Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Playing versus testing

My little gnome mage got into his first Dungeon Finder group yesterday, only to find himself the only non-worgen in every party I've been in. In some ways it's not surprising. Worgen are the new alliance race, so it's natural that people would want to try them out. However, the flip side of this is that the starter zones for the other races are almost empty.

Part of the problem here is that people play betas for a variety of different reasons.

  1. Some are playing it to help out with the development of a game they like and their primary purpose in playing beta is to identify bugs and report them. These are the ideal kind of beta-players as far as the developer is concerned.
  2. For some others, it's more about playing the new content, possibly because they feel they have done everything in the existing game. The trouble with this approach is that you are just burning through the new content even sooner and are likely to reach the "bored with Cataclysm" stage earlier. It seems to me that it's better to take a break from the game if you're bored, rather than play the beta.
  3. Some people see beta as a "try before you buy" option - it allows them to decide whether the game is enough fun to be worth spending money on. The trouble with this group is that they are prone to respond to the game as if it were finally released content. This makes them intolerant of bugs, rather than glad to see them.
Of course, most beta-testers don't fall neatly into one category or another. Whilst I'm doing my best to identify any problems and report them, there's no escaping the fact that I am enjoying the new content tremendously.


  1. I haven't been lucky enough to get the Beta, but if I did I think I'd be somewhere between group 1 and 3.

    Basically, I'd love to help out with testing stuff and reporting any problems I see. But I'm also at a point in WoW where I don't think I want to keep my current main, but I'm not sure which other class I want to go to. Playing the Beta might help me make the decision now rather than level something to 85 once the expansion hits and then realising that darn, this wasn't the class for me after all! :P

  2. I have to admit, I enjoy seeing the new content... but I squee a little when I find a bug to report or have a suggestion to make on a quest because I'm being useful :D