Scratch that, this
seems to confirm that it is actually the beta which goes live on March 11, but FFXI subscribers will get an alpha build as early as tomorrow until the beta goes live. Edited, Feb 28th 2010 2:11pm by TraumaFox
The stuff I saw on there sounds like a rough translation from a second-hand source, but I didn't read the entire thread. Is there anything concrete-sounding on there?
If I were going just by the official update on the Vanafest website, I'd read it this way:
Those who have been selected as beta testers can expect to receive further information starting from Monday, March 1.
Notifications go out starting March 1, but the client isn't available for download yet.
* The tester website is scheduled to go live on Thursday, March 11.
The client becomes available on March 11. I notice it says the tester website, not the beta tester website. Since they were just talking about alpha testers, this could be the website for them. It might not necessarily even be the client download/support site, although I'm not sure what else it could be.
If that's what they meant, then the schedule is more like Mar 1 - 11: Vanafest attendees get their notification. Mar 11: alpha test starts. Beta test is still due to start somewhere off in the hazy future.
That might be pessimistic though. It seems to me that the beta is definitely due to start around now if they want to make a fall/winter release.
I dunno that that's necessarily a good thing. "As a reward for your years of faithful patronage, we humbly invite you to download a potentially broken client and help us work out the stability issues of our beta servers in preparation for the beta start. You can expect horrendous lag, frequent disconnects, broken guildleves, terrain glitches, and the occasional glitched NPC that appears fully naked (Rogeyden only). Thank you again for your loyalty."
My guess is that this will be a very small and controlled version of the game, similar to what they showed at GamesCom. They said they wanted to release some more "small tastes" of the game before beta, right? It's probably just a sample of a guildleve mission or two with some limited grouping options to test the online component.