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Old 2011-07-24, 12:37 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
SavageB
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A Guide on How To Be A Good Beta Tester


I know beta testing could be a while away, but I figured Id post some key points on what/what not to do during a beta test for when it hits.

Points to keep in mind if you are chosen:

1. DO report bugs with vast amounts of information, screenshots and timestamps.
2. DO test as many features as possible in as many ways as possible.
3. DO consult with other tester's for answer's to potential problems you maybe experiencing in-game before making an angry post in the forums.
4.DO suggest as many changes with as many justifications for your creative suggestion's. ( this is a big one, it's one thing to complain about a feature or lack of then just saying "this sucks" and not give a creative explanation or remedy for the problem)
5.DO support creative new approaches to in-game abilities,play styles and progression types.


The DO NOT's of beta testing:

1. DO NOT play the beta like a shareware demo - It's a beta, not a opportunity for F2P free ride.
2. DO NOT come to the forums to complain at dev's and players because the servers maybe down, usually a reason for it.
3. DO NOT expect conformity within feature sets and game play. As in comparing one game to PS2, this is a different game.
4. DO NOT play the beta for 1 day, then come and make final judgement's on "how utterly terribad this game is" because your experience was not what you expected (this is pretty common). Be realistic.
5. DO NOT talk about the game outside of beta test forums allotted to you. IE. do not tell your friends family anything about the game as it can get you in trouble under the NDA.

If any one here does not know what an NDA is, it stands for Non Disclosure Agreement, its a waiver that you must sign confirming that everything during the beta test much be hush hush.


If you are selected for beta, I hope you test it for the right reasons, the more feedback SOE receives during the beta the better this game will be.

Best of luck!
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Old 2011-07-24, 12:43 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
Bags
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Re: A Guide on How To Be A Good Beta Tester


6.) Break everything.
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Old 2011-07-24, 12:44 AM   [Ignore Me] #3
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Re: A Guide on How To Be A Good Beta Tester


Is there even a beta coming soon? Anyway kind of pointless to post as people will play it like its the real game anyway. That's why more MMO's are waiting until really late to do a open beta anymore. Sometimes only doing it on weekends to save costs. An pretty much treating like a demo/marketing tool.

Most of the testing will be done by professionals an small selected groups of outfits I imagine during closed beta.
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Old 2011-07-24, 12:48 AM   [Ignore Me] #4
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Re: A Guide on How To Be A Good Beta Tester


Originally Posted by Sifer2 View Post

Most of the testing will be done by professionals an small selected groups of outfits I imagine during closed beta.
>implying you can test a game of this scale with small groups of players.

Smed has said current subscribers will be among the first into beta. suck it
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Old 2011-07-24, 12:52 AM   [Ignore Me] #5
SavageB
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Re: A Guide on How To Be A Good Beta Tester


Originally Posted by Sifer2 View Post
Is there even a beta coming soon? Anyway kind of pointless to post as people will play it like its the real game anyway. That's why more MMO's are waiting until really late to do a open beta anymore. Sometimes only doing it on weekends to save costs. An pretty much treating like a demo/marketing tool.

Most of the testing will be done by professionals an small selected groups of outfits I imagine during closed beta.
An open beta is usually 1-2 months before release, mostly for stress tests. There will be a closed beta for this game, as bags mentioned most likely the current subs will have access.
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Old 2011-07-24, 01:00 AM   [Ignore Me] #6
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Re: A Guide on How To Be A Good Beta Tester


Yeah. One of the things they've been stressing is how much they want to listen to feedback in beta. It'd be rather silly if they had the shortest beta possible with that goal.
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Old 2011-07-24, 01:04 AM   [Ignore Me] #7
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Re: A Guide on How To Be A Good Beta Tester


Originally Posted by Bags View Post
>implying you can test a game of this scale with small groups of players.

Smed has said current subscribers will be among the first into beta. suck it
You can. Basic software testing for bugs is done via code, not human testing. What they probably want is a group to stress test the server. They will get that
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Old 2011-07-24, 01:36 AM   [Ignore Me] #8
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Re: A Guide on How To Be A Good Beta Tester


External alpha and cb testing is usually basic functionality testing. You don't have enough bodies for any kind of stress test but you have plenty of eyes to examine interaction between systems as they are introduced. A whole lot of macro balancing happens as well.

Systems and content feedback is probably the best things an external tester can provide. Try to break things but you likely won't find much. Engines are so compartmentalized anymore that most issues are easy to track and nail down.

Be objective; trying to get the game to suit your play style doesn't help anyone.
Be verbose; the more relevant info you can provide on a bug or design defect, the better.
Be polite; you are a guest in someone else's house.
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Last edited by exLupo; 2011-07-24 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 2011-07-24, 01:40 AM   [Ignore Me] #9
SavageB
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Originally Posted by exLupo View Post
External alpha and cb testing is usually basic functionality testing. You don't have enough bodies for any kind of stress test but you have plenty of eyes to examine interaction between systems as they are introduced. A whole lot of macro balancing happens as well.

Systems and content feedback is probably the best things an external tester can provide. Try to break things but you likely won't find much. Engines are so compartmentalized anymore that most issues are easy to track and nail down.

Be objective; trying to get the game to suit your play style doesn't help anyone.
Be verbose; the more relevant info you can provide on a bug or design defect, the better.
Be polite; you are a guest in someone else's house.
All good points
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Old 2011-07-24, 01:46 AM   [Ignore Me] #10
SurgeonX
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Re: A Guide on How To Be A Good Beta Tester


Originally Posted by Roy Awesome View Post
Basic software testing for bugs is done via code, not human testing.
Crikey, you must work in some sort of amazing development utopia

If you are talking about unit testing, then yes, it can be used to ensure that the code is correct before being checked in. But where I work, bugs are still identified by manual and automated scripts, and ad-hoc testing.
I can't imagine any Test Team Leaders in our place trusting only unit tests to find bugs.
But then, we do have 20 year old spaghetti code with a mish-mash of UI, business and data layers.
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Old 2011-07-24, 01:59 AM   [Ignore Me] #11
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Re: A Guide on How To Be A Good Beta Tester


If what we've lead to believe is correct, the early beta testers may have a great deal of influence over what we end up receiving as the finished product, so I certainly hope anyone lucky enough to gets in doesn't just treat it as a try before they buy...

I'm looking at you.
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Old 2011-07-24, 02:11 AM   [Ignore Me] #12
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Re: A Guide on How To Be A Good Beta Tester


Originally Posted by Vancha View Post
...I certainly hope anyone lucky enough to gets in doesn't just treat it as a try before they buy...
The majority will, sadly. Looking back at the Global Agenda alpha, the steam group was small and about 20 of us regularly posted. Early closed beta grew much larger and and still only had about 50-100 regular posters across all forums.

The external alpha percentage is usually fairly good because they're hand picked. CB is pretty poor because it's usually machine selection. However, that's taken into account when making those numbers. You get a percentage of actual analysts and then the rest are there to provide game context for those analysts to do their jobs. Can't test in a vacuum.
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Last edited by exLupo; 2011-07-24 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 2011-07-24, 02:16 AM   [Ignore Me] #13
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Re: A Guide on How To Be A Good Beta Tester


Originally Posted by Bags View Post
Yeah. One of the things they've been stressing is how much they want to listen to feedback in beta. It'd be rather silly if they had the shortest beta possible with that goal.
$ makes the rules, sadly. Not everyone can support a years worth of Betas like starcraft2 had.
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Old 2011-07-24, 02:46 AM   [Ignore Me] #14
SavageB
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Re: A Guide on How To Be A Good Beta Tester


Originally Posted by CutterJohn View Post
$ makes the rules, sadly. Not everyone can support a years worth of Betas like starcraft2 had.
Ya true enough but I think we will have a decent beta with PS2.
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Old 2011-07-24, 04:17 AM   [Ignore Me] #15
Sifer2
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Re: A Guide on How To Be A Good Beta Tester


Originally Posted by Bags View Post
>implying you can test a game of this scale with small groups of players.

Smed has said current subscribers will be among the first into beta. suck it

I'll believe it when I see it. Did he say ALL subscribers would be the first into beta? Cause if not then I could still be right. That they will pick certain outfits an do most of the testing with them.

I do see your point about it being hard to test large scale combat without thousands to actually slug it out. But that doesn't mean they will open the floodgates for a year or more of testing to every subscriber. Well if you had to stay subscribed then maybe since it would pretty much be a pay to play Beta then.
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