Originally Posted by Hal:Well, now you know one person. :) And I have what I feel are three good reasons for not signing up.
I can't imagine anyone who would not want to participate in beta. Most of us are starved for a Star Trek online game.
First of all, while I'm looking forward to Star Trek Online as much as anyone, participating in beta testing isn't about pure entertainment -- it's about testing what the developers need tested. Someone who just shows up to get a jump on gameplay is not someone who needs to be a beta tester.
Following that belief, I'd only sign up to be a beta tester if I thought I had enough free time to consistently dedicate to testing to do a good job of it. As I don't think I have enough such free time, I don't think it would be right for me to try to get into the beta.
My second reason is that participation in beta testing nearly always requires signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). I have no problem with NDAs in general -- for other people. For myself, I don't want to have my ability to talk about a particular game constricted because I agreed to be a beta tester.
Not having facts to talk about is better by far than having facts and not being able to talk about them!
Finally, this is just a personal viewpoint, not a criticism of anyone else, but I don't want to have my independence compromised by being associated in any official way with a game over which I had no design control. Choosing not to be a beta tester means I don't get advance knowledge of a game's features. But it also means that when I say something positive about a game, those comments are clearly not because I got anything in return for my positive comments or out of fear that my Special Status will be revoked if I criticize the product -- it's unquestionably because it's what I really think.
I've had the pleasure of being invited to be a beta tester for several MMORPGs. I always appreciate such offers, but I always turn them down -- my independence means too much to me.
So there are, I think, good reasons to choose not to participate in beta testing. I won't say they're right for everybody, but I do think they're valid for some folks, including me.