PoE: The Best Way to Tackle Future Leagues is With Closed Beta Tests

U4GM Date: Mar/13/18 04:08:44 Views: 189


Given that the game and new content in new leagues is so complicated, it's important to recognize that heavy testing is essential. I've heard many people suggest that leagues get an extension which would allow a few more weeks of testing. However, I think that's an oversimplification. GGG could have another three months to perfect Bestiary League, and they probably still wouldn't be able to create the "perfect" league that most people are happy with.


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Most people's idea of a "perfect" league seems to be Breach League. Yes, Breach League was great, especially since getting to the league bosses felt like something you earned as opposed to something RNG gave to lucky individuals (as is the case with Bestiary and Abyss leagues). But also, Bestiary is attempting to add on more significant mechanics to the game. It's almost certain that Bestiary mechanics will continue into the core, and once they get perfected, they're likely going to be huge. It seems that GGG is trying to offer a significant alternative to getting gear (leveling gear, gear that you trade for currency, endgame gear, etc.). Once this stuff is implemented fully, it'll likely be as significant as labyrinth. That's why I think we can't underestimate the amount of testing that such a feature needs.


Bestiary League needs more than a few weeks more of in-house testing. Community feedback (despite sometimes being more harsh than necessary) can go a long way. It seems often times that community members have issues or discover methods of playing that the GGG testing team hasn't thought of yet. That's not a diss on GGG's testing team. They're awesome, but the actual player base's feedback is another essential layer of feedback for complicated games like this that constantly develop.


That's why rather than just pushing back future leagues, I think the best approach might be to have a 2 week closed beta of each league before the league officially starts. This could be either concurrent with the last 2 weeks of the league or the current league could be extended by two weeks and the closed beta would be during those 2 weeks. I say closed beta because the whole point is for people who truly love the game to test it so that it is better later, not for people to play it early. So criteria for entering the closed beta could be something like completing 36 challenges in the previous league or something like that (not too important what the criteria are so long as the beta is not tied to real money, is not randomly given out, and has a fairly high threshold). Obviously, the characters and their stuff would be wiped at the end of the beta. Effectively, it's the same as what we're seeing now; right now (the first few weeks of the league), the community is giving feedback, and GGG is hurriedly creating patches to address concerns. 


However, the sentiment among the community base would be different. Currently, a vocal portion of the player base seems to be disappointed and confused, but if these weeks were designated by GGG as "user testing" weeks, the hope would be that those complaints turn into productive, less angry suggestions. That rushed, somewhat flawed poll about necro nets was a bit of a low point, and we probably want to avoid situations like that in the future. I'm not too sure about what the specifics of how it would work, but that is the general idea.


What do you guys think?

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