So yes, I am a beta tester. I didn't really honestly think that I'd be a good beta tester. For the most part I lollygag around WoW as it is. I have always just, well, played WoW. I have never really looked for bugs, I don't generally complain and usually when the rules change I just follow along. In my mind I am not really good at ferreting out problems or issues. I don't believe I think outside the box when it comes to software or games. All those people who find loopholes in boss fights amaze me. I just never know where or how to look at those things.
Case in point, recently as mentioned before, my company changed to a new software program. I was part of the testing crew for it, but honestly I wasn't sure what I was trying to do. They told me I was supposed to try and break it, but I had spent so little time in the program I wasn't sure how to do that. Personally I thought the testing process for that sucked so perhaps it's not me. It's not me, it's you...ha ha.
When I received the beta invite I thought at least I have a chance to see and play which made me think twice. For the past 3 expansions I have not wanted to be involved in the beta. I really enjoy the initial ooo and ahhh from exploring the new zones on the first few days of release. It is one of my favorite times in WoW actually. While everyone is ninja'ing each other in the expansion starting areas I am usually 2 or 3 zones away running from monsters far above my level and enjoying the scenery. Usually with a few guildies in tow. It's like walking out into new fallen snow and putting down your footprints before anyone else gets up in the morning and messes it all up. Anyway I tangent....
That being said I set out on my beta experience anyway. Determined to find all the bugs I could and squash them. First I armed myself with information. What is Blizz looking for in beta testers? I listened closely to podcasts that talked about it and read a few articles. I found the best information to be at WoW Insider. Both the site and the podcast covered this topic. Then I thought about what I was interested in testing and what I was not. I settled on testing the Pandarian starting area. I had already seen at least half of it at Blizzcon so it would not be new, and I would not be seeing something that I didn't want to see. I have decided to stay away from the 85-90 areas and save that for my exploration once the game releases.
I grabbed a pad of paper and a pen and I set off. I rolled a female monk panda. The first few days were horrendous and I could hardly move. Even after I have gone through some computer upgrades I still haven't been able to get my frames to a reasonable place in heavily crowded areas. Albeit the server was EXTREMELY crowded. A few days and computer settings later...I set off. I explored areas, tried emotes, read all quest text, did all quests, ignored as much of the general chat as possible (rolling eyes), and wrote down everything I saw that I thought was a bug. I looked at what my character was doing from different camera angles while running, rolling, punching and kicking. I walked forwards and backwards and jumped around. :) And I took notes. I had minimal time and only played about an hour a week. Every week I took my notes and went to the forums and looked up the bugs I had found to see if they had already been reported. In all cases items I had found had already been submitted. I was a little bummed, but honestly I didn't expect that I would find a game breaker or anything.
After all that, the best thing I found is that I am a beta tester! I am excited to report that even me, the non-rule breaker-just play the game-player, can look and find and help in a beta environment. My plan now is to roll more pandas of different classes and models and go through the zone a few more times and see what has changed and what else I might find.
For those of you who feel like me and think they may not have the knowledge or the insight to contribute you're wrong. Pick something you're interested in and go. Take notes and pay attention and have fun. By doing that you are contributing, and that is what it's all about.