Shaking us up and just what does playing in beta mean?

October’s a strange month. I always feel like I’m waiting for something, holding my breath. And this time, perhaps I am. With That Patch, and the release date for Cata, there’s been a pregnant pause throughout the server. Everyone starting to think about where they’re going, what they’re doing.

Unsurprisingly, we’ve had a mini influx of recruits. Not too many, and we’re vetting them still.

Real life’s caught up at last, with a couple of very rewarding weekends away here and there. And more to come, including a fun filled banquet weekend with good friends. Yay!

But meantime, I’m left with a mess of a UI (come back SUF, I loved you so!) , my Vuhdo not behaving properly, and two talent trees I’ve yet to feel out. It could be worse. My poor husband has to sort out getting rid of some files before his will even finish loading the patch.

I found myself being caught in a wave of negativity, which shouldn’t really be. Yes, things have changed and shaken up, but I’m in a better position now of understanding than I would have been this time last year. And even if I can’t use my beloved SUF, and have to replace them with something that I keep thinking of as STFU, not STUF, then I’m sure I’ll learn to love them too. Or Pitbull. I guess it’s just that there are so, so many changes to deal with, that last night it felt overwhelming, and I could have curled up with a pile of chocolate and a bottle or two of red, and prayed to the Gods of UI to send me goodness.

I know there’s a lot of griping about out there, about how some classes have been nerfed, how things are being changed, and while I’m not fully impressed that after plenty of beta testing, things still aren’t sorted (which they blatently aren’t), I also see in us, the players, a reluctance towards these changes. People overall don’t like change, we want that which we know, that which we’re good at doing. We want our comfort zones.

This patch has taken us fully out of our comfort zones. And thus the wailing and much gnashing of teeth (myself included).

But sometimes, that removal from the comfort zone can be a good thing. It forces us to re-evaluate. It makes us think once again about how to play, how to get the most out of things. So what if SUF doesn’t work, and I have to resort to another unit frame addon? I might find it works better, looks better.

However I can’t help having one thought repeat itself over and over in my head. Beta realms. Aren’t the beta realms a sort of test grounds in themselves?  I can’t help remembering a beta test realm of another game, where someone we knew was invited to join it. Someone we knew who couldn’t theorycraft their way out of a  bag made out of wet toilet paper. (We knew this, they kept asking in guild chat if this or that was better than the other. For everything.)

So what exactly DOES happen on a beta realm?

Answers on a picture postcard please!


Edit: After some serious UI wrangling, some serious help when things were going wrong even when I was doing everything right – thanks Rem, and your magic touch! – I’m now in a state of play once more. Will report on how things feel. On the plus side, I have 3 Prime Glyphs available, unlike Colt’s poor Arcane mage!


2 Responses to Shaking us up and just what does playing in beta mean?

  1. Scraddog says:

    Beta test realm should be trying to break things and checking the mechanics of a game and looking for bugs etc etc.


    A large number of people use it to just get a headstart on the new content, get uber characters or generally do anything except test and fill out bug reports and provide feedback etc.

    I have beta tested a few times now and actually saw people ignore a dev who’s name was very public at the time ask for people to help him crunch some player numbers because they were too busy messing about with the new content, so they missed the very top end content testing that was being offered.

    That was three hours of getting my rear end handed to me by a bunch of mini bosses with the dev ressing us to full power each time we wiped, all so he could gather some data and balance an encounter that folks didn’t see in live for 3-4 months. Not because it was not there but because they just didn’t get to it for that long.

    So yeah a lot of people on beta servers are not there doing what they should be and are using it to have a look at new content ahead of time.

    • nowiamtree says:

      Thank you – I wondered about that, I saw so much “Oooh, I’ve got a beta invite, I’m so excited, I’m going to do this and see this and this!” And all the time I’ve been thinking “Shouldn’t it be about crunching and examining the game mechanics? Shouldn’t it be more like fun hard work?”

      And thank you for being one of those people who DID care, and offered their help.

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