Mark Jacobs, aka the horse, posted a Q/A on the WAR Herald yesterday (or today?) and “clarified” a lot of beta related questions for the community.
It’s been, ahem, a rather interesting couple of months here in Mythic-land hasn’t it? Fortunately, I’m not here to announce anything nearly as interesting as our recent news. I’m here to talk about good things, some changes and as always to give the community the facts straight from the horse’s (wait for it, wait for it) head.
First, we are finishing up the initial stage of our first major RvR testing and it has gone really well. Our server is almost full nightly and the beta testers are having a great time. The kudos are flying fast and furious and while nothing is perfect, it is safe to say that this stage is exceeding our expectations.
Second, over the last few months there have been a few questions and concerns about our beta program in regards to system requirements, eligibility requirements, admittance dates, general policies and procedures for our Beta Test in North America. While we have tried to be really clear I want to take this opportunity to be even clearer.
Click ‘more’ to see the entire Q/A and my thoughts.
Question #1 – Does everyone who signs up to beta test WAR actually get to beta test it?
Answer #1 – No. Though we would love to allow everyone who signs up to participate in the beta, there is limited access to our closed beta test and access is not guaranteed. Our WAR Beta signup (https://betacenter.eamythic.com/login.php) explains this in great detail: “There are a limited number of Closed Beta spots available and not everyone that applies will be admitted. Closed Beta testers will be selected based on a variety of factors, including computer system specs, game experience, newsletter subscription, and community involvement. The Closed Beta is limited to players 18 years of age or older, and requires the acceptance of the Beta Test Agreement located at the bottom of this form.” A similar statement is also on the cards we have been giving out at shows for the last two years.
Question #2 – What about coming to an event, doesn’t that get me into closed beta?
Answer #2 – Not always. Coming to an event gives you a chance to get selected for a beta slot except for certain special events where we are giving away slots in the beta. We have always been careful to ensure that those who receive the cards understand that entrance into the closed beta is not guaranteed. This is stated on all cards that we have handed out since we began giving them out. At a minimum, getting a card at most events gives you a better chance to get into the beta and a higher priority than simply signing up on our beta page.
Question #3 – What if I’ve won a slot, will I get in?
Answer # 3 – If you have won a slot and meet all eligibility requirements you will get into the closed beta. Out of all the people who have won a slot in the beta through a contest and who meet all of our admittance and eligibility requirements, only 35 have not yet been admitted to the beta. Either because they are new winners or players that have recently updated their dxdiag and the files have not yet been fully processed through our system. This is a small percentage of those who have already been admitted to the beta. Please keep in mind that we are not going to admit people into the closed beta who cannot meet our eligibility requirements at the present time.
Question # 4 – I keep hearing that Mythic isn’t letting a lot of new people into the beta!
Answer # 4 -Over the next few months we are going to be letting in a lot more people. The plan has always been to allow a greater number of people once all the core systems are in the game in one form or another. Large scale and prolonged beta testing of an MMO without all the core systems would be pointless and frustrating for the testers. Remember, we are getting to the point where we want a lot of people to be able to play the game continuously and experience everything that WAR has to offer, even if it is still a little rough around the edges.
Question # 5 – But what about the Guild Beta, when is that going to start?
Answer # 5 – One of the things I’ve been saying for the last few months is that we do not want to invite the guilds into WAR en masse until they can really experience and participate in every aspect of the game. These guys and gals represent some of the most experienced MMORPG players in the North America and Europe, and we want them to see the game when it is in really good shape so they can get as positive an experience as possible with a beta product. They represent one of our core audiences and showing them the game too early would be a mistake. I’m quite sorry that the guild beta has been delayed but as I’ve said regarding our recent delays, we will ship this game when it’s great and not before. And since we have pushed back our release schedule, dates for phases of the beta are pushed back as well. In the end I know that the guilds want the same thing that I do: for WAR is a great game. So I ask the WAR fans in general to be patient just a while longer, the same goes true for the guilds. Once we can lock down a date for the guild beta, we will begin contacting the guilds so they can prepare to unleash death and destruction on their opposing realm.
Question # 6 – I hear that a lot of beta testers aren’t really even beta testing the game!
Answer # 6 – Actually the number of people who won a beta slot and who haven’t even played the game is rather small. However, as of today we have purged the database of those who haven’t even bothered to play the game and you’ll be happy to know that we will be replacing those people with new beta testers when we go to the next major phase of beta. We are currently in a major RvR phase and not only do we have all the active testers we need but adding a lot of new players to the game during a higher end RvR testing phase would be counterproductive. Bringing in new players and then putting them in a higher end RvR session would force them to both learn the intricacies and nuances of WAR at the same time that they would be forced to go into RvR battles against players who have been playing the game for months. That is not the purpose of this phase of testing and I’m sure that most players would agree with me that being thrown into the middle of a high level pitched battle without knowing anything about the game, spells, combat, etc. is not a recipe for success.
Question # 7 – Since you just whacked a bunch of inactive beta testers, are more people going to be invited into the beta than you planned?
Answer # 7 – Yes. When we move to the next phase of beta testing a few things will happen. First, we are going to invite all the people who have won a slot into the beta through contests or through a Warhammer event. Again, winners have to meet all of our eligibility and admittance requirements. If you do that, you’ll be invited into the next stage. Second, in the next stage of beta testing we will be inviting a lot more people (hopefully several thousand more) to join the beta and now that we have some extra slots, well add more than we originally planned. And after, well who knows…
I think that just about covers everything regarding contest winners, events, beta admittance, etc.
As always, I thank you for your patronage, support and interest.
And as required by lawyers around the world my usual disclaimer that this is just our plan and is not a guarantee, promise or blood oath and is subject to change for a whole host of reasons including, but not limited to, gremlins, trolls, faeries, imps and even things out of the ordinary. =)
Translation: My chances of getting into Beta still remain at 0.
The last part makes me giggle because sadly it’s that disclaimer that saves their butts over and over again. “No stealth, CTF, and guild beta invites soon – garunteed!…. but that’s not a promise or blood oath!” Hopefully what he says is true. I hope the beta testers are having a great time and I hope you guys are really testing the hell out of this game.