Reply Code: Beta

23 Nov

Yesterday, Blizzard announced that they were shutting down the Beta realms and said testing was officially over.  I was one of those that was fortunate enough to get a Beta key and I can’t help but feel like I didn’t do enough with it or that I really got the most out of it. 

There were a couple factors in play that prevented me from getting as much done as I may have wanted to.  The first one being is that I had never been a part of any kind of Beta testing before.  I went into it with a certain set of expectations and ideas and it ended up being nothing like I had imagined.  Both in a good way and in a bad way.  Usually, when I log in to the game, I have an idea of what it is that I want to do with my time.  I will log in and run this instance.  I need to farm X amount of Justice Points.  I want to level this profession.  You can’t always do that in the Beta.  My time in the Beta could best be summed up as “Catch as catch can.” 

The Beta was also considered something that was going to make or break my future with this game.  I went into the Beta as a concerned resto druid and depending on how the changes to my class went and how comfortable I felt with them and everything else in the grand scheme of things, I would either choose to remain a resto druid or make the decision to re-roll to a holy priest.  To some degree, I think I already had my mind made up before I started.  I think I just wanted to be sure.  I think if I would have spent the entire time testing as one class and put all my efforts into testing and really enjoying said class maybe I wouldn’t have walked away from the Beta feeling so divided. 

I was disappointed with the response from the community and my fellow players in the Beta, as well.  To me, it was very clear from the beginning that this was going to be a game changing expansion.  You could see that coming a mile away.  Yet, there were still droves of people that were either ignorant to that fact or who simply refused to acknowledge it and insisted on still doing things the old way.  This mostly came into play during 5 mans.  You would see tanks running in and zerging packs of three or more, you would see DPS wailing on something that is obviously casting a harmful spell, healers who aren’t bringing drinks to refill their mana bars.  It made grouping really painful and that was a huge reason I wanted to be a part of the Beta.  I love to heal.  I wanted to find people to heal.  But the groups were unbearable and I couldn’t drag myself through another unprepared PuG.

I really feel that the majority of the player base is not prepared for Cataclysm.  They aren’t.  I know that sounds taunting or intimidating, but I really feel that way.  People have no idea what they are in for.  In some really sick way, I’m excited about the possibility of sitting back and seeing who is going to make the cut and adapt to the changes.  I know some people are really going to struggle and the process of getting to 85 is really going to weed out the weak, sorta speak.  I look forward to seeing who can make the best of it and get with the program and who can’t.  I think these changes have been a long time coming and a return to some really old mechanics and standards that were sadly missing in WoTLK. 

The last thing I found really confusing was the process of testing the actual raid content.  In my experience, you would see announcements on MMO of which raids were being tested and you basically had to beg in Trade chat for someone to take you.  There were times I got selected and times I didn’t.  I wasn’t aware of any guilds on my realm (Lost Isles) that were organized enough to be running the raids, so I didn’t feel that was an option.  I also didn’t plan on changing guilds/realms on Live during this time and that ended up taking up time I could have been spending trying to grovel my way into a test raid.  The few pieces of content I was a part of where extremely fulfilling and enjoyable.  Overall, it felt like trying to jump into a game of double dutch that had already started. 

At the end of the day, I would like to think I still made some bit of difference in the Beta, in my own way.  I submitted a lot of feedback, mostly on quests and small UI issues or things like that.  I submitted a few tickets on spelling mistakes or grammar errors and I submitted a bug ticket recently because Chakra: Serenity wasn’t working as intended.  I don’t know if anyone was really listening, but it still felt good to know that the door was at least open and there was the chance that what I said could make a difference.  I feel a bit more prepared now, where if I did get into another Beta, I would know what to expect and I could play a bit smarter. 

In closing, I was thrilled to be included and I look forward to seeing which things I experienced in the Beta will make it to Live or which will remain things that I get to remember for myself, with the help of some lovely screenshots.


6 Responses to “Reply Code: Beta”

  1. Kurn November 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    I also think the playerbase is really not ready for Cataclysm and its Burning Crusadesque dungeons. I’m not pugging a damn thing. I’d rather quest as holy than heal a pug!

    I’m envious you got to heal in a raid situation, though! I basically levelled, saw about 15 different iterations of pally spells, got some good zone feedback going, did some pugs and some non-pugs of 5-mans. But I also feel like I could have done so much more. I blame getting a guild back together. 😉

    • Oestrus November 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

      What’s with you and the imaginary words?! Crusadesque? You’re killing me, here – lol

      It was a blast and I see the raids being a lot of fun. I was surprised at how much my role really hadn’t changed. I was still using Renew/CoH spam, but with a few other mechanics mixed in. I would toss out a Heal if the tank was getting low or I had an SoL proc or something. I was expecting a huge shake up in my rotation and that didn’t really happen, which I didn’t really mind.

      I would say you getting your raid back together was a very valid reason to miss the raid testing. Hopefully, next year when we get Beta invites, we can hop on together and show these groups how it’s really done!

  2. Osephala November 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    Honestly, I think it’s going to be challenging for people to get used to the idea of CC again. A whole expansion was based on “gather ’em up and blow ’em up!” but I think that after practice and getting used to CC again, it will surely be very rewarding. Also, I’m really hoping that the way epics are meant to be more epic is the way I’m thinking. Being handed epics is nice for my alts, but I’d like to be challenged on Ose to get her gear and know that I worked for it. Know what I mean? I would like to say I’m prepared for Cataclysm, but even I’m not sure! 😛

    • Oestrus November 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

      I think that not only will it be rewarding, but refreshing, too. Like when people see how smoothly a run can go, without the case of “Oh shit, he’s pulling!” I think people might say to themselves “Why didn’t we always do it like this? This is kinda nice.” So, hopefully people will realize how much fun it can be and how much less stressful a run can be when you do it and everyone will just be generally happier to be running things again.


  3. AliPally November 24, 2010 at 7:35 am #

    I think for those of us who experienced vanilla and early BC, we will be wondering what all the fuss is about. I’m looking forward to it!

    • Oestrus November 24, 2010 at 8:37 am #

      I think those of us who were there for “the good old days,” as they were, you probably won’t be too surprised by how things shake down. But I think people who came in for Wrath or came in at the tail end of BC, when things did kind of get the nerfbat and things did start being less involved, they may have a more difficult time.

      It will be a learning process for everyone, healers included. I haven’t touched a mana pot in ages and now I’m chugging them like crazy. I haven’t actively wanted spirit on my gear and now I can’t get enough of it. I have to actually use my cooldowns and juggle them, appropriately. Healing feels like work again and I couldn’t be more pleased.


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