So on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being pure truth and 1 being complete fantasy, this one scores a 1.
As for beta, again, dead wrong. Another 1 on the scale. Beta has been incredible this year. So far the participation exceeds that of Rohan at nearly every level, thousands of changes (without exaggeration) have been made, and I suspect there are a lot more coming before release. In fact, using hunter as an example, the last round of changes to the Hunter were lifted almost entirely from the comments of Beta players.
I was in the Palantir Preview program a few years ago as well as the Rohan beta, so I can personally attest to what Sapience is saying -- betas are real, and they do pay attention to player's feedback. In fact it can be personally rewarding to know that a bug you encountered and reported got fixed before the upgrade got released to the masses.
On topic to what the OP posted, if you take a beta seriously and are looking for problems that need fixing rather then just viewing it as way to get a preview of the next patch or expansion, then it can be a fair amount of work, as well as a bit frustrating trying to work around things that aren't finished or aren't working properly. If you are beta testing a story line or a leveling experience, then it won't be quite as exciting as when it gets released since you are bound to run into bugs or unfinished content in the beta, and of course when it does get released, you will have seen most of the content before. The flip side is that you get to help out with making the game more enjoyable whether it's by finding bugs, or simply providing valuable feedback on features. This isn't unique to LotRO -- I had the same experience beta testing a couple of other MMOs several years ago.
Of course the above only applies to people who've been in a beta before. I would image that for most people who haven't been in a beta before, the reason for not being in the current beta is simply because they weren't invited...
I feel like I've posted this before, but answering OP just in case... I love beta testing. My biggest frustration in playing games is finding bugs. I keep thinking... If I can find this, how could it possibly get past a professional tester (someone that gets paid for quality assurance). I've helped 2 companies beta test (for free, of course) and I've helped a few modders with some significant projects.
The thing is though, I also love playing games. So if the beta isn't rewarding, I'd just as soon play the real game. When I beta tested on previous LOTRO builds, it wasn't rewarding. I would post tons of bugs only to see them carry on to live and last for months if not years. (and I'm not talking about personal preferences... things that are clearly defined as not working correctly). I can't attest as to whether things have improved or not as this was at least a year ago or more, but it felt like beta was nothing more than a stress test. I'll very likely give beta another shot in hopes that things are working differently now as I really do enjoy helping to make a product release bug-free.
If, beta testing isn't inherently fun (the reward being the help I'm providing), then I expect to be rewarded in other ways to justify my time away from other games. So, if I was on someone's payroll, I'll test whatever they want, whenever they want, as much as they want, how they want, etc... but when I'm on my time, I expect to be part of the process... part of the team. I want details, info, feedback, and I want to see that my work is making a difference. I have no issues with the NDA, they serve necessary purposes. But if we are going through the hoops on an NDA, then I expect the tools to help my efforts yield very useful results.
Sorry, couldn't fit this into a bullet.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming "WOW, what a ride!"
[I][FONT=comic sans ms][COLOR=#ffff00]Continuing the never ending battle to keep Lobelia Sackville-Baggins in check[/COLOR][/FONT][/I]
In this day and age the more one says something is completely false in reality the closer to the truth it really is. It's called spin. I never saw one fact all I saw was some numbers with no facts backing them up. So don't stop thinking about conspiracy theories quite yet. Lets wait and see what is said after the nda is lifted.
Mean what you say and say what you mean! If you don't there are always consequences!
In theory, by the time something reaches beta, I would have hoped the devs had been listening to user feedback via whatever means they lay at the users disposal (in this case things like the suggestion forums and comments to dev diaries etc ) .
Or to put it another way, my way of thinking, beta should be more of a bug finding exercise than anything else.
I haven't a clue what's going on in Lotros beta, but reading sapiences comments, if there has been literally 1000s of changes that weren't simply bug fixes, if the hunter class has been changed entirely from what the beta players said, it kind of looks like it maybe wasn't quite ready for beta?
Surely before devs spend months and months designing and implementing changes/new things, they need player input. And way before it reaches beta stage, those players with access to the earlier stages should be saying if there's any problems with the design etc.
Presuming the last round of hunter changes that were listed from beta players took place during the last month (based on the beta key give-away ads for facebook), it's a little worrying that this close to release, players are having to tell the devs to change things.
Nothing wrong with that way of working to a point, it happens everywhere, but I do agree with trancejeremy that by the time it gets to beta, it should be about bug testing what's been given to us.
Closed beta when there's still loads of bugs that needs finding, open beta when they're confident most have been ironed out and they want to see how the servers handle the load.
Looking at how buggy the previous release was, I wonder whether a similar thing happened there, and if so, maybe what's happening is that beta players are spending too much time doing other things rather than trying all the content to look for bugs?
- I'd rather spend my time playing on my normal servers, instead of standing still Maybe I'll join some other time when I don't have to spend all my game time collecting bounder's tokens
- I'll probably get confused when things change and not remember that stuff has changed, which will become troublesome after beta XD
;) [COLOR="#9999ff"]“There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading to the same place, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.” ~ Hindu Proverb[/COLOR]
I'm afraid my hamster won't be able to handle two LOTRO's, along with the other games I have installed.
R6 Blackarrow, Sentry Savemepls Crykid
Entered beta, realized within five minutes upon trying to re-spec my toon that this expansion and its class changes most likely signified the end of my enjoyment of playing this game, decided that I would much rather enjoy the few weeks of playtime I had left.
Personally I prefer the current system to the new system, however when I play the new system each beta, the more I do so, the more I emjoy it.
It does however feel like playing a completely different character.
But there's no way after 5 mins you can really make a rational descision as any change will be a shock to the system. Some of the beta players hate the new system, some love it. I respect both parties descsisioins, however most of those that dislike the changes, have persevered through all the betas, given constructive feedback, and some have changed their minds and while they still prefer the current system, say they will be happy playing the new system after all the changes.
My point being, everyone's entitled to their opinion whether they love or hate it, but you cant really make that decision after a 5 min try when your not even sure how the new skills work etc.
Give it a proper try, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised, you may not, but at least give it a fair trial.
I hated it at first but after speaking to my old kin leader who is also in beta and he explained how some of the things work and why they were needed, I ended up changing my mind and pre-ordered helms deep.
I've been playing my toons for 50 to 85 levels each. I like playing them. I like playing them just the way they are.
If I want to learn how to play a completely different character, I'm not going to do it in a setting that I've seen before, where every instinct I have for how to play my class is suddenly wrong. If I want to learn how to play a completely different character, I'd rather do it as a fresh start in a new game.
The real question here is, how long are people going to stick around at something that used to be fun, working at relearning it so that it becomes fun again?
I don't know what everyone else's answer to that is going to be. I only know my own threshold. Honestly, it's pretty low. Other people may feel vastly differently.
Or, y'know, maybe not. I guess we'll find out.
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