Common misconceptions of "Alpha Testers", and expectations?
This is most likely a 'newish' trend when becoming an "alpha tester" became more accessible to many people due to kickstarter programs/crowd funded programs, maybe perhaps the 'alpha tester' approach or mentality also needs to change but I find it quite surprising how a lot of 'alpha testers' are clueless about their role. This isn't exclusive to 'Fractured MMO', i've seen this trend in so many other games on their Alpha testing phases.
You'll also notice that I'd be using "Alpha Tester" instead of "Alpha Player" cause for some reason, people forget the "test" part on these things and just focus on just "play".
What I mean by this is...
1. Testers not knowing the difference between a 'feedback' and a suggestion is.
So when they write up a post or to share their experience, they focus on what they want for the game instead of discussing what their experience was on the game.
This was quite prevalent on the last alpha test as there were so many threads from people suggesting things instead of providing feedback on their experience of the game.
2. Testers not understanding what they are meant to be testing and pro-actively goes out of their way to 'test out' what isn't intended/implemented yet.
This is also tied to point 1 as a lot of testers would then provide a feedback based on something irrelevant for the test, while their 'extra-curricular' activity provided some valuable insight, but it is quite often irrelevant as their tests would be finely tuned in their intended focus anyway.
Another example of players not knowing what they're meant to be testing, and thinking that they are meant to play the game as if it's already on release happened a few months ago.
A few players asked me about this game and someone joined the conversation as they have also played during the 'stress test', they complained so much that they couldn't log in, or that it was too laggy, and deemed the game 'unplayable', when it was clearly and outlined that it was a stress test. So on a developer standpoint, it tested out what it needed to do, yet players complain that they 'cant play the game.
3. Privileged expectations.
As I mentioned before, this isn't exclusively a 'Fractured' MMO thing, and I am not singling anyone out but some testers can have a mindset of 'I came in here before it was cool' therefore, they try to approach it as if they have some degree/sense of superiority on new comers, which inevitably brings toxicity into the game, luckily this isn't so much the case here in Fractured, but I hope that it stays that way as the player base gets larger.
4. Testers not doing their research about the game or not reading things that were already discussed.
Again, not singling anyone out and this can easily happen to anyone. Some testers who have only heard of design concepts of the game or have read info about it assume that they already know quite a lot and are quite eager on sharing their 'suggestions' based on their frame of reference.
So they come to the game and bring up topics that were discussed hundreds of times already, yet they present it as if it was a completely novel idea, or even push it as if it were a 'suggestion', more so than a feedback.
Not only that, they ask questions repeatedly that could have been answered by a simple scroll through the "News" section.
With that being said, what are your expectations as an alpha tester? or perhaps what are some of the misconceptions that you have had as a tester, or some of the things that you've learned as an 'Alpha Tester'?
Personally the worst case of a misinformed 'Alpha Tester' I have seen was a dogmatic one and could not/would not call a spade a spade, which inevitably stunts the growth/development of the game they 'support'.
I'm hoping that this thread would clear out some of the 'not so useful' feedback after the upcoming test.
Every Tester should read it and think about own intension, why they are playing an Alpha.
To the Point 4:
A good start for Fractured is to read the Design Journals to get an Overview, what this game supposed to be. And also read the Announcement about the actual Test Phase, to know, whats new in the test.
Also get used to the Search.
You can search in a special Forum, per example, if you just search for old bug reports. Always check the sub forum search, to be sure to find all posts.
You can save your settings, so that next quick search uses predefined search mask.
Always chose a fitting search term, to find already posted stuff.
To play devil's advocate...
A lot of great points... and had it been 2008 when to be in an Alpha/Beta you had to fill out a 20 question form and then were hand-picked by the devs based on age, your machine, hours you can put in, genre familiarity, past games played, etc., I would have agreed with every point.
Oh, and it was free to test as well, so it was special, and a privilege... testers took pride in sending in bug reports and such.
I mean, I don't disagree, the OPs points were spot-on. However, when someone has put down $100-$500 to "test" the game, they have more of a right right to voice opinions as well as test "what they want to test". They weren't chosen based on abilities and specs... they invested.
They've paid a lot more than the post-release player will, and they feel that gives them those rights.
In a genre where so many of us have put hundreds of $$s down on games that have never released, it's tough to argue that people don't have more flexibility than they used to... since we're chosen by pulling out a credit card, instead of by our pedigree.
Caako last edited by
@Znick one would figure that if you would invest yourself into a game, like you said, your first priority would be for it to succeed.
I just try to find stuff to break, the pre alpha, I moved inventory in my bag around over and over and over again to see if I could glitch it. (did, ended up making stuff without collecting stuff, bug fixed) There's a lot more to actually DO now.... so I'm going to still try to break stuff, but also have some fun.
Do I wish I could play the game already? Of course! But I'm happy in the meantime to just help them make it into a game.... it's a lot less boring now than it was in the beginning, every test they add something new. It's also a good way to get to know the game before it's out, and be a part of any changes if they decide to make them. I mean, if testers decide they absolutely hate something, simply having it in the design journal doesn't mean they need to keep it for the actual game... but because I am invested in this game (both literally and figuratively) I want my voice to be one they hear when changes are discussed.
So yeah, I'll still try to break stuff, but also want to see gameplay for testing too.... otherwise, how are the devs to know if aspects of the gameplay they have already implemented are keepers if we don't actually have some game to play, right?
So for those who are complaining about stuff they can't do yet, or stuff they don't like already, it's still good feedback for the devs. Maybe if enough of us complain about mounts, they'll be in the next survey as an option for the next test.... that's how it's been working so far, and if it ain't broke, why fix it?
@Caako You'd think... but from the forums posts in most pre-release games, it's obvious that most just want to grind, kill, frag, etc..
I blame milennials.
When a company bases its tests on a group of users to whom it sells access to the alpha and beta stages, it cannot pretend that each and every one of them acts as expected.
If what you are looking for is a spectrum of players who understand very well the dynamics of a test and are willing to invest their time purely and exclusively in testing the state of the game according to well-defined parameters, offering a detailed and well-focused evaluation and In this way, having a real overview of the state and progress of the product, they should offer access to users who demonstrate that they understand what is sought from them and who can demonstrate their previous experience in similar participations.
Nowadays it is very common to see that companies use the test stages as a means of generating income and attracting customers, not only users can be blamed for misusing these test stages.
Packages with titles, pets, mounts, cosmetics or benefits at the account level that include access to the alpha and beta stages make it clear that the type of public you are targeting is very varied, therefore the results of such participations should not be objected or subject to analysis.
Perhaps this is not the smartest way to use such access?
That there is no point in investing money in a project for which you get the opportunity to contribute to its success during development and are wasted on irrelevant issues?
But things are what they are and the act of accepting a person to participate in an event for which:
- No previous experience is required.
- It is not evaluated whether said person understands their role.
- Their participation is not evaluated to determine their continuity in future stages.
- Get access based on the amount of money invested.
Well, I think it is obvious, not everyone is going to meet the expectations and as I mentioned above, they are not the only ones responsible for this happening.
To also play a devils advocate.
These are not a professional payed testers. It's the normal folks paying to experience what has been developed early.
Ofc, they want to support the company, so they pay for packs, but this doesn't mean they are also ready to do the professional testing job.
In addition, "most of" players that buy the packs, do not do this for purely noble reasons of "unconditional love" for game development they do it so they can gain advantage (by gaining knowledge about game and it's mechanics earlyer then players not in alpha/beta), so they could, when game releases, have a better start, and gain a better position in game community system.
There will, of course, also be plenty of players that will actually test the things out nicely and send a good useful feedback, but you can't expect that from everyone.
Also, not everyone is an experienced gamer, there will be "fresh" players coming, who do not fully understand the concepts of alpha/betta, and kinda expect almost fully finished product. Again, inexperience isn't their fault, everyone was inexperienced at one point in time. Most of them will learn.