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2-28-2008 @ 8:13PM
This is essentially why companies hardly ever do public betas of their products, and usually do closed group user testing. It's because when you open your product up to the public, they assume it's "final", when in fact we all know it's not. When companies usually open their products up for public "beta" consumption, it's more about stress testing the product versus actual changes to the product. If they really want GOOD feedback vs. QQ, they try to have a closed group of diverse testers (aka Alpha).What it boils down to, is a change of philosophy. Blizzard when from a waterfall type of development to an AGILE (or collaborative) type of development. The first acts exactly like it sounds, the changes happens at the top of the waterfall and you (users) receive the bottom. There isn't much change possible since sending changes back up the waterfall is very difficult. This is how Blizzard has usually run their PTRs.Now they've changed to AGILE, which means, progressive development. You break up the larger product (in this case the patch) and you break it up into smaller chunks. You work on these chunks and go through a whole dev cycle for each of these chunks. So you do idea genesis, testing, QA, tweaking, etc, until you get that chunk right. When you do, you move on to the next chunk. It's a very beneficial method of development as it allows you to tackle smaller problems and hopefully make it a better product. What makes it difficult is that people usually work in the waterfall method, which is the reason why people are having such big problems understanding progressive testing.Basically, AGILE lives and dies on trust. The end users have to trust that their feedback will be incorporated and trust that devs will do what is correct. Right now, users don't trust Blizz for whatever reason, and it's making this cycle on the PTR more problematic. It'll all subdue soon and you'll realize all this fear you have right now will be over nothing much at all.
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