Beta is just that... a beta


General Discussion (Prerelease)


For everyone out there who's why there aren't more changes from Alpha playtest PFRPG to the Beta release, I want to know if you noticed it's a 400+ page book. Proofreading a book that size is no small task given the amount of time they had to put this out.

It looks to me like a lot of work for the Beta was done on other areas specifically because they wanted to get the full thing out the door for end-to-end playtesting. Also, it is much more essential to get a printed book into the hands of as many people as possible so that the real playtesting can be done.

Paizo Employee CEO

veector wrote:

For everyone out there who's wondering what the changes were from Alpha playtest PFRPG to the Beta release, I want to know if you noticed it's a 400+ page book. Proofreading a book that size is no small task given the amount of time they had to put this out.

It looks to me like a lot of work for the Beta was done on other areas specifically because they wanted to get the full thing out the door for end-to-end playtesting. Also, it is much more essential to get a printed book into the hands of as many people as possible so that the real playtesting can be done.

Exactly! We weren't really focused on making big changes from the Alpha to the Beta, but rather, we were getting the other material ready so you could have a full rulebook to playtest from. The Beta is where real playtesting gets done and where bigger changes can be made during the next year. Now we get down to the real work.

You are getting a behind the scenes look on how playtesting is done in the RPG biz, but we are doing it live and you get to see the process, warts and all. It might be a little agonizing because it seems so slow, but you want to really be sure about how you change the game going forward.

After GenCon, Jason is going to be very involved in the playtesting process and will be more involved in the boards.

Stay tuned! This is going to be a fun ride!

-Lisa

Liberty's Edge

Totally understood (and well put). Any snafus for the beta playtest are still forgiven as it evolves and get polished up over the next 8 months!

-DM Jeff

Liberty's Edge

Let the games begin!


I felt this needed a bump since there are still some "disappointed" posters out there complaining about a lack of substance in the beta.


Yes, thanks for the perspective correction, Lisa.


I just want to toss in my 2 cp to say kudos and thanks to the Paizo staff for both getting us the Beta run and the web doc of spells and MI given the space constraints they are under. Frequently I believe, gamers miss some of the facts of the ubiquitous business end of getting these things into our hands, like space being limited by mandate or money. The fact that the good people at Paizo went above and beyond and made sure we had as much as we could to playtest their system should be greatly lauded.

Thanks again. And we'll get right on testing this bad boy for you. With a bit of work on everyone's part, we'll have this in a final edition before you know it.


Of the D&D’s core books I only have the Monster Manual. The Beta for me is a chance to have ALL the rules in ONE PLACE, instead of having only the changes/updates of the rules in the Alpha document, and having to find a copy of the DM and Players manuals.

Liberty's Edge

je already changing characters form Alpha to Beta (very few persons did theirs in 3.5, they relly liked what they saw in alpha)

we are running online in "burning offering" and we are having slots of fun right now... ok now if i only remembered to use my domain powers :P

Dark Archive

veector wrote:

For everyone out there who's why there aren't more changes from Alpha playtest PFRPG to the Beta release, I want to know if you noticed it's a 400+ page book. Proofreading a book that size is no small task given the amount of time they had to put this out.

It looks to me like a lot of work for the Beta was done on other areas specifically because they wanted to get the full thing out the door for end-to-end playtesting. Also, it is much more essential to get a printed book into the hands of as many people as possible so that the real playtesting can be done.

While I can understand what you're saying, we been waiting for Beta hoping for something interesting and then we get... not much. There isn't anything that really jumped off the pages at me. PFRPG has lost some momentum from the wait, and I was hoping for something to kick start it off. Until we regain some of that lost momentum, the Playtesting is going to be slower, and more sparse which isn't good for the beta. And it won't pick up until there is vibrant changes or good feedback on why certain things aren't changed. Remember, people are only going to playtest as much or as long as they think believe that they're, being at bare minimal, heard. Which is why we lost momentum, between the time that the beta being sent to the printer and being released, there was no reason to talk about anything, as there would be no changes in the mean time. Now, with the beta out, there is a lack of changes to any of the topics brought up between Alpha 3 and the Beta which leads to a sense of lack of progress. Which leads back to my first point, that there was a lack of momentum, and that the Beta was (at least to me) hopefully going to kick start the process and gain momentum. The seeming lack of progress and momentum is what is depressing, given the wait. Not enough to (for me) quit, but depressing none the less.

Hopefully things will get interesting soon again.


My disclaimer:

I'll just jump in and say that I'm still 100% behind Pathfinder and ready to start playtesting again. I'd be doing backflips if I were physically capable of doing so. Any posts that are negative of material printed in the Beta are purely meant as constructive criticism and probably sticking points carried over from reading and playtesting the Alpha.

Contributor

BM wrote:


While I can understand what you're saying, we been waiting for Beta hoping for something interesting and then we get... not much. There isn't anything that really jumped off the pages at me. PFRPG has lost some momentum from the wait, and I was hoping for something to kick start it off. Until we regain some of that lost momentum, the Playtesting is going to be slower, and more sparse which isn't good for the beta. And it won't pick up until there is vibrant changes or good feedback on why certain things aren't changed. Remember, people are only going to playtest as much or as long as they think believe that they're, being at bare minimal, heard. Which is why we lost momentum, between the time that the beta being sent to the printer and being released, there was no reason to talk about anything, as there would be no changes in the mean time. Now, with the beta out, there is a lack of changes to any of the topics brought up between Alpha 3 and the Beta which leads to a sense of lack of progress. Which leads back to my first point, that there was a lack of momentum, and that the Beta was (at least to me) hopefully going to kick start the process and gain momentum. The seeming lack of progress and momentum is what is depressing, given the wait. Not enough to (for me) quit, but depressing none the less.

Hopefully things will get interesting soon again.

This seems like a valid critique, but I'd like to mention that the final version won't be out for a year. Momentum on a project this large takes many forms. The playtesting momentum is in a bit of a lull because (as pointed out above) it takes a lot of work to get a 400 page book together.

One point to consider is that for many people, the beta is where the real testing begins. I ran a single game under the alpha because I couldn't imagine running an ongoing campaign referencing both the PRPG and the PHB for common rules. I know I'm not alone. What I ran worked pretty well and I'm really looking forward to digging in deeper in the coming months.

If you've been playing this since the beginning, then the release of the beta has more to do with convenience than any major innovations, and I totally understand how that can be frustrating. For me, the adventure of PRPG is just getting started. I can't wait to really start playing it.

Scarab Sages

Shadowborn wrote:
I'll just jump in and say that I'm still 100% behind Pathfinder and ready to start playtesting again.

Me too. Or rather, I'm ready to start playtesting altogether! I've been following the Alpha stage with great interest but didn't have a group on hand to participate. Even if it takes a single player and me as DM, I'm going to take part in the Beta playtesting!


Darrin Drader wrote:


If you've been playing this since the beginning, then the release of the beta has more to do with convenience than any major innovations, and I totally understand how that can be frustrating. For me, the adventure of PRPG is just getting started. I can't wait to really start playing it.

Sounds like I just jumped into PRPG at the right time.

I haven't been following the Alpha stages and just got myself the Beta. SO I'm happy to know that I can run it without the PHB.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

questing gm wrote:
Darrin Drader wrote:


If you've been playing this since the beginning, then the release of the beta has more to do with convenience than any major innovations, and I totally understand how that can be frustrating. For me, the adventure of PRPG is just getting started. I can't wait to really start playing it.

Sounds like I just jumped into PRPG at the right time.

I haven't been following the Alpha stages and just got myself the Beta. SO I'm happy to know that I can run it without the PHB.

And this was exactly our intent.

As for momentum, I am not too worried. Over the next months, we are going to be carefully going over the book, chapter by chapter, making tons of improvements. I plan to release a host of updates and supplements to the Beta, to play with some of the revised bits as well as to release some new rules.

Give us some time... I do not think you will be dissappointed.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Liberty's Edge

the houston contingent of the pathfinder crew (both of us, as far as i can tell) are eagerly awaiting the delivery of my softcover so we may start playtesting in earnest (yeah, i have th epdf, but im weird, i like to have the book in my hands when i play...)

this is the firs ttime i've ever been involved in a real playtest of a pending product, so this is very exiting for me.

thank you, paizo dudes and dudettes for making this an open playtest, this is going to be FUN!


BM wrote:
While I can understand what you're saying, we been waiting for Beta hoping for something interesting and then we get... not much. There isn't anything that really jumped off the pages at me.

That's funny... You've been given the once in a lifetime chance to playtest a top tier (very arguably superior to any other "top tier" "Dungeons and Dragons"-esque product) and you decide to get online after the beta release and complain.

Well, I'll be the first to tell you "Thanks for your help, and I'm sure to see you sitting at the good and helpful ideas table."

Child.


I must say that I am a bit disappointed by the lack of new stuff in the Beta, but I read the whys of the developers and I understand them.

Even if I didn't I would still continue to play this system until the finished product is out (when I will decide to either buy it if I like it or switch to something else).

Hopefully some improvements will start coming in soon.

Sovereign Court

First, thank you Lisa et.al. for providing stewardship over our game that invites gamers in to be a part of the design process. This is another example of just how in-touch PAIZO is with the community.

...and I dare say it could also be a good jump-off point for anyone who may ultimately not be happy with the final PRPG, that is, feasibly, one could still play the Beta version ad infinitum... but I'm confident the final game in August 09 will be smokin' hot!

Eight months will go by quickly, so start Pathfinding everyone! Pathfinder will be the official d&d game at my game table every week.


Like Pax said. Please be aware you are likely not to see any official in-print changes to the rules until August 2009.

I'm really getting frustrated with how impatient a lot of people here seem! I HAVE worked in publishing and it's not as easy as it seems.

One of the things everyone needs to realize is that the process of printing the final product can take as long as two months. That means from the time Paizo sends the final documents to the printer, they won't even see the words printed on a page until two months later. And even then it won't reach distributors until about a couple of weeks after that.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! This is not going to be an overnight revolution of the game. The MAIN critical thing that Paizo is asking for is playtesting, playtesting, playtesting. WHY? So that they DON'T have to publish another revision to the rules a year after they publish the game.

Seriously people, chill out.

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