I know I’m not alone in feeling beta-fatigue. I hear the same things I feel from you folks in our comments and from our writers too. We’re tired of being asked to pay to perform QA duties for game studios. We’re tired of games rushing to “open beta” soft launches so they can make a quick buck. And maybe above all else, we’re tired of having so much of the game experience spoiled before the “real game” begins.
I didn’t always feel that way, though. When MMORPGs were few and far between, I gobbled up testing experiences, which meant that while I alpha’d classic Anarchy Online (yes, it was that bad) and love to tell the “monsters-that-way sign” story from Horizons, I also got in on the ground-floor with insanely fun betas like Asheron’s Call’s and Star Wars Galaxies’. I even got to test a very early version of World of Warcraft thanks to a dear friend, and I pretty much had to be dragged back out of it because I had such a great time.
It’s been a while since I was that in love with a beta; vanilla Guild Wars 2 might come the closest. What about you? What’s the best MMO testing experience you’ve ever had?