If you’ve been keeping up with the APB Reloaded blog (which I no doubt you haven’t, as it’s pretty much only relevant to those in Closed Beta) you’ll know that the EU servers for the closed beta have been delayed in customs, for four weeks now, so we continue to test on the US West Coast servers which, lets face it, are laggy as hell from anywhere east of the Mississippi.
What’s struck me as odd about the current closed beta (as it is freely available information in the apb blog, so it’s not NDA breaking) is that what we’re testing is not the release version. There is an Open Beta build that they’re actively working on that will, apparently, solve all our ills and fix all the bugs and iron out all the playstyle bugs by scrapping the whole system (which, atm, is just the old release version with bug fixes and upgrades disabled) and replacing it with something similar but ‘better’ and releasing it as the Open Beta.
Honestly, I’ve heard that before, from RTW. Then again G1 don’t appear to be on the brink of collapse.
Now, I’m unsure how long the Open Beta is supposed to last, normally they last a month or so before the game goes live, and while I’m certain that they must be doing some in-house testing of the new systems (The most long awaited being new Spawn system and the new progression system), can a normal Open Beta be enough to iron out any unforseen problems with the new system? Will the flood of people joining have too much static and not enough focused testers? Will the real problems be drowned in the sea of whining noise like every other open beta I’ve been a part of?
It smells a bit funny. Holding their cards this close to their chest, but then again, this is something new for GamersFirst, a game that has the attention of the greater gaming media, something more than just their current batch of casual freemium games. They have every right to be cagey about leaking details before it’s ready. I’ve seen plenty of videos that break the NDA and a nice catch-all statement of “This will all change in Open Beta” is a good fall-back position for naysayers.
The unfortunate implications of this is that even if they release the EU servers and we get to play lag-free, I still can’t by all rights come to any kind of conclusion before Open Beta.
Maybe I’m just being too cynical, but I really want this game to work. I can see so much potential if it’s just given a chance to grow organically, rather than original release that bombed before it had a chance to spread its wings.
We shall see. Open Beta will come soon enough. Perhaps even before (or at the same time as) the EU Servers are finally up and running.