I brought this discussion up in a stream some time ago. Of course it didn't go over very well. We're talking about a stream were most of the chat/partners/mods have NPCs and items named after them (e.g. ven, baj, cdew, mes, etc). Some of these people are indirectly on Blizzard's payroll, religiously attend Blizzcon (or are flown in for free), and for better or worse tend to exhibit some extreme fanboi bias.
I have nothing but respect for many of these individuals. But some of their opinions are a joke. What they brought/bring to "the community" should be seriously be questioned. There is definitely a point where you crossover from being less of a player/member of the pvp community, to more of a stoic Blizzard defender, and part-time Activision spokesperson. You can try to be a bit of both, but that is hard/rare. Most of these guys defend Holinka under the guise of "its not all his fault". Bullshit. His job is to push good design changes into the game. This is the mandate and primary deliverable, barring extreme external factors (like CEO/marketing pressure). Either you're good at that job description or you're not. If not, gtfo.
Its no surprise that a lot of these guys are asked to do early testing (alpha, closed-beta, etc). They have an almost direct pipeline to the pvp game devs and balance designers. And they sometimes even get invites to pass around. Their influence is real, probably too strong, out of touch, and just plain erroneous. Other then being yes-men afraid to speak-out, they over-emphasized the cooldown experience and omitted the factual reviews of what changes ought to be made based on skill/success ratios via simulations, models, and collected data. When you emphasize this kind of feedback, you end up with too much subjectivity (in all kinds of different directions), and not enough objectivity.
So there are obvious pros/cons with this process. One of the most systemic issues is the failed case in point --> WoD beta testing.
To the people who beta tested WoD:
You fucking suck and let many people down. You're basically the last line of defense against the tyranny of Holinka and his team. Scores of people would have loved your job and/or taken it seriously. Many followed you from the sidelines as people made videos, promoted how good WoD was going to be, and spammed how good of a design it was going to be. omfg the hype was so real.
Most (not all, obv) beta testers need to owe up to this. You didn't do enough. Yes, the beta fixed a lot of bugs (although these days most bugs are caught via proper software engineering and validation. But it didn't come close to having an effect on pushing good changes into WoD.
I blame the types of people selected for beta testing. After you rule out the random kids selected for hardware testing reasons, you're left with a ton of people who didn't commit to improving the game via outcry, feedback, and distancing themselves from the hand that feeds them.
If you beta tested WoD you probably shouldn't be allowed to beta test Legion.
Edited by Voksen, 15 October 2015 - 10:38 PM.