RIFT: Testing vs. Impressions

In RIFT’s latest Closed Beta event, Trion proves to us that you can still call an Open Beta, a Closed Beta. They basically made it so that anyone short of being an absolutely horrible search engine user could get in this one. Perfect in a way, brilliant in another, but I speculate the negative effects of such a move.

On one hand you have the assembling of a mighty host of players who now have a chance to see this game before they buy. All those sitting on the fence, now can join in. And from just a small collections of thoughts from guildies that we thought we were going to have a hard time getting to come play this game, were logging off late last night with some smiles. I could tell, by the fact they played a far distance into their normal evening ends. The games gained some on the fencers.

And what’s clearly to me the primary reason for this vast Beta event, was that Trion was able to test server loads and population levels. I think they suffered in some aspects; having major server issues to look at, as well as most of us for the first time seeing any king of latency issues. To me, you have to applaud the fact that a developer would do what they can to see what their servers can handle before launch. Any time a developer is not trying to have a failed launch day is one that should be met with hugs. Delicious juicy hugs of rainbows. Seriously, I’m not joking. Bad launch day’s are as bad as break-ups, thinking you just drank glass shards, or pointy toed shoe kicks to your testicles.

However, it does have a draw back. It’s called morons don’t understand the term Beta Testing. I may appreciate a developer looking to find out their true server loads, their real latency expectation on launch, their discovery of optimal server populations. But Farius, the absolute authority of MMO history and reviews, happens to be in General Chat making sure everyone knows how much a game sucks because he got dropped from the server. I can appreciate you took the money-saving route of using a Beta Test as a test for your wallet, but at some point I would hope that could take a minute to realize that when the server population says “FULL,” that it in fact actually means it’s full. The QQ in channel 4 was so overwhelming that it had to be turned off. Which to me was a scary revelation in terms of Beta.

Now, we know they are morons, but I really wonder on the metrics of the testing. If marketing actually talks to the design team and they actually draw up statistics on what effects turning a Closed Beta into almost an Open Beta to determine server loads and latencies. Do they draw up conclusions on sales lost or gained based on the decision? For me as player, I’m not sure I care as many of you don’t. If they are stupid enough to rage out of a buying decision based on Beta testing, then they were going to rage out early any way. But on a purely capitalistic stand point, the difference between an idiot raging out now on a Free Closed Beta invitation rather than a day into launch is roughly $50 for each one.

For example, EA sold nearly 750,000 copies of WAR. Only 500K were around in October of 2008 in less than a month. You can basically consider you had 250K of nerd rages in the first week. That’s roughly $12.5 million dollars you wouldn’t have had if you had a free Open Beta a month before launch. So, with your experience last night in Beta and most likely encountering mass lag or dropped from server issues, do you think that the Beta event will do more harm than good in terms of potential buyers with so many new faces in the fold?

Don't you dare try to steal this very very official signature.


8 thoughts on “RIFT: Testing vs. Impressions

  1. Have any PVP goodness stories for us yet?

    That said, thanks for the update! I know a lot of people keeping an eye on the game, waiting to see how it goes after launch (no game ever launches well).

    Looking forward to hearing more!

    • So far for PvP, as a healer, I’m a god amoung the carebears.

      The Mana cost don’t control your output. So it’s just a matter of being good at guessing the attack. Even at Level 10 with an instance of 20s, I’m still a king of heals.

      My guild also greatly enjoys it in each of their classes and specs. But as for a WAR veteran healers, you’ll just be a god amoung these folks. It will be awhile before they catch on.

  2. Morons being as they are, will spew & cry & moan about a beta server dropping them, & still buy the game.

    I think Trion’s strategy is sound, nothing fucks a game like a poor start..well except for no end-game.

    • For long term I agree. A bad start in this day and age kills games. We can look at APB and know for sure.

      I’m talking about missed boxed sales. These are the dollars you never see in game. That’s my point.

      However, in under a day, they made some serious coding fixes and the game runs absolutely amazing again. They also seem to be openning a server every 6 hours at this rate. Pretty wild for a closed beta.

  3. Yea, so far Rift looks pretty cool – and unlike some other game that shall not be named, they do have a coding team that changes things. The devs have humor too – I laughed at the patch notes “we have changed the werewolves abilities to be 53% less huff and 61% less puff”.
    All and all it seems like a viable alternative to the current crop of MMO and that will impact sales much more than any moron raging on the [4] channel. Whether it can withstand the onslaught of GW2 and SWtor I am less sure

    • That is a problem for the long term future. Is Trion in for the long haul. Are they going to be ready with expansion and ongoing content so that in under a year, it’s not RIFT the game we Shall Not Name.

      GW2 will probably be the biggest killer. I’m not sure of SWTOR threats to any game yet. It will sell, but as for holding players, that will be in the works for future tales.

  4. I had access to the game this last week for this “closed beta”, but something about it just couldn’t get me to log in for any extended period of time. It’s a great game as it pertains to polish, and PvE experience, I just really don’t think it will satisfy the PvP itch.

    • I think it takes time for everyone to get through everything before you can have your PVP competition. I mean, how many of us were roaming about in the first month of WAR looking for PVP? Jeez, it practically took 3 months before you fought a WB in ORVR, and no one was even queueing for SCs.

      In RIFT, even with all the carebears, I have constants SCs. And the Open PVP is pretty good so far.

      I think RIFT will have the same. Players just naturally want to do one thing at a time. First is to hit Rank 50, then you do your prestige.

      I as well couldn’t really get into the last Closed Beta. At this point, I don’t want to keep to doing something that I am just going to have to do again.

      But I have no fears with the PvP. I’m not sure we are having the same experience.

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