New Alpha Testing Methodology Recommended
So, I have participated in every Alpha test that Fractured has had and I've seen the same trend happen each alpha and in some cases they get even worse.
There is not much real content added and the main features that are suppose to be added do not make it to the alpha on time. By the time they do make it, the server has basically already died out. The first three alphas lasted a day to 3 days max before becoming ghost towns, the last two alphas only lasted a week cause we were expecting something that never came. The only people who remain active in alphas are the new people with alpha keys, most the players with packs just do not do alphas anymore cause they get burned out very quickly doing the same repetitive things over and over each new alpha.
So, here is my suggestion. Get rid of the month long alphas were the server is mostly a ghost town for the last 3 weeks. Do alphas like the weekend tests were done, where there is no need to re-build or re-do everything each time. Everything that does not involve the new material to be tested should be provided and not have to be remade. Let us TEST what is actually suppose to be tested not get burnt out on the repetitive like we are doing now. Have shorter tests and more of them. Do not try to implement SO MUCH at one time and miss out on the major parts which only causes entire guilds to quit the game (which has already started) cause of disatisfaction.
I believe this will not only make for more active alpha test but will also bring people back and become more active at whole.
Also, having shorter but more alphas test will allow the Devs to actually see how well their implementations work, unlike this current one that totally blew up in so many ways. They will be able to adjust must faster and get a "working" implementation up faster.
Yes to shorter alphas with giving us everything we need for the specific added features, it always dies out fast with current testing.
However, weekend alphas are way too short, 4-7days would be more reasonable (depending on added content), plus the "old style" month long test every 6months to see how all the changes "work together, from start to finish" .
Keep the short alphas for pack holder only (with some test keys, not current "entire guilds" style). Keep first week of the long alphas only for pack holders, after the one week, open it to all, not giving out keys, just flat open to everyone. Open the floodgates, test the sh*t out of it and attract lots of interest (and sales as it wont be "free key locked")
I would like to see short internal Alphatests, where we test mechanics without opening it to the masses, with a nice catalog of testing stuff made by the devs, that we can check point for point.
With provided materials, so we can test that stuff in 2-3 days.
Then an open test inbetween to see all working mechanics together, as we have now. This test can work as it is at the moment, with free keys for Streamer Communities.
But i am not sure, if this is already too late for this suggestion.
I am not so sure that its too late... there is a TON of CORE mechanics that they don't have implemented yet. Beta should NEVER start until all the core aspects of the game have been implemented, in my opinion.
Also, I do like @LonelyCookie 's suggestion as well... we can use the shorter tests to flush out the majority of the bugs so that when the Main tests open everything is much more streamlined and those should be as wide opened as possible. If the game actually "Works" for the most part it will BRING back those gamers, and it would be our responsibility as backers to report all the bugs we can find to ensure that the main alpha has as little bugs as possible and therefore a "good" impression on the new people.
OlivePit last edited by
I grudgingly agree.
The accomplishments of this test are that we see how cities build up when not cooperating with other cities to create diversified services, how location to gold coin farming is important for resident activity, how unbalanced a partially implemented equipment and skill system can be.
To move on from here and learn from those lessons we would need to reset the whole map, allow for groups to discuss with each other possibilities of trade partners, pick city locations more conducive to trade.
If the devs want us to test sieges then we need quick access to said tech, bash each other around in the spirit of testing, not griefing.
I believe that too many people thought of this alpha as a sample of the end product and not the test it is.
The presence of progression and progression frustration (chaotic pvp grief) is evidence of that.
From what I hear of the PVP test there was almost none of this bs. The free availability of equipment and skills made it so death was a momentary inconvenience, not a 20+ hour grind of recovery.
If this is to be the siege test the same supply should apply. All stuff available so we can spend more time testing the siege mechanic with different strategies and builds and less time grinding for gear or skills.
I believe that the jail system could be really good... but requires being implemented in a environment where combat is balanced and fully implemented, not this mess where so many skills, items, and enchants are simply not avalible... There may be a counter to gold chain armor power word using rageing melee monsters allowing mages or archers to matter more than they do now, but it is simply not implemented at this time.
The combination of jails, equipment/skill grind, half implemented skills/equipment, AND city sieges is just way too much and has made a number of players give up on the alpha.
I agree with shorter testing phases and changes to how we test, I would also give more incentive to test and a more direct day for players to have pvp.
A lot of people are saying the same thing about grinding WAY to much before they can test things, what leads to players just not playing at all.
I would like to see more test like the PVP weekend but give us the material instead of the gear (all metals, wood types, reagents).
an arena - that we can que for. 1v1, 5v5, 10v10, 25v25. This would give us the direct people we need instead of having to look for players all the time who don't want to pvp...(there has been a lot of griefing this test that might have reflected badly)
More incentive to play, Give players a cosmetic cloak that's tracked thought player test. Each playtest they preform in the cloak symbol changes to display their achievement + amount of test they've achieved it (Knowledge collected 100k+, top 50 combat, ect) so if someone was in the top 50 for 3 test in a row. they'd have a cloak with a sword or skull and III under it.
layers a cosmetic cloak that's tracked thought player test. Each playtest they
Oooooh... I REALLY Like that! Each alpha test comes with something unique that we can actually show off to tell everyone that "I WAS THERE!"
As I suggested if they take part and were in the top 50 pvp a cape with a single sword, 2ed time cross swords. 3rd time ect
Would not only be cool, but defenitly would give people a goal to work towards.
I would say it would be better to have more then one cape for the test not only pvp, including a cape just for testing in the pvp (play for one hour)
if they do, do pvp I would say only do it based on area fighting
I think having capes for every aspect of the alpha would be too much. It should instead be... a single Specific Item for testing the alpha period, and then if there is a contest during that alpha, the winners of that contest would be able to have an emblem added to the unique item that defined what contest they won. So if there are 5 different contests, then there would be 5 available emblems to be added to that single unique item and a player could technically have all 5 emblems on it.
Although I love the longer test phases, I can't say I didn't leave the last one after a couple weeks.
The thing is, some things your testing take longer to test to get an accurate read on them. Bugs don't always manifest right away, and mechanical conflicts don't happen until the 2 conflicting systems come into play together, so make sure to keep up the Month long tests, just maybe every 6 months as was suggested.
The shorter tests shouldn't be a weekend test. The Devs have tried really hard never to start or end a test on a Weekend as it is, and a 7 day test would be more fruitful than a set of 2 3-4 day tests anyway. Again, as was said before, only reset things if that's needed for what's being tested, otherwise, let people keep their progress, and then reset everyone at the start of the every 6 month main month-long test.
I also love the idea of opening up these little tests and the 1st week of the month-long to the backers, and then the last 3 weeks of the month long to the world at large. The heavy part of the Alpha Testing is being done in the shorter tests, while the 6-month month-long test is more like an early Beta testing phase when we're bringing things together and fine tuning interactions.
I also like the idea of providing what is needed for a testing phase, while realizing some people will do other than what the test is about, which gives us real-world conditions to test in. IE: if the City Siege system is being testing, there will still be some people out and about grinding monster mobs and gathering resources because those people will be there when the game goes live.
The Arena idea is a good one to implement during all tests, as well, as that way, when not doing anything else, the various combat abilities can get a real power work out. Yes, it is mostly PvP based, but you could also set up arena bouts with specific mobs to test your fighting against them.
Finally, the Accomplishment Capes are a grand idea. We don't have a Cape slot on your Inventory, so it won't take up a used equipment space.
Aye. The weekend tests were just the example I through out there as they tended to be filled the entire time, but I agree with both you an LonelyCookie in that the actual tests should last a week. After all, a week tends to be the lifespan of the current alphas anyhow. Also, a week long test will give everyone time to have tested it, and the Devs to do minor adjustments if needed.