If you haven't heard already, SWTOR beta testing for guilds has recently started, with a couple of lucky guilds already getting their entire roster invited to do some closed beta testing. DarthHater caught wind of it in this past Sunday's TORSyndicate podcast with guests BioWare marketing gurus David Bass and Stephen Reid. There were actually hints to this program on the official SWTOR forums as early as July, and an announcement made in the official guild forums, according to David Bass. Quotes after the break.
Back in July, Stephen Reid mentioned that although they were not issuing guild-wide invites at that time, there is a possibility that they will explore that option in the future.
As we select Game Testers randomly from a large pool of potential testers, yes, it's likely that some people from 'top' guilds are going to be selected. I think it's fair to say we have Game Testers from well-known guilds.
However, we're not issuing invites to entire guilds. That may be something we do in the future, but it's not guaranteed, and there's no timeline for when that might happen.
We also do not make development decisions entirely based on any one person or group's opinion; it's always a mix of a variety of different factors.
And just this past Sunday, TORSyndicate's chat with David Bass and Stephen Reid included the following statement that confirmed that they are going ahead with a guild-based testing program:
David Bass said:
In addition to phase 2, we're also going to be starting up a guild testing program fairly soon. We're obviously continuing to expand our invites for testing and were going to start including guilds in that list. So if anyone's interested. I don't know if anyone really thinks thats something they may want to be involved in or not. I think it's more about getting an entire group of people who enjoy playing together into the game together. A lot of the time, as we've said before, guild testing invites are random, so you get some grouping up and you get people playing together, but it's nice to have an entire guild there together so they can plan out, they can be more coordinated in game which really helps us see how thats going to happen at launch when you have all those guilds in the game playing the game.
Well be contacting guild leaders I think. And then from there they'll help us organize it. Because, like Stephen said, were not going to have an official system where people can sign up or anything like that. Were mostly going to, I will be in touch with guild leaders to try and coordinate it.
Yesterday, David Bass followed up on his Twitter account:
Any size guild has an equal chance of getting in.
Yes, #swtor Guild Testing has started. We'll make a post soon with all the details. Please do not contact any of us with invite requests
We did invite a couple guilds already, and they've been enjoying the game immensely
We'll be contacting guild leaders and they'll let you know the details and instructions.
Stephen Reid also mentioned on his Twitter account:
Guilds making not-so-obvious suggestions that you should be picked for #SWTOR Testing... it will not help you.
Sounds like a good time to find a guild to join, to slightly increase your chances of getting into the closed beta. Fingers crossed.
Update on 8/16: David Bass has put up an official post detailing how to enter the program. Essentially, you'll need your guild to be registered in the official Guild Headquarters with at least 10 members. Then cross your fingers for Lady Luck. There may be additional invites for guilds who have been immensely helpful in the SWTOR community. Do not ask/beg/request to be invited to the beta, or they may exclude your guild from consideration.
We are very pleased to announce the start of Guild Testing for STAR WARS: The Old Republic! This program will allow guilds to be considered as a whole for inclusion in the Game Testing Program, allowing us to gather important data regarding how guilds play The Old Republic, as well as how organized groups deal with various mechanics and systems in the game. The program is already underway, as we’ve invited the first wave of guilds into testing, however we’ll be adding more over the coming weeks alongside the general Game Testing invites.
How do I sign my guild up for Guild Testing?
All you need to do in order to have your guild considered for Guild Testing is to have an active guild with at least 10 members registered in our Guild Headquarters. We also recommend creating a recruitment thread on our forums, but please make sure you are following the Recruitment Guidelines we’ve set forward. Guilds that spam recruitment messages after multiple warnings, for example, will not be considered for Guild Testing.
How are guilds selected for Guild Testing?
In general, guild testing is done randomly from all eligible guilds (that is, those with at least 10 registered members in the Guild Headquarters). Throughout the program, we will be looking to let in both large and small guilds, so as long as your guild meets the minimum requirement, you have an equal chance of being invited to testing. In addition, we may, at our discretion, choose a few select guilds that are active and helpful in the community, since we could use that sort of helpfulness in-game and on the Testing Forums. Note that this will be done in rare circumstances, in order to reward our dedicated community members. Please do not contact any BioWare staff requesting access to Guild Testing, or else your guild may be removed from consideration.
How do I know if my guild has been selected for Guild Testing?
Guild leaders will be contacted directly with detailed instructions when their guild gets selected for testing. It'll be their job to pass the appropriate information to the rest of their guild in order for everyone to be sent testing invites.
What is involved in Guild Testing?
Guild Testing works the same way as Game Testing does, however by being invited as a guild, you gain the advantage of being in the same testing group and being on the same server, allowing for more coordination amongst the guild for testing group content. You’ll still be a part of the general Game Testing population as well, and will have access to the general testing forums as everyone else does.
Are European guilds eligible for Guild Testing?
European Guild Testing will begin at the same time the European Testing Program begins in the near future.
If you have any other questions about the program, feel free to post in this thread or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, please do not contact us asking for Guild Testing consideration or your guild may not be considered for testing.