It was only a matter of time before it happened and I'm glad it did. It actually turns out to be a better discussion on the subject than most, if not all, the other floating turds that I've found on the net regarding my article.
Here is my reply to most of the points discussed.
"I bite... you've made me come here, register, and post. I want to start out by saying "You are not the list of beta tests you've been in." more or less to quote a great movie.
I see a lot of misconceptions about me in this article. I don't care about Vanguard... I care about MMORPGs. Vanguard is one, but I am not interested in playing it. If you think I am love with WoW... well I've criticized them plenty.
WoW simply reminded me of why I play games... to have fun. Almost as much fun as playing games... is sharing my opinion about them, their processes, and the communites surrounding them. Sue me... I'm a net and gaming junkie and I'm here to have fun.
Now onto the replies here. It is my firm belief that (regardless if its just community managers doing the sorting of beta applications) that small beta test phases are best done by profesional software and game testing companies. They work in the single player market and have proven for years to be effective in the gaming and software industry. The whole process of phone interviews and the like just grabbed me as way too much of a fake facade trying to show they are *testing* their game.
I give them props for going to the community first and foremost, but that needs to be left to the later stages of beta where the game is more nailed down.
Then you move onto stress testing with your general audience using it for free marketing of the game. Right now... these early beta alpha whatevers are marketing ploys and hence where I am coming from."