To Beta or Not To Beta

…actually, I think, Gazimoff already did this title.

Nope! SCORE!

Anyway, World of Raids is looking for some bloggers to take some beta keys and I was tempted.

(Well, actually, I ended up posting anyway, but I’m still not sure of myself.)

I think it was temptation.  I thought “Ooooh!” because they specifically mentioned DKs, Druids, and Warlocks, and I’m at least one of those three.  But then I thought about why I wanted the key. Just to experience new content now rather than later?  Or to actually test the material?  I think I would test anyway, and I try my best to give constructive feedback when it’s wanted, but I’m not sure of myself.

Audience

For one, I’m a small blog.  That is, I hit 50 views on a good day.  (I haven’t gotten any beta scams in my email box, either.)  It’s okay, for the most part, I’m writing more for me than for large swathes of trolls (and gnomes and draenei and…) to give me attention.  So it’s not like me making a post about warlock mechanics in beta build XYZ is going to make much of a bang.  Most likely warlocks are already following the beta-goers posting in the Warlocks’ Den or reading Jagoex in Blood Pact on WoW.com.

Jagoex is really good, too.

Then there’s Nibuca, whom I once dubbed the Queen of Affliction.  She updated the affliction warlock part of Raider101.  I’d write a good long draft on some 3.3 cool thing, she’d post, and I’d see that her post was both better and clearer (more succinct?) than mine ever was.

So my being in the beta would only go so far if I can’t bring the beta to the community through my blog.

Specs

Don’t know much about pyrology,

Don’t know much demonology,

Don’t know much about Molten Core,

Don’t know what a Conflagrate‘s for.

But I do know that I love you,

And I know that if you love me, too,

What a shadowy world this would be.


Now I don’t claim to be some wiz Eee Jay,

But I’m tryyyying to be.

So maybe by being an Eee Jay beta

I can win your key for me.

That is how the song goes, right?

Theorycrafting & Class Guides

I’m not EJ-technical.  I try to understand the mechanics behind my spells.  I even practice it on a dummy for hours.  But the EJ how-to’s are a) stuck in BC, and b) written for people who already understand the mechanics.

In a word, they’re useless.

I’ve wanted to write a How To Be a Good Warlock series for a while.  I’ve been told in-game I’m a “good warlock.”  Whether that means I do uber DPS (prolly not) or that I simply take my healers into consideration and don’t Life Tap myself to death, I still consider myself pretty knowledgeable about affliction warlockery.  I want to share it.

But.

It’s late Wrath.  I got into the blogging game late, too. I do more lurking in forums than I do posting, mainly because I don’t feel as knowledgeable as those who were there since Vanilla.  Not to mention there are so many points of view I could be talking on, it’s hard to write a non textwall without generalizing and having it read wrong.  I feel like all I want to say has already been said before and I’d get laughed at for reiterating something so basic.  Even with all the PUG horror stories out there.

In Cataclysm, everything’s being changed.  I’m in the starting gates right now.  I haven’t been out on the practice track, but I’m ready for the race.

I Love To Tinker

When my dad and I played Baldur’s Gate or Myst or Might & Magic, we’d first do it blind.  Maybe we used paper and pencil to write down the puzzle codes in-game or whatever, but we wouldn’t use any walkthroughs or maps or guides that didn’t come in the box.  We’d beat the game au naturale first, and then we’d go back and God-mode the heck out of it.

I’ve been leveling my alts without heirlooms.  I find it more fun that way, having to actually struggle against appropriate-level quests and actually using quest rewards that are actually better than what I’m wearing.  I love making my own talent spec while leveling, never looking at a talenting or glyphing guide until I’m cap level.  I like reading the quest text and exploring my way there instead of immediately Wowheading it for the coordinates.

I actually like making the trip back to the quest giver instead of having a turn-in in-the-field.  *cough*  Makes for strategic hearthstone setting.

I like exploring.

I think I have the right mindset for beta testing.

But I’m not quite confident enough to say I would be great for it, to add to the beta forums or the community well.

I feel like a minnow.

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4 responses

  1. I have the same general feelings about beta testing. I don’t do PTR and stuff either. I know there are tons of people out there who like to pre-plan, but I just don’t see the point when things are in such a state of flux. Blizz has been well known to change their mind right up until things go live, so I prefer to focus on the live game.

    Not that I haven’t felt the pull of beta. There’s always that pull. And it’s nice to browse the blue posts to just get a general idea of their philosophies for the class. On the other hand, I don’t want to waste the “good surprise” on beta.

    Oh, and I’m a Test Engineer by profession. Not gaming software, but software all the same. Maybe part of it is that I don’t want to do my job in my free time :-D.

    04 Aug 2010 at 07:10

    • abi_FAILS

      I’m with you on this one. I’ve never done any beta testing for either expansion and I’ve never been on the PTR once. I’m a sucker for leaked info and upcoming changes, but I don’t want to experience the game early just to burn out earlier. Blizzard is notorious for changing their minds on everything, so I prefer to focus on the live game in its current state.

      19 Aug 2010 at 16:03

  2. I loved the Sam Cooke song.

    I’ve never really cared about betas or the PTR. It’s all guaranteed to change, so I might as well just play live. When the Cataclysm hits, and I have to relearn my class, I’ll be glad for the change. If I followed every single change throughout the beta, all the new mechanics would already be old, because I’d already kept up with every single change.

    09 Aug 2010 at 20:12

  3. I jumped all into the Beta. I figured it will be a good chance to test drive the lock mechanics and see how they change, grow in Cat. This is my first delve into any sort of beta, so all is shiny and new.

    It’s fun, but on the other hand, I don’t look forward to redoing all the entry level quests over again.

    24 Aug 2010 at 11:42

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