Say what?

I’m testing an MMO that I can’t name or they’ll send hefty brutes to kneecap me — in any case, that’s not the important part.

I logged into this game briefly this morning (the promise of a free horse will make me log in to anything, anytime, anywhere), and while I was pootling about with the pony, someone said something along the lines of “This is [censored] game testing, it’s not question and answer game,” in response to the usual slew of newb questions from someone who’d only just got in.


My immediate reaction, and I wasn’t exactly shy about saying so, is that asking questions is exactly what it’s about, when you start testing a new game — or, for that matter, a new product of any kind.

It’s stayed with me because it’s probably the first time I’ve ever seen such an intolerant, elitist, snobby-assed attitude in a very, very early-stage game testing phase. Really, WTF?! 99.9% of the testers I’ve ever met, especially in these tottering infant stages, are gregarious, helpful, and always ready to answer the usual newb questions — and if they’re not, they just ignore chat till their newb-question-tolerance-ometer goes back up. Of course we’re all pioneers, and of course it’s good to discover stuff for yourself, and yes, it’s definitely helpful to have a modicum of common sense… but there are always questions of the truly basic kind like “Why can’t I turn around?!” or “How do I scratch my butt?” Spending 15 minutes finding the answer to that is NOT testing, not when that particular wheel has been discovered already, and most especially not when UI or other system shortcomings are on the “We know about it, we’ll get to it” list. Besides, it never hurts to ask. Well — if you’re SnottySnob01, I guess it *does* hurt to ask.

Asking those questions isn’t an indication that you’re a moron, that you’re a bad tester, or that (/shudder) “this game is not for you.” All they indicate is that you just made it into the game world for the first time, your brain is exploding with input, and asking questions and having them answered is a way of making sure you’re not alone out there.

I just don’t get the ‘tude some people show up with — in games, in life, in general. I have also decided not to tolerate asshattery, and if someone is being an asshat I will (in a nice, gentle way that won’t get me banned) tell them so.

12 responses to “Say what?

  1. Asshattery, that’s awesome!

    I usually ignore general chat in any game, specially in WoW. But one time in WoW right after a patch the general chat was exploding with questions that could easily be answered if they would have read the patch notes, and after the one hundredth time I decided to make that known probably in an asshattery kind of way. Not a minute later I received a tell along the lines of ‘you are a jerk’, lol. So I quietly went about my business and ignored the chat again.


  2. In a live game, it’s one thing. In a testing environment, being superior and venomous is about as counter-productive as I can imagine anyone possibly being.


  3. Wait…you got a PONY??

    I want a pony!!

    Not in testing, but my brief foray back into POTBS last week reminded me just how awful MMO gamers can be. Kind of sad, really.

    On the up side, I was surprised by the behavior, which means I’m no longer as inured to it as I used to be. Which means either I just have a ton of filters on 🙂 or the community is getting slightly better.


  4. I’ve witnessed something like this while beta testing MegaTen. Someone just starting was asking a question about a quest. He got kind responses explaining what he needed to do.

    He then responds this game is a pile of offal and he just wanted some help but no one would help him. He proceeded to rant for a long time of how he hates the game for not giving him precise instructions *The game DID, he just wasn’t paying attention I suppose*.

    The General chat responded in a somewhat mediocre rage, while a few like myself gave a even more detailed discussion of what he needed to do.

    He then went on and on about how WoW was great and never was this bad. I then “enlightened” him to how bad WoW was during Beta*The current version of the game is no where close to Beta/release days*.

    Is it sad general chat in these games can ruin the very experience people are going for when they want to play an MMO? *sigh*


  5. As a tester, I’d view that as valid feedback – usability is in question. Unless the game is a completely new genre there is something different about the controls. Or if it is new, then it clearly needs more help for new users up front.

    Bottom line, what ever you were trying to do wasn’t explained clearly enough in an accessible fashion.

    No tutorials available? I might ask the DEVs to escalate that and get tutorials in.


  6. Still haven’t received my beta invited to the said game we are not talking about 😦 I think we are talking about the same one, too.


  7. I think that’s because you missed the original call for guild apps, Makk. I’m not sure if that’s still open or not — you should talk to JB about it maybe?


  8. The best thing about MMOs is the other people. The worst thing about MMOs is the other people. I love my /ignore and /mute commands.


  9. Aye, but what I mean is you missed the call for names to submit that took place … ugh, a couple weeks at least before you posted, I think. I don’t know if it’s still open for him to submit more names. Does that make sense? Not sure how it all worked — so mail him, even if it takes him a while to get back to you.


  10. Right. That’s what I figured. That’s kind of why I haven’t bugged. I realized after I sent him my info that it may have been too late. I just hope there is a later round. I’d want to jump in there just because you guys were in, anyway. And I also love that new game smell.


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