After having participated in the first SWTOR Beta Weekend, I came up with a few additional tips to compliment the original post on the subject:
- Prepare to Stand in Line. Friday night as you may have guessed was a very busy time for the beta servers. As a result, Bioware began to queue players waiting to get into the game. In the first few hours, queue lines were in excess of 200 players. However, the queue would go down relatively quickly, anywhere from 2-5 players each second. Bioware wants you to get into the game as soon as possible, but they don’t want to crash the servers or have 75 characters all in the same zone. The queues weren’t that bad, but don’t be shocked if you have to wait.
- Lower Your Expectations. It’s beta, which means things are not going to work ideally. There is going to be lag at times. The frame rate on your video card may get extraordinary high. Quests may be broken. SWTOR is not a polished product right now, so please don’t expect it to be. Try to be objective and evaluate SWTOR for what it is: a nearly complete MMO with some bugs to work out.
- Give Honest Feedback. When filling out a survey about a quest, please give honest and objective feedback. If you experience lag occasionally, don’t give it the worst rating available. If you die during your quest because of a bug, don’t give super high negative feedback followed by nasty comments. Bioware takes the feedback seriously and has stated that the release date will be determined from the feedback of the beta testers. Please don’t risk a delayed release date because you over exagerated certain elements of the game.
- Pay Attention to Chat. I learned a lot about the game just by watching the general chat window. There were a lot of people asking questions and a lot of people responding. They would comment on just about everything from quests, to items and map locations.
- Play with a Group. Although SWTOR may be the greatest solo MMO ever, try questing in a group for a while. You will get through zones a lot faster and will have someone to chat with while you are questing. Plus, group mechanics needs to be tested also, right?
Playing SWTOR early was a lot of fun and I’m grateful for the opportunity. Hopefully I’ll get an invitation to the full beta.