Beta Fatigue

  • Post author:
  • Post category:MMORPG

MMO Beta FatigueI’ve been playing a ton of beta tests these days, and I’m once again reminded of Beta Fatigue or Beta Burnout.  There comes a time during a beta test when I believe playing becomes detrimental to my future enjoyment — to everyone’s enjoyment.  For me, that’s usually the second I realize I’ll lose my character to a wipe.  I become emotionally detached, unable to form any connection to my character or the game.

Yesterday I talked about the newbie experience being one of the best experiences available in a modern MMO.  Ironically, that’s the part of the game the devs keep people testing the longest.  I get why it’s tested so extensively, and I don’t.

I want to experience one of the best parts of the game with fresh eyes, fully attached to the game and my character.  Now, I completely understand that beta tests are optional and I am under absolutely no obligation to opt myself into them… but I suffer from wanting to know what other people know.  I’m naturally curious, and the urge to ‘try before I buy’ dominates my decision.

To further complicate things, some of these games are destined to be 3-monthers. Does part of that 3 months get eaten up by testing time?  You better believe it.

Do developers work harder to limit the number of exposures players have to their content before launch? Do they severely limit testing to a select few, then not wipe once more people get access?  I think there needs to be greater emphasis on true testing and less on utilizing a ‘beta’ for marketing efforts.

  • I only beta test games which i dont think i will buy. Basically it is their chance to win me over. Games that i am interested in from what i read, i dont test and just read forums. This to me is a win win situation. I dont suffer that burnout or been there no new excitement day 1. I usually wont buy the games i dont think i will like and if i am pleasantly surprised well bonus. I usually only beta test to lvl10-15 max and then drop it or try an alt for a bit if it is appealing.

    I think this is the best mindset and way to do it for MMORPGs. For moba games, i beta it as much as possible because it wont change at launch, its just a free start.

  • I’d be curious whether anyone who develops MMO’s actually likes the modern marketing beta, or whether this is solely an invention of the marketing team to drum up pre-launch hype. It certainly seems like a potential distraction when you see how much development work many titles have at the point where they’re also trying to deal with the public getting into the game.

    I think concerns about players “using up” the content are part of what is driving the push to paid, managed-access beta weekend events, rather than the traditional multi-month testing phase with open servers. By requiring a non-refundable pre-purchase for “beta” access you lock in some of the revenue, and by limiting the time the servers are available you help keep players from using up all the content (or, worse, finding out how little content there is).

  • If an MMO came along that actually looked interesting, I might beta test it as sort of a trial. I fell in love with both EQ and WoW during their beta tests.

    That said, it’s been a very, very long time since an MMO has looked interesting. If there’s a beta for EQ:N, I might give that a go.

  • I don’t always play betas, but when I do I try not to get too far in any one area. My beta chars are never very high level but I might have a few of them and I’ll dabble in as many professions as I can. In my opinion those early beginnings need to hook me anyway so if it’s not fun I don’t need to see more. This goes along with Keen’s writeup of “The first 10 minutes”

  • Atleast you can get into betas. I never seem to get into betas until they hit open Beta.

  • Was looking for a somewhat appropriate appropriate post to hijack for

    Man I looooved Shadowrun! Gonna pick up the re-boot tomorrow…a kickstarter win is a win for all of us!

    (figured since we were kind of fed up with beta’s this was somewhat appropriate but this was big news for me and thought it was appropriate to share with a blog that respects the old school as much as y’all)