Saturday Blizzard announced that the public test realm for StarCraft II is now live. Like other Blizzard games, the company uses a stand-alone server to test patches before they go live for all product license holders. Currently Blizzard is testing patch v1.2 and is inviting gamers to participate.
"Patch 1.2 marks the first time that we've performed a public test for a StarCraft 2 patch, but we're planning to conduct public tests for most if not all future game patches," the company said in a blog. "These PTRs (public test regions) help us a great deal--when you participate and submit reports, we can squash more bugs and ensure that when the patch is released it's of the highest quality possible."
To participate in the current PTR phase, players must have an active StarCraft 2 North America game account created before November 11, 2010. A retail patch will add a new executable file named "StarCraft II Public Test.exe" to the game's directory. Simply go there and run the executable-- this will download a small patch that will install the PTR client.
"Whenever a PTR is available, a Test Region forum will appear for you to provide us with bug reports, feedback, and suggestions," Blizzard said in a FAQ. "This forum is monitored by our QA department and moderated to ensure that posted information is constructive and useful for testing purposes."
Blizzard also said that the player's account must not be a guest pass account, suspended, or banned. The public test account is also separate from the gamer's main account, so friends, achievements, campaign progression and ladder ranking will not carry over to the new account. Chat between PTR and retail regions wall also not be available.
To see what patch v1.2 brings to the table, head here. Known issues regarding the just-launched PTR can be found here.
Other than that, pass, nothing interesting for me in this.
Yeah, Blizzard gets free QA personnel. Though it is understandable today that the scale and complexity of games today (especially on multiplayer games) that it's impossible to get the majority of these bugs.