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Thread: How to be a good beta tester: A quick guide (?)

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    Soulwalker Izzy's Avatar
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    Post How to be a good beta tester: A quick guide (?)

    Been awhile gang,

    With the imminent beta testing phases coming upon us. Id like to review with new and veteran beta testers alike on "How to be a good beta tester" not in the since of 'good behavior' but in the since of what are some good and bad habits to have to developmentally progress the testing process.

    I'd like to hear from the community on what they feel are thing's they have seen in the past that were horrible, and qualities they have seen that were admirable.


    The Good:
    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.
    5.DO support creative new approaches to in-game abilities,play styles and progression types.

    The Bad:
    1. DO NOT play the beta like a shareware demo - It's a beta, not a temp F2P free ride
    2. DO NOT come to the forums to complain at dev's and players alike because "the servers are down AGAIN!"
    3. DO NOT expect conformity within feature sets and game play (this is rift, not "insert the game you're thinking about here")
    4. DO NOT play the beta for 1 day, then proceed to come and make final judgement's on "how utterly terribad this game is" because your experience was not what you expected.


    Of course all of the above are prone to happen, but a comfortable nudge in the right direction might help people understand what does and what does not help the process. Server's will crash, your characters will be wiped...ALOT..and you will have things that are broken, not working, backwards, strange and hilarious. To many people lack the "old school" contributing factors that genuinely helped the development team make the game a number one hit with the fans/public.

    Give me your list and maybe a great experience you've had with beta testing in the years past, and how you've effectively helped make said game a better title.


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    RIFT Fan Site Operator Raive's Avatar
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    I'd search for the other beta tester guide quickie...but even my search skills are beginning to fail

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    Ascendant Apoth's Avatar
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    "please let me into beta, ill be a good tester" post number 1 by izzy.

    WTB the above item .... mine broke

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    Soulwalker Izzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apoth View Post
    "please let me into beta, ill be a good tester" post number 1 by izzy.
    I was counting the minutes before this post appeared xD Thanks for the contribution however.
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    Champion of Telara Nightfall's Avatar
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    This being my first ever post in these forums, I will try to keep it positive. That being said, there are numerous other ones telling our community HOW to go about testing etc. Its really unneeded at this point in juncture, considering how advanced these times are for gamers.

    I would say a majority of us on this site have beta tested games and know exactly how to go about it. Its nice of you to quote TELL unquote us how to, but, again, is repetitive and bordering thread spam now ...

    Please, I implore you, no more THIS IS HOW TO BETA TEST threads. In defense of others, I can see how they think you/others who have posted these threads are fishing for beta invites, essentially telling the devs of your scary testing abilities.

    And alot of times I agree with them. Its border line kissing up, and no one likes a butt kisser, right??? Other then that, for the two people who want to beta test and dont know what it entails, this is for them..!

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    Plane Touched Quesa's Avatar
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    I can't believe I'm seeing people jump on him for making an informative post. It may not be informative to most but still. Despite what most people think, there is a vast majority who don't make good testers, who skip over bug reports and suggestions.

    I can't see a bad thing from reminding people what they need to be doing.

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    Soulwalker Izzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightfall View Post
    This being my first ever post in these forums, I will try to keep it positive. That being said, there are numerous other ones telling our community HOW to go about testing etc. Its really unneeded at this point in juncture, considering how advanced these times are for gamers.

    I would say a majority of us on this site have beta tested games and know exactly how to go about it. Its nice of you to quote TELL unquote us how to, but, again, is repetitive and bordering thread spam now ...

    Please, I implore you, no more THIS IS HOW TO BETA TEST threads. In defense of others, I can see how they think you/others who have posted these threads are fishing for beta invites, essentially telling the devs of your scary testing abilities.

    And alot of times I agree with them. Its border line kissing up, and no one likes a butt kisser, right??? Other then that, for the two people who want to beta test and dont know what it entails, this is for them..!

    There's a lot about your post I do agree with, however, the player base has vastly expanded. If it were just the old patron's of gaming there would be less arguing about trivial issues in an untested game. Of course every forum will have them, But I don't post a lot because I usually only post when I have something of considerably objective importance to say. Not much unlike your self, am an older gamer with a good amount of touted experience. But look at beta's during our gaming prime vs. now. Beta testing was once 3-4 handfuls of people, and now they have risen to over 1000's of testers.

    This wasn't meant to be a "listen up pups you all suck, so do what I say" post, It was simply meant to be informational and contributory. I was honest when I asked for feedback from the Community on previous testing experiences. But again, thanks for the reply, ill keep to my rocking chair and pills and let the young one's discuss what they will.
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    Champion of Telara Nightfall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Izzy View Post
    There's a lot about your post I do agree with, however, the player base has vastly expanded. If it were just the old patron's of gaming there would be less arguing about trivial issues in an untested game. Of course every forum will have them, But I don't post a lot because I usually only post when I have something of considerably objective importance to say. Not much unlike your self, am an older gamer with a good amount of touted experience. But look at beta's during our gaming prime vs. now. Beta testing was once 3-4 handfuls of people, and now they have risen to over 1000's of testers.

    This wasn't meant to be a "listen up pups you all suck, so do what I say" post, It was simply meant to be informational and contributory. I was honest when I asked for feedback from the Community on previous testing experiences. But again, thanks for the reply, ill keep to my rocking chair and pills and let the young one's discuss what they will.
    Props to you for maintaining a sense of humor while dodging a few barbs, good natured though they were. That tells me alot about your temperment and maturity.

    Most people in these forums, PRIOR to the beta testing announcement a few days ago, were/are the hardcore base that will be playing the game. Ive heard different stats about long term original forum members ratio vs casual player base, and always we are in the super minority. But since we are the hardcore, generally speaking, most of us are advanced at gaming,testing whatever.

    And I believe the mode that Tri is using to determine the beta tester base is outstanding. It gives the true fans a better chance at testing rather then the late comers who just read about the games upcoming phase, unlike Bioware and others.

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    Soulwalker Izzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightfall View Post
    Most people in these forums, PRIOR to the beta testing announcement a few days ago, were/are the hardcore base that will be playing the game.....
    The point of the post primarily was to address not the hardcore folks who have been testing for ages, but the new comer's whose first experiences were "World of Warcraft" or even "Aion". Looking back at the release dates for big name MMORPGS there hasn't been much in the way of large scale public testing in awhile. Hence the idea for the post. Just making that clear for conversational purposes.
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    Soulwalker VeganZombie's Avatar
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    It's nice to see a short, quick list of how to properly beta test a game. Most threads I've seen elsewhere for other games usually make a point then elaborate on it for 2 or 3 paragraphs.

    This should be helpful for anyone beta testing who isn't among "the hardcore" and know all there is to beta testing.

    If I could suggest an addition to the list, "DO report all bugs you find, even cosmetic ones such as typos or awkward wording. Don't assume the in-house testing crew will find it."

    Feel free to reword that to fit the concise nature of the OP.
    Graaaaaaaains...

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    Plane Touched Joriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apoth View Post
    "please let me into beta, ill be a good tester" post number 1 by izzy.
    indeed, i was going to say something similiar

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    Rift Disciple Narshima's Avatar
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    I hate when people keep posting beta is not a free trail, beta is not for you to play and enjoy, it is only for finding and documenting bugs. Yes it is for finding buts and working out the kinks from the systems, but here is the secret everybody knows, people that play beta play it for fun. Instead of playing testers money to test their product before it hits the market companies get to pay thousands of testers nothing to work on their product for free. So lets say the average beta tester gets in 20 hours a week and they have a 100 testers paying them minimum wage would run the company in would run the company about $58,000 a month. So instead of paying you they know you are going to play the game to have fun and test it out, not as a job to find all the bugs. They just let in a large number of people and hope that any bugs they find they will post a coherent bug report. If you find 1 bug in beta then you have done your job, if you find two or more that will just make up for those who do not. If you play the game how you normally would play it, and find a bug I would say that is more important to them then some random bug that you get to produce while doing something that 99.9% of the player base would never even think to do. To sum it up if you get in beta, enjoy your time in the game, if something goes wrong let the developers know so they can fix it.

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    Soulwalker Izzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narshima View Post
    I hate when people keep posting beta is not a free trail, beta is not for you to play and enjoy, it is only for finding and documenting bugs. Yes it is for finding buts and working out the kinks from the systems, but here is the secret everybody knows, people that play beta play it for fun. Instead of playing testers money to test their product before it hits the market companies get to pay thousands of testers nothing to work on their product for free. So lets say the average beta tester gets in 20 hours a week and they have a 100 testers paying them minimum wage would run the company in would run the company about $58,000 a month. So instead of paying you they know you are going to play the game to have fun and test it out, not as a job to find all the bugs. They just let in a large number of people and hope that any bugs they find they will post a coherent bug report. If you find 1 bug in beta then you have done your job, if you find two or more that will just make up for those who do not. If you play the game how you normally would play it, and find a bug I would say that is more important to them then some random bug that you get to produce while doing something that 99.9% of the player base would never even think to do. To sum it up if you get in beta, enjoy your time in the game, if something goes wrong let the developers know so they can fix it.

    Well I didn't understand any of that...
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    Plane Touched Samil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narshima View Post
    I hate when people keep posting beta is not a free trail, beta is not for you to play and enjoy, it is only for finding and documenting bugs. <snip> They just let in a large number of people and hope that any bugs they find they will post a coherent bug report.
    Actually it depends on the stage of testing and what the devs want out of it. At earlier stages, the devs are likely to need more focused testing, e.g. the crafting team may need testers to focus only on crafting. That is what Trion is probably doing in the early stages of beta, especially since they are getting only small groups of testers into the game for a limited time each week.

    At later stages, however, the devs are more likely to need large groups of testers as they make more macro-level tweaks like PvP balance, and figuring out what exactly players find fun. Of course there's an argument that large open betas are more marketing exercises than anything else but that's another story for another time.

    Started with EQ, and currently helping out on the Telarapedia while waiting for Rift!

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    Rift Disciple Candela's Avatar
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    +1 from me, it's awesome info that everyone should know.
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