If I Were In Guild Wars 2 Beta – Shawn’s story
[As promised, here is the winning blog post on the topic of "If I Were In Guild Wars 2 Beta", penned by Shawn and slightly edited for the front page. Stay tuned for the first and second runner ups!]
If I were in the Guild Wars 2 beta, well.. it would probably play out similar to my previous ArenaNet testing experiences. I’ve been an alpha tester of Factions and Nightfall, as well as on the Test Krewe. This testing thing is old hat, to be honest.
While I can’t give specifics from anything while I was in, some general information was obvious even from before then. Members of my then-guild would run off into Ventrilo’s passworded alpha channel at certain times, saying it was “all call” time, but nothing else. Of course, now I know the specifics of this, and how they compile their feedback. Perhaps I should turn this around, and say what you should do if you get in the Guild Wars 2 beta.
Bring a Method to the Madness
One important factor that will differ from alpha testing is that while those tests were typically very small in size, these betas will be much, much larger. This makes me slightly curious as to how these things will go in terms of feedback. Obviously, with a million people signed up, even putting 1% of that number into a forum and asking to post feedback would generate an overwhelming amount of noise.
It would seem that the best way to go about things would be to just go out in the game and start breaking things so that the devs notice. Also note the feedback popup upon completion of events, which can be seen in press videos.. although most of the press hit cancel in their videos. Don’t be like them!
Also, it seemed in this press build that large-scale WvW combat needed some optimization tweaking, and perhaps some trait testing, to see if there unfortunately could be a ‘one good build’ which can be created.
Be Selfless and Give Feedback on Stuff You Know
But ultimately, it depends on what the developers need and want. The best thing a tester can do, to put it bluntly, is just to be ArenaNet’s slaves. If they want you to test picking up strawberries, do so! Don’t go play around in WvW because you think it’s more fun. That’s not the point of a beta! You’ll have plenty of time to have fun upon release.
Another thing to note is that you should only offer feedback based on areas of your expertise. If they’re asking for high-end competitive pvp balance feedback, please don’t chip in with your feedback of meteor shower in your pve experiences and how you think it should be more powerful in a pvp mode which you’ve not stepped foot in. It’s simply adding to the noise of the discussion, making it harder for the more relevant feedback to get through.
Be Patient and Trust the Developers
Finally, while this may be common sense for those of us used to the system, new players may find it hard not to scream bloody murder about things that are bugged, or design choices they disagree with, regardless if it’s in an appropriate place or not. You must have patience, and trust that the devs are getting the message. But if us old testing veterans get in, rest assured we’ll be there to shake our canes and keep these youngun’s in line for a more beneficial testing experience all around.