'Elite Dangerous: Horizons' Beta Lands On PC

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Saljen

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I remember when expansions to a game didn't cost as much as the whole game originally did. And when beta access was free because you're helping the company test their unfinished code, not getting access to a finished product.
 

therealduckofdeath

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I remember when expansions to a game didn't cost as much as the whole game originally did. And when beta access was free because you're helping the company test their unfinished code, not getting access to a finished product.
The expansion is discounted by 25% if you own the current season, Saljen.
They are of course using paid betas as an extra way to generate revenue and also to limit the number of players to the ones really interested in the game. Having a draw would mean a lot of people signing up for a beta potentially would never even install it.

I remember when the internet wasn't full of grumpy old men whining about absolutely everything. :D
 

therealduckofdeath

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So, does this actually make it a fun game that you can actually influence things in or is it still just a playable tech demo?
Elite: Dangerous takes a bit of research and brains to figure out how to influence powers efficiently, that has been possible since day one.
 

therealduckofdeath

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This game just went leagues further ahead of any other space sim out there. Landing on planets finally lets you get a better grasp of how big the star systems and galaxy is, even how big the space ships themselves are.
Yes, it's not holding your hand telling you what to do every second, but that's what's so great about it. Something really unique in this console port days where you have one path, where you're insta-killed if you stray off the scripted path and everything has to be done with a specific right-left-right-left-A-B button combo shown on screen. The way Elite works, I keep finding new things to do, even though I've spent over a thousand of hours playing it already. \o/
 

ErikVinoya

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They are of course using paid betas as an extra way to generate revenue and also to limit the number of players to the ones really interested in the game. Having a draw would mean a lot of people signing up for a beta potentially would never even install it.

I remember when the internet wasn't full of grumpy old men whining about absolutely everything. :D
I remember the time when software companies pay/hire QA testers to test their products and not the other way around. It's because people tolerate this that these companies see this as an extra way to milk money.
 

therealduckofdeath

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I remember the time when software companies pay/hire QA testers to test their products and not the other way around. It's because people tolerate this that these companies see this as an extra way to milk money.
Now you're comparing apples with pears. There's always been public betas.
 

ErikVinoya

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And that is a valid reason for a paid closed beta? A beta test is a test whether it is public or private, it does not make sense why you would ask people to pay you to test your work for bugs
 

therealduckofdeath

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If you ignore the valid reasons I wrote originally and come up with a pretty worthless argument that software houses has paid staff, I really don't know were this discussion is going. :)

 

ErikVinoya

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How can I ignore those "valid" reasons when I can't even see them. Let's see what we have so far...
I said:
- Paid betas are a way for greedy companies to milk money off of incomplete products
- Software companies should pay QA people to test their products, not the other way around
You said:
- Paid betas are used to generate extra income
- There are public betas

Besides the 1st one improving on my point, I don't get how "there are public betas" is an excuse to charge people for testing your product.
Yes public betas are free, and as well they should, because those people playing the game, consciously or not, are helping them find possible issues within the software. That, is what you call "work", and normally, people charge to do work, not get charged.

Now if you think that is a worthless argument, well, then that's not problem anymore.
 

ErikVinoya

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And the main point is? See, in your point of view, I'm trolling, yet you're the one slinging insults. Real genius there
 

mapesdhs

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As usual, here we go again with the irrelevant rants from those who don't like ED for whatever reason. *sigh* Well who cares, thousands enjoy the game very much, including me. If someone doesn't like it, fine, play something else, but I fail to understand why they feel the need to rant about this or that every single time there's an article about it here.

Adding extra a content to a game like this is complicated, there are all sorts of issues to work out, tweaking the controls, how things work, etc. For those who bother to use TS, they would hear the conversations going on among those trying the beta, the feedback from which helps FD improve the final product. It's just ridiculous to expect a company to release an expansion that's somehow magically perfect upon first release & needs no changes at all.

Horizons is the first of many expansions, this is a multi-year project, and it costs money to pay the staff, run the servers, etc. The only other option would have been a subscription model, and that would never have worked.

I bought the lifetime expansion option, so I'll get Horizons and all the other future addons as & when they arrive in their final form (overall, it's a fraction of the per-hour entertainment cost of going to a cinema), and I'm grateful to those who have the patience to try the beta beforehand so that I don't have to deal with the issues they discover. Sometimes it's not even bugs per se, but more subtle things such as the control mechanism for a new vehicle, physics model, how stuff interacts, etc.

I like the way FD is doing this, rolling it out in stages. If they tried to create the whole thing in one go (like SC is doing), it would cost a fortune, be buggy as hell and quite likely might never have come out at all. I hope SC gets finished because the more games available the better, but ED is being enjoyed now by many thousands of players.

And nobody's forcing people to try the beta btw. Fact is, the project needs income to keep going, so I'm fine with it. Those who moan about the paid beta are missing the practical reality that trying a beta does not exactly mean an enjoyable gaming experience sometimes, as one encounters various bugs & issues that need to be resolved.

Eri, what you've completely ignored is the fact that ED was always meant to be an evolving game. For as long as the project can continue, it will never be complete, because there'll always be more one could add. For the moment the focus is on PvP issues and localised gameplay aspects such as planetary landings. After that will come alien races, expanding the planetary aspects to those with atmospheres. Meanhile & later, exploration aspects will no doubt be expanded upon. Thus, your assertion that somehow ED should have been a complete, fixed, finished game at first launch is just totally false.

Ian.


 

ErikVinoya

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Dude, for the record, this is my first "rant" on anything even remotely related to ED, and its not even that. It stemmed from one guy calling people grumpy whiners just because they think paying to test something is unfair, and I shared that sentiment.

Seriously, am I the only one who saw this?
If you want to get in on the action now, the beta (and full access to the rest of Horizons new features as they come out) will cost you $74.99. If you’re willing to wait a few more weeks, then you can pre-order the final version of the expansion now for $59.99.
My problem is this trend of making people pay (or pay more in this case) to test an unfinished product. So yeah, next time you and duck there go on a downvoting spree, try to understand the issue being presented first. None of your seven paragraphs even slightly hit what I was talking about. Lol where did I even made an argument about expecting ED to be a finished product?
 

mapesdhs

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Erik, my point was that anti-ED sentiments are expressed every time an article about the game is published, instead of simply discussing what the article is about (for that, I guess people would just have to use the FD forums rather than bother with toms). I didn't state such comments came from the same person each time, and no such implication was intended. I used the phrase irrelevant rant because what you're talking about simply isn't relevant to ED, and that should be obvious.

Re your quote, in that regard it is inaccurate, since those who already have the game pay nothing to try the beta. I could download the beta update right now if I wanted to, but I don't have that much time to play the game so I'm content to let others do the testing and wait until the expansion is properly ready.

As to whether paying to test something is unfair, that's a personal judgement anyway. Those who are testing the beta from a starting point of not having the game at all presumably don't think it's unfair. If your opinion is that any such ethos is unfair though, then presumably you think SC is one giant ripoff, given the millions it's swallowed up for what atm really is just a tech demo. I certainly wouldn't opt to spend the kind of sums many have on SC, yet hundreds have and presumably they are content aswell.

As to the alledged trend, again, the argument fails in the case of ED because of the assertion that what is being developed was ever supposed to be a finished product at initial launch or even in the short or medium term; it wasn't, it's an ongoing venture. I downvoted what I see as spurious arguments; feel free to downvote me if you don't agree, that's the whole point of the voting mechanism, I don't mind. :D I understand the issues very well, I've paid money for the game, and the expansion. And your last sentence is a contradiction, you ask where did you suggest ED to be a finished product, but the start of the same para moans about people having to pay to test an unfinished product! :D In the case of ED, you're moaning about people paying for something you say is unfinished yet ED is not supposed to BE finished, get it? There will be many more expansions in the future. If you're not specifically complaining about ED though, then who cares? That's a wider issue which isn't relevant to ED.

Thus, with respect to the general notion of what you're talking about, paying for beta testing, one must separate ED from other games which may be using such a regime, and also the notion that there are that many people who would buy the ED beta from a starting point of not having the game at all (very few indeed I should imagine). As I say, most of those who are testing the beta have already bought the game and thus pay nothing extra (all of the people I talked to on TS this week that are trying the beta were people who'd already bought the game).

Whether or not there is an issue with games in general that are supposed to end up in some sort of finished state but are charging for beta access, well, I don't know about that, I'm not familiar with any other such games. You'd have to explain what other games are doing this; afterall, you refer to a 'trend'. Exactly what trend is this? What other games that have a supposed end point of development are doing it this way? ED is not such a game, it needs continued funding because it's a long term project (10+ years), so I have no problem with their current model. I've paid for the expansion, via the lifetime option, but I don't need to pay for the beta (if I wanted to try it) because I already bought the game and have been playing it happily for some time.

Certainly if you're talking about paid beta testing for other games which are supposed to be finished products at first launch then I might be inclined to agree, but modern development models are muddying the lines of development cycles. Is it wrong that people who pay for Kickstarter game developments are by definition paying for early access testing? I contributed to the Squad kickstarter (Founder option), because I perceived it as a worthy project, but ironically, despite having access to the Alpha, I don't have time to try it out, so most likely won't even play the game until it's fully ready. I paid into the kickstarter because I wanted the game to succeed in the first place.

For conventional studio-produced games though, that's another matter, but which games are you referring to? There are hundreds of games companies; what proportion of them are currently using a paid beta access model?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_developers


To summarise, maybe you have a point about whether paid beta access for games that are meant to be finished products at launch is just a money grabbing way of dumping the bug testing on end users (I genuinely don't know the answer to that), but it's a notion that simply doesn't apply to ED.

Ian.

 

ErikVinoya

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We can go on with this paid beta and what is or what I meant with an "unfinished" product, but yeah as you pointed out, it has already gotten out of topic and I admit that's partly my fault.

So I'll just shut up then, and let people actually discuss the article :)
 

mapesdhs

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Mind you, I am intrigued by your assertion that paid beta testing may be something that's being adopted more widely. :D So ignoring ED, what other games are doing this atm? I should imagine it would cause a bit of a row if any of the big name FPS titles starting doing that...

Ian.



 

therealduckofdeath

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mapesdhs, saying "almost all of them use paid betas" would probably sound like an exaggeration, but I'd say it's probably pretty close. Most game houses calls these paid betas "early access". You can find low price keys for these early access things on all sorts of game stores. Like, steam has a whole category for them.
 

Traciatim

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Except of course that you really can't. A huge group of people sort of can over a long period of time, but it's not like you can find a little nice area out in the middle of nowhere that you are the only ships being logged on the traffic trackers and then do things like get a minor faction to expand to a new star system, or take over a neighboring system. I mean, I played this game for a couple hundred hours before giving up realizing that the entire things is basically just a semi-static system that Frontier can change. It's not like you could go see a faction that's trying to build a new station and help by bringing goods there and then see that station get finished. Plus the really terrible restrictions like the number of people per sector instance is really horrid... like it had to be cut way back to support console play... oh right, they have console support...
 

mapesdhs

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Traciatim writes:
> ... and then do things like get a minor faction to expand to a new star system, or take over a
> neighboring system. ...

Not true, and I can say that because the faction I'm in has done precisely this recently. Station construction, etc. will likely come later, though I hope they get it right (it's a potential gameplay mechanism that could so easily be done badly). Having said that, I'm not keen on the whole power play thing either, for reasons I ranted about on the FD forums (whole thing feels so made up & artificial).


> ... Plus the really terrible restrictions like the number of people per sector instance is really horrid...
> like it had to be cut way back to support console play... oh right, they have console support...

On that front, I entirely agree. Supporting consoles was an inevitable move to stabilise revenue (ditto CQC).

Ian.

 
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