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FFG Andy Fischer

A Word From the Developers

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Thanks Andy for some communication on the matter. Is there any consideration for those of us who were not at Gencon but would like to test to extend the duration of the Beta again so we have time to purchase a copy and get some play testing in?

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Thanks for posting this Andy.

 

As a note of interest for those awaiting a chance to purchase this book, the status on FFG's Upcoming Products page cites the AoR Beta as being "On the Boat."  Leads me to think that they sold through the bulk of their initial copies at GenCon, and are waiting for more copies to be in stock before putting it up for sale on the website.

 

After all, how disappointed would you be if you saw the book was available for sale, made your purchase online... only to get a notice after a few days of "sorry, but we're refunding your money because our stock was pretty small."  As said in another thread, it's not the ideal solution from anyone's point of view to not be selling what copies they have, but better to have as large a stock available as possible to cut down on the "sorry, you're SOL this time" which did happen with the EotE Beta last year, to say nothing of a chunk of those EotE Beta books released/sold at GenCon having an issue of duplicate pages, an issue I'm sure FFG doesn't want a repeat of if they can take steps to prevent it.

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Thanks Andy for some communication on the matter. Is there any consideration for those of us who were not at Gencon but would like to test to extend the duration of the Beta again so we have time to purchase a copy and get some play testing in?

Well, it was already extended once from October 15th to November 15th, meaning that FFG had a pretty small window for playtesting in mind to begin with.  The date extension is likely meant to address the fact that it's almost a month after GenCon and folks still haven't been able to purchase the book thru retailers or FFG's webstore.

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Thanks Andy for some communication on the matter. Is there any consideration for those of us who were not at Gencon but would like to test to extend the duration of the Beta again so we have time to purchase a copy and get some play testing in?

Well, it was already extended once from October 15th to November 15th, meaning that FFG had a pretty small window for playtesting in mind to begin with.  The date extension is likely meant to address the fact that it's almost a month after GenCon and folks still haven't been able to purchase the book thru retailers or FFG's webstore.

 

 

I'm just logistically looking at the timetable now. It's Wednesday 11th September at time of writing. Assuming retail could make orders with their distributors this week then they won't get their copies until next week. Add another week for packing and shipping to customers, a week for delivery and it's in the player's hands the end of September/beginning of October.

We then have 6 weeks to get our players to the table, make adjustments for any existing EotE games. Gather feedback and send it to FFG. EotE had 11 weekly updates during it's beta period and we'll be lucky to get 2/3 of that with AoR. This is assuming that the books are currently off the boat.

 

This is why I'm asking for an additional extension as I don't feel it really offers a great deal of value for non-Gencon purchasers if they actually want to contribute to the beta test. Of course if I'm the only person to feel this way then others will be sure to jump in and make their voice heard though based on other threads I don't think I'm the only person who feels that we're paying the same amount and getting less involvement in the testing.

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We then have 6 weeks to get our players to the table, make adjustments for any existing EotE games.

And that's for people in the US.  For those of us who'd like to be part of the testing process in other parts of the world, we'll have less time than that.

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We then have 6 weeks to get our players to the table, make adjustments for any existing EotE games.

And that's for people in the US.  For those of us who'd like to be part of the testing process in other parts of the world, we'll have less time than that.

 

 

Given that the original extension of the beta period was mentioned before this production delay hit, I wouldn't be surprised if we see another extension once FFG has a hard date for book availability.

 

Clearly, they're in a situation where, for now, they can't speak definitively about things, but that'll hopefully be cleared up soon.

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I have to say I'd rather see them delay the release of the finished, full AoR core book than shorten the beta period just to meet an arbitrary release schedule. 

Well here's the thing... the initial timeframe that was presented when the AoR Beta was announced was the same "best case scenario" that Nashable outlined, being only six weeks (figuring from first week of September to middle of October) to begin with.  Not as much time, which is fitting as there's not as much new material (namely, the core dice mechanics) that needs to be tested this time around.  And I'll be quite surprised if when the F&D Beta rulebook comes out, there's not a similarly abbreviated time frame to test that material too, since the player base will have already been testing one of the principal mechanics of that book (the Force) for two years.

 

The extension to November 15th was probably less about "more time to test" and "we've hit a snag in getting this book out the door and into player's hands."  Imagine how bad the complaints of "we can't buy it yet!" would be if FFG had stuck to their original October 15th deadline.

 

Just to be clear, I'm not saying Nashable's in the wrong to ask for more time, particularly if the AoR Beta book isn't made available for purchase sooner rather than later, either online or via FLGS.  In fact, if the delay in getting the book out results in the street date getting pushed to the end of September, I'd say pushing the beta feedback deadline further to account for that should be a given.

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Right we're talking about two distinct things. One is the idea that 6 weeks is long enough for a beta test, in my opinion it is not, the other is that it's unlikely they'll even be able to provide the 6 weeks and the lack of value that offers non-gencon purchasers.

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Right we're talking about two distinct things. One is the idea that 6 weeks is long enough for a beta test, in my opinion it is not, the other is that it's unlikely they'll even be able to provide the 6 weeks and the lack of value that offers non-gencon purchasers.

We are, and we aren't.

 

As I said, the original time frame from when FFG announced there would be an AoR Beta was about six weeks, with the notion that a certain group of folks would be purchasing copies at GenCon, and that the rest would reach the masses a few weeks after that.  Obviously that plan fell through at some point after the announcement, thus the news during the InFlight Report that the deadline was pushed back to November 15th.

 

People complained that there wasn't enough time to truly test the dice system or other things during the EotE Beta as well, but at least that time FFG was able to get the books out to people within a reasonable time frame.

 

I think it's also a matter of expectation in regards to what "beta testing" means to us the consumer and to FFG.  From what I'm seeing and hearing, it almost sounds like what FFG is really expecting is proof-reading the material and pointing out any issues (such as typos or unclear rules) that they come across.  Where as a number of folks such as yourself are expecting that FFG wants you to sit down and play the game for several weeks and test out every aspect of the game.  Not saying you're wrong, just that one group has a different expectation of what "beta testing" involves than the other group.  Going by what FFG's current stance seems to be, six weeks is plenty of time.  Going by yours, I agree that six weeks isn't enough time.

 

To paraphrase George Carlin from one of his shows during the late 80's or so (before his material started getting really dark): I think the truth lies somewhere between the license plate mottoes of Philadelphia's "Live Free or Die" and Idaho's "Famous Potatoes".  Personally, I hope the truth is a little closer to  "Famous Potatoes," but that's just me.

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Dono - if they want it to be a proof read then why market it as a play test beta. Typos could easily be caught by just hiring an editor or two on a contract. Seems like a lot of effort to copy set the book and print it just for a glorified proof read.

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Dono - if they want it to be a proof read then why market it as a play test beta. Typos could easily be caught by just hiring an editor or two on a contract. Seems like a lot of effort to copy set the book and print it just for a glorified proof read.

This seems true, but to be fair I've bought a lot of game books over the years and I've NEVER seen one without errors after print, sometimes a lot of errors.  Heck, there's usually still errors after second and third printings.  This includes bigger companies like WotC and Paizo, who can certainly afford a few editors.  All I can figure is that there are so many rules/stat/technical stuff that it's easy to miss if your not intimately familiar with the system, which a random hired editor might not be.

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I agree that subject matter experts make better testers/ proof readers, but there were errors in the final core book and we don't get the beta of the full core book text so i cant really see proof reading being a focus.

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I also doubt it's a heavy focus.  Just a happy perk if they catch a few errors and typos.  The main focus I image is testing mechanics and new stuff.

So following that logic to its conclusion, how can FFG come up with 6 (very likely to be less) is sufficient time to beta test?

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I also doubt it's a heavy focus.  Just a happy perk if they catch a few errors and typos.  The main focus I image is testing mechanics and new stuff.

That's probably true, but at the same time there's really not a whole lot in the way of brand new mechanics to test.

 

A bunch of stat blocks (Adversaries and Ships), a handful of new talents, a couple of new Force Powers, and just over a dozen specializations.

 

Everything else (combat rules for personal and vehicle combat, dice resolution, XP tables, healing, and so on) has already gone through a pretty extensive testing period.  Even Duty has already been tested to an extent, as it's the flip side of Obligation, with the difference being the players want it to go up and they want it to activate.  But at the same time, these new elements could cause some issues, either due to unclear wording or simply not being quite as good to the masses as it looked to the design team.

 

Plus, I doubt FFG is expecting every single person who buys the AoR Beta to exhaustively test every single new thing in the book either.  I know there were elements of the EotE Beta that I barely looked at (starship combat being a big one), and I'm sure that other folks didn't bother with certain portions of the book either that didn't appeal to them or to the games they planned on running.

 

Who knows, maybe "beta testing" really isn't the right word for this type of deal, but it's the closest that FFG's got that gets the general point across?

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