The beta-debate (rant)

03 Apr


Right now, a LOT of people are disappointed about the “beta invites in waves”. You get the typical “I am a paying customer and demand to be treated that way” etc, the ol’ “I give up, they hurt me too much” drama etc etc.

How are my feelings about it? I’m rather undecided. Yes, it WOULD be great if I could access the beta, but that’s mainly because right now, I have 2 weeks off from work, and would have time to actually try the beta.Then again, there is nothing much I can do to speed up the process, all I can do is hope I’ll get an invite in the next wave (Yes, I did order the annual pass early on, and have been playing for years, AND have been in the Cata-beta, sending in lots and lots of reports and tickets about things that didn’t quite work).

However, I DO understand why some people feel very very disappointed. A lot of people (incl. the WOW-Insider-guys) go “Oh come on, they couldn’t possibly let ALL the annual pass-owners in at the same time, the servers will crash, Blizz has never done this before”.

Sure, if you do know a bit about beta-testing, server-loads etc, maybe it’s totally obvious that they can’t let in all those people (Even though I doubt that all of those who ordered the annual pass would actually want to… a lot of people aren’t interested in beta-testing, downloading the client etc.)

The problem is that Blizz guaranteed access for everyone who bought the pass ONCE THE BETA GOES ONLINE. They said so at Blizzcon, and NOWHERE was there a caveat, going “Oh, by the way, of COURSE we all know that there are server-capacities to consider, so we will do this in waves”.

Nowhere was this mentioned. Also, even though a lot of people now jump on the “Of course it’s in waves, we all know the servers would crash otherwise”… I don’t think the average WOW-player/Blizz-customer knows this, or should HAVE to know this.

What I mean by that is: Those people who bought the annual pass and looked forward to beta-access… they should not be required to know that technical limits would make wave-invites necessary. What they KNEW was that Blizz guaranteed beta-access. Blizz COULD and SHOULD have pointed out that it would most likely be in waves. They know better than everyone else what is required, and should know how much they can handle. Instead, a lot of people now feel misled, and are angry because all kinds of people post about the beta, while they can not get in.

Another point is that Blizz of course has to know what goes on in the community when something like this happens. You have the smart-allicky “Ha ha, you noobs, did you really think…”, and a lot of people feeling a tiny bit betrayed.

I know for a fact that a lot of people expected Blizz to put up several extra-beta-servers in order to accomodate the influx of people. After all, if they go “OK, whoever buys the pass gets access”…that’s a selling-point, and if they DO make it part of the offer, it’s up to them to make possible what they promised.

I am reminded of other situations… imagine you get, say, a contract for a media-package… cell phone, DSL line for your home, phone, all from the same provider, as a package. You get your phone hooked up, get the DSL, but the cell phone is not delivered. When you inquire, you hear that several of the people at work signed up and DID get their cell phone. So how would you react? You call up and ask what is wrong, only to hear “Sorry, we don’t have enough of the phones, so please stay patient, we will send it out as soon as we can”… which is something that a lot of people would not be entirely happy about.

My point is: Yes, of course I know how buggy betas are, that there are server limitations etc. However, if a company offers guaranteed beta-access (as soon as it goes live, as said at Blizzcon), they should either

a) add a warning going “If more than 500K people order it, we might have to do invites in waves. Please know this before you sign up”

b) Add a general warning it would be in waves anyway, because I guess by now, they went through enough betas to know that’s how it works

c) Set up more beta servers. Expensive? Of course, but if you guarantee access for every annual pass owner, it’s only fair if you make it possible

d) Explain what is involved, so people understand why the waves will be necessary… the same day you put the pass up for sale.

e) Make beta access optional. Give players an option to check a box in their annual pass and choose whether they even want to be in the beta.-.. some signed up for DIII and the horsie only. I know at least three people in my GUILD (!) that have beta access and don’t even care. If people could have picked whether they want it or not, the invites could have gone to those that actually care to take part.

f) all of the above? =)

Anyway, a little rant. I totally understand why it is going the way it does, with the waves, but I have low tolerance for people berating others in terms of “Dude, did you really think that would work? You should know that there is limited space on the servers, ha ha” =)

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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Misc stuff, Mists Of Pandaria, Rants


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