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ArenaNet needs a public test shard and survey system.

public test shard public test server pts survey

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#1 DuskWolf

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:34 AM

One thing that's occurred to me is that many things in the game are caused by ArenaNet thinking that they can do things with data. Have a read of this article over on Kill Ten Rats. It basically shows that they judge future content based upon data, but that data doesn't show negative response, it only shows uptake. It also doesn't show when a person quits, or why. They'd need more granular data analysis which is something they're clearly not using right now.

This is silly.

It means that many bad choices could be due to trusting data which only gives a very tiny, focused view of an overall situation, it's a case of not seeing the forest for the trees. They don't understand the big picture, or what people are willing to tolerate or opposedly not willing to tolerate, or why. So it's a flawed view of things.

Basically, it's rose-tinted glasses data.

The solution to this is a time honoured solution that's been around since the days of Ultima Online. Have a test server, roll your new content out on that first, bit by bit as you develop it. And with each piece of content you roll out, if it's a drastic change, or something that would alter the perception of the game, then you send out surveys. You treat all those of your playerbase who've decided to play on the test server as a focus group.

That way you can get a good sample of how people feel, which is relevant to those who play the game. And yes, this goes against forumites. I'm a forumite. I'm okay with this. Why wouldn't I be?

And if, by any chance, someone who's involved with an MMO is reading this: Please take this advice to heart. Before you go changing your game in a huge way that's going to fracture your playerbase, get it out on a test server, get feedback, and figure it out from there. You don't have to roll out new content immediately. In fact, testing content on a test server to get it right before it goes live, so that you have content that's going to make the largest majority of people happy, is the way to go.

#2 Arquenya

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:20 AM

Fully agreed!!

EVE had a test server. The test server forum thread was always full of very uselful feedback - like mine ;-)
There were a lot of bug reports and flaws people found that were overlooked by the devs. It really had added value.

#3 Mimterest

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:26 AM

This is so true, I hope Anet devs take something like this up to discussion and consider making such changes. I've been really disheartened with the game lately, and being able to provide actually meaningful feedback on what I do and don't enjoy would be a huge boon.

I didn't mention that the biggest gripe with the game for me at the moment are the huge number of bugs, unbalances and how Arenanet always manages to break something. All of which would be greatly reduced with the use of a test server/shard ;P

#4 BabyChooChoo

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:32 AM

In all honesty, I think this is a perfectly reasonable request.

A large portion of complaints have to do with the quality of available content. I think it'd be in their best interest to make sure any future content is as good as humanly possible before it's rolled out to the masses. I don't think ANet is incompetent or arrogant per se, but I don't think they're doing themselves any favors by not getting more involved with their customers.

I'm an avid Eve player and, on top of their test server,  there is a seemingly large portion of the dev team (from lead designers to random artist X) constantly engaging with players in discussion about the game (and everything else really lol). I haven't gone over the official GW2 forums, but, from the little I've seen, there seems to be a lot of radio silence from anyone even remotely related to the design team until they decide to do a reddit AMA or interview with a random website.

If they can't do a test server, at the very least, they need to engage their customers more on a regular basis by any means necessary  Mind you, not just for our sake, but for their's as well.

Edited by BabyChooChoo, 09 December 2012 - 01:33 AM.


#5 Nitroglicerin

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:44 AM

Unfortunately, ArenaNet seems only worried to squeeze the maximum from gem shop. Having a test server is the bare minimum from a serious company. Introducing new content involving a lot of players in the same area like the Lost Shores event without testing it with a great number of players simultaneously is a road to disaster as we have seen.

The game has still many bugs and a lot of basic things need to be redone/balanced but ArenaNet prefers to run forward to the cliff producing more and more events and not using time and resources to solve the game issues.

Its a pitty because GW2 has a lot of potential. But artificial hype is not enough to maintain a game long term.

Lets hope they see the light and correct their path.

Best regards,
Never underestimate the determination of MMO´s player base! We create worlds or tear them apart!

#6 Rielesh

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:44 AM

I agree. they really need PTR

but if you look at official forums Anet is refusing to talk
if you say hey best mmo ever ... some community manager will tell you thank you for feedback

Now in bugs / general you have most replies from mods that are merging and locking topics topics while 700 replies topics are waiting for anet reply...

and you can even look at suggestion most of them got from 5 to 33 views and in !!10!! pages of suggestions there is only 1 anet post in linux topic ...

I am really worried about development of this game because based on official forum they are just ignoring their player base and not responding to any issue at all except maybe karka chest shitstorm.

I find this very unprofessional when I look at some other games or even indie games where developers are responding to community or even asking for feedback on how should they improve game or what their player base want ...
this is same that swtor did I was there when that game launched yet developers refused to listen to any feedback and look its now pay 2 win free game ...

Edited by Rielesh, 09 December 2012 - 01:51 AM.


#7 Lucas Ashrock

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:41 AM

Their server barely survive a main one time event (until you're dc and login server crash), and you truly believe they will have a test one too? Haha :D Welcome to non sub cheap games
Curious, gw1 patches was amazing, i wasn't logging on any forum filling complains at all, i was actually enjoying that damned content bit by bit.

Edited by Lucas Ashrock, 09 December 2012 - 08:42 AM.


#8 Robsy128

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:44 AM

Considering Guild Wars 2 is a brand new MMO that has just launched - yes, there will be bugs.
But I agree, they should add this so that the community can go somewhere to moan and also find bugs. I'm getting tired of people complaining about bugs on here :P

#9 FoxBat

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:28 AM

A public PTR actually does not serve their business model well. They need to expose people to the content at the same time they can buy shiny new things. They particularly don't want people spoiling those one-shot events and not descending on the servers in a lagfest when it fires, wondering if they are better than they actually are. Yes the content is going to be a buggy mess as a result, but the alternative doesn't make them money. They are in the market for impulse buys from returning players during short events, not for making things of high quality and lasting value like a subscription game would.

Edited by FoxBat, 09 December 2012 - 11:29 AM.


#10 DuskWolf

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:13 PM

View PostRobsy128, on 09 December 2012 - 09:44 AM, said:

Considering Guild Wars 2 is a brand new MMO that has just launched - yes, there will be bugs.
So it's unreasonable to expect an MMO to have a public test shard, when Ultima Online had it as a standard feature back in '97? A feature that's proven its necessity for over 15 years?

You're silly.

#11 Just Horus

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:03 PM

This is the only post by DuskWolf that I fully agree with. Though with ANet's track record, I don't see this happening any time soon or ever. I'd bet on the latter.

#12 Robsy128

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:05 PM

View PostDuskWolf, on 09 December 2012 - 07:13 PM, said:

So it's unreasonable to expect an MMO to have a public test shard, when Ultima Online had it as a standard feature back in '97? A feature that's proven its necessity for over 15 years?

You're silly.

What the... I'm seriously tempted to yell at you, but I'll just quote myself, which is the NEXT SENTENCE.

View PostRobsy128, on 09 December 2012 - 09:44 AM, said:

But I agree, they should add this so that the community can go somewhere to moan and also find bugs. I'm getting tired of people complaining about bugs on here :P

I wish people would learn to read on these forums instead of jumping down people's throats. Seriously, this is getting ridiculous now.

#13 rick1027

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:47 PM

id love to see this implemented. it something ive been saying since launch

#14 Ualtar

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:15 PM

I seem to recall it took LOTRO awhile before they had a test server, I don't think it is a normal thing to have at game launch.

I will agree that this is something that could be good to have.  I personally do not have the time to play on a test server, and most people I see that play on one a lot tend to not play the game very long.  Once stuff goes live they are bored because they saw it all already.




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