My Thoughts On Open Beta
Hello IFC, I come today bearing a message that I think should be heard by many people on this forum. Yes, this will be one of those long paragraph filled topics, but this should be said as I feel that it will help change this one feature for the better.
This feature being Open Beta.
A feature that I have dreaded since it’s introduction in 20.2, for various reasons which I will go over in this topic. Let me tell you this, I’m not the only one who feels this way, I know many others on this forum who side with me on this issue. I know the positives of an open beta, but in my mind, they fall short in outweighing the many negatives that I will go over.
Issue 1: Improper Usage
The first issue, that I personally find the most annoying, is the misuse of the open beta. An open beta is meant for a new update to be open to a select amount of users in the public before its official release. In theory, this is meant to locate and fix bugs and other issues before the new update gets released to the masses. However, a trend that I have noticed is how people use it just to get their hands on an update early. Immature users just take advantage of the update, never using an open beta for its real purpose, as mentioned above. I was someone who did this in 20.2, and I never really reported any bugs, which proves my point. Many other players also took advantage of the open beta, and let me tell you that not too many bugs were ever pointed out at all.
Issue 2: Lack of Update Hype
As a 20.2 open beta tester, I can confirm that this issue was definitely a large problem. The open beta was released quite a few weeks before the official update, so users were already familiar with the update by the time it was released. I’d estimate that around 65-75% of all active TL2s on the IFC had access to the open beta. Returning to the issue, by the time the update was released, beta testers had already experienced everything the update had to offer, making the update itself lack the hype as shown in the 20.1 update, with no open beta. This led to the update feeling very underwhelming (for me at least), pretty much erasing all hype. Because of this, I took a break from IF after the 20.2 release, as I was just very bored, and I knew no new content was coming for a while. I can assure you that other users have experienced this same issue that I have, which can be a big hit to the expanding playerbase. This was also the reason why I decided not to participate in the 20.3 open beta. However, this brings us to the next issue that I want to point out.
Issue 2x: Exaggerates Waiting Times In Between Updates
I felt like I should put this here as a mini issue that should still be said. Due to the early release of open beta, sometimes as much as a month before the update, the next update feels like it would be years away! As mentioned earlier, once the update actually comes out, the hype is gone for all of the beta testers, making the next update feel later than it should be. This is something personal for me that really gets on my nerves, which is why I thought I should include it.
Issue 3: Spoilers
A major problem with open beta, is the amount of immature users who don’t realize they are privileged to be allowed to participate in an open beta. As a result of this, a seriously large amount of spoilers will be leaked to the public. This is definitely unfair to the basic users, who make up a large portion of the IF playerbase. The spoilers leaked by the immature beta testers would reach the basic TL1 users, who aren’t able to join. This would lead to, a) a clogging of the forum, with many questions on how to get open beta, and b) the “grinding” of basic users to reach member status in order to access the open beta. The problem with this is that even less people will take the open beta seriously, leading to what pretty much seems like an early update release. This will also be extremely unfair to the sensible basic users, who are relying on testers to be able to help release a bug free update, when in reality they are just taking advantage of it to get early access and flex to others that they have the update (trust me, I’ve seen this too many times).
These are the 3 main issues why I feel like an open betas are just not a good idea, but I could go on and on about many other issues, but I won’t. However, I have come up with a solution that would (in my opinion) benefit the open beta idea greatly.
I’m definitely not the only one who dislikes the current open beta system, I’ve met many users who clearly disliked it, here are two examples with reasoning.
The best option in my mind would be to tighten up the requirements needed to be able to have access to the open beta. My idea of this would be to only allow TL3+ status users to be able to participate. This would work very well because all of the Regulars are hand picked by staff, showing loyalty and sensibility above other users. This can be taken advantage of by only allowing them to participate, since they are trustworthy users who won’t spoil the updates, misuse the open beta, and so on. Though quite a simple solution, I believe that this would be very effective in combating the issues with the current open beta system in Infinite Flight.
With me writing this topic, I’m expecting to be bashed by many people, and questioned by others on my lack of knowledge about the subject, since I don’t know the exact stats or anything like that. I know that not everyone will agree with me on this, however I think it is good that I got this topic out here just to inform you about these issues, and possibly get on my side.
I’m also curious to know what you guys think about the Open Beta, do you like it since it can benefit the simulator, or is it something that should be removed because of many issues.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this topic of mine, and I really hope that you can get in my shoes to understand my thoughts on the open beta. I made this topic to hopefully change the way the open beta system operates, in order to free updates of bugs, while also allowing it to be used in a sensible and effective manner.
Thanks again for reading this, have a nice day.