Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Breaking the NDA: Just Say No

I recently came across a forum post by a beta tester for a certain game that basically tore said game a new a-hole. I won't say which game, and I won't say where, because I don't need to add fuel to the fire. But I will say this.

Great job, buddy. You've lost the respect of an entire game company, many fellow gamers, and in general the people in and surrounding the hobby that made you want to be a volunteer tester in the first place. You've taken the trust of a company that expected you to know betas are where play is not really "fun", and crammed it up their asses. You've gained a few moments of internet fame, based on frustrations with a beta test for a game that's not due out for months.

I salute you. Well done.


I mean seriously, people. It's no secret that I'm a Champion of the Virtues of NDAs here at my blog. I've made posts regarding the selling of keys and how I don't care if it seems "tattling" of me to turn these turds in. I know it's not the end of the world. I know it's not even really a serious offense. But as a gamer who loves partaking in these public closed betas, I hate it when the bad ones come out and make it that much harder for us real testers to be trusted.

*tsk tsk*

Do the beta tester's words have merit? I have no clue. It's very likely grounded in truth, but I have a feeling there's quite a bit of extremism in the words of a man who took the time to cross-post a several hundred/thousand word document about his problems with the beta. A lot of it could be hyperbole. But that's not the point. The game could really be a complete turd, and it wouldn't change what this tester did. It's taint that sullies the credibility of gamers when someone does this... one bad apple can spoil the bunch, you know?

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.


Oakstout said...

I totally agree my friend. If someone is givin the opportunity to beta test a product, be helpful, report issue to the customer support, help them make a better game by giving them the feedback not the general public.

Pvthudson said...

Thing is that feedback never works. Here is the deal. The games are done way before they even listen to us, anything else is patched in afterwards. I am inclined to think that the person that broke the NDA actually did us a big favor at this point. I am sick and tired of being burned by hype and crappy MMO releases

marnie said...

are you saying this to get into warhammer beta ?

Anonymous said...

you sound a bit like 'other people isnt worthy of your trust as beta tester. Select me , I'm a Champion of the Virtues of NDAs'

you really want to be in Warhammer Beta so bad :) :)

good luck

Bildo said...

This post has nothing to do with the Warhammer beta. See TCSG's recent post as to which game this concerns, and avoid finger pointing in the future if you'd like me to take your words seriously. This same thing was said when I made the "don't sell your key" post a few months back... people just want to believe that someone must always be looking out for themself and can't have genuine concern for anything else... what a f**ked up world we're in.

This post was nothing more than me venting about something I think is a real problem in terms of the relationship between the game developers and the game players.

Openedge1 said...

I for one having been subjected to bad betas also understand the need to vent.
LOTRO and Gods and Heroes were two beta's where they did not listen. The devs could care less about what the needs of their clientele were. And all MMO's are moving toward a "satisfy" a core group, and do not move beyond the expectations of the WoW crowd.
LOTRO is a lackluster copycat of all games before it, and Gods and Heroes burned in flames with horrible code, and playability.
And if someone broke NDA due to the fact that they wanted to warn people about AoC...then good for him..
LOTRO did not change from Closed Beta code wise and performance wise until several patches after release(even though the lackluster gameplay still existed..)...same with Tabula Rasa.
It boils down to all MMO's being crap upon release now...
Myself, I now prefer a wait and see after 2-4 patches before looking again stance..no one gets my money until they prove they have the product to back it up...

marnie said...


hmm after vanguard, pobts, tabula rasa, god n heroes and now conan , you will remember LOTRO's smoothest new MMO launch. btw i missed your doom and gloom post in WOW forum, now that you and travia gone from LOTRO forum there is no more doom n gloom post :)


sorry bildo but your latest blog entry sounded like you are desperate to get attention from Warhammer beta team :) not that its wrong thing to do, ill do anyting so enter War beta too and i'll do worse that you i bet :)

Bildo said...

I see your point, Openedge but I have to disagree.

I still think it comes down to the fact that when someone breaks the NDA publicly like this poster did, it reflects very poorly on the entire gaming community, and this really bites for those of us who take beta participation seriously.

wldwlf said...

I think too many people take MMO gaming way too seriously. I understand that the guy should not have broken NDA but come on....seriously, do developers think that every beta person is going to keep their mouth shut. Yeah right.

Take a look at some of the people you have "gamed" with in past mmos and tell me that you would trust them. Yes, some people are good but many of them are in betas just to start playing the game first. I haven't actively played an MMO since Bildo invited me to try the LOTRO beta and I couldn't really get into that game. MMOs just ahve not brought anything new to the table and that is just how it is.

Bildo said...

I see your point as well, Wlf... but I think people are missing mine.

Let me state it again. I get pissed when this happens because it's bad on those of us who take betas seriously, because we have a genuine interest in game design and development process and would love to one day be a REAL PART of that, as in PAID to do it.

Betas are a way in for a lot of folks, just as blogs and fansites are, and I'd really hate to see public betas abandoned because of gamers who won't respect an NDA.

We all know, gamers talk amongst themselves, but to cross-post a massive beta leak for the sake of JUST DOING IT, when you're having a bad time in the beta is just the wrong way to go about things.

Call it what you will, I still call it assinine.

Openedge1 said...

I wanted to follow up on my comment about the AoC NDA breaker..
I posted this on another blog where they show the actual post by the hater...and after reading it...I knew this guy is actually full of bull..
And to be honest...it does not matter this guy broke NDA...as all the information looks superfluous.
for better information on AoC, lets instead point at the good data available...thanks to AmazingAvery on MMORPG
With links to video's, presentations, etc..
And he is the font of all info AoC..
I think if I want to know what to expect..I would prefer this info also..
A lot of insight here as well..(for example..people thought you would play solo from level 1-20, but this dev says this is not true...)
So...let the NDA breakers spew...it does not change my opinion though...
I like the idea of Conan's setup...so, I will still wait and see..
Now for WAR...well, it is far down my list...isn't that weird..

Relmstein said...

I almost only ever see beta leaks when the game has been in a horrible state for a quite awhile with no improvement. Usually no one breaks the NDA if they are actually seeing improvement and enjoy testing the game.

In my mind if someone who went through all the trouble of applying for a Beta feels the game sucks enough to get banned then it should probably be told earlier then later. I know I never found major beta leaks for World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings, or even Tabula Rasa. I'm not saying only sucky games have beta leaks but the only ones I've ever run across have been for Vanguard and Auto Assault.

Bildo said...

I've seen a handful since last year for Warhammer too, always decrying the state of RvR, or how this class isn't in, or that this area is buggy, or that the combat is boring, etc... and yet, just like this one I brush them off.

The fact that there's only been one really known leak about AoC speaks either volumes for its playerbase, or for the game, or a mix of both.

I really will reserve any judgment until I get some time with it myself. As with all things, that's the best way to form an opinion. Too bad not many use this method.

Somber said...


thats just pure openedge post , defending another unreleased MMORPG lol. i dont know you are conan fanboi. i remember your post in LOTRO forum dissing it everyday with your doom and gloom post. dont count your egg till they all hatch.. conan good or not you wont know until it is released. after all you arent in the beta so why defend it ?

Anonymous said...

Bildo, you just lost the last bit of respect that I had for you. This blog was such a schoolgirl type of thing that I'm removing your blog from my favorites. Ass. I hate people like you as much as I hate bad leakers, the kind that only sees one side of the story, and one side only.