So it's common knowledge now that Mojang have started to test updates with small groups of people before releasing them. We, Bukkit, are one such group and we're usually first in line. People don't seem to like this idea though, thinking that testing builds before releasing them is a complete waste of time and that testing is their job as a player during Beta.
This is quite strange. Every update before now that contained any bug of any type, people screamed loud and clear: "WHY DON'T MOJANG TEST THESE THINGS BEFORE RELEASING?!". Huh.
See, there's a huge difference between us testing cutting-edge builds and the general community testing the gameplay. We make sure you can actually run the game, that it doesn't crash on launch, and that things work. The communiy tests the gameplay and everything else.
To give you some small examples of things we've encountered so far:
- Entities of any type can become invisible or even half invisible.
- The game will crash if you die.
- Sometimes, everyone else + the server will crash if you die.
- The game will crash if you join a server.
- Destroying one particular block will corrupt your world and you have to start anew.
- Furnaces are evil.
Here's a few examples of things that were left inside release builds and the community absolutely hated:
- Some crashes of various types, usually in rare situations
- Pistons can sometimes dupe or get rid of blocks
- HP is reset upon travelling between worlds
- Certain combinations of redstone don't produce the "expected" output
- Some mobs become clientside and unkillable
- Pistons could corrupt a map
Some used the argument, "ok we test those and then we get .1 .2 .3 .4 etc". Really? Why not just the initial release and no nasty accidents while testing them all out.
Others might use this opportunity to yell "omg those bugs are horrible don't they test it before they give it you to test before they give it us to test?". Aside from that hurting my head, yeah they do. But there's more of us than there are of them, and we assist in tracking down the exact reason these bugs happen + sometimes even provide solutions. We're all very familiar with the code and we know how to handle these kinda things easily.
In my mind, I see it as we're dev testing, then others get to alpha test, and then the community goes back to beta testing. It makes perfect sense to me. Odd thing though, the mind of a community.