So, you want to help with beta testing? I've whipped together some suggestions that might make the process go a bit more smoothly for you.
First off, for the current beta (2020), you will need to preorder the Reign of Shadows expansion in order to gain access to beta.
Before You Head To Beta
The in-game command to copy your play character to beta is "/beta" However, there are a few things to note before you use that command.
Your copies of your character will be just that - copies. What you do on beta with those characters has nothing to do with your live characters, except for loyalty tokens. Loyalty tokens are tied to your account, so any earning, or any spending of tokens, will affect your loyalty token total. So, don't spend loyalty tokens on beta unless you want the tokens gone without getting to keep the item when beta ends.
Before you copy, you might want to:
- Empty a sales crate and pull it back into your inventory. What is in the broker won't copy over, and you might want to sell items that you make/loot in beta.
- Unlist any house that you wish to have access to on beta. Houses listed on the leaderboards won't copy over. Houses that are not listed "should" copy over (though there's a random bug where some characters can't get their houses to copy over regardless).
- Attatched to your apprentices? If they're in an alt's crafting house, pick them up and stuff them in your bags. With a copy, anything that is in a copied house belongs to the copied character that owns the house. This can cause some serious apprentice confusion, so pick them up in advance.
- Shared bank does not always copy over. Grab crafting potions, currencies, what have you out of shared bank before you copy over to beta. (Grabbing a couple extra empty boxes or bags to start a shared bank on beta might be a good thing, too.) The flip side is that sometimes everything in shared bank copies over every time you send a copy over, resulting in major overflow issues. Be prepared for either outcome, as sometimes the copy process is tweaked/streamlined in mid-beta if they find copies are backlogge.
- Have something still in claim that you want to use while in beta? (Merc, bags, xp potions, etc). Claim is disabled on beta, so you'll have to claim any such things while still on your live server
- Be in a city zone when you do the /beta command. Not an adventuring instance, not a house, not a guildhall, etc. There was a long explanation as to why, but there's a new short version - sometimes they close down zones not needed on beta, and if you're in one of those zones when you try to log into beta, your character may be stuck. Delete the copy over on beta, go back to your home server, move the character, and redo the /beta command.
- Members: grab any adornments and such that you need from the Days of Summer merchant before you copy over. The pandas usually do not end up available on beta, so you will want to grab what you want in advance.
Custom UIs tend to not be fully compatible with beta, unless the UI maker is really on the ball and in beta. It really is a better idea to NOT use them most of the time in beta anyway, so you can tell what is an actual bug that SOE needs to fix versus what is a custom UI bug that some third party needs to fix.
If you issue the /beta command more than once on the same character, only the most recent copy will show up on beta. (They overwrite old copies, but you may get multiples of your houses showing up if you keep recopying, and you'll get an X added to the end of your name on beta if you didn't delete the old copy before giving the new copy command.
Once You're In Beta
Ok, so you've successfully copied over and want to test. What next?>
- There should be a beta section on the official forums. Sometimes you will need to log into the forums with a beta-flagged account, other times they are open to the bublic. There is generally a sticky thread in there about how to access the new content.
- Check your in-game mail for any quest starters, pointers on where to go, etc.
- Make liberal use of /bug, /typo and /feedback. Remember a bug is "this is broken", and feedback is for when you want to share your opinion about something. Keep it clean, keep it calm, keep it constructive. Venting, questioning their sanity, making threats against them - all those are very not cool, and very not helpful to your cause. With the /typo command, make sure you're including NPC name and quest name (where applicable).
- When reporting bugs, try to include the exact steps that you took to find the bug, so they can try to reproduce it. Include quest name, what step of the quest you were on, and such. (Remember, the devs are NOT mind-readers, and just saying "____ is broken" doesn't tell them which part of it is broken.) If it is a long bug report, or someone's found a crash bug and the zone keeps dumping you, you might want to type it in notepad or the like, then paste it into the /bug window. It might save you some retyping.
- Stuck progressing due to a bug? Deep breaths. That's what we're there for after all - finding the bugs before they hit the live servers. Ranting and raving about how it is a plot to "ruin" your beta, throwing a temper tantrum in a chat channel, etc. does nothing other than irk the testers who have "been there, done that, don't want to hear about it." (Seriously, you'd not believe some of the hissy fits we've seen in betas in the past. Folks just don't get that there is lead time involved in finding the cause of the bug, fixing it, testing it internally, building it into a patch, downing and patching the server, etc. Don't be a prima donna, k? :D) Find something else to test, progress an alt through the questline to that point, go out and smish some mobs ... something. The sleep-deprived dev team is working as hard as they can, and yours isn't the only bug they're chasing.
- When testing new tradeskill recipes watch for things like: mismatch between the recipe name and the item made, fuel not matching the equipment used, reaction arts not matching the crafting events, recipes saying you have 0 of an item that you have in inventory, etc. When reporting in those bugs, be sure to be specific and include recipe names. Don't just say "most of the carp recipes in our level 97 book are bugged", but spell out which recipes, and what the bug is. Don't make them guess or rummage to figure out what you're talking about, spell it out for them. They've got lots of balls in the air and memories might need a gentle jog.
- What is most helpful in tradeskill testing is methodical testing, such as going through all the new recipes for X class, one-by-one-by-one to be sure they're all working as intended. If there's a beta forum for tradeskills, check for a thread for that specific class' bugs and contribute to it. If there's not a thread for that class, start it. Don't just chase Mum around asking where you can help, or trying to force-feed your bug list or ideas to her in-game. (And don't chase the devs with such stuff, either. Post it so they can tackle it when they're done with putting out other fires instead of interrupting them in the middle of something.) Mum suffers massively from sensory/information overload during betas. Take the initiative, test what you can, report bugs and feedback directly to Daybreak via /bug, /feedback and the beta forums.
What Can You Make to Help Other Testers?
If you are a crafter, and have at least one broker box and some resources handy, things that are often needed in beta are: Food and drink, ammo, totems (escape, chameleon, runspeed, etc), poisons & potions. If there are new spells or gear with the expansion, some of those as well. Remember, you cannot keep anything from beta, so don't do high pricing. Just sell it cheaply so others can use the stuff for testing.
Last But Not Least
Remember, once you're on beta, don't get attached to those beta characters. They're going to go away eventually. If you get so badly bugged you can't do anything with a character, you can always delete them and recopy. (Or make a new character and get them betabuffed, if there are beta buff NPCs handy.)
Breathe. Ignore the drama queens and trolls - they're a waste of your time and energy. Just test what you can, when you can and you'll be doing your part in helping make sure that this expansion launch goes smoothly.
Created: 2014-10-06 12:26:14
Last Modified By: Niami Denmother
Last Modified on: 2020-11-10 10:29:03
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