Argument 1: 24/7 test server = live server
Having a 24/7 access to the game is like being “live”
The expectations of the users are almost the same as in a live environment
Meaning: the moment we go live with a 24/7 test server, our resources will go down significantly
This leaves less time available to design and implement new content
The size of our team means any time removed from development is a real blow to pacing.
Argument 2: More “relevant” data
These alpha tests constitute the most focused events we can get, meaning that during these four weeks we have the largest possible player base, almost in the same way as on release
This delivers very valuable data, as it simulates better than anything else the real release and the problems connected with it
We get so much useful data and information out of the tests themselves
Also from all these players who are streaming on Twitch and YouTube, which is the best “play testing” you can get nowadays
Alpha Test: We find big, game-breaking bugs and things that go wrong
and we make big changes to fix them
24/7 Closed Beta: We find smaller bugs and do a lot of fine tuning
Also, do not forget that we have already started doing a lot of smaller tests in between with selected users under very controlled conditions
To sum it up:
The game is at a state where we are still making major game changes (hellgates, missions, economy changes).
These changes require all our development resources to get them implemented
Therefore right now the limited alpha tests are a very good mode
Which also deliver more relevant data and insights
Important: We’re not saying a 24/7 test server is bad; it is just not the right time for it yet
Our 24/7 Closed Beta is close, starting as soon as possible after the next alpha!