We’ve recently finished a big project at work- one that ended up being much larger in scope than we had originally accounted for when we were allocated bodies to handle it. We had to quickly find a way to make sure the whole thing went as planned and in the allotted amount of time, but without pulling in outside personnel, and without tacking on a ton of extra hours for individual team members.
On paper, it looked almost impossible to pull off, but when we broke everything down into the sub-tasks that could be handled in parallel at the same time by different members with differing skill sets, (it also meant setting aside some less urgent projects for a while) the results were far better than we could have hoped for. In fact, we even found ourselves with some extra time on the back end for refinement and a nice head-start on the post-op reports and briefings.
How does this little story translate to our beta testing? In my work project, there was an early drafted plan with each stage and sub-task organized into a sequential order, which was admittedly more energy and resource efficient, but it was also very time-consuming. After a closer look, we realized that much of it could be accomplished independent of the progress of individual sub-tasks, and with the bigger “moving pieces” fitted together in the final stages.
For the beta, instead of all of us trying to test everything at the same time, we could split the ships into categories by speed, and conveniently, according to players’ individual styles. For example: (just throwing it out there… haha!)
Pete: (notorious slow-cloaker guy, probably has more living Admirals right now than I’ve had in my entire mtrek/jtrek career)
-warp 10 & 12 ships
Harold: (famously skilled CL, CV, WB, RWAR, GALOR and more pilot)
-warp 11 & 13 ships
Mike: (by far one of the greatest br5 and II-A pilots I’ve seen- and already a master of the relatively new Jem’Hadar)
-warp 14+ ships
2×4: (probably the most PvP-intensive player since the introduction of bots in JTrek..super-aggressive style, favoring lethality over survivability.)
-basically any preferred ships; just with an eye towards viability for PvP- considering the above-listed players are normally focused on bots.
Squirel: (another PvP-inclined player, has been a quick study to the game and is currently learning the ways of plasma)
-Plasma ships. Everyone puts their own twist on plasma, and a newer player’s perspective is often the most valuable for game balancing.
Me: (your humble admin *wave* I like to believe I know my way around a starship. “Jack of all trades, blah blah blah.”)
-I still plan to spend an hour in each class by the end of the beta, but I’m happy to spend some extra time on whatever classes fall through the cracks. ie; Pete almost always flies with cloak, Mike rarely uses plasma and Harold hates DYs (no idea if that’s actually true, but you get the idea..) I’ll also keep compiling data in the Beta Discussion forum thread so we can hash out the biggest issues at the end.
I might have pegged some of you guys all wrong, and for that I apologize. The ships could be divvied up any which way really. Those ideas just happen to be what I was able to brainstorm.
If any of you (or anyone else reading this!) are on-board with the idea, it would be a huge help in the ship balance department. Even if a couple of you were to pick just a single ship to review, that would help me out towards the end of the beta when I start pouring the cement. There’s no real expectations, no time constraints; just maybe an opportunity for us to collaborate and help shape the game for future players, new and old alike.