Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Unholy Beta

After my triumphant return announcement, I expected to be more actively posting some thoughts on Darkfall Unholy Wars.  Thing is... NDA is still up and the beta has lasted FAR FAR longer than I ever would have expected.

What I find interesting about betas is that different people play them for different reasons.  Some people want to contribute suggestions for improvement.  Some people want to get an "early edge" so that when release happens they have a head start.  Others just want to play the game.

No matter what your reason for playing the beta, one factor always plays in everyone's mind: will I play this game for long on release?

That's the unfortunate side effect of a beta -- people can't help but judge an incomplete and unfinished product through the lens of what they expect at release.

The part I wonder about is how badly a game is hurt by an unexpectedly long beta.  Personally, I can't think of a single instance where interest  "increased" during an extended beta phase.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions about how this relates back to the DF:UW beta, but I don't think it's breaking NDA to say that the longer an extended beta lasts, the more likely interest is going to start to wane.

Excitement can easily turn into bitterness, particularly when a concrete release date isn't known and players stop wanting to invest time in a game where character progression lacks permanence.

For myself, I like the game and I "do" plan to play it at release.


Stabs said...

Nice to see signs of life here. I look forward to NDA lifting. I've always been interested in Darkfall but was rather put off first time round by the idea of macro afk skilling.

sid67 said...

I took a hiatus from MMOs which inevitably leads to a hiatus on a blog about MMOs. :)

Hopefully, NDA lifts soon and I can provide more specifics.

In a game like DF where repeated actions increase skills, it's difficult to get rid of afk macro'ing completely (particularly with the new mice/keyboards).

That said, the issue has been severely mitigated. The problem with DF1 was that you couldn't be viable WITHOUT afk macroing. In UW, that's definitely not the case and the advantage from skilling up this way is relatively short-lived.