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Thread: Beta testers - what did they do all the time ?

  1. #1
    Second Lieutenant GeneralGonzo's Avatar
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    Beta testers - what did they do all the time ?

    As far as I remember, there was a quite long beta testing phase running for Warlock.
    Surely, the game runs smoothly without any greater bugs or CTDs !

    But to be honest, isnīt it also the task of beta testers to give feedback to the game ?
    So I wonder how so many things could be go to release without chnages.
    Just have a look at the suggestion thread.
    Didnīt they realized, that the game suffers at so many things, beginning with city spam, very dumb AI, lacking diplomacy options, no summaries ingame and at the end of the game, simple city management without considering the tile fields (i.e. vulcano more frutile than sand giving more food output or similar things) and so on....

    In my opinion the game could have been so much better with some more polishing or gamer feedback.

    Hope they work on it with patches and DLCs....

  2. #2
    There has yet to be a computer game invented that wouldn't benefit from more polish/time. I'm sure some of the Beta Testers suggested improvements for the game- but even if Ino-Co agreed, adding features/changing mechanics costs time and money. Neither is unlimited.

    The game was also sold for $20 dollars- for that price point, do you feel the game lacks content?
    Feel free to call me App. It's shorter.

  3. #3
    Second Lieutenant GeneralGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Apprentice View Post
    The game was also sold for $20 dollars- for that price point, do you feel the game lacks content?
    Are you serious ? I mean, 20 bucks is still a good ammount of money! And for the same price they even did a better job with Majesty2 !

  4. #4
    Falalalanatic RuneB's Avatar
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    I disagree that the game lacks polish. Sure, more diplomacy options and more advanced city management would be nice, but it works well without it too. The only thing that makes me think the game was not worth the 20 bucks is the lack of a challenging AI opponent.
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  5. #5
    I cannot agree.

    I think they have done a very good job with balancing a huge array of resources and options.

    This game maker has been criticized in the past for creating overly difficult games, and maybe they erred slightly in the other direction upon release, but that was, I strongly suspect a decision, not an oversight. And they have edged it up a tick or two during patching.

    As to the dumb AI, that is the bane of all single player games, not something that beta testers are going to fix by pointing out the problem. It is an extremely complex matter, creating good AI, and the more options you present the human player, the more impossible the task of creating a non-cheating yet competitive AI. But I believe that the makers of this game have done something very interesting: Unlike Civ, Heroes of Might and Magic, Age of Wonders, etc., they have concentrated on wandering/guardian monsters to create the main tension in the game. Individual monsters cause most of the tension throughout the game, and, in my view, they do the most interesting things to cause you trouble. And, from what I have seen, they have gotten tougher during patching. Note that this requires far less elegant AI programming than trying to create coherent strategies for enemy "nations." Few people complain that in Civ, the barbarians act like idiots and end up being nothing but XP fodder; we just judge the intelligence of the other civs. Well, I think this game has reversed things. Personally, I think it works extremely well, but, of course, we all have our own opinions.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralGonzo View Post
    Are you serious ? I mean, 20 bucks is still a good ammount of money! And for the same price they even did a better job with Majesty2 !
    I was, yes. In an era of .99 cent apps and $5 steam specials, $20 is certainly "real money." For a PC game at release, it is also a a reduction for a good 4x title. For the amount of hours I've spent on the game thus far, I feel there is an excellent amount of content.

    If you don't, that is certainly an opinion you are entitled too. I would wonder what games at release you are comparing it to, however.

    Edit to add: I also note how polished the game is- the few errors stand out all the more because the game has been so smooth an experience for me.
    Feel free to call me App. It's shorter.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralGonzo View Post
    As far as I remember, there was a quite long beta testing phase running for Warlock.
    Surely, the game runs smoothly without any greater bugs or CTDs !
    The game runs very well - and many games at release don't. This is by far the most important point and the developers have done it very well.

    But to be honest, isnÂīt it also the task of beta testers to give feedback to the game ?
    A good beta tester will give feedback, but beta testing is done in several stages with lots of things being added or changed at each stage. This makes it hard to spot some issues - if something changes in the last beta its unexpected side effect might not be identified until after the release.
    Beta testers tend to be few in number, and usually have experience of previous titles, which can mean that their views on how the game should work are different to the general public's. Also we don't know what happened in the beta - perhaps many suggestions made it into the game.

    So I wonder how so many things could be go to release without chnages.
    Just have a look at the suggestion thread.
    DidnÂīt they realized, that the game suffers at so many things,
    Producing a game is an expensive process, and most of the cost is spent before the game is released. This means it makes business sense to release the game before everything is done and to fix the minor problems later - simply because starting the income phase a month earlier makes a big difference to the total production cost of the game.

    beginning with city spam,
    While lots of people want this fixed it isn't a flaw in the game, it is just that some players would prefer it to work differently.
    very dumb AI,
    This is the biggest issue - the main ones being it attacking with units the target is immune to and it not building higher level units properly.
    lacking diplomacy options
    It would be nice to have more, but until you have multi player you don't need more than the current set.
    , no summaries ingame and at the end of the game, simple city management without considering the tile fields (i.e. vulcano more frutile than sand giving more food output or similar things) and so on....
    Nice to have put mainly cosmetic. The latter than impacts on the AI as then it needs to be able to evaluate the relative merits of different options - like is one city site better than another if one has better food potential and one has better mana potential.

    In my opinion the game could have been so much better with some more polishing or gamer feedback.

    Hope they work on it with patches and DLCs....
    So far the are producing patches quite quickly, so we should see some improvements.
    Personally I am not a fan of DLC - I also think it can cause balance problems as you can end up with a large number of combinations of which DLCs you have.
    PoN Beta

  8. #8
    The game is very addictive and have a lot of fun. Even some quite minor issues exist, the game is fully functional. As i remember civ5 or HOI3 was almost unplayable at release - only after more than 12 months those become reliable and now are very good games.

  9. #9
    Beta tests are for bugs and stability.......not for adding new features. Some developers have added features during beta............and almost all end up regretting it because there usually is not enough time to code, release, and test any new features before release. So doing so usually means a very buggy release,....or pushing back the release........

  10. #10
    Lt. General Szordrin's Avatar

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    First of all, forgiving the lack of features or polish because of the price tag is unacceptable. In principle, you do not sell unfinished goods, no matter what (after all, would you be ok after buying some apples and finding out that 3 of them are rotten, while the rest are perfect in every way?). That beeing said, i don't think it's the case here.
    Let's face it, a lot of publishers release games that should have never passed quality asurance, a trend that is begining to spread. Here we have a game that is so fun that we feel it could have been even better with some aditional features, that for most of us feel inerently obvious and easy to implement. Truth be told, it could probably be, but then again we don't know what the initial plan of the developer was, the budget and so on. They seem to be willing to imporve upon the initial product, and that's always a good thing in my book.
    As to the beta testers, i'm sure some had good ideea, and i'm also sure many of those ideeas didn't make it to the men in charge or were not doable in the amount of time at their disposal.
    "All governments suffer a recurring problem:Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted."

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Szordrin View Post
    First of all, forgiving the lack of features or polish because of the price tag is unacceptable.


    No, it is one of those factors that goes into deciding how much something is worth. Quality assurance for software is not some legally required thing.

    Not all games are created equal or have the same list of required "features." See, for example, NukeNukem Piece of Trash. For .99cents, I might bother to use it as a coaster. Someone else might install it for laughs.

    But, it doesn't look like either of us think Warlock was published unpolished.
    Feel free to call me App. It's shorter.

  12. #12
    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottWAR View Post
    Beta tests are for bugs and stability........
    This!

    Its a shame that we beta-testers cant say anything. To do so will break our NDA.
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Szordrin View Post
    First of all, forgiving the lack of features or polish because of the price tag is unacceptable. In principle, you do not sell unfinished goods, no matter what (after all, would you be ok after buying some apples and finding out that 3 of them are rotten, while the rest are perfect in every way?). That beeing said, i don't think it's the case here.
    If I bought 10 apples at half price in a discount store then that might be acceptable, whereas if I bought 6 at full price it would not.

    The amount of features and the quality of the finish are a factor of price.
    You would not expect the same features or finish on a Skoda compared to a BMW. When you pay Skoda prices you expectations are lower.
    You would still expect the car to work - but that isn't the problem here.
    PoN Beta

  14. #14
    One other thing - bearing in mind that the game was developed by Russians, the English is literally flawless. This in itself is quite the achievement, and it would have taken a lot of QA to make that happen unless the original translator was a master of their art.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Velorien View Post
    One other thing - bearing in mind that the game was developed by Russians, the English is literally flawless. This in itself is quite the achievement, and it would have taken a lot of QA to make that happen unless the original translator was a master of their art.
    Please, you sound as if Russians are barbarians unable to comprehend languages. With English being taught from the first grade in many schools, the number of Russians speaking English fluently is pretty high. With that said, I'm not belittling the quality of translation or something, it's just pretty reasonable to expect.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Velorien View Post
    One other thing - bearing in mind that the game was developed by Russians, the English is literally flawless. This in itself is quite the achievement, and it would have taken a lot of QA to make that happen unless the original translator was a master of their art.
    Sorry but everyone who is a programmer or even works with computers is able to write in english, i think its a must for those jobs, and i am sure the devs are better in english as many users here at the forum. ( sure they are better then me )
    Last edited by jk_bonn; 22-05-2012 at 20:57.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by jk_bonn View Post
    Sorry but everyone who is a programmer or even works with computers is able to write in english, i think its a must for those jobs, and i am sure the devs are better in english as many users here at the forum. ( sure the are better then me )
    I'd wanted to add this argument, but then I've recalled my acquaintance with some programmers, lets just say that in some places people are keen on installing only localised Russian versions of software, with Russian-only documentation and stuff.

  18. #18
    As a native English speaker, I am still pleasantly surprised when games developed in non-english speaking countries are delivered with such a seamless translation. (Because in the past, I've played enough games with atrociously bad translations to think it the norm absent a large budget.) So bravo Ino-Co, even if you are all English Ph.d's on the side.
    Feel free to call me App. It's shorter.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by gliomarto View Post
    Please, you sound as if Russians are barbarians unable to comprehend languages. With English being taught from the first grade in many schools, the number of Russians speaking English fluently is pretty high. With that said, I'm not belittling the quality of translation or something, it's just pretty reasonable to expect.
    It's not, you know. There's a world of difference between being a competent or even fluent speaker, and being able to translate into a language at native quality. I've seen English translations of Russian games, and they're rarely this good. I should also note that I'm an English/Russian bilingual with a lot of translation experience who's worked in linguistic games QA, so I do have some idea of what I'm talking about.

  20. #20
    Usually, English translation of anything is least bad. Because English speaking market is the biggest (includes not just native speakers, but everyone shopping "international release"), so it reflects the most on game quality.

    Most often, other translations get shafted.

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