The Daily Grind: What’s the earliest test phase you’ve ever played for an MMO?

    
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Tanks for the memories

An early test phase for any MMO has one major drawback, and that’s the simple fact that it’s not anywhere close to being ready for public release. You’re almost inevitably dealing with half-assembled systems and placeholders that have yet to be filled in, and that’s in the unlikely event that most of the game’s content is in place and you’re not just running around in a half-textured field. It’s kind of a mess, and it remains a mess for quite a while during testing.

On the other hand, though, there’s something to be said for the wild and wooly mess that testing can be for these games. You get to watch as early system iterations roll out and get changed over time, often resulting in some things that provide neat mechanics for a short time. Plus, there’s the fun of watching a game take shape around you. So what’s the earliest test phase you’ve ever played for an MMO?

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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noun

I played Trove when there was only the knight class and the hub was still destructible. I spent a lot of time destroying that hub.

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Brazen Bondar

SkySaga Alpha 3. A tragedy that this game was never released.

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noun

That was a really great game. Kind of mind-blowing they never finished it. Seems like it was practically done during the last part of alpha.

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dthblayde

absolute earliest was probably a dev alpha test of a long gone attempt at an MMO called Fallen Age (if you hung out on the old Evercrest forums, you probably remember the slugs)

2nd to that would be a Friends and Family alpha invite to Champions Online. No clue -how- I got in on that one, since I didn’t know anyone on the dev team.

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MolleaFauss

Does Firefall count? :trollface:

Saluka
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Saluka

Pre alpha tech test or w/e you want to call them. Literally one step up from watching a guy writing code.

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Neurotic

An early Alpha for EQ: Landmark (sob); Hero’s Song (although technically we all were, I guess), and as part of my work in localization, I was in on the ground floor of Granado Espada (the original and Korean name of Sword of the New World).

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James Hicks

Tech-demo / engine-test stage :P

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texyFX

gourmets expect to be served a complete menu. and not a(n often purchased, see early access,) sneak peek into the kitchens busy work…

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Chaos Engine

I was one of the first 300 alpha testers of Guild Wars 1, invited in 2003 because I worked on a local fansite.

Still the proudest entry in my gaming CV.

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Paul

I followed one game all the way from early pre-Alpha to release. Unfortunately I was so burned out on the game by then I hardly played it… Nowadays I just wait till ‘release’