The Daily Grind: What MMO offered the best beta experience?

    
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The Daily Grind: What MMO offered the best beta experience?

This week, MMO players have been talking about a game – and also not talking about a game. New World’s beta weekend has been keeping us buzzing all week, but since this latest version is under NDA, most of the first-hand experiences being posted in public (even the good ones) are being made anonymously to avoid detection by Amazon. That’s made the open discussion very lopsided, as the most scrupulous people simply… don’t weigh in. So we’re not getting a clear picture of the experience.

On the flipside, I’ve been in lots of betas that were a buggy mess, but the open back-and-forth with other testers and developers made the experience enjoyable. Not… lately. But I remember when it was common.

What MMO would you folks say offered the best beta experience?

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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Malcolm Swoboda

I’ve been in a few betas, RIFT the longest, and its the one I enjoyed the most. Its too bad that the game declined a little with every year after, but I know for a fact that developers were really taking feedback seriously during that period, even if the period itself was on its narrow path to release.

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Dankey Kang

Rift was fun, SWTOR was fun, WildStar was also fun. Most of the betas I have played have been enjoyable (bar Age of Conan) but the problems usually start to take shape and midgame and are almost always apparent at endgame.

I had a alot of fun with New World the other day, and I hope it gets improved upon in the leadup to release.

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Sleepy

Due to personal circumstances I missed the Tabula Rasa beta, and only joined shortly after launch, wherupon I instantly fell in love with it. Apparently the beta was enough to scare off nearly everybody.

hurbster
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hurbster

Being killed by Gwen in Guild Wars was quite fun.

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Pandalulz

Like all MMOs, there’s a time and place that I remember, and Shadowbane’s beta hit right at one of those points. I had friends with time and we’d get on as a party and go grind it out for hours. It’s the kind of thing that would have honestly made FFXI a blast if those same friends hadn’t been all “that’s a baby game with no real PVP.” Mind, we barely did any PVP in Shadowbane either, but that’s irrelevant at this point. Those were the same assholes that kept dragging me onto the WoW PVP servers as well. Anyway, I don’t remember hitting any bugs, connectivity was good, everything seemed to be working perfectly. Then the game launched, the server connectivity went to shit and the game fell completely apart. But for those few weeks, man, those were some good times.

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Anstalt

Best I experienced personally was probably FFXIV (1.0 and 2.0).

Sure, I didn’t really like the game in either iteration, but the actual beta testing was good. Servers were stable, bug reporting was smooth and easy, and the GMs / devs were polite to the community.

Worst I experienced was SWTOR.

Got invited for a closed beta about a year before launch, only testing out the jedi starter zone. The game was a mess, crashed all the time, and reporting bugs was time consuming (assuming you were trying to do it properly).

However, the worst part of it was EAWare themselves. Submitting / discussing anything negative on the beta forums tended to result in deleted posts or bans. Turned out, EAWare had absolutely no interest in our thoughts at all, they just wanted to use us to gather metrics. That would have been fine if they’d told us beforehand that they didn’t want feedback, but they didn’t.

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Sorenthaz

RIFT was super smooth and they ended it with some insane zone invasions that overwhelmed the zones with rifts, lol.

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Paul

ArcheAge was notable for actually being better than the live experience…. but I also have fond memories of the Fallen Earth Beta

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Bryan Correll

ArcheAge. Too bad it was a poor indicator of the live game

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squid

Having participated in a couple stages of New World testing (and not commenting on the game itself), I can definitely say that the way their community team and devs interact with the players both on and off the forums is absolutely top-notch. It’s the right mix of engagement, disengagement, moderation, soliciting feedback, shutting down bad ideas (politely) and keeping testers informed.

I’ve been in other tests for other games where the devs an CMs are too familiar and hands-on with players, typically to their detriment. AGS just comes across as refreshingly professional in their player communications.