Thursday, 23 February 2012

[GW2] The Dolyak in the Room

Anyone who gets into the beta will be under a very strict non-disclosure agreement (NDA), under this NDA you will be unable to talk about the contents of the beta to your family, friends, co-workers, electricians or fellow BDSM dungeon attendees. You won’t even be able to mention that you are part of the beta. This level of security is totally understandable from ArenaNet; they are letting an undisclosed number of lay-people play around with their unfinished product totally free. If we started spreading screenshots or secretly recording it could totally ruin the whole release plan which I’m sure the guys in Seattle have been planning for years. There will probably be the unscrupulous few who break this agreement, but I’m sure the retribution will be swift and merciless!

What will be interesting will be the time when people start being notified of their acceptance into this stage of the beta. All the joyful madness which began last night will suddenly stop as people go from gleeful twitter-fuelled anticipation to tight lipped NDA-controlled silence. Awkward silence punctuated by the occasional excited squeak which might leak between fingers clapped over mouths. All of a sudden the beta will drop off the radar, as if it never existed – beta? What beta?

The beta only exists between the time when you log into the client and when you log off. Even if I could tell you that you fought well against that Centaur Lord last night, I wouldn’t be talking to the same man. Who you are in the beta, is not who you are in the rest of the world.

After all, the first rule of the Guild Wars 2 Closed Beta Test is...


  1. It would suck as a blogger to get in and test gw2 but not be able to talk about it.  Suck hard.

  2. It's definitely a "sword of Damocles" situation... you want so much to help with the process of making this a polished game at release, and to be able to experience elements of it yourself... But, you also know that you will be silenced on your favorite subject to talk about, AND there is also the factor of being exposed to the most addictive gameplay currently available - for 2 days - after which you will need to wait for a few months, just like everyone else, until the game is actually released...
    What are THOSE withdrawl symptoms like?

  3. The classic way to speak about a NDA subject: use references to already approved material.
    Link to (and quote) official releases and blog posts, for example.
    Of course, this does not work for everything. But a Beta player should be able to point to public information available about the beta and the game in general, every released mechanic, every official bit of information, and most likely every conjecture not done by himself after getting into the Beta. By quoting the large amount of already released material, a player should be able to speak a lot about the game without ever coming close to breaking the NDA.
    In a way, for someone really enthusiastic about the game, it might be the only way to prevent friends (including online friends) from noticing something is amiss; I'm sure if I stopped talking about the game to my friends, while assuring them that I still like the game, they would immediately figure something was amiss.



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