Beta Testing For Blue Mars, Have Some Users Forgotten What Beta Means?

Hi there everyone! This is a subject I've been wanting to write about for a while now not only because I think it is an interesting topic but because I have personally experienced this in my volunteering in Blue Mars since i got into the beta. It has come to my attention lately that although a vast majority of those who are signing up for Blue Mars are from Second Life and other virtual worlds, looking to take advantage of the future Blue Mars economy with their products and name brands, that there seems to be a group of people that when coming into Blue Mars are already expecting everything to be finished, ready, and operational. Ive encountered several people that have entered Blue Mars, noticed that it is at a basic level of production and then leave (most of the time with snotty remarks like 'this sucks'). Beta testing means that you encounter a game during its production stages, help find bugs and report them to help the production of the game along. For some it is exciting knowing that they had a part in a games early history which lead it to become successful, and others just enjoy helping out. Although I, and several others belong to the group of helping people in Blue Mars and enjoy helping the Beta along, it seems that many people have either forgotten what Beta Testing is about, or some don't know what it is and sign up expecting a full game. A forum post recently, (as well as in world I have talked to this person) has suggested several things that the welcome area could use to further assist players coming into the world. To quote directly from Nocifer's thread at

" 1. Big Sign To Remind Newcomers That Blue Mars is in Beta.

And therefore the interface, the avatars, and the existing cities, are essentially demo models, proofs of concept, a taste of things to come. Yes, there are limited options, bugs, and other inadequecies, but many of these are being developed and/or will be added in the near future. That's why it's called Beta. That's why we're here. To beta-test the buggery out of it.

2. A Roadmap Of Future Updates/Releases/Patches

So newcomers have an idea what to expect next. This also creates a sense of anticipation in members, and confidence in the developers. There is an awful lot of information out there, all over the place, so we need something that is immediately obvious - like a timetable of projected updates or list of what is presently being worked on that everyone can refer to, rather than third-hand hearsay that such-and-such will be introduced next week. "

I think that these two suggestions should be in high demand and very high up on the workload list over at AR for the new welcome center, or atleast a quick signboard for the current one that we are utilizing. This type of sign would not only re-instill the fact that Blue Mars is still beta, but for those who are unsure of what beta is or what to expect coming out of Blue Mars currently they could rely on this board to welcome them into the game with that specific knowledge.

Seeing as how Blue Mars has the potential to draw in crowds not only from the currently successful Second Life, but from other mediums that Second LIfe has failed in attracting, take the extra steps to assure the new members what they are going into and what to expect upfront I think would be a very smart idea.

Thanks for reading guys.

Lots of love, Zetsumei Ieyashi

PS: I want that new patch! Grrr! Lol.

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