Early Access Eligibility Criteria

nitocris83 Member, Cryptic Developer, Administrator Posts: 4,307 Community Manager
edited June 2019 in News & Announcements
Greetings Adventurers!

We have recently begun gathering a focus group to provide early feedback on upcoming content and we understand there are questions from the community in regards to eligibility. While there are some general qualities we look for, the criteria is subject to change based on the content focus and the feedback type being sought. If the content is heavily reliant on theorycrafting, we will turn to some community members who have shown a history of quality feedback in that area; If the content is based on X focus of the game, we would look for players who have shown dedication and interest in X area.

What are the general eligibility criteria?
  • History of high quality feedback (well expressed, constructive, relevant)
  • No history of abusive behavior or toxicity
  • Access to a PC (all early access is done on Owlbear)
  • Ability to communicate in English (English does not need to be the primary language of the player but there has to be enough level of fluency to play the game and provide feedback in English)
  • Being critical of the game (as long as it remains non-abusive) is not a disqualifying criteria
These groups are typically small (10-20 players) in order for us to better manage the feedback. The final list of players invited is based on recommendations from the feature or project leads (designers, producers, etc.). Being invited to one focus group does not guarantee or disqualify a spot in a future one.

We appreciate the community excitement around these initiatives and we hope they remain a positive experience to ensure future early access projects!

EDIT: Early Access groups are by invitation only, not application. Players are welcomed to let us know they are interested in participating in future initiatives!
Post edited by nitocris83 on


  • arazith07
    arazith07 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,442 Arc User
    edited June 2019
    This is exciting news. I think it is a good idea to let players have limited input to the developing process of the game like this. I personally felt that the last early access did help the initial class balancing. While the final result is not prefect, there was a lot of improvement from the first week of Mimic (public) build of M16 to the second and three weeks, which I suspect were mostly due to the alpha testers' feedback along with that of Cryptic.

    Edit: I would love to be considered for such a group.
    Post edited by arazith07 on
  • vorphied
    vorphied Member Posts: 1,870 Arc User
    edited June 2019
    @nitocris83 To be clear, is this thread also to solicit applications from potential Early Access testers, or will access be by invitation only? Thanks.
    Sacrilege - Warlock
    Contagion - Cleric
    Testament - Wizard
    Pestilence - Ranger
    Dominion - Paladin


  • kalina311
    kalina311 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,079 Arc User
    edited June 2019
    Great Sign me up for the Pvp focus group then based on the below Quote From the dev which confirm Pvp plans
    since I Got the feedback/ posts and history to back me up Also a Mod 9 Pvp feedback pvp Siege Tester
    I also spearheaded the last Pvp with the Devs event in the forums and was at the event
    And gave tons of feedback on the pvp CC resistance stack system and throughout the Pvp forum section over the years


    Question ?

    Are there any plans to make some new PVP maps? Running the same 4 over and over again is getting boring, some new scenery would be nice. Are there any plans on making new PVP gear that is actually more viable then PVE gear? Since the removal of tenacity it's been more beneficial to wear PVE gear and to avoid using PVP gear at all. I know you guys are probably sick of hearing about it but do you have any plans to revive the combat league?

    NoworriesDev dev responds

    there is a no and two yes as answers, as to which is which, the future will tell

  • c3rb3r3
    c3rb3r3 Member Posts: 277 Arc User

    Being critical of the game (as long as it remains non-abusive) is not a disqualifying criteria

    Being critical is a qualifying argument, not the opposite whichever level of criticism. Starting from that, people at end of the road shall be fine as well, right.
  • bpstuart
    bpstuart Member Posts: 232 Arc User
    So do we submit applications or just wait to get noticed?
    Also will be specified which aspect we are meant to be testing or is this a "Give us all feedback" kind of thing?
    Ego etiam cupo recrari et amari diu post mortem meam
    I too wish to be recreated, and to be loved long after my death.
  • nitocris83
    nitocris83 Member, Cryptic Developer, Administrator Posts: 4,307 Community Manager
    vorphied said:

    @nitocris83 To be clear, is this thread also to solicit applications from potential Early Access testers, or will access be by invitation only? Thanks.

    Early Access is by invitation only. Players are free to let us know they would like to be considered for future early access initiatives though!

    I'll clarify in my original post since I can see the confusion!
  • empalas
    empalas Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 799 Arc User
    Is this any different than what you've done before?? Maybe hadn't done it for some modules but seems like this was done with M16 although with that the group was probably larger than what you are currently talking about given the sheer magnitude of the change there. I guess I always assumed this had been taking place. As someone who works in software I know how difficult it can be to get things in front of people in the middle of development. Its not always easy to do and generally it involves you having many things incomplete and sometimes having to do extra work just of the test that will just be discarded. Its always to meet deadlines and get it to a state where you can get feedback. Certainly agile/scrum/sprints can help with that if you can adhere to always having things in a working state at the end of a sprint which is much easier said than done.
  • robtn
    robtn Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 78 Arc User
    Submitting my request. Thanks
    Everything's Shiny, Not to Fret
  • ramesh84
    ramesh84 Member Posts: 133 Arc User
    adinosii said:

    We never heard anything, but I hope you were able to find whoever was leaking information in the previous (m16) closed group and exclude them from future groups.

    Anyhow...involving players like this is a good thing, IMO.

    How to disagree involving (the right) players is a good thing, some consideration would like to add:
    - leaks: leaking issues are relevant as long changes have economic impact. Closed beta testers works greatly imho for class design and balance, with the goal of having a competent analysis about specific ingame aspect. Open testing works better for checking content/items, as it's allowing more people to test them. Separating these two things looks challenging but quite interesting, especially considering players too are more inclined in testing aspect of game they like more.
    - listening: changes should be more responsive to feedback posted. Many major bug reported in early open preview days (and i bet on owlbear too) has been looked into after PC's live, that brought to additional work from devs. Reading feedback before going ahead with implementation helps a better prioritization, just a tought.

    That said, several mistakes has been made both on players and developer team side, happy to read that didn't stop the process :)
  • snuff#8759
    snuff#8759 Member Posts: 13 Arc User
    If there were several groups, let's call it a different task - class balance, economics, and dungeons I am very much in charge of. I would love to help if you really want and listen to the players. Class balance and changes in mechanics have a lot of ideas for players to be happy with their characters. I will gladly help.
  • caldochaud#4880
    caldochaud#4880 Member Posts: 210 Arc User
    Well... I love theory-crafting and sorely I miss it in Neverwinter.

    When Star Wars: The Old Republic went out of their way to remove all traces of theory-crafting from the MMO, Neverwinter's amazing theory-crafting is exactly what attracted me in the first place. The skill trees were Neverwinter's greatest strength, and it could have easily used more skill trees! It is also exactly what has me so profoundly disappointed with mod 16 since from the outside it looks as though any meaningful and class-relevant theory-crafting has been taken out of the game. I'm not a D&D purist, but I remember the joy of playing through Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2 and making a character from the ground up that was exclusively mine. It didn't matter to me if other players didn't like that I made an Evoker Wizard with 5 levels of Pale Master, 5 levels of Arcane Scholar of Candlekeep, and 5 levels of Red Wizard of Thay. It was fun. That's all that really mattered.

    Neverwinters' established player-base enjoy: choices, risk vs reward, power-sharing, specialization, hybridization. Post-mod 16, has left me with a wizard that serves parties better as a tank than any Fighter, Paladin or Barbarian. It's certainly unexpected but I don't know where to go with that. Some skill trees to tweak with could get the wizard back to being an actual wizard... or an even more effective "Magitank".

    I'm not asking to be added but for the love of Neverwinter, just give players their skill trees back!
    "Talent is a flame. Genius is a fire." - Sir Bernard Williams
  • thestia
    thestia Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 296 Arc User
    I wouldn't mind throwing my hat into the mix here. Not sure if my feedback is on par with others, but I'd like the opportunity nevertheless.
  • xxmantaraxx
    xxmantaraxx Member Posts: 361 Arc User
    @nitocris83 Consider this the digital equivalent of "I wrote my name on a piece of paper and tossed it into the hat."

    Its awesome to hear this! Im actually very excited for Neverwinters future.

    Ara Atheanes GWF
    Traxus Atheanes GF
    Bastiel Atheanes DC
    Ellara Atheanes CW
    Keira Atheanes TR
    Sarasin Atheanes SW
    Jerkface McGee HR

  • mcfob
    mcfob Member Posts: 76 Arc User
    Might be a good idea to pick a few random new people to include in the focus group to get nice persepective from those new to our game. Also, should have some kind of penalty or reward cancellation for members of the focus group who rage quit half way through the testing process.
  • link#5211
    link#5211 Member Posts: 8 Arc User
    I volunteer for tribute
  • obsidiancran3
    obsidiancran3 Member Posts: 1,823 Arc User
    Well that all seems reasonable.

    10-20 people means people should just go back to playing the game and providing info for others and providing feedback.

    I figure I crossed myself off the list when I got moderated a while back.
    Obsidian Moonlight - Paladin
    Obsidian Oath - Warlock
    A whole lot of other Obsidian toons as well.
  • littledanger#4115
    littledanger#4115 Member Posts: 71 Arc User
    draugkir said:

    lol.. the saga continues.

    Instead of doing QA internally tests ( and hiring professional testers like all decent companies do ) you guys keep shooting your own feet using normal players as your testing material.

    Thats one of the main reasons game is going down the pipe as it is.

    Thats one of the reasons info leaks too early and you watch auction prices going bananas.

    And finally.. thats the main reason you get bugs over bugs and bad decisions when you launch a patch.

    Get some professional game testers and stop using your players as testers. Players views and opinions are biased torwards their own agendas and you will never get propper neutral feedback. Ever.

    Agreed, and "make" your own damn product that you expect us to purchase
  • silence1x
    silence1x Member Posts: 1,503 Arc User

    I hope you include invitations to Silv3ry and Rainer (youtube handles) as they are fair and sill not totally jaded at was has happened since MOD16. And please listen to them.

    I'd also add LordWillow to the list. He streams on Twitch, does the math and shares his knowledge.

    I aim to misbehave