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5.6 Beta Program

Originally published at: 5.6 Beta Program – Gems of War

Ahoy, adventurers! It’s that time… time for our Beta to return! We are making further improvements to this process, and working with our testers to refine it as we move forward.The beta will still take place on Discord, but instead of taking applications via the forums, we have a shiny new email to send them too!…

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Floods Sirrian with random cat pictures.

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Heya,
maybe this was answered before somewhere else but what is a beta tester in Gems of War doing/supposed to do?

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Beta testers will have access to a special Steam server. This server will have an unfinished version of 5.6 loaded on it—most mechanics will already be in place, but there might be some things left out, and balance will probably not be correct (e.g. when we were testing the campaign our artifact gave us +25 magic at level 10, which was a ton of fun).

Your task will be to play in the server, focusing on the new content but spending time with the old stuff also. As you find bugs—whether that’s missing content, game text not matching in-game effects, or even crazier stuff—report to the beta tester Discord so devs know what you’ve found.

There is also a component of giving player feedback on the new content, but note that even unanimous player opinion isn’t always enough to induce changes to the devs’ plans.

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Thank you for your thorough answer.

I am guessing 5.6 will have new stuff, and not just lycanthropy fixes? Was hoping for fixes during the current lycanthropy campaign. :sob:

This is QA’s job. They are paid to find this. Beta testers aren’t. Finding bugs should just be the cherry on top.

This is the goal of beta testing imo. QA aren’t GoW gamers, so knowing how loved or not a new mechanic will be is hard to do. Tweaking minor things (like magic from artifact… wow 25 magic!) is also difficult on non gamers. Beta testers shine here.

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Yea, I have to admit it sounds a bit like they want a cheap (not paid) QA staff.

  • Is the game (as a whole) enjoyable?
  • Is a new mechanic fun?
  • How are different game modes affected by new mechanics or balance changes?
  • Are there major bugs?
  • How are things for new/veteran players?
  • Maybe … is the interface user friendly?
  • Are offers (for real money) reasonable/appealing?

Those are questions beta testers should answer from a view point of people playing on a daily basis.
Considering what all went into the game and did not get changed/taken out it seems those questions are not welcomed by the devs or maybe we would have gotten a lot more bad things, hard to tell without insider knowledge.

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This may be what beta testers SHOULD be, but it is most definitely not how the beta program works here, unfortunately.

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I’m more curious if there’s a complete rundown from any beta what people thought and such (history somewhere)? Cause I would be very interested to see how the beta testers received lycan and if they actually thought “It’s all good!” or if it simply makes no difference and the beta is only there for devs to get free testers to manage bugs.

The devs do seek out—and accept—some feedback. (The flashing tribute indicator being placed on the Krystara/Underworld button is one example, as is Explore 12 being level 150 and not 250 like it was initially.) Being a beta tester isn’t like talking to a brick wall and hoping for a response. But the roadmap for the game, and the schedule set by the publisher, make it so that not all the suggestions are actionable, even though they seem reasonable enough within the beta group. As players, and even as beta testers, we don’t get to see the business side of things imposing constraints on development. But the beta testers at least get a chance prior to release to act as a sounding board, or to make suggestions about how to improve the game.

I was a beta tester for a long time. Heck, I may even be the reason Salty kicked out everyone and started completely fresh for the 5.5 beta. But I enjoyed the experience and felt like I was getting an opportunity to make the game better for everyone else. I highly recommend it to anyone who has the time to spare.

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I can definitely confirm that you weren’t the reason @Grundulum. I really enjoyed having you. We always wanted to do a rehaul of the beta, and are continuing to do so. We wanted to offer people the chance to cycle in an out, and for new people to come in more frequently for fresh eyes and different perspectives. If you re-apply I’d love to have you in another Beta in the future.

Also, what Grundulum has said is correct. We take note and make changes where we can, but not every piece of feedback can be acted upon. This is due to a variety of things, including our road map, dev needs, publisher needs, etc etc.

If anyone is interested in seeing the update in advance and being part of our program they are welcome to apply. If this doesn’t interest someone, or they don’t have time, there is no need to apply, and a tester can pull out at any point.

I really value having player eyes on an update prior to release, as it shows weak points, illuminates interactions we may not have considered, and helps me understand community needs.

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So, in a nutshell, you play the game with your own profile doing things you usually do, take part in guild thingies and take note of things not working correctly? Or is there a different test profile created?

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You can use your existing profile, but it may be slightly out of date. Anything done in the beta isn’t reflected in the normal game.

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For example, when you join the beta you may have a snapshot of your account from 3 months ago to work with on the beta server, crafting zuul goth on the beta server won’t transfer over when you leave the beta, anything you do (medal, level, upgrade, craft etc) stays only on that beta profile. Some testers create a new account to see how viable a new game mode is for newer members of the community and similarly that account won’t transfer with you when you leave. This does raise an important point that if you are in a guild that has quite high weekly requirements it’s worth remembering you will effectively be playing 2 accounts so make sure you allocate enough time for testing on beta and playing on your live account in your guild.

It’s a great experience, anyone who is interested in finding out exactly what the process is with a new update, the time constraints the devs are under and being part of giving balanced actionable feedback should definitely apply :slight_smile:

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Thanks, that was precise. I’m giving a lot of time to our guild progress, so as it can’t be done alongside that, there’s no time. But it does sound interesting, maybe when I retire from my guild Janitors job…

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So just an example:

The beta testers gets to try out Lycantrophy. All the 19 testers except from 1 tells you that this is a bad idea, please reverse your plans! Will you listen to your beta testers, or will you press the gas pedal? (Lycantrophy is just an example it might be whatever introduced in the future)

They would obviously have to press forward because of all the development costs :man_shrugging:

All that’s going to be fixed are literal game-breaking things.

Adjustments to trigger rates and such might be implemented — balancing and bulky UI stuff — but besides that, :man_shrugging:

You’ve been here years. You’ve seen this process. Soooooo… :man_shrugging:

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I see… SHRUUUG

I will probably never become a fan of Lycanthropy and lycan gems but if they could at least turn it into a more strategic play with the gems, like only triggering on match and limiting the possible target(s) to something like first/last enemy, strongest/weakest enemy I could maybe find some joy there, compared to almost everything with them being out of the players control.

Having seen what makes it to Live and how feedback is treated by company representatives outside of Bet over the yearsa, my curiosity is slightly tangential (and hopefully beneficial for potential applicants so they may set their expectations accordingly): how do most former Beta testers feel about the program? Was it worth their time? Did it have any positive/ negative impact in their GoW experience?

I recall a year ago the community supporting a particularly helpful member for the program ( Redi must be a beta-tester ), and while his subsequent declining forum visibility may be totally unrelated, the concern remains that if most Beta testers end up more frustrated than feeling heard/empowered, joining the program may be unadvisable.
:thinking: :sweat_smile: :vulcan_salute: