Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The bad beta-tester

As an Annual Pass-owner, I will in short time receive an invite to the MOP-beta. I’ve had an active subscription since august 2007 and signed up to the annual pass as soon as it was available, so I probably won't be the first one, but pretty early still, to get access.

The problem is that I’m not a good beta tester...

Naga Laeleiweyn with Skarr
I was in the Wrath of the Lich King Friends And Family Alpha. I remember I went to Borean Thundra and ran up to the crossroad that goes to the horde camp. And then I made a Death Knight which I did the first quests with; I got as far as to get the mount which I rode around for a bit. It’s animations were very lacking at this stage; when I jumped, my character would “jump” as if it was on a regular mount, while the mount did a totally different move, so that they kind of merged. It was hilarious! But I didn’t enjoy this kind of playing for more than that day. Everything was so clearly unfinished, and whenever I did something, I knew I would have to do it over again “for real” months later.

I had access to the Cataclysm-beta as well, but I participated even less, as I didn’t want to be spoiled. I remember reading PC Gamer-magazine and longing for Vashj’ir, Deepholme and what I think must be Throne of Four Winds or Vortex Pinnacle.

Demon Laeleiweyn (little one) with Demon pet Skarr (big one)
And now we’re at that place again. I’m so excited about the new expansion! I’m literally soaking up any information I can find about it. I want it now!!! Give me one week to finish Loremaster, and I’m ready!
But when I say I want it now, I mean I want the polished and done version... Where Lae explores the new world, collecting achievements and experience and useful things. Where the stuff I do means something, and I don’t have to live in fear that may character may have been deleted the next time I log on.

One year when I was about 11 years old, I had to spend one hour every day when I got home from school "home alone". It was December, and the Christmas presents were piling up. Long story short: Before Christmas Eve came, I knew the contents of all the presents that were addressed to me. It was the most boring Christmas Eve ever! Years later, I would feel that same sting again when asking to get my salary half a month ahead. That pay day I had to watch everyone leave work to go out for a "pay day beer round", and stay home cause I already was broke. I’m worried that launch day will be a little bit less magical than what it usually would if I explore the entire beta. And I’m worried about having Mists of Pandaria available for so long too, won’t it mean I will get tired of it?

Draenei hunter Laeleiweyn with Skarr and 12 Wind Rider Cubs
But things are so different now than what they were last time. I’ve been spending more time in the community outside of the game. I’ve learned that “good beta testers are important”. Is it my obligation to do a good beta test? Or is my beta spot a waste of virtual space if I don’t use it? Should I try to approach this beta different? Stream it? Fraps it? Write about it? Screenshot it? Offer my services to other people that want specific things tested? I’m not a theory crafter, so hours at the training dummy isn’t my style. I could always check out spells, glyphs, talents and tooltips, but Wowhead is so much better at it than me.

Any good advice for me? Should I do it or not? Is there anything you would like to see me check out in the beta?



  1. Anonymous21/3/12 19:38

    I've been thinking along the same lines lately. I wasn't in Cata beta and Cata was my first new expansion. Everything was so new and it was a race to 85. It was frustrating but a little stressful.

    Come MoP I don't want to ruin the surprises on release day so am not going to do any questing on the Beta. My guild is absolutely going to be raiding on the Beta so we'll have a head start at release but other than that I'm going to explore, check out the tameable pets, the Warlock changes for my lock, and just mess around basically. I guess that makes me a bad beta tester too?

  2. If you don't want to spoil it, don't play the beta. It's that simple :) You don't have to play it.
    But if you still want to, if you want a sneak peak at it maybe to share something on your blog, you should also try to give as much feedback as possible to Blizzard by using the ingame feedback survey or the beta forums :) A bad beta tester is a player who plays the beta without giving any feedback.