It's a night! A palpable night!


This is not a good night for me to actually post a post of substance, but I want to keep my weekday posting moving, so here I am.

So feel free to comment with random comments!

In the background -- I'm doing the Star Trek Online Open Beta. For the record, and I'm glad to finally be able to say this... I've been in Closed Beta for Star Trek Online since early October.

Oh my God I love this game. I have been obsessed with this game for months and I haven't been able to say a damn thing about it.

Expect burbling.


Given the open invitation to say whatever we want, I'd like to take a moment to toss a peanut from the gallery:

Mr Burns,

It's a pleasure to see you reappear in my feeds. I, for one, have missed your words.

D Longwing

I'm just like a guy who's addicted to Star Trek Online, but with booze.

I've a friend in closed beta. I've watched. I'm willing to give it a try. I'll see how things look in open beta, maybe tomorrow.

Alas, you don't get access to the Digital Download special edition bonuses until it comes out.

I can't /emote khaaan! yet...

I have a friend who won the Digital Download special edition of the game today, in a Star Trek short story contest.

I edited the story for him. Lucky bastid.

The only Star Trek game I've ever played is MOO 2.5. I mean Birth of the Federation. Wish I knew what happened to my copy of that...

I wish they wouldn't call it "open beta" is, essentially, a head start period for folks who pre-order. I've no problem with that, it's just that when I sign up for the "closed" beta, and submit my system specifications, and hang out on the forums, and wait and wait and wait for a beta invitation - I get a might perturbed when they announce an "open" beta for everyone! That is, everyone who pre-orders the game.

At this point, it's not truly a beta anymore. It's done. It's finished. It's the same product most people will see on launch day, and when the CDs hit the stores. Could bugs be found? Could patches be issued before launch like, oh, I don't know, Champions Online? Sure! It's an MMO, they're subject to regular patch releases. To still call that two week window a "beta" suggests that the actual release date is still subject to change. In all likelihood, the discs have been minted, packaged, and are on the way to retailers.

Please forgive my grumpiness. I don't begrudge game manufacturers looking for ways to deliver more value and, therefore, gain more revenue. But I would like to see them take beta testing more seriously. I think too many MMOs have taken their continuously evolving nature as an excuse to let significant bugs and flaws into production.

Looking forward to your burbling, Mr Burns.

I'm trying out the STO Open Beta, and am surprised at how much fun I'm having. Particularly impressive is that Cryptic have made the game *feel* like Star Trek.

Welcome back, Eric! We missed you.

Well, since I can make a random comment, I opened up a blog about webcomic advice these days. If any of you guys have some piece of useful advice to contribute (even if it's 3 words long... I'm not picky!) you're welcome.

Welcoem back.

STO looks....ok so far.

I know it was too much to hope for Starfleet Command, the MMO but so far it plays like...well..champions online...IN SPAAAACE....

so get to writing some thoughts down mr.

I forgive said grumpiness, but don't agree with your thesis.

To me, both closed and open betas are invitation-affairs, with the conditions for the invitations being set by the publisher. In a closed beta, there are generally far fewer invitations put forward, and the whole affair is under NDA. In an open beta, it is generally easier to get an invitation, and the whole thing is public.

In the case of STO, their Open Beta does in fact mean anyone who wants to be in beta can be. They can do this one of three ways:

1) Preorder. Not all preorders require money up front. (I preordered through Gamestop's online service and didn't pay a dime). Others do.
2) Go to a publishing partner and get a code: lists all the partners who are issuing keys right now. Some of them expedite keys for money, others just hand out keys as you like.
3) Sign up for a key and hope one gets issued. Honestly, I have no idea why anyone would do this at this point.

Why are they doing it this way instead of just letting anyone instantly download and start? Why else -- marketing. The beta strategy is a part of the marketing strategy as well as the development cycle. Both closed and open betas serve to get people excited and get the word out about the game. By having partners give out codes, A) Cryptic can have more than one source for the game to be downloaded and stop part of the bottleneck problem, and B) can get those partners to loudly tout their game in prominent locations -- vis a vis advertising.

Do I think you're right that games that are too sparse or have too many bugs make it into launch? Yes I do. But that's not the fault of practices like these. That's the fault of too short a beta cycle.

That looks very cool, Martiza!

So has the obsession with STO kept you from playing Champions? You haven't had much to say about it since the August post about the challenge level controversy...

It has, to be honest. I still like Champions a great deal, and I'm looking forward to getting back to it, but I expect it'll be mid-February or even later until I can devote play time to it the way it deserves.

But it will wait for me. Oh yes it will.

I've a friend in closed beta.

I hate having to submit bug reports on my friends.

It's not closed beta any more. :) All is skittles and all is beer.

(Though to be absolutely sure I wasn't trodding on my NDA's ghost, I did send the article link to appropriate people, and I am in the clear.)

Logo: Sleeping Snarky

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