Remember, Beta is for Chucking

Date: 07-13-2008 Views:
KeyWord: Beta, Warhammer Online, MMORPG, WAR
Summary:There have been dozens of known additions and changes to Warhammer Online over the past two months alone. Many players are concerned that the multitude of changes being made to the game in the 11th hour could possibly...

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Remember, Beta is for Chucking
Part of Keen#DY#s adventure in MMORPG, WAR

I can#DY#t believe I just remembered this article I wrote back in February 2008. I#DY#m going to quote the article in its entirety:

Begin Quoted Article

There have been dozens of known additions and changes to Warhammer Online over the past two months alone. Many players are concerned that the multitude of changes being made to the game in the 11th hour could possibly lead to either another delay or, in a worst case scenario, classes being left out of the game. It#DY#s also a legitimate fear of many that their favorite class could be placed on the back burner for patching at a later date. Mark Jacobs did his best to address the growing crowd of players with this response:

"In terms of the number of classes, marketing, release, etc. It#DY#s still pretty simple, we#DY#ll release it when it#DY#s ready but keep in mind that beta is for chucking what doesn#DY#t work in order to replace it with stuff that does work. So, if a class doesn#DY#t work out the way we hoped it would, we *might* keep it out on release if we can#DY#t come up with a good way to fix it. It would make no sense to either release the game with a broken/bad class or to hold up the game#DY#s release if we are not sure even how to fix a bad/broken class. One of the lessons from DAoC#DY#s development/evolution was that less is indeed sometimes more. Again, please don#DY#t read anything into this post other than the usual "this sort of stuff is what beta is for" disclaimer. Besides, with the new systems we have been putting in, players will have even more options to customize their class than before so I don#DY#t think players having a dearth of class/options is something you have to worry about."


A fairly standard and expected response. It makes sense to me that if a particular class is causing enough trouble during development that it alone would delay the release of the game then the class should be scrapped or delayed, not the game. Vanguard is the most recent example of a game that developed X number of classes but delivered Y, where Y is less than X. It#DY#s not unheard of that something like this occurs in the development phase. I cope with the possibility of such losses by trying to stay within the frame of mind which recognizes that just because a game is in beta that doesn#DY#t#DY# mean it#DY#s finished. Nothing said during beta and I emphasize nothing - should be thought of as a promise or be expected. I#DY#m guilty of failing to live within my own reasoning many times.

There is nothing more frustrating than playing a class you think will be fun just to find out it#DY#s one of the classes they intend to "fix" in the future. When has that ever ended well for anyone? It will either release feeling incomplete and lacking the "ooo ahh" of other classes or simply be underpowered. This usually leads to the standard knee-jerk patch response making the once underpowered class now a flavor of the month "broken" class because it was made too powerful. *rolls his eyes* Can you tell I#DY#ve been on the losing end of THAT one more than a few times? I don#DY#t like it at all. I would rather these classes be left out of the game completely. Balancing classes in a pvp game never stops. If it can#DY#t be managed and done right then it shouldn#DY#t be done at all.

Bottom line: As long as my orcs and goblins are all in the game and completely balanced we won#DY#t have a problem, #DY#k Mark? 

(Written by me on February 10, 2008 for the WARVault.  Bolds added to emphasize extreme relevance.)

End Quoted Article

Holy crap! I wonder if these cuts were known to Mythic back in February. 

In a way, Mark covered his arse on this one by stating the obvious early on:  Beta is for chucking. I stand by what I wrote in this article as well. Repeat after me... Just because a game is in beta that doesn#DY#t#DY# mean it#DY#s finished. Nothing said during beta and I emphasize nothing should be thought of as a promise or be expected.

I found it interesting and thought some of you might.

[Editor:Stella]
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