Wednesday, 7 September 2011

More forum updates about EU Game Testing

A couple of posts have appeared about the topic close to my heart, EU Game Testing (not Beta weekends):

Evening (for those of you in Europe).

We can understand the frustration here, but unfortunately we got stuck between a rock and a hard place with no realistic scenarios where we'd please everyone.

Going to try and clarify a few things here based on some questions and assumptions:

Originally Posted by Jestahr View Post
Hmmm, I'm sure I've heard of French/German versions being tested in the past. Quite certain infact.

Regardless, can't say I'm suprised that the invites are yet again delayed. Would of been nice if you could of told us when you roughly expect them to actually be sent though, all seems a bit vague yet again.

Either way, I appreciate the communication, even if it's not what I wanted to hear.
We have conducted previous testing with EU-based testers as part of market research, and some of those testers were French or German speakers. You may be thinking of that.

In addition, we had an earlier version of the client in which - by error - German and French language options were available, and some footage from that client leaked. That client was not final, and the localization was not complete.

To be clear here: we have never officially invited French or German testers to test a French or German client which was final and ready for public testing. We are not 'holding back' the French or German version of the client.
Originally Posted by Wild View Post
doh.. worst part is, they are testing french and german as well so only 1/3 will be english testing
No, that's an assumption. We're adding French and German localized voiceover to the client for testing, but English language will still be available.

We won't be commenting on the proportions invited into testing based on languages, but we aren't going to 'bias' EU testing towards French and German residents (or speakers).

Originally Posted by Austentacious View Post
Edit: I would HOPE, that if they are using localised builds, they would also have language specific servers. Therefore if they originally intended for 1500 EU testers, instead of 500 per language, it'll be 3 servers, with something closer to 800ish each. Either that or have the proposed Beta test size divided based upon representation, instead of equal numbers per language. I.e; if 80% are English speakers, 10% are French, and 10% are German, then the test invites should be sent down a 80/10/10 split to ensure each group has the same % of their community within the Beta.
That's pretty much how we're working it. Also, this is a good opportunity to talk about language servers - they're labels to inform people of what language is expected to be spoken by players on the server, not settings that enforce how your client works.

What that means is, the client works in whatever language you want it to, regardless of which server you're connecting to. Effectively this can mean that three players could player together in English, French and German at the same time, while connecting to a server that is labelled as US-English, for example.

The point is, you won't be forced into playing in a certain language, but you will be informed what the expected/suggested language of the server is when you connect to it.

Before you ask - no decision yet on whether servers will be labelled with languages other than our three officially supported ones (English/French/German). I'm sure the community will unofficially label servers themselves, though.

Originally Posted by Simmons_j View Post
...This is no the kind of discussion you have over the weekend or quickly in the morning.

Why would you not have told us this last week?

Seriously guys, no scottish love for you right now.
Shame, as my family are Scottish.

We were still discussing this last week, and pushing to make it happen right up until this morning when we made a final decision. We were hoping to invite last week, but issues with the invite system made that impossible, as Chris mentioned. We don't sit on announcements for no reason, folks.

I'll dig through the thread further and see if there are other questions I can answer. In the meantime, try not to extrapolate too much based on what you think might be happening - read the post please. Thanks.

Hello again...

While I'm not quite up to speed on every post in the thread, there's one recurring point which I want to address - the client size.

Being an ex-European resident myself I do understand that internet speeds vary across the continent, and in some cases are staggeringly fast. While for some of you downloading 27Gb is 'no big deal' for others it very definitely is. Please bear that in mind when talking about download speeds.

I'd also like to re-iterate that we attempted to communicate as best we could about what was happening in this process while it was going on. Game Testing is a live, unpredictable process that can hit roadblocks. Last week we hit several roadblocks at once, including issues with the invite system, that caused problems with the Game Testing Weekend as well. That had a knock-on effect which caused us to make this decision today.

This delay is going to ultimately lead to a better experience for anyone who is invited to test the game (regardless of where they are based) and to better, more actionable feedback for the development team. That will lead to a better quality product at launch. Ultimately, that's always what we want to strive for.

So, erm glad to hear that they won't be excluding English-speakers from the testing. Although that's really only so I think I have a chance, when I have a very very small chance of getting in anyway.

The client size thing is an issue, but its beta testing, so you expect to have to download a full build all the time anyway. What I hope they take into account in the early access, is the time it would take to get the client, and give us some lead time to download it.

The image to the left is what one SWTOR forum poster offered, which certainly explains why some people will have no issues whatsoever. Their download will be 12 minutes.

The other, very slower one, is mine. This puts my download at 6 hours. Which isn't bad.

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