You’ve been waiting months or maybe years to play The Elder Scrolls Online. You’ve been keeping up with all the hype reading all the articles, following the developer’s social media posts. You check your email daily, sometimes hourly waiting for that one email, with the subject ‘You have been selected…’.
Finally you get in, you get your golden ticket but what does that mean? It means you are among the very few to be selected into a team of testers that have the job of polishing and perfecting the game to the best of their abilities.
During the Elder Scrolls Online beta the people who have been selected will be able to participate in pre-scheduled events. What this means, is during the early stages of the beta the game will only be available on scheduled times and these times will often be specific events. These pre-scheduled events can range from testing a specific quest chain, a race, a class, to even PvP, it wouldn’t be uncommon for the developers to provide all the testers with a level capped character with the same gear to test out specific mechanics or features including Player vs Player. These events allow the developers to see bugs or other issues easier than just allowing thousands of people to play with no direction. This does not mean there won’t be days where you can just log in and do whatever you want, there will be they want to see what people do when they play freely, how they react to the game, and most importantly are they having fun.
One of the most important areas a beta tester needs to excel at is Feedback, if you’ve ever participated in a beta test in the past you’ll be familiar with the survey you receive at the end of quests, or objectives. A lot of people either close them or fill them out without fully reading them and giving the questions the highest score in order to continue playing. Don’t get me wrong these little surveys really do take away any immersion you might have had but they are one of the most important features of any beta test. This is a way to provide the developers with your opinion, didn’t like the way the quest felt, found it too hard, had no immersion? Developers crave your honest feedback, it’s what they need to help polish the game; but what is good feedback? Providing the developers with a single word is not proper feedback and neither is providing them with answers to a short survey. Proper feedback for a beta tester comes with 2 simple questions; what happened and what was I doing when it happened? Ask yourself these questions and then read your feedback, if you can answer these 2 questions then you’ve successfully provided proper feedback. Developers will take your feedback and try and replicate your issues multiple times to narrow down the fault and fix it.
But don’t just provide feedback when something bad happens, you’re encouraged to provide feedback when you like something or found a particular NPC’s comment hilarious. Let the developers know they are doing something right. It has become common for us to only send messages when we dislike something; developers work hard to keep us entertained, and they deserve to know that they are doing a great job. So don’t just close the survey box, spend the couple of minutes and provide that feedback. Remember there is always a person on the other end reading your suggestions.