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beta question (general question about betas so no NDA)Follow

#1 Mar 27 2013 at 8:52 AM Rating: Decent
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Now in all my years of gaming I always though the point of a beta was to play/demo a game to see if theres any glitches/bugs/ etc etc that need to be fixed and give feedback to the devs so they can take care of it before final release?


If that is the case then what purpose does it serve to have a beta played on a build thats "a few months old" when the current build might already have all the issues in the old build fixed already?.

Thus to me beta testing on a build thats anything other than the most recent build just sounds completely dumb to me, though if anyone can explain to me how testing on an old build makes sense then please do.
#2 Mar 27 2013 at 9:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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How do you know they're beta testing an old build?

The whole point of the beta "phases" is that they'll do major bug fixes between them, and presumably, release the latest build of a client to the testers. They could have a patching system for during the phase, too.

In my own personal work in software development (quite limited at this point, but there nonetheless), the coders have an SVN repository with all the changes made, checked in checked out code, etc. However, only the latest build is "live" and can be run without doing a version rollback.
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#3 Mar 27 2013 at 9:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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My guess is each phase is it's own branch, coming off of a shared main line.

Each phase has it's own set of goals to test, with the current phase being the main line branch that everything else pulls from.

In the week or two between phase 1 and 2, they will merge the code from the phase 2 branch down to the main line and make sure that nothing is conflicting with the changes they had made in the phase 2 branch already. the same will happen between 2 and 3, and 3 and 4.

This allows the them to split into software teams that handle each section of the game in their own branch without affecting the other developers. Branch merging is the time consuming part (we do this a lot in the software I support), especially when there are conflicts between files. I expect that's why they need a week or two between phases, to make sure the merges are performed correctly.

The main line branch is what the testers are playing on, and probably where the current phases changes are made. The developers working in the other branches can pull the latest code up to their branch from the main line branch and make sure the most current set of changes made during the current phase of testing are compatible with the things they're working on.

It sounds complicated but works pretty slick when properly implemented.

Edited, Mar 27th 2013 10:19am by Wint
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#4 Mar 27 2013 at 9:43 AM Rating: Default
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Well I wasnt referring to FFXIV in general but other betas Ive played too.. like when ppl complain about graphics and other issues in teh beta the response is usually "the build your playing is a few months old and some of those are fixed or changed in the latest build"..

Im thinking then shouldnt be be playing the latest build instead of an old build so we can provide accurate feedback instead of reporting issues that may already be fixed in the "newest build"?

like one gam ein particular has a closed beta every weekend that uses an "old build" while theyre alpha build takes place throughout the entire week (not just the weekend) and is on a more latest build that what the weekend betas are being played on

Im thinking how is a alpha on a better build then a beta when beta is supposed to come AFTER alpha menasing beta should be superior (and thus using the latest build) than an alpha
#5 Mar 27 2013 at 9:51 AM Rating: Excellent
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Well my guess it would be that they want the players to test a particular feature on that beta that is why they disable or haven't put more features the current time you are playing in that beta.
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#6 Mar 27 2013 at 9:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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Having a beta where players aren't playing from the latest branch makes no sense at all to me.
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#7 Mar 27 2013 at 10:58 AM Rating: Decent
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Wint wrote:
Having a beta where players aren't playing from the latest branch makes no sense at all to me.



which is exactly what Im saying, glad to finally see you (of all people) and I finally agree on something lol
#8 Mar 27 2013 at 1:46 PM Rating: Good
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I think he might also be talking about the fact that Limsa and Ul Dah exist, but aren't playable, regardless of the state that they're in. I think it's a valid question, but there might not be enough content to justify opening areas for testing until content that needs to be tested exists.

Early phases are more about core-systems and stress testing anyway. At least in the case of xiv.
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#9 Mar 27 2013 at 1:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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TurboTom wrote:
I think he might also be talking about the fact that Limsa and Ul Dah exist, but aren't playable, regardless of the state that they're in. I think it's a valid question, but there might not be enough content to justify opening areas for testing until content that needs to be tested exists.

Early phases are more about core-systems and stress testing anyway. At least in the case of xiv.


Well actually he said he's not referring to XIV here at all. The alpha was for core and stress testing, the bulk of phase 1 is a bit of that and a lot of quest/fate testing according to the roadmap anyway.
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#10 Mar 27 2013 at 3:41 PM Rating: Good
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generally betas test for exploits, stress servers, economically check varied hardware compatibility, and such; the actual majority of bug finding is mostly (supposed to be) handled through internal testing... so almost every online game has a parallel build in progress where devs test things. EVE does this but lets players participate in that alternate build so people don't complain as much about DX11 or Physics being talked about by devs but not having screenshots or whatever.
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#11 Mar 28 2013 at 7:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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Well didn't want to make a new thread so ill post it here since its about the beta as well.

They said in the ARR beta roadmap that in phase 3 "All FFXIV service account holders qualify as testers in phase 3". What does the service account holders mean? Only those that have registered codes? What about those that have the game but with un-registered code like me.

I am asking this because in phase 4 they say : "Version 1.0 service account holders will be able to download the commercial ARR client
free of charge" that is also apply for un-registered code holders. So i am confused in what "service account holders" mean.
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#12 Mar 28 2013 at 7:26 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'll post this in the official forums for you and see if we can get an answer. We already know that the codes from 1.0 will work in 2.0, hopefully they allow registration before phase 4 starts.
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#13 Mar 28 2013 at 8:16 AM Rating: Decent
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If you haven't registered your code, how could they possibly know you have one?

Is there any reason you can't register it now?
#14 Mar 28 2013 at 8:17 AM Rating: Excellent
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Registration isn't allowed right now on the SE management site.
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#15 Mar 28 2013 at 10:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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yfaithfully wrote:
If you haven't registered your code, how could they possibly know you have one?

Is there any reason you can't register it now?



Yep, as wint said registrations are closed for months now. I am waiting when they will re open so i can register my code.
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#16 Mar 29 2013 at 12:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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Wint wrote:
I'll post this in the official forums for you and see if we can get an answer. We already know that the codes from 1.0 will work in 2.0, hopefully they allow registration before phase 4 starts.


Did someone respond wint?
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#17 Mar 29 2013 at 12:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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I haven't been able to post it, I'll see if I can get to it tonight.
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