Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Beta

I've been splitting my time World of Warcraft time between the actual game and the beta version of the next expansion.
Being invited to participate in the beta of the most popular computer game on the planet is certainly an honor any geek would try to live up to, and I've been doing my very best.
Sure, there are new creatures to see and kill, new landscapes to see, and whole exciting questlines which are probably rich in the lore of the game world and vital to my overall immersion in the game.
But some stuff is also broken, and I have to admit I've enjoyed that a lot more.
For example, when Webinara attacks something there is a percentage chance that her hit will be "critical", which makes it do a lot more damage. The regular non-beta Webinara has one of those critical hits about 27% of the time (In my defense, the game tracks that. I would never resort to math.).
This is pretty good, but the beta makes it better.
Webinara's trusty Crossbow of Unrelenting Pwnage adds a couple of percent into that 27% whenever she has it on her.
Taking it off reduces that percentage from the total in the non-beta.
It does not in the beta.
But equipping it still adds it!
So, by removing the Crossbow of Unrelenting Pwnage and then putting it back, I was quickly able to ensure that Webinara was hitting with improved critical damage 157% of the time. I stopped equipping and removing after that because it seemed silly.
Then I ran around the new areas killing everything that moved.
Essentially, she ran out of arrows before that got boring.
"Hmm . . . 3 players recommended for this quest? I'll just go it alone."
"5-Person Dungeon, eh? I'll do that solo."
"Level 75 Elite Storm Giant bigger than my house? It's on!"
Since doing the right thing as a beta tester involves sending in reports of bugs, I did so. However, another part of beta testing is gathering tons of data about the precise level of awesome the bug contains.
So my bug report was probably later than it could have been.
Like, you know, days later.

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