Sunday, September 03, 2006

I'm a QA Tester

"Hey, so, that must be awesome, you get to play games for a living!" NO! DAMN YOU! I don't get to play games for a living. I get to track down and report bugs in games so that paying customers won't have to experience them. This does not involve "playing" the game. It involves attempting to break the game. On a typical day at Blizzard, I'm not running through World of WarCraft instances in search of the phat lootz. In actuality, I'm probably writing up the fact that Young Thistle Boars are somehow breeding, and are now capable of taking back the Night Elf noob zone that was once the scene of much Young Thistle Boar slaughter. Actually, nothing even remotely close to that has ever happened. It's a horrible example. Just awful.

The job doesn't tend to get a lot of respect from people outside of the games industry, but testers play an extremely crucial role in any game's development. That role: To help ensure that the developers don't get bitched at too much. It's a little known fact, but developers are a very sensitive bunch. Just recently, one of our developers reportedly broke down in tears upon reading a forums post from FiddyCentzz89, entitled "ThIs GaMe iS BaLLs". It took a half hour to console him, as he was truly under the belief that the game he'd devoted his life to was, indeed, balls. I blame myself for this incident.

Alright, you know what, this whole post is a lie. The reality is, all we do is play games all day. If we happen to find a bug, not only will we not report it, we will do everything in our power to ensure that it is never reported. Texture seam in a wall? "Hey developers, that wall is A-OK!" Spell not working? "Spell is working like God himself programmed it in!" This is pretty much how every report ends up. In truth, we have never reported that anything is wrong with the game, ever, and we are trying to keep it that way. It's a marvel that the developers haven't caught on, and an even bigger marvel that players haven't caught on to most of these bugs. Did you know that the city of Ironforge is actually supposed to be on the back of a giant brown bear? By brown bear, I am referring to a large, African-American gay man.

QA testers don't deserve respect, they deserve to die. And that's the cold, hard truth.