Friday, 10 May 2013

Red Orchestra 2 - Rising Storm beta key musings

Tripwire Interactive the designers of hit world war 2 shooter Red Orchestra and it's sequel Heroes of Stalingrad have been making a lot of waves recently.  Aside from calling out Call of duty as a shooter which has ruined a generation of gamers (which I agree with) they have also been showing off their latest addition to the world war 2 shooter space with Rising Storm.  Rising Storm pulls no punches when it comes to the ferocity of the war in the Pacific theatre and this is a good thing as mature gamers deserve a product that doesn't worry about being politically correct and rewards them for patient play and good teamwork.

Rising Storm will be released later this summer but before then Tripwire have begun a closed beta system which works via beta keys.  The keys are only available to those lucky enough to nab one via the official games forums or through participating websites.  I have never personally been a fan of the random key system myself because it doesn't allow the fanbase to participate and give genuine feedback.  The random nature of the keys being distributed means that anyone can play and not really know what kind of game they are playing. 

On the flipside though this can also mean free publicity for both the developers and the websites that host the giveaways, it's a double edged sword.  While waiting to get a key myself I noticed a decidedly perturbed group of the playerbase who felt they were being left out in favour of giving hits to third party sites.  It's easy to think this way of course, especially when the keys you are after are for a game you really enjoy or are desparate to play. 

I asked Tripwires Yoshiro whether this was something they intended or if they planned to increase the number of beta invites as the game came closer to release, he responded:

The specific goal of this test is to test performance in a controlled environment, and for that we just need bodies in servers that we can monitor. Those who were previously helping us test still continue to do so and provide bug reports and feedback, and those who have helped us in the past (who now have keys) know how to do so as well.
We are exploring other options for our additional beta needs as we move forward.

As he says the test is merely to test performance with a higher player count and not actually begin a full fledged open beta stress test of the game.  After playing it for a few hours so far it certainly feels like it will add a great amount of depth to the gameplay of RO2 and hopefully expand further after the official release.  I wouldn't rule out a larger beta or possibly full open beta in the near future before release, but I wouldn't worry too much about missing out as the build currently being used does have bugs. 

Again I would like to thank Yoshiro for the response to my questions and I will be updating with new posts about Rising Storm in the near future.  Until then thanks for reading and have a good weekend.


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