There’s some discussion on the blogosphere at present about the Elder Scrolls Online beta. The NDA ban on writing on the game’s beta is still in force unless you’re on the relevant press list. Wilhelm over at The Ancient Gaming Noob is ruminating about whether to jump in or not. Eliot Lefebvre at Massively has a damning opinion piece about the game, namely that it’s just average, ‘nothing special’.
I haven’t bothered applying for a beta code for this game since it doesn’t particularly appeal to me. However since it’s one of the upcoming MMO games that will require a box purchase and a subscription it might be worth trying the beta for free but then a free trial post-launch (if one is available) would be preferable to the possibly incomplete beta gameplay experience.
By a similar token I have zero interest in the Everquest Next Landmark alpha test. Testing games in my spare time isn’t my idea of fun. I just don’t have the patience to deal with pre-launch issues on a regular basis. I did play in the SWTOR beta, which was a positive experience; but then I also remember the Allods beta and that turned out rather differently (if you don’t know about this debacle, Google “Allods beta cash shop”). Syl has a blog post on the subject of Alpha testing and player expectations.
Perhaps both games (ESO and EQL) are coming at the right time for those MMO players bored with the current crop of games – those looking for something new. For me however there’s plenty of hours fun left in Neverwinter, EQ2 and LOTRO. I’d rather wait on the sidelines for these games to launch and to see something more concrete about how they’ll play when all the testing is done.