For the past few weeks I have been spammed, yes, spammed with offers from ArenaNet for access to the latest beta of Guild Wars 2 if I pre-order the game.
According to dictionary.com the definition of Beta Test is : Computers . a quality-control technique in which hardware or software is subjected to trial in the environment for which it was designed, usually after debugging by the manufacturer and immediately prior to marketing.
According to Wikipedia: In computing the term ‘beta’ is used as (usually) the last pre-release in the Software release life cycle. It is sometimes referred to as 0.x in version numbers or x.x bx where x represents a number.
According to current marketing strategies, Beta is now early access to the game when you pre-order the game.
At Blizzcon 2011, Blizzard announced their new promotion where you would receive beta access to the latest World of Warcraft expansion and a free copy of Diablo III for anyone who agreed to commit to a yearlong subscription. Since then it seems most new games being released are offering access to Beta if you pre-order the game.
The Secret World was recently release and as with many other games, offered open Beta access for pre-ordering the game. Several people have posted reviews on the game based on the beta access. Some of these reviews indicate how they the reviewer would not be continuing with the game based on that early access (Tobold’s Blog). Others did indicate they would continue to play the game. One in particular from Paganrites indicates how the beta experience almost turned them off the game but they did continue on into the live game and did not regret in the slightest.
Is this early access to the game through the Beta actually hurting the games? Do people get turned off by an unfinished product that does not actually represent the released game?
I haven’t been around much recently. Like many others, I have been spending time in The Secret World. Now that there have been a few open Beta Weekends and the Closed Beta NDA has been lifted, I thought I would share a few thoughts. There have been quite a few reviews of the game, some good, some bad and others just so so. If you want to get a general overview, check out Tobold’s Blog, Kill Ten Rats or Riknas World (3 parts).
I wanted to touch on a few things that might have been missed by others. Quality of life things that I really like about the game. For any longtime Warcraft player who raided in Molten Core, the cry of ‘Loot the Hounds’ still rings in their ears. Mobs being killed and not looted means they can not be skinned. There is no skinning in The Secret World (TSW) but the same this happens. You are running around and you see the loot marker over a body with no one else around. In TSW though, after a short period, anyone can loot that corpse.
Any online game player is familiar with the dreaded, ‘You have been disconnected from the server’ message. In TSW, you get the same message but are asked if you would like to switch to another server. Now this is not a permanent switch, just a temporary connection to keep you in the game.
This is one of the few games that I will always have the music turned up. Not because the music is good, which it is. The reason is that the music is dynamic, it follow the action around your character. For example, you are running down a street, with mobs to the side that you hope to avoid. You run passed and suddenly the music gets more ominous. You look and the mobs are after you. You go into combat and the music changes again to reflect a fight in progress.Everyone know that a good soundtrack in a movie adds whole new levels to a scene. When applied to the game, it makes seem more like a good movie you are participating in.
Everyone touches on the quests in game. Like every other game you get ones to go to a spot, kill some mobs and return. You are then sent out on another quest. With this game, you often get updates by reading a report you just reassembled, reading a report on a computer you hacked, getting a message on your cell or finding a locked store and looking for an alternate source of materials in the phone book. Some quests require a bit of searching and riddle solving. To open a hidden vault, you first locate it under the floorboards in a building, gather items that act as a key and then figure out a riddle to determine the order and which items to use to unlock the vault. There is a quest where you need to follow a ‘Siren Song’. You see the notes in the air and hear the singing.
Like many others, I am currently playing around in the Mists of Pandaria Beta and though I would share a few thoughts. This is not my first beta. I participated in the betas for Fallen Earth, SWTOR, Rift and Tera. I have also played a couple of recent demos from Mass Effect 3 and Kingdoms [...]