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Beta Testing Guide[DOCUMENT INDEX]
1 Chapter One: Introduction
The general purpose of this guide is to assist players testing a Beta Release. Then, after thoroughly testing, players can provide feedback for Palestar Staff to improve upon the game.
1.1 Download
The DarkSpace Beta client and other relevant files can be downloaded via the Download section of the DarkSpace Beta website, or you can click here for a quick download link for the game client.
1.2 Installation
Run the GCQL.exe file and install it like you normally would with the Darkspace Release. The GameCQ Lobby will install by default to C:\Program Files\PaleStar\GameCQ.

Once the Lobby is loaded select the Games Tab (via the red diamond labled "Games" at the top of the window), select Darkspace Beta and press Install. The lobby client will then download the Darkspace Beta game files. You can then switch to the Servers Tab and join the Beta server from there.
1.3 Gameplay
DarkSpace Beta is intended to test all aspects of the game and how it works. You can either choose to play the game in a normal fashion or you can purposely test a specific area of the game to see how it works and to try and break it. Please be aware however, that others will also be trying to test features, so a lot more co-operation between the factions and the individual players is required.

Before testing you are required to make sure you read and understand the Rules Of Conduct and any additional information contained within this document about the beta testing process.

Make sure you are familiar with any current bugs reported in the forums before you start playing. These can be easiliy located in the general bug report threads in the Beta Testing Discussion forum.
New game features will often have thier own dedicated threads for you to browse and post feedback in.

If you are trying to test something specific then make sure others are aware of what you are doing. They may even be able to help.

Building ShipYards and getting ships requires resources so:-

  • Do not attack engineers
  • Do not attack extractors
  • Do not bomb mining planets
  • Do not capture shipyard planets

You can always build test planets for bombing or capturing, it does not take long.

**IMPORTANT**
Please comply with request's made by Palestar Staff. Failure to do so may result in action being taken. Server-wide requests are easily identified by the bright yellow font those messages appear in.
1.4 Special Ammendments
The following is a list of rules and revisions relating to the current beta testing process:-

Posted by Tael: 2005-02-13 21:10

  • Engineers and Miners violating no attack priveledge

    Something I have noticed is Engineers and Miners attacking other ships then claiming you cant attack them back because they are covered from a Do Not Attack clause...

    Well, its simple, if an engineer or Miner attack another ship, they have nullified their ceasefire priveledge. Thus are now subject to normal ship combat until destroyed by any other ship.

    The Staff has been instructed that if either are attacked without provocation, then handle the issue as necessary. If they are attacked in retribution, too bad, they broke the cease fire and can be fired upon until killed.

  • Building in Beta

    Build flag planets first.
    Optionally you may build rare resource planets as long as they do not have defense structures that attack mining ships until all flag planets are fully built. Rare Resources are considered: Hyper Matter, Dark Matter, Urdanium

    Once all Flag planets initially reach 30 structures, building defense structures on rare resource planets is permitted.

  • Capturing Planets

    Normal invasion and capping of non-flag planets (including non-flag rare resource planets) is permitted. In the case of rare-resources, building of defense structure rule is still in effect.

    Point Defense shooting down of Troop Pods and Bombs are permitted at all times and do not violate a engineer or miners non-aggression protection clause.

  • Special Case Rules

    Only an admin can excuse or augment these rules, If an admin needs to test something, they can give a moretorium for the period of time they are testing. At the end of their testing, normal rules and restrictions are placed back into effect.

    If people continue to abuse or violate these rules and those included in the Beta Testing Guide and RoC, then those accounts will have their beta pres reset to 0 and will no longer be given free prestige.

    Should we continue to have issues, then I will simply switch back off the free trial flag that allows everyone to play on beta and noone will have over a scout unless an admin gives the individual permission. Switching of flags will be at admins discretion and when "they feel like it", so could take days.
2 Chapter Two: Feedback, Suggestions, and Bug Reporting
Players can post thier observation, recommendations, and bug findings in the Developer Feedback Forum and Bug Reporting Forum. When posting a bug report, please include: What occured, when, where, and paste any error messages you may have recieved from the client.

Developers are always open to ideas and suggestions, and many are used in later versions of Darkspace.
2.1 Feedback
Please discuss the new features and changes in the Beta Testing Discussion forum. Your feedback is necessary to give us an indication on how features integrate into the existing gameplay elements.
2.2 Suggestions
If you have any suggestions regarding DarkSpace in general, or the newly implemented features in the Beta, then please post them in the Developer Feedback (Suggestions) forum.
2.3 Reporting Bugs
When testing various features we advise you to keep notes of exactly what you are doing. It makes it a lot easier to replicate the issues in future if we have an exact path to how to recreate them. It also makes life a lot easier for you when it comes around to reporting your findings.
When you actually come to reporting a bug then please use the following proceedures:-

  • Check the forums for any other related bugs. Its entirely possible someone has already found the issue. If you have any further information then please expand onthier original report.
  • Find the approriate thread dealing with what occured. If it is a new feature then there will often be a dedicated thread in the Beta Discussion Forum for you to post you reports and findings. Otherwise use the general reports thread in the same forum.
  • Write down with as much information exactly what occured. Please include all the steps up until the point where you found the bug (this is where your earlier notes will help).
    We need to know:-

    • When it occured; what you were doing at the time or any game events happening around you. Also anything you were doing before you encountered the bug or issue.
    • Where it occured; if something happens in proximity of a planet or in mid-space, what part of the interface is affected etc.
    • Any error messages. If the client generates an error message we need to know exactly what the message reads. All the jumbled garbage that means nothing to you tells the programmers exactly where to look.
    • System information. If its it a graphical error, sound issue, or stability issue then we need a full detailing of your system specifications. Many such errors are caused by you having outdated drivers for your hardware, or outdated interface components (like Direct X). Please make sure you have the most up-to-date drivers and that such an error can be reliably recreated before posting such a report.
3 Chapter Three: Frequently Asked Questions
Questions commonly asked by players new to DarkSpace Beta.
3.1 Gameplay Changes
Questions regarding gameplay differences between beta and release and how you should test features.
3.1.1 Q: What is the difference between the Beta Version and the Release version of DarkSpace?
A: The beta version of DarkSpace is intended for testing upcoming new game features and for getting feedback from the community as to what does and doesn't work. For this reason it is limited in scale to scenarios. The Release version of DarkSpace takes place accross a much larger universe which is persistant. The beta and release version use separate clients. You can download the release client here.
3.1.2 Q: Should I beta test or not?
A: Everyone is invited to play and mess about in beta. It's there for you to try and find out all the bugs so we encourage it. Please be aware though to try ask others in the server before you try things such as attacking or bombing enemy planets. Often they will be trying to test a certain feature themselves and your actions can ruin a few hours of work. We advise that for learning the basic Gameplay for you to download and play the Release Client where we have a server dedicated to new players.
3.1.3 Q: Someone killed/kicked me in my engineering/extractor ship. Why?
A: If people are genuinely trying to do something using this ship that doesn't involve going around tractoring other players into planets or generally being aggressive (ie. firing beacons at people etc) then there is no reason for other players to attack you. As such players attacking these vessels (ie beaconing, pushing into planets, shooting, capturing etc) can expect to be /reported or otherwise killed if on an opposing faction.
If, however, someone is using an engineer or extractor to be in any way aggressive then they can't expect immunity from other players or from staff action. Persistant offenders may even have their beta accounts reset or be banned from participating in the beta process.

Other cruel or unusual punishments may well be inflicted at the discretion of the Staff.
3.2 Miscellaneous
General information that does not fit into any other category.
3.2.1 Q: Is beta free?
A: Yes, DarkSpace Beta is free to test and play. However we cannot guarantee players keeping any profile advances or statistics as it may be necessary to reset the player profiles to test new features. Periodical resets also occur if we need to test character advancement with major new changes to gameplay.
3.2.2 Q: There is no gameserver or I cannot log in. What happened?
A: Because this is a beta you can occasionally expect periods of downtime for the test server. This may be due to it being updated or because the latest build is completely unplayable due to some unforseen issues. During these periods please be patient and pay a visit to the Release game where you can still play for free but with limited ship selection.
3.2.3 Q: When is the next patch due?
A: PaleStar in unable to give details on exactly when the next implementation of DarkSpace is due to be released. The simple answer is 'When it's done.'
If we are unhappy with new game features then we will delay the release. As many players will often say, DarkSpace Beta will be finished in 'Two Weeks™.*'
Always remember, every time someone asks when the next patch is, another little code monkey dies.

*(Two Weeks™ is a trademark of the PaleStar corporation and in no way represents any given amount of time and may include any time frame up to and including infinity)
3.2.4 Q: I lost all my prestige/credits! Why?
A: PaleStar does not guarantee players keeping any stats or credits in the Beta server. We stress that this server is for testing purposes on all aspects of the Darkspace Game System. As such random resets to player profiles or other seemingly random adjustments may occur. Please feel free to report these events but keep in mind that they are also part of the testing process. Complaints or protest about such changes or adjustments will most likely be ignored.


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