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Reader Comments (36)

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 8:12AM belgeode said

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I've always taken it as a given that my characters are never kept on after a beta period is over. It is considered the norm for me. Losing them at that time and starting over is not something I dread.

How many games HAVE allowed you to keep the characters you made from beta? In all the betas I have been in... none.

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 10:02AM Amlin said

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@belgeode Pretty much this. The only ones that let you keep toons made in the testing phase were korean made games from my experience.

I don't get bent out of shape about beta wipes, to me I always laugh when people ask in forums if they can keep their toons.
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Posted: Jan 11th 2012 4:31PM Samael said

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@belgeode

Most of the F2P titles are in perpetual beta. You get to keep those characters.
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Posted: Jan 11th 2012 8:20AM Maseno said

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It is common practice for F2P games to roll over characters from open beta into launch. That isn't really saying much since a decent portion of F2P games stay in perpetual "Open Beta" for their entire life.

That being said, if I get into a beta I won't really play it all that much unless the characters roll over. Reason being, I can find some bugs here and there with casual play and not burn myself out. Getting to max level in a beta and then having to do it all over again at release is meh...

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 8:23AM Sorithal said

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I typically don't play the game to its fullest during beta phases so I don't have things spoiled, but I do play enough to know if it's something worth continuing after the beta - regardless of if there's a character wipe or not. If I find it worth playing, losing the character doesn't phase me too much because I'll be excited to play through the content more seriously and in-depth.

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 8:42AM (Unverified) said

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The determining factor on whether a character should be kept or not is the release of a cash shop. Anytime they start asking for money, its released - launched. Companies that keep the game in open beta once cash shop is out want to have the excuse that "its only beta", "we don't replace items due to bugs" attitude.

As for my participation, I hate to say this, but I view closed betas, where most of the characters are getting wiped, as a sneak peek. Will I like this game? I always get into closed betas late so most of the major easy to find bugs has been found already. Of course, I don't play it for reals. I don't spend too much time on it. I just try to learn the game if I like it.

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 8:53AM nhat said

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What don't people get about the word beta TESTING? Do people want a CHANCE of getting a glitchy servers and characters after the beta?

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 9:06AM Apakal said

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@nhat

I don't think all betas are purely for testing.

Beyond that, just because a game has a beta doesn't mean its not going to be glitchy at release. This largely depends on development time frame, personnel, and budget.

Because of the way the industry operates now, the above mentioned commodities are often in short supply. Betas have shifted from a testing-oriented experience to one more catered toward drumming up a buzz and possibly making some early cash. It basically amounts to free marketing.

I think developers need to be more forthright and honest with the intentions of their beta process. How many times do you see repetitive complains about in-game issue that have been there since beta? I see it often and it can take years to fix. In these circumstances, its fairly obvious that testing wasn't really a part of the beta, which should have been stated from the beginning. Jumping on board early in a situation like that should give you some sort of benefit, because you aren't necessarily helping to improve the game.
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Posted: Jan 11th 2012 10:06AM Amlin said

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@nhat Companies should just stop calling it open beta and just rename it "Demo Phase", it's in the Alpha where the real work happens.
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Posted: Jan 11th 2012 3:47PM Cyroselle said

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@Apakal True enough. Are they calling it a 'beta'? Sure, they are. Is there a cash shop? Indeed there is. Therefor it's not really a beta, the company is just shining people on with a convenient excuse in case there are any glaring bugs in their game... and if so, there's roughly a 50/50 chance those bugs get fixed...
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Posted: Jan 11th 2012 8:53AM OptimusPrimeisOP said

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I play as I would play in live. When the game comes out, I reroll the same character. That is, unless I truly didn't think it would be my main. I will think about what I did in beta and change what I didn't like, and emulate what I did. I usually level a lot faster, and have a better grasp of my character at that time.

I think that beta characters should be wiped, unless the game has a free for all public beta for more than a few months.

I saw a few people cry about how there beta characters in SWTOR got wiped, but in that game I find it appropriate.

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 8:57AM Apakal said

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This depends on the beta. If its a super early "hey come help us find bugs" real beta, then I naturally expect my character to be wiped.

But if its a one month to release "hey this beta is really a demo" fake beta, then I can see times where keeping my character would be pleasing.

Besides that, I'm not a player that races. Getting a head start by keeping a character through beta wouldn't be much of an advantage for me. I would actually enjoy the position of experience and being able to help new players along and get to know the community better.

Betas being typically smaller communities withe emerging and recognizable players, it would be nice to be able to spend time with players/characters and upon release to pick up right where you left off, recognizing who you played with and having a better grasp of their skill and playstyle.

And it would also help alleviate burn-out for avid beta testers. You just beta'd your way through the typically boring early levels, and now they want you to do it again? Where's the fun in that? Its too early to re-roll and the opening experience is still to fresh in my mind. Its very possible for a player to really start what could otherwise be a great experience with a negative mindset.

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 8:58AM (Unverified) said

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Beta characters are just that, Beta characters. I dont think they should be kept into into the live game.

I'll admit, when I played the beta for SWTOR i found the class I really liked and wanted to play in live, so when it went live I had to start again and doing all those quests again wehich yes is kinda tedious when you have already done it but thats just part and parcel of taking part in the beta. It did make going through on Live quicker cos I knew what I was doing already and I think thats enough of an advantage to get from Beta testing.
You aren't in a beta to primarily play and level your characters as such, you're there to test the game.

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 9:24AM Dezyne said

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I personally always play as the opposite faction, or an alternate race to the one I inted to play at launch to avoid playing the same game twice. I almost always play the same main character class though, I'm just a sucker for casters.

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 9:25AM MithranArkanere said

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I've seen some games keep beta characters. This usually only happens from open beta to final release, and when there's no major changes when the beta status is removed.

In those case the "beta" is more something like a marketing tool than a testing tool.

Betas are a good way to let playesr try your game and get a liking to it, while they also ignore bugs in their consideration for the game by having the "It's just a beta" excuse. Once the beta status is removed after fixing critical bugs, you can take your time fixing small bugs because you already got players hooked up.


So I actually prefer when they wipe the characters, because that usually means that they made many final mayor changes and fixed many major and minor bugs, exploits and bad mechanics.

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 9:38AM Dumac said

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I'm of a conservative opinion here, beta characters should be wiped before launch by any game/company that wants to be taken seriously. Although i can't see what's the harm in keeping the characters, i still hold that opinion and prefer a clean slate.

And those perpetually-open-beta games aren't fooling anyone, when you open your cash shop, you've launched.

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 10:36AM Softserve said

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I think there are a lot of good pro and con arguments... My original thought was that for games with multiple servers that maybe one of the live ones could simply contain old characters... Others can then decide to keep playing on it or go to another new one.

But I think that also introduces some problems. For one, it'll likely be maxed out day one and have horrid queues. The average person will see that as the "main" server and see that it has a lot of people on it (which means more activity) and want to get on it too.

It suppose given time that would lessen, but I imagine it has something to do with the decision.

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 10:45AM koolaroo said

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I don't mind wipes I go into beta expecting to have my character wiped so I won't be upset if it happens. Many times it is just a nessicary part of beta and if that upsets you then you probally have the wrong idea about beta. It is not early acsess it is testing.

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 11:10AM (Unverified) said

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Betas should be wiped, period. The point of a beta is to test for bugs, and when some characters get super powerful from said bugs, it's not fair to other players.

I can forgive not wiping and beta cash shops in indie games, but for a real company, there is no excuse. In fact, I consider it insulting when a major company (like $nail Game) releases perpetual betas when they have no intention of fixing anything in the game.

I can understand in a game like Link Realms with a 2-3 man dev team who need the money a cash shop brings in. I make cash shop purchases to support the game. But it's still not right when the game features PvP and the older players have gear with superior stats and buffs that newer players can no longer find.

Posted: Jan 11th 2012 11:43AM Nepentheia said

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G'dammit! Betas are for TESTING, not for previewing and early access. :-P

The marketing hype crap that's been happening with MMOs more recently has completely perverted the concept of the original purpose and function of betas. >:-(

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