Wargaming opens WoWS Alpha to Bronies, Forum Addicts

The day has finally arrived. You can apply for the WoWS Alpha here.

Provided you have posted at least 150 posts on the forums.

That’s right folks, Wargaming is not interested in your previous experience with Alphas. They don’t care if you are willing to do testing for them. They are completely okay with having testers that will never once submit a bug report. The first and foremost criteria is that you have been active on a dead set of forums that, until today, had nothing to do but speculate over a game not yet released, and salivate over wikipedia articles. Or, you know, post off topic, as this very honest gentleman pointed out in what has become the official complaint thread:

The 150 post count can be seen as people who “care” about the game, but they probably have 150 posts in the my little pony section.

So where does that leave Wargaming? Well, it means people like Shwedor, who has been a very dedicated and useful Alpha tester for WoWp, who gives great feedback and is very active on the forums, is not going to be doing any testing. Meanwhile, people like Goldeneye54, who has received a ban in WoT for griefing and trolling after the first campaign, is clearly a great asset to the community and the testing process.

Should I also mention that to test the Alpha, you will need to be 3x more active in the forums than the developer selecting applications, and 10 times more active than the developer who posted in the unofficial complaint thread that getting to 150 posts was easy and for the community to suck it up?

Great job WG, we are off to a stellar start.

Making Sense of Star Citizen

It started as a successful kickstarter.

And it has grown into a monstrosity that is bleeding into other games. Twice this week while playing other games, someone made a comment about Star Citizen. And how they were getting ready for it. For a game slated to launch in November of 2014.

Granted, you can get in and play around a bit with it now. The standalone hanger module is available to anyone buying a package of $30+ (think the ambulation in EVE) which allows you to walk around your hanger and visit the spaceship you bought with your pledge. And supposedly the dogfight (limited PvP?) module is not terribly far off (though I still haven’t found a date on it yet).

You may have guessed by my tone that I am skeptical. I am. I passed on the KS because of what I would call “yellow flags” – too little information combined with what seemed to be a very ambitious plan. The feelings continued as I wondered around the Roberts Space Industries website last night. Everything is polished (too polished) and everything is beautiful (too beautiful). And everything I wanted to look at directed me back to Store > Products. In the back of my head was a line from the original Matrix movie: “The digital pimp, hard at work.”

On the one hand, that makes sense. For a game that has raised over $23,000,000 from crowdsourcing, the expectations are a little different. Polish and glitz need to be the norm. And for a project this ambitious, $23m is not enough – so there is a clear need to keep pushing. Sell more. Make the dream a reality. One thing for sure – Chris Roberts is obviously obsessed with making this a reality. And so far, he is making steps towards pulling it off.

I just wish I had a little more information. There are some great YouTube videos of the hanger module, giving you looks at the ships that have been “done” already (though done is a relative term here). I recommend Disco Lando’s series, which is current with the most recent patch and doesn’t feauture the usual stilted dialogue overlay.

So, I will be watching closely and with interest. And I will admit I am tempted – the ship models look great, and there is the siren call of a neat game concept there (not to mention how well done the digital sales brochures are – check out the PDF you can download). And lets face it, Mouse’s rejoinder to the “digital pimp” line is compelling as well: “Pay no attention…to deny our impulses is to deny what makes us human.” Still…for the time being, I will just watch with my wallet closed, it will be with a wary eye.

World of Warplanes CBT Is Taking Off

Less than 48 hours remains before the testing population of World of Warplanes gets a significant boost as it shifts gears from Alpha to Beta.   The news release notes that Alpha applicants will have priority over Beta applicants, so those who have been waiting awhile might get some good news this week.

Sadly, I can not give you good news or bad news either one, because as it turns out, Wargaming had need of my services…

For those keeping score, this has been my third Alpha overall, but only my first for Wargaming.  One thing I can say in general is that as a tester now for both this company’s games, Wargaming is a really good developer in terms of listening to player feedback and striving to constantly make a better product.  Other companies would do well to take some notes from them.

Also, I can tell you that I have great sadness that the tech trees as currently published do not include my favorite planes.