I'll admit that I am very much enticed by the goodies we've been promised for the upcoming TA expansion. I'm also a bit concerned.
It was stated somewhere in the forum that Stardock will only be testing within Stardock itself -- will that be enough to properly test it? From the look of it, GalCiv2 will be changing radically
with the introduction of new tech trees
alone, and I for one would like to see that these changes are properly balanced and that the AI uses them adequately. I'm not convinced that Stardock alone will be able to ensure this via an internal beta. I mean, that's a LOT of testing. Having tried my hand at alpha and beta testing, with both computer games and board games, I have some idea of how much work there is involved. Much more, I would imagine, in an extremely complex game like GalCiv2.
At the same time, we have a great community full of very intelligent people, all of whom are devoted to this great game. Just look at how much effort some people have put toward number-crunching and testing new and interesting strategies. Personally, I'd feel much more confident in the radical changes being introduced in TA if people like Wyndstar, Itzok, Mumblefratz, drrider and more were involved with making sure it all made sense in its implementation. Such a beta wouldn't have to be open to everyone -- rather, just handpick the people who would contribute the most cogent testing.
I suppose if Stardock doesn't feel that an external beta is necessary, then I will shut up and trust them to do what they think is right, and I will purchase TA anyway, based on how good DL and DA have been. But still, I can't help being a bit nervous about this...