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Reader Comments (23)

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 8:07AM Dril said

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Within the game it concerns, I think your playing history is of some relevance. For example, people who started WoW on each of the different expansions are going to have surprisingly different outlooks on what they consider to be "their" WoW. If someone played from beta, it would be quite interesting to know how their perspective is different from someone like me, who started at launch.

When talking about other games, however, whether or not you were a WoW beta tester really makes no difference whatsoever.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 8:17AM (Unverified) said

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Having been in a few betas I get the impression that most of the people just want to play something new and shiny for free.

I personally think betas (especially the open ones) are just marketing strategy. I got into one of the Rift events and I ended up pre-ordering the game. I probably would not have done so if I didn't get to try the game first.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 11:27AM drakon said

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@(Unverified)

Same here. Rift wasn't even on my radar. I decided to try beta 5 on a whim and ended up pre-ordering it because I like it so much.
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Posted: Feb 16th 2011 8:32AM Dumac said

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About as much as anything else regarding an MMO, your elite armor, rare weapon, achievement and pre-order/collectors edition pet, why should beta participation be excluded or singled out? Though whether any of that has any merit always depends on the context, whether you want to be the wise old man giving insight to the youngsters about the old times, or you just want to compare the size of your e-peen...

And why not? To hell with not being immature! Why does everyone have to be mature? Gentlemen, line up your, uhh, "beta accounts"...

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 8:39AM Pingles said

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I've used it.

It's a good response to "You've probably never even PLAYED that game!"

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 8:47AM Aodhkin said

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Some people just use it to prove there point,its funny you can see this in rift already.

It usually starts with people talking about bugs or improvements, with out fail someone will pipe up with this.
"I have been part of rift since beta phase 1 and ...... etc etc. "

Once you use that line it automatically wins yours argument,because ofc the longer your in a beta the more wise and intelligent you become lol :P

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 8:54AM Haldurson said

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Bragging is only as good as the response it brings. Well, more specifically, it's only as good as the bragger's PERCEPTION of the response it brings, because as far as I know, few people are over-awed by such a claim.

When someone says it to me, I say 'neat', which is about the same response I give when my nephew shows me his loose tooth (minus some glib talk about the tooth fairy, of course).

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 8:57AM KDolo said

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Open Beta, it used to mean something. Not anymore.

Closed Beta on a AAA release like SWToR, I think that's something that people would get envious about.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 8:58AM BigAndShiny said

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I just love talking to all my friends at the bar about how I was in the original beta for World Of Warcraft. They all respect me soo much for that.

/s
in mmos however, i don't really like it when people are like "this isn't as polished as wow" and people go "well wow wasn't this polished in it's beta" TOTALLY STUPID ARGUMENT.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 9:00AM Ergonomic Cat said

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Beta participation indicates that you were interested early on. That's really about it, as above it's the kyrptonite to "noob!"

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 10:03AM (Unverified) said

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I will echo other comments here and say that stating that you beta tested a game at some point in order to bring some sort of mythical credit to whatever you're commenting on... is dumb.

Now if you beta tested something, and then bring up a specific and relevant example that supports your argument, sure, that helps.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 10:27AM thecipher said

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It basically boils down to a archetypical "hipster" attitude, only applied to MMO's instead of music (or whatever else the typical hipster concerns himself with). Basically, it's all about liking (or hating) something before everyone else.

"World of Warcraft? Shit, son, I played that thing when it was still on FLOPPY discs!"

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 10:28AM Ohhlaawd said

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I have stopped trying to get into beta tests. Without exception, I have never purchased a game after playing in its beta, even if it turned out to be a great game.

For example, I played in the Guild Wars Alpha during the "Guild Groups" phase. 10 or so of my old UO friends got invited to the game and burned out on it because it wasn't finished, we weren't dedicated to actually testing it, and there wasn't a big enough population on to really explore the content.

In retrospect I think Guild Wars would have been the perfect game for our gaming community, and we ruined our chance to play it by going into the Alpha with the wrong mindset.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 10:36AM Malagarr said

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Bragging rights? Not so much. But in a discussion about the state of certain games, beta participation is highly relevant.

Does Rift suck because it's a "WoW clone" as some in the Rift beta keep claiming? Well, anyone who played in the original WoW beta can readily recall how many people thought WoW was just a clone of EQ or DAOC. So in that context, participation in a beta is relevant to a discussion.

Similarly, someone saying "I'm bored with WoW" can be taken as a bash on WoW if the context isn't know. Someone stating, "I've played WoW since the vanilla beta and I've just gotten bored of it" is viewed in an entirely different context. The latter person is citing more than six years of play time. Obviously they aren't bashing WoW, otherwise they never would have played for so long.

But as has been mentioned here already, we're in the world of MMOs when we have these discussions. Things like DPS, TPS, + Healing, achievements and gear score all seem to matter to people. Participation in a beta (not a public beta, a closed beta) is as much of a sign of "prestige" as any of the above examples.

Keeping some clarity on things, however, is important. In the realm of MMOs, these things matter. But IRL, they don't mean jack. And in the end, all any of us has is our real world family, friends and experiences. MMOs are a hobby, like watching football or reading books. The instant anyone begins to place real value on such a thing it is a sign they are losing touch with reality and, as we used to say in EQ, it's time for them to "put down the sword and step away from the dragon".

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 10:40AM Jade Effect said

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I snicker whenever someone tries to make himself look more important by claiming he played all the alpha and beta stages.

Speaking of the Normandy invasion in the article, the snicker turns to derisive snort when I see someone refer himself as a "MMO game veteran". Where did such a silly term come from? Just stop. Playing games all day for years do not make you a "veteran". It's about as stupid as someone calling himself a "comic book collector veteran" or a "mountain dew drinker veteran".

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 11:04AM ImperialPanda said

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When you're a kid, sure beta is fun and exciting. And being free doesn't hurt.

But after playing games for 12+ years, and after you get a job, beta seems a little pointless. Why would I play a beta when I could be playing any of 100 other finished games? And why would I spend my time testing a game for someone else? They'd need to be paying me at least $100 an hour.

Using open beta to test out to see whether you'd like a game or not is useful though. Open beta is pretty much the MMO version of a demo of any other genre game.

Bragging about being in beta is laughable. Because being in beta is worthless. You could buy a beta account easily if you really wanted to. It's like bragging to someone you ate McDonald's for dinner yesterday.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 11:51AM Irem said

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@ImperialPanda
If you're interested in game design in general (it's good, if minor, experience), or are a big fan of a particular game and want to feel like you helped the process along, beta testing can be a lot of fun. I like beta testing because I enjoy seeing games in their "under construction" phase, and watching as things change over time or seeing weird stuff happen because the devs are testing a certain feature or whatever is a blast. It's a shame in my opinion that so many people apply to beta test to get a free preview and then storm off disappointed when it doesn't meet with their approval, because if someone isn't at least somewhat interested in the nuts and bolts, I don't think they have any business trying to get into a beta.
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Posted: Feb 16th 2011 12:58PM (Unverified) said

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The only beta that I would ever brag about being a part of was the UO beta. It cost $5 to have the disc shipped to you... downloading the client wasn't even an option back in those days. :)

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 1:32PM Trojan said

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Being in a beta is nothing to brag about. Unless it's the SW:TOR beta. Which I was in. Who wants to touch me?

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 2:12PM madcartoonist said

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The conversations I have had were it came up weren't so much bragging as just giving an idea of how familiar you may be with a game. Now really if you played back in beta but then only play occasionally then it doesn't mean anything. I played LOTRO back in one of their betas but I am also a casual player so there are plenty of people who started playing a couple of months ago that might know more about the game then I do.

Oh, also there can be a level of elitism with when you played beta. Such as was it closed beta or open beta? And since there are usually multiple rounds of beta was it the first beta or the second beta and so on.

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