Sticking to the tried and tested

Two interlinked thoughts occurred to me yesterday, I do not have a great deal of patience for buggy software of any kind and betas do not really offer a fair trial of new MMOs. I used to work in IT management so fixing software that was not working right (usually something by Microsoft) was the bane of my working day. It’s an of-repeated piece of common wisdom that you do not buy or download brand new software as it is likely to have bugs and be poorly tested. Sadly this is just as true of games as office programs. Since I game to relax rather than to excel I have a very short fuse for buggy game clients, e.g. Tera had short shrift as my game-du-jour because the client just didn’t work well on my computer.

I’ve written about two brief stints in major MMO beta programmes this year already, Elder Scrolls Online and most recently Wildstar and in both cases I wasn’t happy enough with the gaming experience to want to subscribe to them. Either there were actual glaring bugs in the game (Elder Scrolls) or the game didn’t perform well on my computer (Wildstar). Neither issue would affect all players of course, but for me personally, these factored weighed heavily when I was deciding whether to jump into the game at launch.

Naturally in 3 months or 6 months or longer these games may well offer me a positive and trouble-free experience. Using the free access of open beta allows you to get a taste of a game, but not a particularly representative one of what the game will be at launch or, more importantly, 3 months down the line. Being an early adopter for MMOs gives you that adrenaline rush of following the horde of new players through the zones, but I think I’m tired of that. I’d much rather come back to older games and have a stable and polished experience. This certainly helped with Neverwinter as at launch that game had its issues too, now I’m happily playing it without feeling like I’m an unpaid beta-tester…

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One Response to Sticking to the tried and tested

  1. achaiusplays says:

    I have to say, I agree for the most part. I was in the beta for Diablo 3 (didn’t get it), Elder Scrolls (didn’t get it), FFXIV (happily subbing it) and Neverwinter (playing every now and then).

    I missed the beta from Wildstar though, and ended up buying the game as a pre-order with the headstart. I used those 3 days to check it out and see how well it worked on my PC. I have to play it on low but it runs okay.

    I wish I’d been in the Beta though. I try to get into the betas of all the MMOs I am interested in just so that I can get a feel of what it will be like on my PC. I don’t actually look for bugs too much, to be honest… I have a medium level PC so it’s more about playability for me. But definitely, in my opinion, beta sign up is a great way of checking whether you’ll actually be able to play the game in the first place. It’s almost like the old demo discs on the PSX (oh that brings back memories… haha)

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