March 26, 2012

[GW2] Press Beta Weekend #2 (A Few Words on Community Feedback)

I’m not going to do a roundup of links or content from the second press beta weekend. That’s not what I’m about on my blog — I’m about silliness and rants, not actual informative content guys xD

You can find plenty of good sites out there that have aggregation pages up for this kinda stuff. I recommend GUILDMAG and GWONLINE, though there are several more. (I’m actually working on a proper blogroll for people whose GW2 blogs I visit regularly or respect for their content. Coming “soon”.)

No, this shortish blog is to talk about community feedback. I’m currently suffering with a nasty case of nasal congestion and stuff, so I’ve pretty much spent most of the day in bed feeling crappy and checking out what has been released after the GW2 media embargo is lifted, and I’ve seen some recurring messages on Twitter.

I had a similar post to this lined up after the first press beta, but I didn’t post it because I had plenty of other stuff to talk about. This time, seeing similar comments from people, I’ve decided what the Hell…

Press Beta #1

I saw a lot of comments along the lines of “If I’d been allowed to play in the beta…

  • I’d have never said that to the devs
  • I’d have been more critical
  • I’d have been less critical, beta is beta
  • I’d have tested “properly” (what does that even mean?!)
  • I’d have filled out every single feedback survey
  • I’d have recorded proper footage
  • I’d have played properly, with dodge rolls and weapon swapping
  • I’d not have forgotten to heal
  • I’d have played for three days straight and recorded everything.
  • I’d have shown you this. And that. And all the other.

Press Beta #2

I’m seeing comments about…

  • This footage isn’t as interesting as last time
  • I can’t believe they were allowed to beta test again
  • That guy playing for X press site was a waste of a beta key
  • Not enough videos. Release more content NOW!

Similar things are popping up in forums, on Twitter, and so on. I was fed up of them after the first press beta, but it is even worse this time around.

Let me put it simply:

“If I’d been allow-“


I know it’s sad that you haven’t been invited, but suck it up. Making comments like these, about people who are trying to provide you with content, just make you seem ludicrously entitled.

Sure it is in many press sites’ best interests to give you content. It helps them through ad revenue etc. It is their “job”. But don’t assume that the person assigned to cover said content knows anything about the game. Sure I imagine lots of people at various sites will be clambering over each other to get a chance to play, but not all will.

Just like the previous press beta event, I imagine ANet will have received valuable feedback from people who haven‘t been following GW2, know nothing about the game’s systems, and haven’t devoured every scrap of footage. Just because you know the details of every starting zone to the last minutiae doesn’t mean that these guys who write articles on a wide variety of games per day know the same as you.

More importantly, what gives you the right to criticize ANet’s choice of who to let beta test? If you’d gotten in, would you have been able to show content off? Not likely. Very few select individuals were given license to film footage. Some of us run blogs, YouTube channels, fansites… but we’re not press. We can’t show people the game. If we were in the beta, we couldn’t even blog about it. So really, stop being so demanding of the people who are trying to give you what you want.

Creating quality videos of unoptimised content is pretty hard in the first place. Add to that the challenge of not being familiar with the game, or automatically leveling up your character to 30 where your skills are all unfamiliar… All this adds to a sometimes awkward experience.

There is no need to be a suckup to ANet. There’s no need to mention their twitter account in every tweet you post in the hope that they’ll notice you more and invite you next time as you are obviously a far superior tester to the professional games journalist they invited…

With over a million signups I had no expectations to get into the beta. I’m not press. I have no media coverage. My past experiences with MMO beta testing, the number of points in my Hall of Monuments, my IQ, the size of various parts of my anatomy… none of these matter when you’re trying to get people interested in a game. Media coverage does. So don’t hate on the press sites simply because they were allowed to beta test and you weren’t.

Would I like to test the game, sure. But I’m not going to rave at how awesome I’d be at it, and I’m certainly not going to slate people who’ve already had a go and are bringing us with many hours of footage to whet our appetites and grease the cogs of the hyp–I mean, publicity — machine!

I suggest, as I seem to be doing a lot lately, that some people learn some manners, and keep in mind that ancient adage:

If you can’t say something nice about someone bringing you articles or YouTube footage of a game you don’t have access to, keep yer gob shut! xD



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Written by: demajen
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About the Author

Jon Burrage, aka Demajen. Urban Sci-Fantasy writer, digital artist, supply teacher, evil genius. One of these things is not like the others...



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  1. […] Demajen: Blog post about Community Feedback (26-03) * Gamespy: Hands on (26-03) * RockPaperShotgun: Beta Preview (26-03) * ZAM: GW2: A Social […]

  2. […] Demajen schreibt darüber, warum wer an der Beta beteiligt war (oder auch nicht). […]

  3. This morning, as I was subbing for Dutch Sunshine as the GuildMag agglomeration editor (he was away for a few hours right when the press embargo lifted), I was quite surprised at how relatively slowly the posts and videos were coming out.

    Last time, both Dutch and I working together were unable to get on top of the flood of new material until nearly 6 hours after the embargo lifted. This time? I had a dozen or so links in the first half hour, then the tempo dropped off to perhaps one every five or ten minutes.

    Oh, and that quote you end with … isn’t it properly rendered as “If you’ve got nothing nice to say, sit right here by me”?

    • Yeah, definitely slower release of content this time. But considering there doesn’t seem to be much “new” stuff in this weekend’s build, I’m not too surprised. Last time they had the chance of getting the first mesmer footage out. That was massive. New racial skills and elites, not quite as exciting. Though the Yogscast’s video of the new racials is great.

      Personally I’m waiting with bated breath for the sylvari and asura starting zones. Don’t think we’ll get to see those for a while though.

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