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Author Topic: Dear Beta Applicants...  (Read 2358 times)

Offline Kinneas

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Dear Beta Applicants...
« on: 14 April 2009 06:09 PM »
Read this on the official site if you have not yet.

Dear Beta Applicants,

In light of the upcoming Beta Test phase of Star Trek Online, I felt it wise to inform you about the few good and the many bad sides of being a Beta Tester. (I've posted relatively the same information on the forums of the MMORPG game "Stargate Worlds" and is seemed to help answer a lot of questions for people there, So why not here?)

1. What is an NDA?
2. What's keeping Cryptic Studios?, I want to play!

I thought it would be appropriate to answer these people as bluntly as possible:

----------------- ASK AND YOU WILL RECEIVE ---------------

1. What is an NDA?

Answer: NDA (Short for "Non-Disclosure Agreement) is a contract you have to agree to to be able to participate in beta testing this program. By signing it you agree NOT TO TELL ANYONE that you are in beta, been invited or anything else related to this program. If you breach this agreement you can face legal ramifications, Ranging from life-time ban to the more serious hefty fines. Also, If you are under the age of 18, Forget it, You are not getting in!

Should there be a chance you are under age and you DID get in be aware that if you signed the NDA yourself, You are illigaly participating in Beta, Or if your legal guardian signed the NDA for you any breaches in the agreement will end in legal ramifications for the person who did sign the NDA.

2. What's keeping Cryptic Studios?, I want to play!

Answer: First of all let me start by saying that being a beta tester does not mean actually "playing" the game. Beta tester means exactly what it says. You are TESTING the game. Those who have been chosen to test the game are chosen to help find bugs and report them to the available Cryptic Studios staff. So anyone of you who has applied to Beta because you thought you could play the game, Sorry but you are going to have to wait a while longer.

I'm sure Cryptic Studios is hard at work trying to get Star Trek Online up and running.
So stay calm, Sit back and enjoy the ride.

If you don't get chosen to help in beta-testing this program, Don't go on a suicide mission through these forums, Remain calm and wait for your turn.

Some of you will get chosen, Some of you won't. Deal with it.

And for those who already knew all this, Let us be kind to the people out there with questions and try to help them as much as we can.

--------------- Some of the things people will see if they are accepted as Beta Tester -----------------

They find out they get thrown out of the game because of a bug.
The game freezes up.
Background sounds might stall.
Certain places might not be textured or the textures won't load for them.
Certain ingame items won't work properly or at all.
NPC's won't react to your presence or will react while you are still far away.
NPC's who will kill you in one blow and vice versa.
Missions/Quests can't be completed.
Walking somewhere on the map and suddenly find yourself falling through the floor.
Immediatly starting the game you die for no apparent reason whatsoever.
Expect login servers and game servers do be down, A LOT!
Your character will be lost more then just once due to server wipes

And these are just a few of the things you will face when being a beta tester.

Oh, And for those who think they can take their character from Beta Phase to the Official release, Sorry to dissapoint you but ALL beta characters will more then likely be wiped!

-------------- Another important factor in getting to beta test --------------

IF you are invited to beta testing, Be warned that due to server stress and/or other errors which can occur, The files you need, Be it small bug fixes, entire patches and/or other content CAN AND WILL often result in being unable to finish downloading, You must have patience while being a beta tester, Because there will often be times you have to download certain files mentioned above again and again. Don't whine about it, You did sign up for this!

---------- This part concerns people under the age of 18 -----------

While you can't participate in the Closed Beta as of the reasons mentioned in this post, You are however welcome to apply to Open Beta once it becomes available. Considering there is no NDA for the Open Beta. You will still have a chance of trying out the game. Though be warned, There will still be bugs in the game by that time, It would be much appreciated if you helped out the community find those bugs and report them to the developers who you may find in-game.

----------------- What is expected from you when you are invited to beta test -----------------

Like previously stated, Being in beta doesn't mean you can have a fun time playing, This is a serious matter. You are the selected few who will pave the way for the rest of the community, You are invited to help take out as much bugs as you can find.

---------------Several things you probably will be doing when beta testing are-------------

1. Finding ways to get to places you're not supposed to go.
2. Finding holes in the map through which players could fall.
3. Exploring the edges of the world maps for holes which could lead players off the map into unmapped space.
4. Try all different animations of your character in several different orders.
5. Explore the world listening for sound problems, and graphics related bugs.
6. Try out missions and report all bugs to the developers team.
7. Try every weapon to make sure none of them fail to work.
8. Shoot at something or someone and see if this item, NPC or other beta tester responds in the correct manner. (i.e health dropping, armor decreasing etc.)
9. Try different graphical settings from low quality to (if your PC can handle it) very high quality.
10. Try out groups, Part of the game means you have to work together, So make sure there aren't any bugs in there.
11. Guild creation, Explore every aspect of it. Try different name combinations, Try promoting people in the guild and see if it all works according to plan.
12. Try out different items you can use for enhancing your character, Make sure they work properly.
13. Approach locations from different directions. (I personally have found this too lead to server crashing on several occasions in WoW)
14. Gather as much people as you can together in one location and see if the server can handle all of them together.
15. With said people (#14) go find some huge instances and once again check to see if the server can handle all of them in action.
16. Explore every nook and cranny of the maps while trying to find any texture problems (i.e textures which won't load, or simply aren't there)

etc. etc.

This and MANY MORE will be expected of you if you are invited. The goal of beta is to find as many bugs as possible and report them to the developers team so that they can fix it and that when the game is released it will near to completely bug free.

Read the rest on the official site!:

Offline Trekner

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Re: Dear Beta Applicants...
« Reply #1 on: 27 December 2009 10:26 AM »
Quote from: Angelwithsoul;335507
-------------Additional intel for people invited to the Beta test:-------------

One of the biggest things that doesn't get tested for enough is Greifing.

Tests for greifing vary widely, but can wildly affect playability and atmosphere of the game.

Such tests include

Conveyor Belting - abilities and effects which force character movement which can be used to force characters off the map or into undesired places (for example, using explosive devices or force fields to knock characters off maps or off cliffs or into places they can not escape from, or even force them across server lines or from being able to enter a zone);

Skill Interference - player interference with crafting, skills, abilities of another, such as using abilities or weapons or game mechanics to cause interruption of crafting, block a player from being able to click on a quest item or npc, or unanticipated interruption of abilities or skills with your own skills or abilities not meant to to so (such as interruption a player's actions by opening a trade window);

Scamming - through improper or unintended use of trade windows, vendors. (and/or "auction house" systems if they're available.)

Quest interference - such as unintended ability to kill escort type npcs or quest npcs, stealing quest spawned items from players on a quest, killing mobs intended for kill by the questing player

NPC Interference - intended or unintended ability to kill NPCs such as Vendors, Auction House characters, Story Based NPCs, or Interactive Items

Cross Faction Border Crossing - some areas intended for only Federation personnel or only Klingon personnel, finding a way to force a border crossing with a character of the opposite faction. (An example might be using a movement forcing device like an explosive to "blow" you through a fence and into the starting area of the opposite faction.

NPC Mind Control - unintended means of taking over or forcing an unintended action by a pet, NPC, or interractive item. An example might be using a movement cause effect to "move" an unkillable Vendor NPC. Another might be using a hostile ability on an NPC to force it to become hostile to someone else.

Attack by Interface - Using game interface screens to disrupt, block, or render helpless another player, such as spam group invitations which prevent a player from being able to type, opening trade windows constantly to block their screen, using spam in chat windows to block their ability to read or interract in NPC Conversation or text based commands,

Of course that doesn't include blatant greifing like stealing from players, or "killing their herd" (killing all of a lower level characters exp mobs) or killing a player repeatedly to prevent them from any interraction game at all. That certainly may need to be on someone's mind, but the job of a Beta Tester is to find -unintentional- methods a player might grief another.

For example that in (game name not mentioned), there was a way of trading a object to player that weighed more than they could carry. When the trade went through, since it was more weight than the person could carry game mechanics kicked it to force the player to drop inventory items and equipment until the player was back within the weight threshold. Essentially, it forced a player to drop all of their valuable gear in exchange for this boulder heavy item, which the greifing player would then steal off the ground.

Another example is that in (game name not mentioned), crafting an item involved a crafting graphic and animation sequence. In order to add realism, mechanics made it so if you were hit by an attack, such as making the mistake of crafting items during a battle or in the wild where wild monsters can attack, crafting could be interrupted. However, the same held true that even in a city, if a player casted a spell, such as a healing spell, on the crafting player, then the crafting would still be interrupted. Since crafting interruption caused the loss of all material ingredients, hostile or griefing players would wait around at places it was common for other to craft, and would cast heal spell or such on them to lose them all of those ingredients, which translated to lost money and time. This was common for players who wanted to "eliminate the competition" by targeting the competitive crafters to prevent their competition from having crafted products to put on the market.

Another example is in (game name not mentioned), in most places player vs player is optional and normally you are not required to participate. But if you click on a player that is "flagged" for PvP, then you become flagged for PvP also. In particular, a "flagged" player can stand over a quest NPC, or the bobble of your fishing pole, or a quest item, and you are unable to click the item, you instead click the player. This flags you for PvP, making it legal for the greifer to them attack and kill you. The greifer essentially blocks you from interracting in the game.

The point I try to make here is that I would appreciate, as I'm sure many countless thousands of others would, if Beta Testers would watch for these holes in game mechanics and programming. I know I would make this a strong concern if I make it into Beta Testing, but since there's no guarantee of that, I hope someone else is watching our backs.

--------------- Closing Statement ------------------------

I hope this thread has informed you on the basic topics regarding Beta Testing, NDA rules and Invitations.
Let us please keep the questions on these topics to a minimum, If you have anything further to ask, Please feel free to ask in this thread.
We don't want to have 10 threads going from different people asking the same questions, Do we now?

And remember what you've read.

The end goal of a beta tester is to find as many ways to break the game as possible. Part of that is repeating actions that break the game over and over until you discover exactly what it is that triggers the break. Does it happen on every system, or just on particular hardware combinations? Trust me, after having done beta testing for a living it is NOT all fun and games. It can be repetitive, frustrating, even boring work - but it is absolutely necessary to the development process.

If all you want to do is play the game before everyone else, beta testing isn't for you. If, however, you take it as a personal challenge to make the game do things it isn't supposed to do, to break it, to bring it to its knees and make it beg for mercy, then and ONLY then is beta where you want to be.

-------------Some added info provided by other member(s) of the community:------------

-----------------And as a last effort----------------------

To all people who have made it this far by reading all this info. Congratulations, You show that you actually care about the meaning behind beta testing. Hopefuly all this info is helpful to you. Please once again I ask you to take this Beta Phase business very serious. This isn't the time for playing this game earlier then everyone else. If you get invited, Know that it is to help test the product, To make it work with as less bugs as possible. If you are here to "play" the game, This will be a great dissapointment for you. You can look forward to all the bugs mentioned in these first two thread posts and then some.

[COLOR="Red"]You are now ready to take the plunge, Beta registration has started. And without further ado...

UPDATE - CLOSED BETA HAS STARTED!!! ~as of the 22nd of October 2009



Good luck!

Also, For those of you who took part in the Champions Online 6 months / Lifetime membership plus guaranteed access to the Star Trek Online Beta Test phase. Please understand that due to the high amount of people who've signed up for this offer, Cryptic Studios can't invite everyone all at once as this would simply crash the server. Please be patient, Your invitation IS coming.

Welcome to the forums!
See you out there,


Thought that might be usefulll for those that get into beta.