was released. As stated above, certain elements did not change, but what did change was the level of detail put into the world itself, and the smoothness of gameplay. By the time City of Villains came out, the game was rock solid.

I find it hard to imagine that a game that has Mark Firor on board is going "to suck". Some may hate him because of things done with or to Dark Age of Camelot (or not done, in the case of perceived promises unfulfilled) but the fact of the matter is that DAOC was the game that WoW had to beat when it came on to the scene and that, to this day, had the best PvP system that I had ever seen, and I am not even a big PvP fan. The idea that a guild could capture and hold a keep for days added to the virtual world - none of these 15 minute warzones that are  passed off as PvP these days. In fact, taking artifacts could take all night, or days, and the call to arms that would go out when a realm's artifact was under attack had a galvanizing effect that supported PvP and roleplay, something sadly missing from anything not named GW2. Even there, you cannot log off in a keep and wake up there the next day - instanced PvP prevents continuity.

I am looking forward to TESO, largely because I have pined for such a thing since playing Morrowind. I just hope that the designers remember that it should be a RPG FIRST, and the best RPG setting is a sandbox. There are many of us still carrying the torch for SWG, the best MMORPG ever (pre-Dumbifying).

  Muke

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/07
Posts: 1605

4/24/13 2:04:07 PM#13

lol SWG, that game was dying pre-CU.

broken content, horrifying game engine, lack of content.

 

But i agree, before I found out about it and was exploring; it was fun.

"going into arguments with idiots is a lost cause, it requires you to stoop down to their level and you can't win"

  Telondariel

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/11/10
Posts: 877

4/24/13 2:12:36 PM#14
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by codifier
Originally posted by Nanfoodle
Originally posted by orbitxo

iam  a Big Skyrim fan.

 

saw the leaked video to this mmo= not impressed.

ill wait for offical release-  but prob wont be playing it.
  

Thats what beta is all about. Seen many MMO in beta be a totally play different by release. But I have also found game play footage not to be very telling on how fun a game is to play. 

Tell me an MMO which was "totally different" from it's beta state. MMO releases ends up being pretty much same as betas. You could say that if it was an Alpha.

Except that in the case of this game and this leaked footage we find people not thinking. Surprise surprise.

So let's really look at it (again).

What won't change:

Art Design (which is different from "graphics")

How quests are disseminated and offered

Animations (possible some could change but I've never seen them change dramatically in any beta I've played with the exception of adding some animations that weren't available in the beta)

general game design - won't go from a sanbox to themepark to sidscroller to "whatever"

What might change

Possible High rez textures, lighting, etc will be added into the game over time

Possibly animations but nothing drastic

Possible combat Balancing

Landscape if  additional areas are added

What will change

Higher level content will be added into the game

Additional quests will be added into the game

Additional voices/replacers for place holder voices

Additional cosmetic options though this won't be drastic

pvp system will be added

Crime system will be added

Additional combat skills

What the footage showed us?

Art design

How quests are disseminated and offered

 

that's pretty much it. This isn't an open beta/stress test. It also isn't an alpha or pre-alpha so one should recognize the same game at launch.

 

 

^ Exactly.

 

There isnt going to be anything surprisingly different from what was leaked, and what will be released in a few months. 

 

As a note, I think the article title is a bit off.  Its less about the "Importance of Testing" and a chastisement to the beta testers who are leaking information.  Really, however, its aimed towards the potential customers who are thinking of buying the product or sitting on the fence about it, giving a mild finger-shaking to say, "Its not out yet; its only beta".  Thanks, we get it.

 

Its all part of the hype.  Negative hype is still hype, and it still produces articles written about it.  People will still leak info, others will read it and chat about it..and people will still buy the product.  Its a cycle that we've seen for years.

 

  uller30

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/26/03
Posts: 115

4/24/13 2:14:05 PM#15
What amuses me is that people ie bad review sites or YouTube only with stupid hosts are calling this he finished game product. From closed to other open betas to weekend only tests the finished product is never what you buy(usually) byte images are different, or the whole story line is finally imputed or simply they keep fixing and altering mechanics.
What the person did was ruin or alter people's views for his game which is wrong and I hope his ip/name is perma banned. I will wait till I get y hands on the game or simply form my opinions from ESO. This is not skyrim online.
  Battlerock

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/12/11
Posts: 731

4/24/13 2:40:42 PM#16
This game will be fine, just dont look at it like its skyrim or elder scrolls. Look at it like its an mmorpg with elements you expect and an elder scrolls based lore and story
  Nightsong89

Novice Member

Joined: 9/06/11
Posts: 48

4/24/13 2:47:00 PM#17

I really don't take the leaked gameplay videos as anything more than a leak and a peek at an unfinished game that is still in development and testing the various game mechanics.

 

What I do have an issue with is ZeniMax and their silence on the matter. Yes, I know they aren't required to respond but putting out a gameplay video of their own with developer commentary would go a long way in showing players what the game offers and how it looks and plays. Without that, players are stuck going off of the information developers put out and any leaked gameplay videos, be they good or bad.

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  alias333

Novice Member

Joined: 12/26/07
Posts: 24

4/24/13 3:29:03 PM#18

Zenimax talks too many shit about that leak video is bad,we dont have to make any descussion about and many things more,but HEEEEEEEEy WTF we have just seen beta and this is ESO game and it sucks and i am very very dissapointed because i was waiting for this game. Zenimax talks about sending randomly keys but i know that many people even didnot got any single key in europe countrys.

and this is dear zenimax what happens when you are starting to talk with audiance lies. Aion was also in with cbt1 but mmorpg gave 10 000 keys and did it with all 6 cbt. you are hiding your game from audiance so we dont know whats really is inside. at least make Pre-Order and give people 100% beta access who will pre-order this game.

your lieing toooooooooo muuuuuuuch Zeni,Toooo muuuuuuch. like you allready gave us date release in 6-8 month,be prepeared to compete with archeage. Idiots are working in companies and brained people are sitting at home. Human and nature.

  RelGn

Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/05
Posts: 515

4/24/13 4:10:34 PM#19
The game is in development for years what makes you believe that 8 months more of work will save the leaked video we all saw.

  Lowfer69

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/20/04
Posts: 61

4/24/13 5:47:37 PM#20

   The leaked video was crap and the guy was making sure it looked like crap. I could go into just about any game and turn down the graphics and make them look terrible, not to mention you could tell by what he was doing he wasn't trying to show off any of the actual features. He was doing his best not to actually show you anything. He wasn't playing the game he was doing his best to make it look bad. I mean at the very beginning he went in and changed the UI to make it look as lackluster as possible. He was a troll who had already decided he didn't like the game, he was one of these ES fans who doesn't want the game to succeed. Judging the game based on that leak is wrong.

    I'm not saying the game will be the best ever or anything but basing my judgement on a video put out by a guy who would stoop to leaking isn't fair to the company or the game. We as a community should know better and should be supporting this endeavor in spite of people like that guy. I'm optomistic and this is from a guy who hates the direction of MMO's over the last 10 years. I personally would love it if a company actually had the balls to make a hardcore game again...

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