The Daily Grind: Do you make use of your MMORPG’s public test realms?


The patch server. The PTR. The PTS. Whatever your MMORPG calls it, it’s probably got one: some sort of publicly accessible server that gets the patch before the live servers. (Unless you’re Guild Wars 2, in which case there is one, but you’re not cool enough to visit it. I’m not either, so I can relate.)

I’ve always been a bit leery of these servers. I understand why they’re essential to a live game; they allow a larger pool of players to test things the paid testers cannot possibly find. On the other hand, it annoys me when players are asked to do unpaid QA. And maybe more importantly, these servers also allow the Bad Guys a jump on the latest exploits, which they then bring over to the live servers unreported. So sometimes I wonder whether GW2’s approach isn’t better — sure, sometimes nasty bugs make their way live thanks to limited private testing, but maybe it’s worth that risk.

What do you think about the necessity and function of public test servers for MMORPGs? Do you make use of them for the games you play?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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