I’ve seen and heard a lot of people talking about how excited they are about the Mists of Pandaria beta and what they are going to do. But some people are also questioning what’s expected of them as a beta tester and what they should do to become a good beta tester. First I think you should ask yourself these two questions: Why do you want to be a beta tester? What do you think makes you a good beta tester?
I participated in the Wrath of the Lich King beta and Cataclysm alpha. At first I saw it as a chance to get a sneak peek and play the game before everyone else, but then I learned that there is so much more you should do and I felt important and happy to be one of those who got to test it and give feedback to polish and improve the game before it went live.
I’ve now read through some websites and forums, gathered and written down what I think are the most important things to keep in mind if you are going to participate in the beta test.
- Blizzard wants a wide variety of testers: varied computer systems, locations, play experience, and game interest
- A veteran player isn’t necessary a better beta tester than a new player. Introducing previously uninvolved testers with fresh perspective may help identify new bugs.
- The beta is not a demo to complete content before anyone else.
- Keep in mind that it’s a beta and nothing is final before it’s live.
- You are responsible for checking that the game works, is easy to use, has actions that make sense, and contains fun gameplay
- Being a beta tester is more like a job than something you do just cause it’s fun
- The beta test is designed to find bugs, issues that have made it past internal testing.
- There will be frequent disconnects, and the realm may be up for a few minutes at a time as new content is added. Do not expect the entire expansion to be available.
- Expect things to be broken, graphics to be missing, or placeholders.
- Instead of complaining out loud or in the chat, report your problem by using the feedback survey or the official beta testing forums, and be constructive!
- You can still give feedback on the quests, zones, dungeons etc even if you don’t find any bugs.
- The more bugs that get reported in the beta, the less there will be when it goes live.
- Bugs may range from art glitches, animation errors, logic errors, level bugs to quest items not working, random dismounts, falling through the world, getting stuck, damage and class/mob balance bugs, lore error and much more. Testing requires creative gameplay to discover often subtle bugs. Some bugs are easy to document, but many require a detailed description so a developer can replicate or find the bug.
- Detail when the bug occurred and how it occurred. The more detail the better. Go back and see if you can cause the bug to occur again.
- Do stuff Blizzard never intended for players to do. Because a player will do so by accident and cause an issue. Players also have ways of doing stuff the developers never thought of doing. It is better that it happens in beta than on live.
- Use the feedback survey, visit and read the official beta forums, follow Blizzard’s updates on what they want you to focus testing on.
- What is your reward? A sense of accomplishment. You helped to polish a game you enjoy. And a sneak peek at the game is the reward for most. But previous beta invites and good feedback can increase your chances of getting picked again.
- Remember that all characters in Blizzard beta tests are wiped from the servers before the final game. Carrying characters over from the beta to the final game would give beta testers an unfair advantage and there are numerous technical issues as the beta client is not the same as the final game version.
A good and fun video about beta testing, made for Cataclysm but it’s still useful
If you can remember and do all or some of the points above, you’re on the right way to become a good beta tester! Good luck and enjoy!