Thursday, July 1, 2010

I wasn’t in the Alpha. Sniff!

No. I was not in the Alpha. And I can’t help sulking a little bit. Just a little bit. Because I’m childish like that. I never actually thought about it until now, when it has become apparent that a number of other WoW bloggers were in it all this time. They were invited. I wasn't.

Not that I actually WANTED to be in the Alpha. Hey, if anyone had asked me I would probably have said “thanks for asking, but no thanks”.

Why? Because doing software testing isn’t one of my hobbies. If you're in the Alpha, you’re not supposed to play the game, you’re supposed to test it. Reporting tons of bugs for instance. How fun is that? All it would give me is a shortcut to quicker burnout in Cataclysm, when all content would be repetition, right from the beginning.

Not. My. Thing.

The chosen ones
All this said: wouldn’t it have been nice to be asked to join the Alpha? It would make you feel sort of… important, if you get what I mean. You’re not just ANY blogger. You’re someone who Blizzard knows about. Someone whose opinion they value.

Jen at Stories of WoW was a chosen one. So was Lissanna at Restokin. And Totalbiscuit. BRK of course, but that has been known for a long time.

Probably there will be more who will come out of their closets the next few days, putting up an invisible badge on their websites. “Approved Alpha tester”.

Other blogging colleagues haven’t been that fortunate. Skeleton Jack wrote earlier about how he had gotten an invite to the alpha but was removed from it before it started. According to him, the only explanation he got was that there was some internal policy at Blizzard that prohibits people from participating in NDA content who have some form of media interaction and/or publication dealing with Blizzard games on any level. So when they found out that he had a blog, he was kicked out. It sounds weird considering that many other bloggers particpiated. Maybe their invites for the alpha were just a bit arbitrary and messy.

Whatever. The Alpha is over and grats to you who were invited! Being considered “friend and family” of Blizzard, that sounds like something.

Next up is the Beta and no, I don’t want to enter that either. A couple of my guildies would like us to try to win a bunch of beta invites in the announced competition. Count me out of it. I don’t go out of my way to avoid taking part of spoilers, but on the other hand I don’t look them up actively either, and Beta-testing is way more information than I'm looking for.

This said. I wouldn’t mind getting a personal invite from Blizzard anyway. Even if I'd decide to decline it. Childish blogger is childish.


Keeva said...

I'm horribly jealous too.

I certainly don't have any feelings of entitlement, I don't think I "should have" been in the alpha or anything, but I'm still pouty that I wasn't able to.

I like to be able to report things in my blog in a timely way; I don't like regurgitating news from the big WoW sites; it feels cheap.

I was really hanging out to get into the test (hopefully) so that I would be able to report for myself, and not have to ride on the coattails of the big sites or other bloggers.

I see the other kids with new toys, and I want to stomp over and steal them.


Jen said...

Guys, please don't blow this out of proportion. I don't know about the others, but I just know someone at Blizzard. It was a chance encounter (I had no idea the person worked there when we met) and it had absolutely nothing to do with my being blogger, I was friends with the person before I even started the blog. This is 100% a case of knowing the right people...

As I was writing that post, I was thinking it's too bad Keeva didn't get the invite, because the most investigating I've done into the druid tree was throw together 2 specs that looked semi-decent. I hope you do get Beta invites! They should be coming any day now, so fingers crossed :)

(Extending the offer to help with whatever beta info I can get.. as long as there's no lore involved :P)

Larísa said...

Hehe... it's great to get it out of your system isn't it?
In your case you could actually make something valuable out of it. In my case it's just pure vanity.

@Jen: Hehe, don't apologize! We're not that serious. Just pouting... a little... :)

It's definitely a case of having the right contacts. I wonder how many bloggers there are who actually know people at Blizzard. Maybe more than we realize?

Jen said...

Oh, and: "Being considered “friend and family” of Blizzard, that sounds like something."

It's nice, of course, but it's also a lot of responsibility. If you're a friend of a Blizzard employee, you wouldn't want to say something silly and put their job in danger. That's why I keep saying "person" and not him or her... I don't want to identify my friend in any way. (And no, they're not allowed to talk about confidential stuff, so not even friends get to hear about that.)

Jen said...

Well, I like your question Larisa. My guess is that a LOT of bloggers know people at Blizzard, but they don't know it :D Many Blizz people play WoW, of course, so you never know who your guildies are :) But the way I see it, even if "disclosure" is not prohibited by the company (though I think it's frowned upon), it's risky. Imagine if too many people found out and started begging you for favors. It must be horrible. So I'm sure that they try to be as discreet as possible...

But I don't think being a blogger has much to do with knowing people at Blizzard. Maybe if you're someone BIG, like Lissanna and BRK, it might be true, but otherwise I'd guess it's just the fact that Blizzard is so huge and there's also a lot of bloggers, pure probability says some bloggers will meet some Blizzard employees.

Hatch said...

Makes me sad too, but I'm not surprised I wasn't picked.

Maybe those bloggers just happen to actually be friends with Blizzard employees.

Anonymous said...


There, there, Dear, here's a tissue. Give it a good blow. Now move on! :p

Sorry you didn't get the invite, but you know what, for the reasons you identifed it's probably for the best.

From a personal perspective, as a newbie 70 I was lucky enough to get a beta invite for Wrath. Unfortunately (or fortunately as it ultimately turned out), I was too noobish at that time to realize the opportunities being part of the beta testing presented. I think all I ended up doing was creating a Death Knight - I didn't even make it out of the Lich's grasp before giving up. Now that I look back I'm glad I didn't do much with the Beta invite, I think I like the freshness of new patches and xpacs too much. Seems to me that I would hate the feeling of the game being stale on roll out day because I had spent 2 months beta testing everything. I mean, really, is there anything more exciting in the game then the day the Xpac rolls out and everybody is feverishly running around new zones and such - I find that aspect of it totally cool. Not to mention that the first week of an Xpac's release are generally when you will find other players who are helpful and kind and not total dic.....dorks.

Chin up, pig-tailed one!


Scarybooster said...

I was in WoWs first beta and since then they have not invited my back. I love bug squashing and adding my opinion. Nowadays, Blizzard's betas are so polished they only do it as a formality. I'm sure only minor bugs are found. It's not like a new games beta. I would love to test Cataclysm

Len said...

I'm of a similar mindset - while I'll avidly read beta info on class abilities/talent trees etc. I and avoid pictures and videos and wouldn't want to actually play the game through until actual release.

Of course, no-one's asked me *sniffs* but still ;)

Redbeard said...

You know, even if I got an invite I wouldn't be sure it wasn't a spammer. Amazing the number of so-called "alpha invites" I received when the alpha started.

In a previous job I was a software QA person, and I don't exactly relish the idea of going back to my roots. Even for WoW.

thenoisyrogue said...

I really don't get the desire for people to be in the alpha or the beta. Apart from spoiling everything for you for when it's released, you're actually working for Blizzard for free. Bugger that.

Keeva said...

Thanks Jen :)

I read your blog post and gurgled in despair. An alpha invite and you didn't really want it? arghh *rolls on the floor making pained noises*


I hope I get into the beta, but I'm trying hard not to build myself up too much; there are a lot of people out there who have never been picked, so there's a good chance I won't.

I want to get in for two reasons: 1) to actually help test, to contribute to our class being better on release, and 2) obviously, for my blog. As I said, I don't like to regurgitate, it makes me a sad panda.

But on the other hand, I actually don't like "spoiling" things for myself by seeing them ahead of time - so while I will be horribly disappointed if I don't get in (and I'll be pained until release that I can't blog about it "properly") it won't be the end of the world.

I guess.


Gronthe said...

@ thenoisyrogue: Funny thing is, any pro-WoW blogger is indirectly working for Blizz for free. Maybe I should start sending them invoices each month, itemized for each good thing I say about the game. I could become filthy rich in no time.

Larisa, we all just want to be loved, don't we? Maybe next time you can send a "donation" to Blizzard before their next xpac, I'm sure they'd be happy to send you an alpha invite then.

Saresa said...

I remember feeling really snarky when I got an alpha invite through a friend, and then they had to take it away from me, because there in fact WAS a policy prohibiting bloggers from being in the Alpha, and I didn't want to risk them getting in trouble over it.

I guess a lot of it was the usual sour grapes 'how come THEY still get to be in it even though I don't?', and part of me still finds it astounding that they were able to stay in the Alpha. But then, that's just jealousy coming through.

Perhaps you might be lucky enough to get a beta invite instead, even if you won't use it ;-)

Jen said...

Keeva: Oh, I wanted it, I was curious about things. Just not the kind of... useful things I can post about. I wanted to fly and see the new zones, not theorycraft talents.

Saresa, no one asked me if I was a blogger... this could mean either different policies for EU/US, or simply that whoever approved me didn't think of asking? I understand the risk to Blizzard, but I value my friends way too much to leak something on my blog for pageviews.

Keeva said...

I don't understand.. if they have a policy against bloggers, why was BRK invited? Did they have a special loophole for him?

And I think it's a little insulting really - do they think we can't be trusted? I would imagine that many bloggers are a lot more trustworthy than random friends/acquaintances. I can follow the rules as well as the next guy. We value our blogs and our integrity, if someone hands me an alpha invite and says "no telling", I wouldn't even tell my friends, let alone blog about it or post stuff.

Seems a little silly to have arbitrary rules (that are not policed very well, clearly).

spinksville said...

*vibes* Never nice to feel left out ;/ But it isn't anything to do with the quality of your writing, I'm sure.

It is a big advantage to a blogger to be able to post new information directly from the test. Big advantage. (And if they were trying to ban bloggers from the alpha then they did a really bad job of it, but all the guys I read were very good about waiting for the NDA to drop before they posted info.)

On the other hand, it's a lot of work too if you really want to keep on top of it.

I just wish someone would do some warrior tests on the beta. All the blogs I've read with beta info have been very focussed on their own class.

Dwism said...

I noted the lack of european bloggers... hmm

Jen said...


Markco said...

If I was invited to the beta I'd so give blizzard an earful about how to improve their economic system. Oh wells!

Malchome said...


Why wait for a beta invite. I have flooded the forums and my blog now with bitching about the in game economy.

lissanna said...

I got in Alpha after they lifted the no-blogger rule. So, having the blog this year actually significantly hurt my chances of getting in. I only got in this year because I was in the last 2 Alphas (before I had a blog) and I have Real Life close personal friends from when I lived in California. You have to have a Real Life friend to be your sponsor. It's who you know!

Tesh said...

They didn't invite me either. I'm not sure if that means they don't read my blog or if they do.

Larísa said...

@Jen: I'm actually a little amazed when bloggers admit that they've been in the alpha despite being bloggers. Doesn't this mean that their sponsors might have broken the rules?

@Hatch: yeah, I guess that's the case.

: Hehe, my sadness is very shallow and not really an issue, but thanks for the support!

: From the first reports it seems to me that the Beta is far from being close the polished final version.

: I actually think you could tell the difference. But yeah, there's a lot of scamming going on. Better be careful.

: yeah, I'm a little bit amazed at the interest. I bet they could even SELL beta testing spots as an RMT service. People are crazy like that.

@Gronthe: yeah, I suppose that's the case. You know... the day when I close the PPI... if I got the tiniest little letter from a Blizzard employee who said " I followed your blog and I liked it". That would really be reward enough. We don't ask for money. We ask for being seen. Even if it's quite unrealistic and futile tbh.

@Saresa: But you GOT an alpha invite after all! That's quite something!

: yeah, it's a huge advantage. Not for non-theorycrafting, non-informative blogs like mine. It doesn't matter at all. But I DO feel sorry for Keeva since she doesn't get access to stuff that other druid bloggers get.

@Dwism: don't think so. TB as well as Jen are from EU.

@Markco: the economic system? Is there even one? I suppose there is. I have no idea about if it needs improvement though. I guess it reveals something about how interested I am in the gold making game.

: So there was one no-blogger rule and then it got lifted at some point? But Saresa and Skeleton Jack didn't get invites after the change of rules anyway? Oh well. It's basically not of my concern, but it still looks a bit strange and inconsistent.

@Tesh: actually I believe in what Lissanna says: it's all about knowing someone personally. Having a sponsor.

Tesh said...


Yeah, and I don't mind not being invited, I just find myself alternating between praising Blizzard and condemning them, so if they *were* going off of blog content, it could be a toss-up whether or not they like it. ;)

Tam said...

Hmmmm... I don't really get on with my with my family so the idea rather loses appeal ;)