A friend of mine recently invited me to join him in the “new” SWGEMU alpha test server.  It’s been nearly a decade since I did any alpha testing so I figured I might as well join in for a while… even against my current policy generally prohibiting MMOs that aren’t Aardwolf.

I had forgotten what an interesting experience alpha testing was.  Lots of server down time, bugs, glitches, exploits, and lag spikes that last upwards of 2 minutes.  In such a chaotic and hostile environment one wouldn’t expect to have much fun, but it’s an oddly enjoyable experience.  Watching the player dynamic shift and change as things are patched and tweaked, seeing the workarounds people come up with to avoid bugs or missing content, and, most of all, mocking the people who whine about how unstable everything is.

It’s been a long time since I did an alpha test, and frankly, I can’t believe I didn’t come back to alphaing sooner.  There’s something magical about watching a game develop through the chaos of glitches.  It isn’t for everyone for sure, the sheer amount of whining on the SWGEMU forums is evidence enough of that, but if you have the right mindset and know what you’re getting into, then it can be one hell of a ride.  Heck, playing the alpha of a game might be even more fun than playing the stable Beta or release build.

Though I don’t know what it says about me that I’m thriving on chaos…

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

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