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Public Test Build/PTE

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Simply put - A lot of players have been constantly asking for developers to put out new game content and updates. This would be something that, while difficult to maybe put out intially, would go a long way in increasing the longevity of the game and making things work for players or to do limited feedback windows of testing - trying out content among a dev team can -never- reach the same scale that public test builds would be able to reach, as a handful of players can't impact performance as much as running a full-blown test and inviting a lot of players to test.


So - what keeps players from playing a test build 24/7 and not playing the main game?

Game Files could be removed/compressed, and builds could only include necessary content - maps, models, UI, etc;

Test servers could be given out with special keys and "Beta" branches on steam - or even a non-steam launcher. You could also go the route of ISS World where they gave away account ID's for players to use to prevent database overflow and issues with players making accounts

Test Servers could run on a schedule - where testing is done in waves on particular times that would work best for the dev team to grab feedback and other information they require to make patches better and work with players on updates.

What are the major benefits for a Public Test Build?

Free Playtesting - Players will be able to exploit, find, and adjust to the content and be able to try out things before they are ready, as well as allow the developers to receive additional feedback (and fix bugs where players end up inevitably breaking things)

Server Load Testing - Developers working in a test environment may not be able to determine all of the issues that can arise when only doing closed-doors testing amongst devs. By adding a PTB, Developers can test server load and see how changes and performance adjustments made with new content updates affect servers, as well as be able to focus harder on -intentionally- stressing and crashing servers.

Content Inspiration & Creation - Players who playtest and work along with the developers could be inspired to make content or work along with others in the community or even inspire players/devs/etc to go and make their own content. Streamers and Recorders could get access to the PTB to encourage players to watch a streamer for early access to the new content via a stream or video. Developers could also use the test servers to create videos about bugs/content that was found and suggested, rather then having to consistently collect feedback and allow them to more directly participate with players outside of the forums.

I hope that after consideration, you will look into my suggestion and think about it for a while, as well as respond quickly with an answer. I personally hope this is made because I would love to help out however I could and I think that this would bring non-mods and other members of the community closer to devs and encourage teamwork amongst the community!

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