And really, no one's making you rush around the forums clarifying what an open beta's all about. You don't need to act so put-upon or talk to us like we're all morons.
That wasn't my intention. I don't consider people who don't know the real purpose morons or anything.. It's pretty easy to miss. Especially these days where every website puts "beta" on it somewhere because it's trendy, and demos are nolonger called Demos but Betas, particularly on consoles such as with Halo 3 and Modern Warfare. It's a pretty easy mistake to make. In fact, I'd say the real mistake is at the hands of the actual companies, who continue to use the term which, while accurate, kind of says something else to the average person who is more interested in trying the game than being a ragdoll used to slam servers.
Regardless, I didn't intend to come off as a *****, but rather just explaining the process.
And while I agree in theory that the beta shouldn't be advertised like a demo as it is, it's also worth keeping in mind that if they said "pre-order now and get access to a client that will continually lead you on thinking you'll get to play, but never actually get too!", there might be significantly less people slamming the servers and thus having a worse launch on release day.. It's kind of a double edged sword I guess ><
I have to say that this could be the worst start to any mmo experience I have ever had. I have played virtually every mmo since Ultima Online and have downloaded many of them. Never have I had downloads with estimated times of days/weeks. If it isn't important for Cryptic to put out a stable way to get the game to their paying customers, maybe it shouldn't be inmportant for those customers to be paying.
pretty sure a Beta client is hardly a "start" secondarily, if you've been in so many mmo's you should know that day 1 of a beta is ALWAYS a stress test from hell to the load balancing servers.
I think the best thing to do would have been to post ads on places like Kotaku that draw a lot of gamers who are familiar with the beta process and would be interested in trying out the game. Heck, advertise on Trek sites, too, just make it clear about what to expect and why. Hand out beta keys to anyone who asks, and you've got people playing (or trying to play and getting kicked- whatever).
Tying it to the preorder the way they did was a terrible idea and (I think) the source of most of this ire. How many people who don't know about betas have tried to download the client or, having downloaded the client, got kicked a load of times and got fed up enough to walk and cancel their preorder? I'll bet at least some, based on some of the posts I've read here, and the thing is that this was mostly avoidable. It's not really fair to deliberately target people who don't know what an open beta is, lure them in to test the game for you, then get upset with them for not understanding why it "doesn't work" and expecting to get a game demo rather than a work in progress. I'm seeing a lot of that going on on this forum, not just from other players, but from the occasional Cryptic rep, too, and that's where I find myself thinking, "You know, your company advertised the hell out of this thing like it was a demo. You don't get to get upset when a bunch of neophytes show up and get miffed because things aren't working as advertised [pr as they understood them to be advertised]."
Like you, I don't know what the solution to that is, but I think that offering free keys for the asking on gaming websites, rather than taking this, "Come play STO early! Preorder!" approach would have been way less painful for everyone involved. I know I didn't come in here expecting a perfect playing experience precisely because it's a beta, but I did think I'd actually be able to download the beta client before I was eligible for social security. That was clearly a pipe dream.