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Reader Comments (10)

Posted: Apr 17th 2008 4:06PM (Unverified) said

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If you have to pay a third party for access, I hardly call it an 'open' beta.

I disagree with these "exclusive access" things that FunCom has been doing. It does nothing but further promote the idea that the game truly isn't ready for prime-time, since they're resorting to contracts and making money off of the business that GameSpot and GameSpy/IGN are making from the publicity. Further limiting the number of people and even the amount of content they'll have access to is even more discouraging, since this suggests that they're either not totally done with the content they're restricting, or they're so confident that the content and game is ready that they would rather save it for live and play russian roulette with their chances.

At this point, I predict that they game may launch 10x better than AO did, and might even give FunCom enough momentum and potential to get people back to playing AO (which is still working and actually playing like a real sci-fi MMO), but they won't be able to compete with the hardcore players that will level faster than they can finish cleaning up the mid-to-high level content in order to retain them for a long period of time.

And no, I'm not mad that I'm not in beta...I could honestly care less, as I'm more inclined to go with Warhammer right now than AoC. I'm just trying to be realistic. :-\

Posted: Apr 17th 2008 4:23PM Triskelion said

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Based on the current beta and the comments of those on the beta forums there are a ton of bugs. I have an invite but I'm choosing to not take part in the AoC beta for numerous reasons -

1. Buggy betas are the first impression that I get of a game and its hard to shake those thoughts once the game goes retail.

2. The beta is a massive download and their patch servers are sloooooooooooooow. I'm not interested in downloading 20 gigs, then patching the game over night.

3. Being in a beta does take away that initial excitement.

You're not missing anything, yes exclusive sux - but save yourself some hassles and just wait for the retail release. Better yet, if you're patient and you can wait give the game a few months before you even jump in.

I predict several patches, and definitely a patch on or around launch day to get this game stable. No, you're right - it won't be AO, but it will be fugly.

Posted: Apr 17th 2008 4:32PM (Unverified) said

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Are they supposed to give away free play time to the general public? Are they required to? I think we all have been spoiled to the point that we expect to be able to play free beta one month before the game comes out when we get a second month free with our purchase.

There are plenty of people who subscribe to FilePlanet just for this type of thing. Myself included. Who do you think pays for all the bandwidth of running an open "free" beta? Who do you think pays for the server farms to run it? That they would want to recoup some of these costs for the stress test sounds like smart business to me. I'm not disappointed at all, in fact I admire their good business sense.

And not letting people advance past level 13 doesn't sound like some trick to hide bad content to me. A more realistic reason for it would be to limit the amount of content that the hardcore players would see right away. They want most people to be on even ground upon release.

Another reason for it would be that by limiting the content to level 13 perhaps the download will be a reduced size because they don't need to include most zones. If you had a 10 gig download for the beta you wouldn't be too happy right?

Posted: Apr 17th 2008 7:23PM (Unverified) said

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@Being spoiled: Can't be helped. Regardless of how much internal support Blizzard already had because of their offline game brands, people have seen what a MMO with enough polish and love can do, and the benchmark has been set. First impressions are a big thing, yes, but if the dev has a prior rep, that's going to play a big part too, and AO is still a big sore in the eyes of those that were around for it's launch. If they really wanted to make amends, they're going to have to do better than this.

@Limited content: Glass is half-full or half-empty. We won't really know if either of us is right until the game launches.

@Limited space size: I agree with this, but good Lord...30Gs for the main install is outrageous. That's like 6 DVDs...you could fit every other mainstream MMO out there and their expansions with that much space and have 30x more content. I can only imagine a few months after the game launches that people start crying that their hard drive hates them with a passion for having to read so much data everytime they play.
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Posted: Apr 18th 2008 10:44AM Saker said

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I'll never pay to beta a game, thats ridiculous. More power to those stupid enough to though. Their choice.

Posted: Apr 18th 2008 12:49AM kurros said

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Aren't the first 13 levels supposed to be mostly single player anyway?

Posted: Apr 24th 2008 5:16PM (Unverified) said

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I was extremely excited about AoC, but the fact that you have to pay to open-beta the game screams that it is nowhere near finished.

Every day I hear a new/revolutionary feature has been scrapped, and about the multitude of bugs that still exist. At first, I assumed this was simple rabble-rousing by nay-sayers.

However, a company who refuses to allow anyone to see their game without paying (paying for open beta/paying for collector's edition early pass/regular game), shows that the game is not ready. If it were a fun, polished experience, a fully free and open beta would bring in subscribers.

Because they know only die-hard fans will pay to take part in the "open" beta, they know the fence-sitters will wait until release. The fact that they don't want fence-sitters to see the game shows me it is in a mess.

I beta-tested EverQuest (original) and WoW. Both games had bugs, but were incredibly fun and innovative. Both experiences drove me to purchase the product for release. Funcom's lack of willingness to show their "nearly finished" product speaks volumes to how successful it will be upon release. A good, free, open beta draws in future purchasers and subscribers. A semi-closed one drives them away.

Posted: Apr 25th 2008 5:49PM (Unverified) said

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In my oppinion, you guys on here saying that the game is un-polished and and buggy are wrong. I beg you to go read about Pirates of the burning sea and Richard Garriot and his Tabula Rasa. Those games bombed big time b/c they allowed too many people to get into the game before it was a polished product.

I believe this fact to be more true than any stated prior and that is the fact that the game actually isn't ready yet. They still have bugs and don't want alot of people to be turned off by that fact. The good news is, they have 1 month remaining to fix the bugs and all of us "exclusive" access open-beta testers will be there to assist them.

Posted: Apr 30th 2008 2:05PM (Unverified) said

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So many opinions with so little facts to back them up.

The long story short is that if you aren't willing to do bug reports up to and including reproducing those annoying little errors clientside instead of just smacking the report error button and getting back to grinding, then get the hell out of our Beta. The Beta testers are what make the game playable for you ungrateful whiners.

The truth is that no MMO or game for that matter will run 100% smoothly until it's been put through its paces by at least 50,000 total Beta Testers. Phantasy Star Universe had roughly that many and it still was utter crap on game day.

You're spoiled. And what's worse, you're ungrateful and accusatory. You think you can make a better game and have better business savvy? Go make a company and do it. Until then, shut up and leave us to our debugging.

Posted: May 4th 2008 6:24PM (Unverified) said

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PotBS open beta was the deciding factor for me NOT buying the game. It wasnt what I wanted and I am glad I got to test it out and see for myself before shelling out 50 bucks + subscription. AoC is trying the sneaky advertising campaign. Its not really looking to be great. I will be good. But I would like to see if it was something that I wouldnt mind spending 50+ bucks on before I make that dedication on my hard drive. WoW is boring to me.. DAoC was ok but I got tired of it quickly, and Everquest I hated its user interface... that I found out in beta and decided to go to Asherons Call. Which was a much simpler and smoother game to me. Did the beta for Starcraft back in the day and I bought the game because I LOVED what the game was. Open beta is more than a cheap fix for those players too cheap to buy a game, its a way to "test" drive the game and see if its for you.

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