Now Carbine have been to date the most transparent and open devs I have ever come across. Which makes life much easier in my position as it’s far easier to support a game when you are being told all the info you need to know. After today’s drops we found out just how the closed beta would be changing, which I myself am worried about. I don’t feel removing such a large number of testers helps in any way. However this is what happened and we have to accept that. Scooter clearly understood where players were coming from on the beta forums and took to making the post I quote below.
Honestly he didn’t HAVE to post this but it shows just how open they are willing to be and when you read the facts aside from thinking 1 or more parties is dumb & making a bad choice there is no reason to disagree with what’s said.
Okay, here’s the deal. We’re always talking about how we fully support transparency at Carbine, so I’m going to dive into the details behind the reasoning so everyone understands a little better how we came to the program we’re at today.
We know how much you guys want to play and help test, and we’re sorry we can’t give you any additional time to do so before launch. The reasons why are due to the four primary parties this decision had ramifications for:
- The executives – These guys hold the money and have the most experience knowing what’s healthiest for a game’s success.
- The Sales/Marketing teams – These guys’ core purpose is to make sure the sales of our game are as high as possible. This is crucial because without sales… we as a company can no longer exist and you guys don’t get to play WildStar.
- The Live and Operations teams – These guys need to make sure the servers are launch-ready.
- The Dev team – These guys want to get as much feedback as possible before launch.
All four sat down and met and debated the possible programs we could go with for weeks… I was in some of those meetings, people like Cougar were in other meetings. In the end, we knew we’d have to come to a compromise between all parties, because any single path we took would likely screw up another team’s plans and needs. The needs everyone had were pretty straightforward, though conflicting:
- Dev’s priority was ensuring we still got high-level testing, since that’s the content that’s had the least amount of exposure in beta so far.
- Sales and Marketing didn’t want too many people playing the game before launch so that we could make sure people weren’t getting a “free ride” through the game’s content and then canceling their pre-orders.
- Execs didn’t want players burning out through beta and thus being uninterested in playing post-launch. Burnout generally happens because people don’t want to commit to characters that are going to get wiped and don’t generally “play” the exact way they’d play their actual characters. Burnout’s extremely common and quantifiable… it’s usually about 4 weeks in MMO betas and that’s been holding true for WildStar as well, so the higher-ups want to make sure we don’t lose players before they even get a chance to play the “final” game.
- Live and Operations were focused on continuing to work on their processes and procedures, and need all types of testing and deployments to occur. The more we go up and down, the more problems we resolve, the more stability we achieve, the more prepared the Live and Operations Teams becomes for launch.
So the compromise you see today is what we ended up with:
- Beta goes from 24/6 to weekend testing to support Sales’ needs.
- Pre-order players are limited to level 17 to support the Exec’s needs.
- Current beta testers will be allowed to play beyond level 17 if they pre-order, or level 32+ players can continue playing without a pre-order, in order to facilitate high-level testing, to support Dev’s needs.
- Live gets tons of people playing in a condensed amount of time to drive server concurrency up and push the servers to their limits.
As the saying goes, you only have a good compromise if no one leaves the table satisfied. I’ll admit we’re not completely happy with how this program ended up, but it’s the best we could make out of the restrictions we were given.
This post is now way too long, so I’m just going to wrap up by saying: The most important thing you can do to help WildStar at the moment is help us get the word out. Tell your friends, tell your family, tell anyone who will listen about us. We’re a studio that’s just barely on the radar of the non-enthusiast gamers, and we’re up against the titans of industry this year. If you really believe in the product and the direction we’re taking it, help us get this game out the door and be a massive success so we can do everything we’ve ever dreamed of with it.
Scooter explains that this isn’t an easy decision to make with four separate parties involved all with entirely different goals. However ultimately they all want what’s best for the game.
What can we do even if this doesn’t settle our rage for beta being restricted? Make sure we are on EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND testing the higher content ( speaking specifically to the CBT current members on that)
All you people who never got into beta, get on and enjoy the 1 – 17 content and make sure to find any bugs we missed!
NOTE: Quick reminder that existing CBT members have until the 16th to get to 32 to be eligible for the beta weekend without pre ordering. If you can;t make that you still wont be capped to 17 if you play the weekends BUT you can only play by preordering or a partner key.
Fist bump here for scooter for being transparent and letting us in. The decision is made, so do you best in the time we have.
See you on Nexus.