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DiscussionDec 16, 2015 8:00 am CT

Breakfast Topic: How the expansions are made

The really fascinating thing (to me, at least) about an alpha or beta test is getting to see iterative changes. It’s what my father always referred to as ‘how the sausage is made’ (sometimes while we were making actual sausage) and it really intrigues me in terms of games like World of Warcraft. I’ve been involved in several betas now and every time I see something like the Jade Forest revamp or the extensive changes to Vashj’ir’s questing, I’m reminded that not only is everything in flux, but how much constant work goes into the production of this game.

If you never play in an Alpha or Beta, you essentially get the game as close to polished as is possible for the developers to deliver it. But doing a test means seeing things broken, seeing quests half implemented, seeing the wires and uneven bits all sticking out. It gives you a real sense of progression as everything slowly comes together and it also reveals to you that yes, that one quest you did in five minutes took someone hours, days, or even longer to get nailed down. The content we devour takes a great deal of time and effort to get right, and it’s a bit humbling if you (like me) have a tendency to get frustrated with bugs and glitches.

Do you want that view, or are you happy to wait till launch and experience it polished?

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