[MUD-Dev] Quality Testing

Michael Tresca talien at toast.net
Sat Oct 20 12:05:58 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


Dave Rickey posted on Thursday, October 18, 2001 8:34 PM

> AO and WW2O hit the market like a 1-2 punch, *everyone* expected
> Camelot's launch to be a mess.  Almost every time I saw Camelot
> being discussed on the boards of other games before the last month
> of beta, it was in the context of "Maybe a few weeks after they
> launch, if the game lasts that long and doesn't suck."  The
> players were, by and large, incredibly gunshy and a bad few days
> at launch could have set us back months.

This makes me think that (not to take away from the incredible
quality of your team) some part of the DAoC's success is timing.  As
I said, players have had a very high level of tolerance for bugs in
MMORPGs to date.  Then AO and WW2O came out and we finally
(blessedly) found that there is a limit to that tolerance.

This was the "rush to market" philosophy at its worst, where quality
was inevitably sacrificed for speed and, EGADS!, it meant a loss in
revenue.

If Microsoft taught us anything, it's that there's a huge advantage
in being the first to mass market with a new technology because
consumers don't have the tools to accurately gauge the quality of
that new technology.  Therefore, the first to market can pump out
inferior products. But this is a historical measure.  Companies who
build their entire marketing plans around consumer ignorance
eventually bump up against the boundaries of shrinking consumer
tolerance.

Players now know better.  Each game is compared to those before it.
Over time, the bar is raised, through good and bad products.  Two
bad MMORPG experiences and one good DAoC = pity the next MMORPG.

> Again, I'm not bragging.  I'm pointing out that we did *not* get
> "lucky" .  The only part of the successful launch I'd ascribe to

By all means, brag away!  You and your team deserve a round of
applause for getting it right the first time.  We can only hope it
will shame future developers into following your lead.

Mike "Talien" Tresca
RetroMUD Administrator
http://www.retromud.org/talien

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