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Is no nda for A2 favorable for the game?

arsnnarsnn Member, Intrepid Pack, Alpha One
edited June 26 in General Discussion
Im really glad that Intrepid did decide to show parts of the A1 and generally goes through a transparent development process.
But personally i feel like a long testing period of around 1-2 years, which is planned for A2 could be one of AoC´s biggest risk for commercial succcess.

If think it would be very naive to think intrepid can constantly retain players in the testing environment until release, hype will die down, some will players come back with updates... it´s basically an uphill battle for every testing phase to engage people. The content density will simply not be there.
Now i dont think this would be a marketing issue, if there was a nda in place. (The testing Issue would persist, testing with 50 people online is not really productive, but that´s besides the point right now.)
Due to the fact content creators will basically dissmantle every part of the game, by the time the game releases there is already a broad and accesible information environment. Hype fatigue will kick in as the game makes only incremental steps towards the final product.

A good example for a game that botched their release due to fatigue is crowfall. The game had many issues and would have died anyway, but the interest in the game could have been much bigger initially, if the release did feel like a fresh experience instead of a 1.1.2 update.
On the other hand you had New World´s release, where non nda tests were very relatively short. The game did not even have to be good to create interest, a fresh experience and copium "it´s the next big mmo for sure" was enough.

Personally i would think MMO releases are generally better adviced to hold information close to their chest, even if the A2 turns out to be decent, it may depress long term interest.
Shorter non-nda tests are a better choice, i´d rather frame the nda testing phases as "pre-Alpha 2" rather than dropping the biggest marketing opportunity for MMOs, which is the fresh experience at the release.

Am i too pessimistic on this topic?

Comments

  • CawwCaww Member
    no NDA please.... if there was going to be one for A2 it should have been mentioned in the starter package as a requirement, who wants to play for all that time and not discuss the experience?
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I don't want no-NDA A2. I think not having an NDA is a good move. But you're also right that testers will be less and less engaged over time. We saw that clearly in A1.

    I would suggest to Intrepid that they don't have A2 servers up permanently. Do it in periods of a few weeks at a time (perhaps up to a month max), then shut things down while they implement changes and additions for next stage, with the occasional spot testing for checking fixes. Also, keeping wipes to a minimum will help against tester fatigue, but sometimes a wipe is also a good thing.

    I would hope they structure A2 to be more focused testing than A1 was, asking players to test a new class for 2 weeks for example, or to test some changes to castle sieges, and then take servers down again after.
  • CadacCadac Member
    NDA would keep streamers trying to make a living at it silent, and that's about the only effect it would have. With thousands playing Alpha-2, what benefit would a NDA provide really? Information on the state of the game will get out, and won't be provided by those with a reputation to protect.
  • arsnnarsnn Member, Intrepid Pack, Alpha One
    edited June 26
    Nerror wrote: »

    I would suggest to Intrepid that they don't have A2 servers up permanently. Do it in periods of a few weeks at a time (perhaps up to a month max), then shut things down while they implement changes and additions for next stage, with the occasional spot testing for checking fixes. Also, keeping wipes to a minimum will help against tester fatigue, but sometimes a wipe is also a good thing.

    I would hope they structure A2 to be more focused testing than A1 was, asking players to test a new class for 2 weeks for example, or to test some changes to castle sieges, and then take servers down again after.

    I think this can work as well. But it still would mean they didnt keep the promise of a persistent A2.
    Calling the test pre-Alpha 2 would be a work around that would leave many people with a bad taste in their mouth.

    Cadac wrote: »
    NDA would keep streamers trying to make a living at it silent, and that's about the only effect it would have. With thousands playing Alpha-2, what benefit would a NDA provide really? Information on the state of the game will get out, and won't be provided by those with a reputation to protect.

    Well we can agree to disagree, i think launching a product with full momentuum can have a big effect.

    Also im not concerned about infos leaking to people that want that infos. My concern is rather engagement fatigue with the game. With only incremental progress that is shown by big Youtubers and Streamers over the years, the game may drop it´s novelty and hype once it launched.

    And tbh investing 250 for an oppurtunity to may become a content creator is a bad argument for a company to jeopardize their own product.
  • tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I think you may be in error in saying that A2 will last 1-2 years. We don't know for sure, but 4-5 months is likely to be on the long side, perhaps 2-4 months. Perhaps less than that, depending on how smoothly things go and the internal testing they are likely doing now,
  • Mag7spyMag7spy Member
    I don't think there will be a nda for Alpha two, it will be the same as alpha one is my guess.

    Though there more than likely will be a NDA for pre alpha two, leading up to the start of alpha 2
  • VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
    With every decision such as this one, there are pros and cons. I believe the current standing is that the NDA will be lifted for Alpha Two in a similar way it was for Alpha One.

    With that said, these things are subject to change, so we shall see as we get closer to the release date of Alpha Two and further in the development process ^_^

    What features are you excited about with Alpha Two?
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  • unknownsystemerrorunknownsystemerror Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    There will be no NDA for A2. They stated as such and sold access during Kickstarter that none of the alphas and betas sold under crowdfunding would be under NDA. Has this stopped them wordsmithing testing phases in the past? No, but the actual A2 will not be under NDA. Whether you see the next year them try to explain that testing for certain groups who bought A1 access is "post A1 pre A2, so our statements at point of sale don't count!" remains to be seen.
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  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    There will be no NDA for A2. They stated as such and sold access during Kickstarter that none of the alphas and betas sold under crowdfunding would be under NDA. Has this stopped them wordsmithing testing phases in the past? No, but the actual A2 will not be under NDA. Whether you see the next year them try to explain that testing for certain groups who bought A1 access is "post A1 pre A2, so our statements at point of sale don't count!" remains to be seen.
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    This is my assumption as well.

    I personally think there is another wave of testing that will need to happen before the NDA is lifted, Alpha 1B.

    At the very least, I expect Intrepid to have the combat and corruption systems somewhat tuned before Alpha 2.
  • OtrOtr Member
    tautau wrote: »
    I think you may be in error in saying that A2 will last 1-2 years. We don't know for sure, but 4-5 months is likely to be on the long side, perhaps 2-4 months. Perhaps less than that, depending on how smoothly things go and the internal testing they are likely doing now,
    I'll take your longest estimation: 5 months
    There will be also beta 1 and 2
    I think the 250$ price to access alpha is like paying the monthly subscription in advance.
    And because alpha 2 will have most of the game features in, it will be like playing an early access game.
  • LinikerLiniker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    they absolutely Should do NDA for pre-alpha 2 spot testing, don't ruin and spoil the experience with crashes, bugs and wipes until it's 100% ready for showcase on Alpha 2 persistent servers
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  • PenguinPaladinPenguinPaladin Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Liniker wrote: »
    they absolutely Should do NDA for pre-alpha 2 spot testing, don't ruin and spoil the experience with crashes, bugs and wipes until it's 100% ready for showcase on Alpha 2 persistent servers

    "Dont ruin" i feel they need to be more transparent about the state of the game. Them only showijg whats working has people wanting the game out next year...
  • AidanKDAidanKD Member
    While we can't know how much content A2 will launch with until it comes to it - I think that it will be vastly more than A1 for sure, with alot more polish. Inevitably it will be far from the final game but I think that while they do intend for it be persistent - it would be nice if they allowed for some downtimes. The longer periods can be for depth of testing, then they can have downtimes and work on some more focused testing. For example:

    We will do 1 month of constant testing. Do what you like! Or, focus on xyz. But after 2 weeks, perhaps have an intermission to do some siege testing. Maybe setup some events to test the encounters less so than the triggers. Maybe a naval siege/event of some sort. Just more focused testing. They may do this to a degree but If they have some sort of a schedule then maybe people knowing that different testing "events" will be coming might allow them to shake things up a bit.
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