Timed Beta Events – A Total Pain In The Ass

Over the weekend Gazillion Entertainment held a free-to-play weekend for their upcoming Diablo-esque action MMO game, Marvel Heroes. I was only able to squeeze in a few hours but I thoroughly enjoyed the game and was rather disappointed when the beta event ended. However, I was lucky enough to gain access to the closed beta the following day and I was really pumped to get back in and start tearing up the villainous plans with Captain America, Hulk, Thor and Spiderman.

So I finished work, grabbed a can of Monster and sat down for a serious gaming session in Marvel Heroes; only to be met with the infamous “Game servers are not currently available” message. Didn’t really think much of it to begin with as I assumed the game was down for patching or some minor maintenance. I headed to the official forums to see if there was any information regarding the downtime only to be met with a developer post explaining the times and dates for closed beta access.

Times and dates? You want people to test your game and do it when it suits you? Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware that most players join a beta purely to get the experience before anyone else but come on now. The era of timed beta events has been and gone, it’s rare in the industry nowadays and even more surprising for a game as anticipated as Marvel Heroes.

To make matters worse, the times only really suit those in American timezones, excluding Europeans that have to keep to any kind of schedule. How do you guys approach timed beta events? Would you cancel plans or go out of your way to join? Or would you just wait for open beta?

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