Thursday, 15 September 2011

Previous Beta Weekend testers back in, EU also

A forum post by Stephen Reid shows that if you beta weekend tested before, you will be getting a re-invite. However for me, the most important part of this is this snippet:
As I'm pretty sure I've said before, future Beta Testing Weekends will include invitations to people in Europe. We are also going to invite Europeans to the general Game Testing program (which means they will test for much longer than one weekend) as soon as we possibly can.
Woot. Now we wait for the next Beta Weekend.
Hey all,

Today we re-invited all testers who were invited to our Beta Testing Weekend #1 back to a future Beta Testing Weekend (which will happen on as yet unspecified date). I wanted to give you a little insight into why, and clear up confusion.

These testers were not re-invited to a Beta Testing Weekend for this weekend. We're still internally testing the next major build of the game. As we've said before, when we're ready to give everyone a date for the next Beta Testing Weekend, we'll announce it.

Why are they being re-invited? Because we feel for a significant proportion of those invited to test during Beta Testing Weekend #1, they did not have an optimal testing experience. As I mentioned before, we had some issues, including some people not receiving an invite, and others being unable to get the client in time because of issues with their acceptance of their invite. With those factors in mind, we felt that because many people did not experience the game, it was worthwhile to re-invite everyone.

Where does that leave everyone who hasn't been invited to test yet?

First, I realize that we previously stated if people were invited to test, they would not be invited again. Although that policy may change in future, we're not changing it right now. However we feel that this situation is unique enough that we're re-inviting this weekend's testers. We expect this to be a one-off situation. I hope anyone who's waiting to get into testing realizes that if they had similar issues, we would 'do the right thing' by you too.

Second, it's important to realize as we've said before that future Game Testing Weekends are planned to be much, much larger than the first. This weekend's entire testing population is actually just a small fraction of the total number we're planning to invite to the next weekend, and our number of invites will go up after that. (Indeed, we'll probably just increase our numbers overall and add the re-invited testers onto that total number.)

In summary, we had some issues and we wanted to ensure those invited to test, got to test. This is, we feel, a unique and one-off situation, but it's also the right thing to do.

I realize that some of you may feel that getting a re-invite is unfair, as those re-invited will get more play time than those invited to just one weekend. That's understandable. However, getting an invite and then not being able to play through no fault of your own isn't great either. I'm sure if you put yourself in the shoes of someone who was invited but couldn't play, you'd be grateful for the chance to test the game and give feedback.

For those of you yet to test, please be patient and understanding of our reasoning here. We're going to invite many, many people to test The Old Republic before we launch and chances are, you'll be one of them.

For those of you lucky enough to be re-invited, please respect the Game Testing Agreement and have some sympathy for those who haven't been invited to test at all yet.

If you have questions, you know where we are.

Then to clarify:

Originally Posted by kennykane View Post
so for next beta weekend are you going to invite people who have not been invited yet and just add the ones you reinvited to that pool?

As I said, the number of people who were invited to last weekend's test (and are being re-invited) is a small fraction of the numbers we're expecting to invite to future testing weekends. Even if we re-invited all of this past weekend's testers in one go, they would still be enormously outnumbered by new testers being invited for the first time.

We may in fact 'spread out' the re-invites over more than one weekend, and just bump up the overall numbers invited to test.

Our intention here is not to deny those who haven't yet tested a chance to test, but instead to ensure that those who were invited, but didn't get to test, get that opportunity.


Then more:

To be crystal clear: we didn't send out an actual re-invite today (as in, click here, download the client, let's play!). We sent out an email informing those who were in last weekend's test that they would - at some point - be re-invited to test.

You wil be re-invited by email as you were before.



Originally Posted by Saraphiene View Post
Its BETA, people expect there to be issues, so just because those that did get to test didnt get every feature on a perfectly polished beta test doesnt mean you should screw everyone else out of getting a chance to test!

Secondly you said those invited wouldnt be reinvited, then you say your reinviting them but the rule hasnt changed followed by yet your still bending the rule and subjecting to change the rule in the future...... say what?
You'd be surprised how many people expect the process to be flawless.

We haven't taken the chance to test away from anyone. At all. We will adjust our overall numbers to include these re-invites. As I said, this entire weekend's testing population is a small fraction of the next weekend's projected invites - and that number will only go up.

Our statement that those who are re-invited won't be re-invited still stands. In general, if a testing weekend goes well, we won't re-invite those back. Note that, as stated in the FAQ, is our current thinking and it may change in the future. Testing is a fluid process, and we have to adjust to circumstances. If that means changing our minds on some previous decisions, then that's what we're going to do.

Originally Posted by RFlagzzz View Post
Is this valid for EU 2?? Or it is as it has been and only NA get invites?
As I'm pretty sure I've said before, future Beta Testing Weekends will include invitations to people in Europe. We are also going to invite Europeans to the general Game Testing program (which means they will test for much longer than one weekend) as soon as we possibly can.

We are not inviting anyone at this exact moment. When we start inviting new testers, we will let you know.

Originally Posted by Ornoku View Post
If anything its unfair to take back things you've said and do the exact opposite of what you've said you will do. Its very unprofessional as a company to do something like that.
Like I said above, testing is a fluid process. We'll try to stick to what we've said we're going to do, but things change. In my opinion, it would be unprofessional to allow people to have a bad testing experience and not try to make it up to them.

Originally Posted by Tamanous View Post
The shocking concept should be why BW would even consider NOT reinviting these players when ramping up the scale of tests.
Because, quite simply, we have a massive amount of people who are signed up to test, and getting as many of those through testing before launch is what we decided to do. That means generally, we don't need to re-invite, but exceptions may occur - as they did here.



Originally Posted by TennVol View Post
A friend of mine, who was a regular beta tester, not a weekend beta tester, got re-invited to the beta today.
Yes. Exactly as it's supposed to be, as stated in the FAQ:
Game Testing: The ongoing testing program. We continue to invite those who have registered for Game Testing into the program on a regular basis. Those selected will generally test the game for an extended period of time, as opposed to a Beta Testing Weekend.
Anyone eligible for a Beta Testing Weekend invite is also eligible to be invited to the Game Testing program.

Originally Posted by darthldub View Post
maybe i came in at the wrong time but stephen reid said that they are adding the re-invites to the number of new invites so:
Maths is fun!

Let's just say - as a silly example - that we invited 5 people to the last Beta Testing Weekend. (I wish, it'd make life easier. ) Let's also say that we're inviting 6 people to the next Beta Testing Weekend, whenever that may be.

By re-inviting the first Beta Testing Weekend, we're potentially increasing the number invited for the second weekend from 6 people to 11. 6 original, fresh and new invites, plus 5 more re-invites.

However, what's more likely is that instead of 'spiking' the second testing weekend to (in my highly fictitious and deliberately silly example) almost double the original amount, we'll instead spread out the re-invites over a number of weekends. So, for example, we might re-invite 2 people one weekend, 2 more the next and so on.

Numbers in these examples are deliberately ridiculous because otherwise, well, you know.


Now I am sure most of these complaints about previous weekend testers being in future weekends is jealousy pure and simple. People are clearly upset these extra people who have had a test already, are getting in again, and they are assuming these extras will reduce their chance at a slot. But you just don't know how many people Bioware will invite in total, and how many these extras constitute from that number. It could be merely 1% of the total people who are to be invited, and even that the total number of new invitees is not affected and these extras are just that - extra people.

What is intriguing is that Bioware are actually doing this, that they feel bad in some way that people who got into a beta weekend were not able to play, because of something Bioware did wrong. That speaks miles about how they view customer service for the game, and I seriously hope this continues after live.

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