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Thread: Enter the Fray in The Banner Saga: Factions beta test!

  1. #1
    Community Management Sean's Avatar
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    Enter the Fray in The Banner Saga: Factions beta test!

    Hello everyone! The team has been hard at work getting beta to a solid state and we think we've now done that.

    Our new Factions video is up! It's over 5 minutes of new footage and in-depth walk-throughs of combat, tactics, and character progression in The Banner Saga: Factions. Keep in mind, everything you see here is how combat is developing for the single player game as well.



    Know any friends who would like to be involved in the beta but missed the campaign? We're not quite ready to take pre-orders yet but feel free to send them to our updated website where they can find our Beta signup.



    For those of you in testing (or just interested), this has been a long and fruitful week for new content. In additional to a global chat window in Strand, we've added two new classes (the Backbiter and Siege Archer), character promotion, a tutorial on every page (press the ? button in the lower right), and a slew of little player-requested features, like the ability to r-click and remove points from a character one at a time. Check it out and see what you think!

    Our fantastic Backers have also been writing up a storm on the forums and compiled a helpful all-inclusive guide to the game, which you can find here. Thanks a lot to all the regulars on the forums!

    We've been adding every Backer who has requested beta access since the last update. If you are currently a Kickstarter Backer but do not have access, here are the things to know.

    1. First, make sure you have a Stoic Community account. If you do not have one, make sure you register with the exact same email address you had when you pledged to the Kickstarter.
    2. Once you register, keep your eyes peeled for a verification email to confirm your account. Until it is confirmed, it will not upgrade. This will come from "mail@stoicstudio.com" so make sure you add it to your address book so it doesn't accidentally get put in your spam folder.
    3. Beta Access is not immediate, the team generates new keys in batches. Once your account is upgraded, you will enter the queue to get a testing code. We do these often so it shouldn't take too long.
    4. Once generated, you can quickly access your testing key by going to your profile and look under the "Beta Testing Information" section.
    5. For more information (once you get your testing key), see this copy of the email in the forums: Congratulations! You're in [Download Instructions Included!]
    6. If you have recently registered, but do not see your name as "green" (here's an example of how it should look when you look at "My Profile" in the top navigation when logged in) or if you're having any other issue, let us know!


    To all our American backers, enjoy Thanksgiving week! For everyone else, we hope to see you soon in the game or on the forums. Thanks!
    Last edited by Sean; 11-20-2012 at 09:30 AM.
    Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg
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  2. #2
    Junior Member Halsy's Avatar
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    I registered and confirmed and my name is still not green.

  3. #3
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    Hi, are you a backer?or a paid tester? Paid testers will get their own unique forum ID color soon. You won't have a green Id unless you were a kickstarter.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Halsy's Avatar
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    No, I'm not a backer. It just said to come here to sign up for a beta but the join link only wants you to pay. So do you have to pay for this thing or not?

  5. #5
    Junior Member Halsy's Avatar
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    You do realize that the way this invitation is structured means you're currently engaging in fraud, don't you? Bait-and-switch is very much actionable. I'd suggest you remedy this immediately before the authorities have to get involved.

  6. #6
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    Its not a bait and switch if you don't pay for what you don't get? If you paid and didn't get anything I would understand how that would be legally sactionable. This is a paid open beta.
    Last edited by raven2134; 11-19-2012 at 10:49 PM.

  7. #7
    Community Management Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halsy View Post
    You do realize that the way this invitation is structured means you're currently engaging in fraud, don't you? Bait-and-switch is very much actionable. I'd suggest you remedy this immediately before the authorities have to get involved.
    There is no bait-and-switch here. It is clearly explained well before you get to any window where you're entering any billing information: http://stoicstudio.com/forum/enter-the-fray.php

    Furthermore, a bait-and-switch would be something like saying "Join for the low cost of $9" and then saying "Aww, we're out but you can get an Exclusive Pack for just 3 monthly payments of $19.99". The ONLY price you will see is the the $15 you see on the only pay where you are linked to where you can purchase a code. And again, you are clearly explained the price and why it is there before you are brought to a billing screen.
    Last edited by Sean; 11-19-2012 at 11:25 PM.
    Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg
    http://www.seandahlberg.com/

  8. #8
    Asking 15 dollars to participate in an open beta test for an upcoming free to play title....???

    I like you guys, the game looks great, but this is ridiculous. I mean the game releases in one month for free and you're trying to make some quick buck by charging for an open beta test? Charging for betas seems to be a new trend and is even worse then day one dlc's and badly done microtransactions.

    I don't know what to say, I was fine with 'ethical' microtransactions but this all seems to be a little to money grabby to me. Also if I allready have to pay to test a game, what will I have to pay later on in the 'free-to-play' multiplayer?

  9. #9
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    Your paying to play now. When the multiplayer goes live, any transactions will be for renown, which is used to buy or upgrade characters, for cosmetic changes, and for items as well as other things they might think of. Renown is also earned from Kills. If your not comfortable with it, you just need to wait a month. As they explained they're making it a paid beta to be fair to their KS backers, and also to help encourage that the players that do sign up are as interested and invested in the game as the community they attracted through the KS.

  10. #10
    Backer balder's Avatar
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    +1 for raven2134, it really is a worthwhile point as well. The game has a fairly steep learning curve and there is no use for beta players who just play a game or two without actually learning. This will only make it harder to get even matches and stress the limits of the game. As balancing is so important, it would be a shame if not as many as possible of the potential always-win builds are found.

  11. #11
    So this isn't the free to play Factions just it's paid beta? I'm really confused
    Last edited by apoxwrhthrio1980; 11-20-2012 at 05:15 AM.

  12. #12
    Backer balder's Avatar
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    apoxwrhthrio1980, for Kickstarter backers the Beta is free to play. For new people who want to get a sneak peek, help test the game, hone their skills before launch, it's at the cost of $15. For that, you get two beta keys, Veteran gem to your banner and early access to updates further down the line. The argument for this has been stated but everything can be read here:
    http://stoicstudio.com/forum/enter-the-fray.php .

    Sean: Maybe you could change the link for the 'join up' image in the post. It currently doesn't lead to the 'enter the fray'-page which can be confusing...

  13. #13
    From what i've read and what the devs were saying i understood that the Factions game will be online early this November and it will be a free-to-play online game featuring the battle system of the final Banner Saga game and that you could pay only to buy renown if you wanted. Inever heared anything about paid beta. Obviously I understood wrong. Thanx for the clarification balder.


    PS: paying beta is really lame
    Last edited by apoxwrhthrio1980; 11-20-2012 at 05:50 AM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by raven2134 View Post
    Your paying to play now. If your not comfortable with it, you just need to wait a month. As they explained they're making it a paid beta to be fair to their KS backers, and also to help encourage that the players that do sign up are as interested and invested in the game as the community they attracted through the KS.
    Yes I've read that and dont buy it. Kickstarters pledged to get the singleplayer game, multiplayer wasnt even planned untill after they got a huge amount of extra money. SO why would it be unfair to KS backers? There is a balance for Kickstarter games to appease the backers while at the same time dont let new customers feel like they're unwelcome. An open beta should be open (that is without a fee of 15 dollars for one month) for everyone.

    They can dress it up however they like, but its still just a way to raise some more money. Raising money is not wrong necessarily, they are a company afterall. An open beta is however not the way to make money. Creating an open and active community is very important for multiplayer F2P titles. You said they only want people in the open beta that are as invested as kickstarter backers. I think they should get as much people to try their game as possible. Some people will like it and get invested, other won't.

    Not that this is a complete disaster, it just doesnt feel very welcoming to me as a non-backer. Like I said before, the game looks great and the banner saga people are probably very nice people. But having to pay 15 dollars for the open beta of an indie f2p multiplayer game seems overly greedy to me.

  15. #15
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    They announced the F2P multiplayer during the KS. One of the perks that was announced midway, was being part of the beta for the F2P multiplayer. Just clarifying that. It's true that it's a bit odd I suppose, however I don't see how you can call the developers greedy...considering that they aren't taking a salary from any of the funds pledged to them during the KS, and they aren't again taking any of the money from those joining the beta by paying for the access as profit or salary even. Any funding goes into game development, not the bank. No reason to think of them like EA.
    Last edited by raven2134; 11-20-2012 at 07:44 AM.

  16. #16
    Having not read the signup process I have no comment on that. I think it's not unreasonable to charge for a beta at all. In addition to the points previously outlined by several people I would like to stress that paying is ENTIRELY optional. The funds generated by those excited enough to pay to get into the game quicker I'm sure will be used to make the whole experience better for all players. If you don't agree with the price tag, don't opt into the beta, quite simple really. Calling the developers greedy because they choose to charge for early entrance and a chance to help shape the game is absurd in the extreme considering the lack of salaries from the generated money as well as the hard work these guys have put into this of their own free will.

  17. #17
    Backer Troll's Avatar
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    This is simply called suporting a game with an early access. While it may sound a bit expensive, particularly for a F2P, this is a good way to potentially raise some funds to further enbetter the game.

    Maybe there should be a clarification between open beta and the current model sicne they are different, but you know what you pay for.
    W = Warrior / WM = Warmaster / WH = Warhawk / WD = Wardog / WL = Warleader
    SB = Shieldbanger / SM = Shieldmaster / PK = Provoker / SRM = Strong Arm / CH = Champion
    AX = Axeman / AM = Axemaster / TS = Trasher / BB = Backbiter / GW = Grudgewielder
    A = Archer / BM = Bowmaster/ SA = Siege Archer / SS = Skystriker / EE = Eagle Eye

    Tp = Tempest
    Ml = Malice / BtR = Battering Ram
    BlF = Bloody Flail / RnT = Run Through
    SaB = Slag and Burn / RoA = Rain of Arrow.

  18. #18
    Backer KRD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frusciante View Post
    An open beta should be open (that is without a fee of 15 dollars for one month) for everyone.
    I get that people might be disappointed to find out beta access wasn't free (as in beer), some of my mates who didn't pledge on Kickstarter were too. But I don't think you know what open beta really means. Wikipedia to the rescue:

    Quote Originally Posted by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle#Open_and_closed_beta
    Developers release either a closed beta or an open beta; closed beta versions are released to a restricted group of individuals for a user test by invitation, while open beta testers are from a larger group, or anyone interested. The testers report any bugs that they find, and sometimes suggest additional features they think should be available in the final version.
    Emphasis mine.

  19. #19
    Backer Rymdkejsaren's Avatar
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    I am not a huge fan of paid betas either.

    I am however a huge fan of freedom of choice. So in the name of public service I have designed this little guide which will help you decide. It assumes you have $15 to spend.

    Question 1:

    Do you want to pay $15 for the goods and services described here?

    • If your answer is YES, click here and complete the transaction.
    • If your answer is NO, do not complete the transaction.
    Thank you for using RK's guide to freedom of choice.

  20. #20
    Freedom of choice of course has nothing to do with this. I'm dissapointed in the decision to go for a paid beta. The fact that I don't have to particpate in the beta at all doesnt change that. But I get what you mean, if I dont like it I can just leave. And this is exactly my point, this paid beta comes across as unwelcoming to me.

    Related to this is this snippet I saw on the beta page:

    ''Receive the same future multiplayer updates that will be given to kickstarter backers, including early acces to new classes, production updates, expansion content and more''

    I'm not sure exactly how to interpret this, but will this also mean the backers will continue to get early acces to classes after factions releases properly? Backers of course should get rewards for pledging, but in my opinion they should not be given privileges in the final game that new customers dont have. Since in a multiplayer game the community is very important, both new and old customers should be treated equally in the sence that no group has a permanent structural advantage over the other. Creating two groups of customers does not create a good community and does not welcome new customers.

    Since you're all backers and Banner Saga fans of course you're going to defend Stoic and disagree with me. But still, don't you agree that it is important to create a level playing field for both backers and new customers?

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