I’m not personally upset at Grinding Gear Games for selling beta keys for $10 over at Chrono.gg for the new Path of Exile… note by the time this post is actually read, odds are the sale will be over as it was for 24 hours only, and I didn’t buy one, and I’m not in the beta myself, though I wish I were.
I’m first going to say that I’m in no way judging anyone for being angry, just noting I personally not upset in this particular case at GGG.
I fully get the anger at the way there are too many developers selling beta access. I get that betas are for testing, and many people feel GGG, or any other developer, shouldn’t charge for beta testing their game for them. The problem with that though is 90% of the people who get in betas on any modern game, don’t test, just play… now I don’t have any figures to back that up, but I doubt I’m that far off. I wager that very few people who get chosen for a beta provide the quality feedback that the developer is looking for. Most test forums, at least on the NDA games I’ve done, are generally the same group of players providing feedback, and I know the playerbase is much larger. Now there’s no NDA in place here, but I still doubt that many of the people in the beta are providing the kind of feedback that helps GGG test, balance, and otherwise make the expansion as good as it can be.
Let’s also look at the fact that this is a free to play game. GGG needs to make their money somewhere. And aside from wanting to support the developer, there is no reason to every spend a penny on Path of Exile (Warframe is another rare example of a good free to play game where you don’t need to spend money unless you want to support the developer). Now I know, some more hardcore players say you somehow need to buy stash tabs, and there’s no way to earn those stash tabs in game, no matter how much grinding you do. While it’s true you can’t earn those tabs in game, I don’t think they are required for the vast majority of players. Even when I was playing a lot, I never purchased tabs… I mean, perhaps I wasn’t playing it however these super hardcore players are that they need more tabs than you get… and yes, the ability to earn tabs in game would be nice, though I’d say the rest of the shop items should stay cash only. Anyhow, the point is, this expansion will be free soon enough, and the only advantage to playing now is getting used to the maps, and any mechanics changes, ahead of other players. Aside from playing early, there is no need to buy the beta key… you can still wait for a random wave, or be lucky enough to get one off somebody on the forum or reddit… The solution is simple… wait… Wait for either a wider open beta, or for release. Every single beta gets people upset in one way or another, either they think (true or often not) that only Streamers/YouTubers were selected for the test (which could be a huge post in of itself, though I’ve touched on it before at least in regards to Overwatch), or uspset how much they’ve spent with the developer before and aren’t in… The only real legit complaint, is on a game that’ll you’ll still have to buy, if they charge you to beta test it (and I don’t mean early access for pre-ordering, which is what most of the pre-order betas amount to, not actual beta tests… and make no mistake, the Fall of Oriath beta is a real beta test)… then there’s a legit reason to call foul. Here though I don’t see the issue.
Also, it’s $10, compared to the $30 for a founder’s pack, which is actually not a bad deal considering you also get 250 points to spend in the shop, which is like $25 itself, so $5 more for access, and an effect that’d probably be about $15…
That all said, again, I’m not passing judgement on anyone in this case, I’m not going to say they are cry babies or feel falsely entitled, I have less respect for the people who say that to those complaining than the complainers. This is all just one poor guy’s opinion on why I’m not personally upset.
Good luck, and have fun though to everyone in the beta, and hopefully the rest of us can play soon enough…