(Source: www.forbes.com)

Destiny 2.

Credit: Bungie

The Destiny 2 Beta is nearly upon us, giving Guardians the world over their first chance to get some hands-on time with the follow-up to the strange, vexing and powerfully addictive Destiny, a game that really came into its own over the course of its time with us. The sequel is coming with as much fanfare as the original, and the upcoming beta marks a major punctuation mark in the months-long hype campaign pushing us toward the new game. Developer Bungie, however, wants to make sure to temper expectations a little bit. This is a beta, after all, and technical problems are a fact of life. Here are some of the things you can expect to encounter, per an official blog post:

  • As this is a Beta build, some issues will be present and may impact gameplay. Please note the following:
  • Players may experience a variety of networking error codes when attempting to play the Beta
  • Bungie will be testing server stability throughout the Beta, which may cause error codes to appear periodically
  • Location names sometimes do not appear during Crucible gameplay
  • Players sometimes are Kicked to Orbit after witnessing a black screen when entering a Countdown match
  • Players may sometimes be placed at the beginning of the Inverted Spire Strike Activity when joining in progress
  • Sandbox balancing is still taking place: Some weapons or abilities may have higher or lower damage than intended
  • Not all content has been localized in all languages
  • If you encounter any network related issues during the Destiny 2 Beta, please follow our Network Troubleshooting Guide to ensure proper network settings for Destiny gameplay.

The message is essentially this: don’t expect a smooth experience. The modern AAA beta is a strange institution, occupying a fluid space between an advertisement and a technical test. Most of them come as pre-order bonuses, making them a commercial product of a kind, if not really in the strictest sense. It can lead to some confusion if a beta looks more like a traditional beta and less like a demo of a finished game: if gamers are expecting to use the beta as an opportunity to play a polished product it can be a bit jarring to run headlong into a buggy, unbalanced experience rife with network problems. Which can be a shame, because an open beta is a great way to work toward fixing a buggy, unbalanced experience rife with network problems.

Destiny 2 will be, like Destiny, a shared world shooter, which means that the experience is only ever going to be as strong as the servers that support it. As such, stress-testing the servers is the number one job for an open beta, which is the only workable way to get millions of people on your platform at once. The video game community rightfully no longer expects server crashes and unplayable online games at launch, and betas like these are a developer’s most powerful tool for avoiding that — note that most of these warnings have to do with network connectivity in one way or another. My hunch is that this is Bungie heading off criticism at the pass: the level of publicity surrounding this beta suggests that it has to be polished to some degree, and the developer just wants to make sure that people aren’t going into this expecting perfection. Keep tuned for more updates.

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More Info: www.forbes.com

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