Friday, May 16, 2014

Be A Useful Tester

Friday! End of the week and what is everyone up to? Around here it is the start of the long weekend, which is never a bad thing. Really who doesn't like a long weekend? As we approach this weekend I am sure many of you which have been granted access to the Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha will be having a blast playing it. This is a good thing but it is important to remember it still is in Alpha this isn't the final product of the game. This brings me to this week's Reader Post submitted by Vittorino. He has a lot to say to all you testers out there something I think is extremely important.

I don't participate much in discussions on the forums, nor am I a streamer. I don't make videos to show off my skills to the community because, if I'm honest, I'm not really that good at the game. What I am good at is testing software. I'm good at finding problems and exploiting them. I'm good at making the software do things that it was never meant to do, and then report those things in great detail so that they aren't done in the final product. That's my job. That's how I make my money every day, and it's what I love doing. I've been a software tester for about 6.5 years, and a gamer for close to 30. I've participated in several alpha and beta tests for various games through multiple genres. Elder Scrolls Online, Diablo 3, D3: RoS, Final Fantasy 14, LoL, DotA2, Hearthstone, and WildStar just to name a few of the more recent ones. It's safe to say that I speak from a position of moderate experience.

My complaints aren't with Blizzard or with the game. They're with the whiners. The people who moan and groan about the state of a game that is, by the creators' admission, only partially complete. The technical alpha isn't the time to gripe about how difficult it is for you to earn gold. It's not the time to whine about the lack of map variety. You shouldn't be focusing on which maps you don't want to see in competitive play because the game isn't finished so there can't even be any competitive play. 

We're in the Alpha stage. We're being given the opportunity to help Blizzard make the best game possible, and far too many of us are squandering it complaining about not being able to purchase all of the Heroes fast enough. This isn't just a chance to play the game early. This is a chance to make a game that is fully functional as well as a lot of fun to play. There are more important things to worry about beyond your gold stacks or how much you hate the Haunted Mines map. Not getting credit for your Hero quests, for example. Or yesterday's issue with F2P Heroes being locked. Certain Heroes being underwhelming, for example:

  • Sgt. Hammer really shines in siege mode, but takes too long to get in or out. She is so weak everywhere else that she's not worth playing most of the time.
  • Lili has a nearly broken spammable heal with weak Heroic abilities
  • Falstad is squishy with a ridiculously situational stun that also stuns him for the preceding 1.5 seconds

Feedback like that helps. Seeing a fresh "I don't like this specific thing" post on the forums every day doesn't help, especially when it's not accompanied by any sort of helpful criticism. Unless you've got idea on how to improve the system, you're just whining. Use the alpha to help them fix problems with the engine or the mechanics, not to gripe about how much you don't like playing Cursed Hollow.

So enjoy your weekend if it is a long one or not, but remember testing is not the same as complaining.

1 comment:

  1. Extremely well said. The game isn't finished and people shouldn't expect it to be. Play the game and discuss how things should be fixed or developed better so when the game is out it is the best game possible.