I’m testing an MMO that I can’t name or they’ll send hefty brutes to kneecap me — in any case, that’s not the important part.
I logged into this game briefly this morning (the promise of a free horse will make me log in to anything, anytime, anywhere), and while I was pootling about with the pony, someone said something along the lines of “This is [censored] game testing, it’s not question and answer game,” in response to the usual slew of newb questions from someone who’d only just got in.
My immediate reaction, and I wasn’t exactly shy about saying so, is that asking questions is exactly what it’s about, when you start testing a new game — or, for that matter, a new product of any kind.
It’s stayed with me because it’s probably the first time I’ve ever seen such an intolerant, elitist, snobby-assed attitude in a very, very early-stage game testing phase. Really, WTF?! 99.9% of the testers I’ve ever met, especially in these tottering infant stages, are gregarious, helpful, and always ready to answer the usual newb questions — and if they’re not, they just ignore chat till their newb-question-tolerance-ometer goes back up. Of course we’re all pioneers, and of course it’s good to discover stuff for yourself, and yes, it’s definitely helpful to have a modicum of common sense… but there are always questions of the truly basic kind like “Why can’t I turn around?!” or “How do I scratch my butt?” Spending 15 minutes finding the answer to that is NOT testing, not when that particular wheel has been discovered already, and most especially not when UI or other system shortcomings are on the “We know about it, we’ll get to it” list. Besides, it never hurts to ask. Well — if you’re SnottySnob01, I guess it *does* hurt to ask.
Asking those questions isn’t an indication that you’re a moron, that you’re a bad tester, or that (/shudder) “this game is not for you.” All they indicate is that you just made it into the game world for the first time, your brain is exploding with input, and asking questions and having them answered is a way of making sure you’re not alone out there.
I just don’t get the ‘tude some people show up with — in games, in life, in general. I have also decided not to tolerate asshattery, and if someone is being an asshat I will (in a nice, gentle way that won’t get me banned) tell them so.