I noticed a lack of info about beta testing, so I decided to write one. It starts quite soon, and I think some info about testing can be useful.
If you have never been in beta, that's basically an unfinished product. Many parts of game are missing, other parts work bad and slow and others just crash the game. The game might even not launch at all! (in that case, report and wait for support)
Remember - all that is a part of beta.
"Yea I just get into alpha/beta in and play..."
That's true. Actually you can help developers by only playing the game. Particularly in beta, developers need to "stress test" their servers, to see if they work correctly and can handle large amount of players for release.
But you'll be one of those thousand testers who just play and don't do anything more useful. If you want to help make the game better, you can provide feedback and report bugs.
Bugs. They are bad. It's best to find and squish them while the game is in developments stage.
"I'll just write "this doesn't work!" and that will help programmers a lot!"
No. If you write "this is buggy" you'd better not report it at all. If you are repoting a bug, keep this in mind:
Feedback. This is basically telling developers what you like, what you dislike and what you want to see added to the game. And that's the best way to help devs.
- Always search if that bug hasn't been reported earlier. If you double-report it, it clutters developers' job and adds lots of unnecessary work for them. Usually there is a list of known bugs, reading it will make your life easier. If you have more helpful info than in already existing report, you can add it as a comment or reply.
- Describe the problem detailed and very clear. More info is always better than less info.
- If the bug doesn't happen every time, try to find ways to make it happen again. Reproducing a bug is very important. Your job as a bug reporter is to make that bug happen in developer's computer. If needed, write step by step instructions which make the bug happen again.
- Make sure what you found is really a bug, and not a missing part of the game.
- Only one bug in one report. Don't put several bugs into one post, that makes tracking difficult.
- Check back to your reports, developers can need more info or have some questions.
"Can't developers see what is good and what is bad themselves?"
When you make something, you always think it's great. And it's difficult to notice what is wrong or bad in your job. So good developers need feedback from external people, and use that info to make their game better. That's why "We need your feedback!".
Help others. This is a part of beta testing too, be it some newbie asking for help in chat, someone's report in forums telling he can't start the game (and you know some possible solutions) or any other ways you can.