Don't be a Sucker! (Prosumer)

I never spend time on test servers for any game.

This is because of two reasons really. One I was a professional developer for decades, so I don’t care to do that work in my spare times, but more importantly:

Alvin Toffler in 1980 coined the term “prosumer”. This is a person who not only is a consumer for a company, but also produces value for them (in the manner of a laborer.)

If you ever played on test game servers and sent in bug reports, etc., you provided free labor to a company that you already paid. That is, a company that should just hire more testers, but don’t have to because a feature of gaming culture arose whereby customers get a sense of “empowerment” from the interaction. (Looking at the content and quality of the 2.1 release, do you really feel like part of the team?)

But they are simply stealing your time. You should be paid to do this! (The same is true for self-check-out lines and EVERY social media app).

Point is, it’s okay to give your work away, but just know you’re doing it. Odds are, your job is badly exploiting you all day–don’t go home and opt into being exploited even more…


Funny, I was a small indie game developer for over a decade. My best testers were those passionate players who loved my games and were willing to put up with bugs and undeveloped mechanics to help me make the game even better. They actually enjoyed this process. They could have gardened, or rock climbed or played other games but they chose to help me out and I don’t consider them suckers. Just because Funcom is a large company, doesn’t mean people can’t enjoy donating their time and passion to help them create better games. They are getting something out of it too: the feeling of participating and helping out a game that they love.


Agreed. It’s the reason people volunteer in non-profit organizations, they feel the cause is worth the effort.


Sadly, test servers nowadays seem to be used for bug searching only, replacing the need for a quality assurance department since you can potentially get this work for free (even sadder here: they get lots of serious bug reports for free and they still don’t fix these reported issues…).
Test servers should be for balancing and suggestions of the new content, where valid player feedback can be tested to see if it enriches the game’s mechanics and overall gameplay.
But this seems to be not the case nowadays, the content is set and doesn’t really get serious changes anymore, even if players voice their concern for these kinds of issues.

Wait… People test on test servers? I was sure most of them were there to be “1st!” at content and make there Youtube videos for those likes and subs. XD

This is kinda PC culture thou isnt it?

I’m a Console girl since Atari… so getting finished games is kinda requirement for me. Never really understood thou whole PC side of things like playing broken games for months on end.

I’ve played several pc mmo’s… never really got into normal pc gaming. XD

I think only reason i ever joined test servers, was x2 exp and drops that often offered, and took server wipes as part of deal.

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Players who get into testlive do it by their own terms and as i can see, they more often than not, keep their feedback for themselves, or spend more text space ranting that providing useful information.

It’s true, there is value in what testlive players does, and a professional game tester should be paid for that, but the regular CE player that gets mad after every update, not really, they already get to play on free servers, don’t they?

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If any of that effort benefits the developer, it is worthy of being paid.

Like I said, people should do what they want, but as I said initially, they should understand that they are being cheated out of work that would otherwise be paid. They’re taking advantage of those emotional attachments. The servers aren’t “free”. The servers don’t magically appear–they are paid for through game income (and DLC sales, etc. I expect.) There is no such thing as a free anything. If a corporation throws something in for “free”, you paid for it.


You put value on your own time. If you find value in playtesting, you win. By the same token, posting in a forum is a use of your valuable time…

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Do what you want. Just know what you are doing. That’s my singular point. (I admit, in Internet fashion, my title was click-baity).

Yay! Someone spotted the top-layer hypocrisy of the post–EXCEPT, my point has consistently been,
“do what you want, just know you are giving your labor away.” I AM aware that I’m giving a tiny bit of my labor on this board.

BUT, a clear and much more significant example I didn’t mention before is that ANY multiplayer game makes you a prosumer, becuase just like social media, there is no value to the software if nobody uses it, no matter how great it might be. An empty server is useless.

Simply playing the game is performing labor for Funcom and makes their product attractive for future sales. If nobody played, it’d be like DDO or something that 5 people still play.

And for the record on that point, I play solo.


I play on single player so the dlc does not support my server since I don’t have one am I getting cheated no if someone does not understand correctly what testlive is then yeah also to point out on test they do new features and community’s test it and see the problem or issues with it and if they like it so new dodge at first was terrible but wait it won’t get better because

I test new dodge and lots of problems. I sorry you can’t test so it stay the way it release and that goes for bugs to as you can’t report it as you play you notice and try to reproduce it but that test and find thus you have to be paid so you have no say. How far will that get you or me actually how far will that get anyone come to :thinking: of that destroy every game shortly after launch no games success thus most close doors and the field of types and ways games develop well no more choice in product just one or two to choose from. Yeah I do it for free why to avoid gameaggoton :joy:

I really want to be respectful, but I’m going for funny: I would reply to this if it were in English. I’ve read it three times and I have no idea what your point is, except it seems like you didn’t get my point. Maybe?

Thats a bit of a overshoot into the inception world :wink: … If a multiplayer game is played after the testing, its just consumer. Injecting your passion, time and labour prior to the adoption is the line in the sand here. That is to say, when you play normal game mode outside testing your actions, behaviours and so on are all in production grade context. Therefore the tolerance level of acceptance is way different to testing.

Testing infers a context in which disposable outcomes are produced with no gain outside adding value to the team who yield data before moving to production.

As for testing for Funcom… the standard you walk past is the standard you accept… take that as you feel necessary :slight_smile:

Story time:

In the late 1970s in the US, general-use credit cards like visa (not store cards) started becoming more popular. When gas stations started taking credit cards, there were two prices for gas: cash and credit. Because the cost of the network and processing the transaction cost a little money. So it cost a little more to use a credit card.

It wasn’t too long…a couple years…when they did away from that and charged everyone the same. What happened was that, instead of the cost of paying by credit being an individual service, it was just factored into the cost of doing business.

This change was not a great thing…especially if you paid cash, which most people in the 70s and 80s still did. Because if you paid cash, you subsidized the purchases of credit card users.

The point is, there are a thousand things like this, and you are getting screwed out of your hard earned money (that you were underpaid to start with).

Every time a business uses your labor or your money (which is just a product of your labor) you are getting screwed. Most of this you cannot avoid. Some things you can avoid. It’s okay to still do it if you enjoy it, but just understand what this means.

Could Funcom afford to exist without all the free prosumer labor they get? I don’t know. I know things like Twitter couldn’t exist. What is your time worth, and are you happy joining together with other users to turn your labor into the wealth of millionaires and billionaires? If so, great! If not, make the choices that make sense to you.


Is it? How many copies do you think they’d sell if nobody played.

Or more concretely, how significant is MySpace today? It’s still out there, but who cares? And they aren’t making any money since the Facebook migration. Point is, this kind of software only has value if it is used by enough people.

I’ve watched MMOs emerge and die over the last 20 years. I was a launch adopter of AoC. All these games fell into obscurity or outright died (City of Heroes, etc.) because of the necessity of player engagement. No engagement, no money. If that’s true, then that engagement has monetary value to the company. But they aren’t going to share it with you.

But as I’ve said in every post here: do what you want, just know what you are doing.


Let me try and clean up part of @Gloatingtomb6’s and see if it makes more sense because I understood it.

"I tested the new dodge system and it had lots of problems. I’m sorry you couldn’t test it so it stayed this way when it was released. That goes for bugs too since you can’t report them as you play. You may notice and try to reproduce them, but that is testing and believe you have to be paid for this. Therefore you won’t share this information. How will withholding this information benefit you or me? Actually how far will it benefit anyone? :thinking:

If you destroy every game shortly after launch, no games can succeed. The result is most game developers shutting down and the variety of games significantly reduced. Developers will have to change the ways they develop which will further leave us with just one or two games to choose from. Yeah, I do testing for free to avoid gameaggedon (game armageddon) :joy:"

@Gloatingtomb6 if I misinterpreted your comment, please note where so the record is clear.


You good I have the devils device a iPod 5 and my fingers are larger than sausage and I have to deal with apples autocorrect bit$$ zila which autocorrect what I type but you right

Ps anyone got a hand Grenades for this device it’s the devil


The blurring of the roles of consumers and producers has its origins in the cooperative self-help movements that sprang up during various economic crises, e.g. the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Marshall McLuhan and Barrington Nevitt suggested in their 1972 book Take Today , that with electric technology, the consumer would become a producer.
In the 1980 book, The Third Wave , futurologist Alvin Toffler coined the term “prosumer” when he predicted that the role of producers and consumers would begin to blur and merge (even though he described it in his book Future Shock from 1970). Toffler envisioned a highly saturated marketplace as mass production of standardized products began to satisfy basic consumer demands. To continue growing profit, businesses would initiate a process of mass customization, that is the mass production of highly customized products.

However, to reach a high degree of customization, consumers would have to take part in the production process especially in specifying design requirements. In a sense, this is merely an extension or broadening of the kind of relationship that many affluent clients have had with professionals like architects for many decades.

I think people testing in test live want that “tailored” gaming experience , since the feedback they give on what they tested will ultimately be “personnal” .

I get what you are trying to say , but most of us are aware of what time we invest . And that time is , as an individual with a finite life , one of our most precious “curency” that we can allow to give , or make people pay for or just loose sometimes …

your take on simply playing the game is performing labor for the gamecompany , I think it’s more a Win-win situation here , People start playing a game , if they enjoy it they will speak of it and bring more players , the company of course makes profit , hence the game can still have updates , so the player can still have fun ( btw you described perfectly what happens if not enough people are having fun anymore , the game dies ( on this last part , this is where some of the people that still enjoy the game may feel robed with online services since they will have to pay the price of having no more server to play on , while still wanting to play ( at least for games that don’t let people have their own server ) )


Out of curiosity: do you own a legal copy of Microsoft Windows 10? I’m sure you know, but every Windows user is providing free labor to Microsoft by automatically sending non-optional diagnostic data whenever their computer is connected to the Internet.

It’s okay if you do. Just know you’re doing it.


Do you use a browser, just saying you’re sending free data to insert website here. The list can go on. There is the difference between you consuming a product because of choice and you actively consuming a product to enable choice.

Just saying

The diagnostics data doesn’t do as much as you think, theres a lot of data inbound but you’d be suprised at how useful the data actually is without context. Its what we call “dark data” and without structure its just helping with telemetry around understanding bugs, crashes and most importantly BSOD.

You can also opt out.

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Im pretty sure people know they are playing and testing a game without being paid… I’m also pretty sure everyone knows the old saw “time is money” too. I dont think it would shock anyone to know the social arrangement that is testlive. No mba or prior work history required.