Monday, 6 August 2012

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Why I’m Not Playing the Pandacraft Beta

Monday, 6 August 2012 - by Evlyxx 0

panda-parade

The Blog Azeroth shared topic for August 6 to August 12 was suggested by Frinka from Warcraft Street:
Are you playing the MoP Beta? Why or why not? How much time are you spending there vs. the "live" servers?
2 years ago I made a few posts about the incoming expansion and did play a lot in beta, not the 80-85 content but was investigating the scenery changes and was avidly exploring the old world and trying to find bugs by exploiting landscape and doing the weird things people do.

This time things have been very different as apart from a few hours levelling a panda in the starting zone and a morning in the Jade Forest I have done nothing. The simple reason for this is that all the content to test and explore is the content I will experience when the expansion goes live.

I am a bit of an altoholic so I do tend to suffer a little bit of mental RSI, when I take my 5th toon through content and adding to that by running the content early is a stupid move for folks like me. I'm not saying people that do that are stupid because if you play a single or maybe a pair of toons and you're a hard ass raider looking for the first boss kill in week 1 of Pandacraft you need to do the work in beta to make that happen for you. But that isn't the way I play the game, although I will be level capped on Evlyxx as fast as possible but not ever attaining something like Realm First max level or profession getter.

Likewise, while I'd love to be in there testing the new dungeon content and learning the new boss mechanics, I also don't want to be upping the run count of these dungeons before having to run them live  many times for gear ups and justice/valor point. Again this simply adds to the speed the boredom levels set in.

I do admire those folks that go in ahead of time and supply the Warcraft community with levelling guides, profession guides they perform a great service to us all. Without these folks we would all have to search around in game for the most efficient methods of maxing out during the first few weeks. On the flip side of that though there is the loss of the voyage of discovery factor at launch which can lessen the overall experience. The good news is that nobody holds a gun to your head and tells you to read such guides; it is all down to choices.

With regards to the dungeons I believe that these should not be beta tested by the public. The reason for this is that the guides spoil the content for us all. Even if I choose not read ahead and want to learn the dungeon blind chances are that my party members may not have and then all you get is "easy boss stand here, do this, do that at this time and win" there is no sense of achievement as you've been spoon fed the strategy on a plate rather than reacting to the surroundings and the events which generally aren't that hard to work out anyway.

Finally for raids, I do believe that these should not be tested by the player base but for different reasons. The primary reason is because it slows down progress because the guides aren't compiled months in advance and therefore boosting the ability of normal raid guilds to beat the content quickly. I also believe that this would provide a proper challenge for the top guilds as they would all be going in blind and playing on a more even field for their Race to World First. However, I am suffering a little internal conflict over this as I do believe that this would mean that the content would be as famously buggy as it was in Vanilla and The Burning Crusade when bosses were unkillable because of the bugs. 

Therefore for Blizzard to be able to deliver what I want their internal testers need to be up to the challenge of killing the raid bosses without prior knowledge of the raid encounter just like the folks on the Beta realm. This is the bigger challenge. Also when the bosses get thrown up for testing on Beta there are hundreds if not thousands of testers with all manner of build/glyph combinations that I don't believe Blizzard can replicate which forces them to do the public testing we get now. So unfortunately, we're damned either way.

About the Author

By day I'm an IT Server analyst for a major telecoms compnay in the UK and I've been playing World of Warcraft since November 2005 when a pair of colleagues bullied me into playing! I have evolved into a raider (summer 2006), an auction house wheeler dealer (2007), a guild officer (2007), an altoholic (2008), a raid leader (2008), a Warcraft blogger (2010) and a PVPer (2012)

My main has, and always will be Evlyxx, a priest and I love to heal. I started as Holy in vanilla, dabbled with the shadow side during the middle part of Burning Crusade, before returning to Holy but I have been mostly Discipline since mid-Wrath.

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About the Author

By day I'm an IT Server analyst for a major telecoms compnay in the UK and I've been playing World of Warcraft since November 2005 when a pair of colleagues bullied me into playing! I have evolved into a raider (summer 2006), an auction house wheeler dealer (2007), a guild officer (2007), an altoholic (2008), a raid leader (2008), a Warcraft blogger (2010) and a PVPer (2012)

My main has, and always will be Evlyxx, a priest and I love to heal. I started as Holy in vanilla, dabbled with the shadow side during the middle part of Burning Crusade, before returning to Holy but I have been mostly Discipline since mid-Wrath.

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