What brought on talking about betas? Well recently the Folks at Carbine Studios responded to a leak of their patch notes. Their response was epic. Jeremy Gaffney even did a Q & A on WildStar Central. Gaffney responded to crap load of questions. The thread is a veritable fount of information about the game. I even weighed in and just put some thoughts and wishes that were not even a part of the patch notes. Gaffney even responded to that. How cool is that? The guys and gals at Carbine are an amazing bunch in my opinion. Their passion for gaming and gamers goes a long way in my book. Gaffney cemented even further my faith in Carbine to make an amazing game that I cannot wait for release.
I have been in some closed betas and I always try to get into open betas if possible. Many game studios these days seem to use beta periods more for hype building instead of fixing the game. The guys at Carbine Studios seem to be going the opposite direction which is a Good Thing ™. Beta periods should be about refining the game and finding the quirks. Game breaking bugs like crashing and such are usually found with in-house QA. UI testing and the such can be done with automated testing programs. WinRunner was one I used to use back in the day when I was in QA at a software company that made time and attendance applications. Supposedly Vanguard Saga of Heroes went the other way I do not know if the following is an “urban game myth” or truth. I would hazard a guess it is both. However, the scuttle butt I heard was that devs there changed the game there like Elizabeth Taylor changes husbands. If there is truth to this then it seems that there was a lack of focus in the vision. It was this lack of focus that made the game so bad at release. Vision can only go so far without focus. The guys at Carbine seem to have both the vision and focus right now.