I didn't play the FFXI Beta, although I would have loved to.
Almost every game that I've applied to be in a beta for was just by signing up on a website, obtaining a beta key before they ran out, and then using it when registering for an account.
However I believe that FFXI was different and I'm assuming that FFXIV will be different as well.
I'm going to speculate that the first announcement we'll have for CB will be at TGS. But it will just be an announcement and CB won't begin then. Applications will probably begin then and a few months later people will be chosen.
A CB test for an American version of a game that's been running for years in China or S. Korea may only last a few weeks or a month.
Perfect World's US CB test was 1 week long.
CBT for a game that is just coming out (in it's country of origin) is pretty different and lengthy.
First, the sign up process will probably be like this:
Register for an account on an official website.
Fill out a form that will likely include questions such as age, education level, demographics, PC specs (Companies will want to test the game on both high-end and low-end PCs so don't worry too much if yours sucks), and probably questions on why you would like to participate.
My guess is that responses like "Because I want to help contribute to the community by testing for bugs" will be favored over "Because FFXIV IS TOTALLY AWESOME FTW!!!11! FF FOREVER!!!!!!one"
My guess is that the application is going to be in Japanese only. I don't know how Japan does game sign ups, but to participate in a Korean MMO CBT you MUST have a KSSN (Korean Social Security Number), the name that matches it, and a cell phone number. Game companies actually check, and if you register with a false name you can be heavily fined and/or imprisoned for I.D. theft.
Why do I think the application will be Japanese only?
Because sometimes CBTs are done in sections. The first will probably be a basic function test, such as 'do all the buttons work', 'does it run on everyone's pc', 'can everyone accept quests', 'are there major glitches'?
After a CBT1 test they may put out an application for more players to join. I believe this way done in Mabinogi Heroes CBT2 test. They advertised their second CBT asking more people to join.
A CBT2 test will probably be things like doing more difficult quests and partying together. Seeing how large groups of people act together and if they need to tweak any of the games mechanics. People will reach higher levels and test out more content.
I'd imagine that this will be open to more players and to US and EU.
Afterwards there will probably be a Stress Test which may last for a few days to a week (since this game is going to be played on a large scale, I'm sure).
At this point several more people will be able to register and it may even be open registration.
The servers will open and everyone will flood in...such is the purpose of a Stress Test. To see how well the servers handle a sudden influx of players.
When the Stress Test is over the servers will probably go back down and everyone's character will be whiped. SE will eventually release a major patch and OBT will begin.
This is just what I am expecting. It could be very different, especially since I have no idea how FFXI CBT was handled.
Edited, Aug 11th 2009 1:03pm by Finaa
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