Today via Stephen Reid on the official forums and twitter we got an announcement from Bioware that they decided to re-invite the testers of the first and only (so far) September beta testing weekend. Here Stephen gives us a great explanation to the reasoning and the situation behind the change of not inviting weekend testers back for another go.
Today we re-invited all testers who were invited to our Beta Testing Weekend #1 back to a future Beta Testing Weekend (which will happen on as yet unspecified date). I wanted to give you a little insight into why, and clear up confusion.
These testers were not re-invited to a Beta Testing Weekend for this weekend. We’re still internally testing the next major build of the game. As we’ve said before, when we’re ready to give everyone a date for the next Beta Testing Weekend, we’ll announce it.
Why are they being re-invited? Because we feel for a significant proportion of those invited to test during Beta Testing Weekend #1, they did not have an optimal testing experience. As I mentioned before, we had some issues, including some people not receiving an invite, and others being unable to get the client in time because of issues with their acceptance of their invite. With those factors in mind, we felt that because many people did not experience the game, it was worthwhile to re-invite everyone.
Where does that leave everyone who hasn’t been invited to test yet?
First, I realize that we previously stated if people were invited to test, they would not be invited again. Although that policy may change in future, we’re not changing it right now. However we feel that this situation is unique enough that we’re re-inviting this weekend’s testers. We expect this to be a one-off situation. I hope anyone who’s waiting to get into testing realizes that if they had similar issues, we would ‘do the right thing’ by you too.
Second, it’s important to realize as we’ve said before that future Game Testing Weekends are planned to be much, much larger than the first. This weekend’s entire testing population is actually just a small fraction of the total number we’re planning to invite to the next weekend, and our number of invites will go up after that. (Indeed, we’ll probably just increase our numbers overall and add the re-invited testers onto that total number.)
In summary, we had some issues and we wanted to ensure those invited to test, got to test. This is, we feel, a unique and one-off situation, but it’s also the right thing to do.
I realize that some of you may feel that getting a re-invite is unfair, as those re-invited will get more play time than those invited to just one weekend. That’s understandable. However, getting an invite and then not being able to play through no fault of your own isn’t great either. I’m sure if you put yourself in the shoes of someone who was invited but couldn’t play, you’d be grateful for the chance to test the game and give feedback.
For those of you yet to test, please be patient and understanding of our reasoning here. We’re going to invite many, many people to test The Old Republic before we launch and chances are, you’ll be one of them.
For those of you lucky enough to be re-invited, please respect the Game Testing Agreement and have some sympathy for those who haven’t been invited to test at all yet.
If you have questions, you know where we are.
I applaud their efforts to do the right thing by the testers that never got the chance to play through no fault of their own. It is also very nice to see them continually be forward with explanations as to the reasons behind their decisions. Honestly I think they are doing a great job keeping us informed.
Keep in mind that this is just what is says, “testing” so things are bound to come up. For those who are re-invited to testing keep your mind on your focus and remember that even when you have trouble getting an invite and can’t log into the beta servers, you are still doing your job of testing and helping to fix the problems in the system for the rest of us as evidenced by the first round of testing.
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