To start? Or not to start? That is the question.

With beta applications now 6 weeks old, the chatter is all about (for some) when Square Enix will pull the trigger on the first round of beta testing, or (for others) how Square Enix started a beta test that nobody knows about.  With this chatter comes speculation, and with speculation comes speculation about Japanese interviews – and speculation about Japanese interviews is never a good idea by those not trained in the art. This brings us to the latest Famitsu interview with FFXIV producer Hiromichi Tanaka.

First came an un-sourced translation stating that Tanaka states “that the Beta will start when the game is finished.”  As one astute observer commented: “I thought in order to finish the game, there needs to be a beta first?” A good point indeed, and as it turns out, this translation was debunked by Elmer over on the ZAM network.  The fact is that there is not really any new information.  Tanaka states in the interview (Elmer’s translation):

– What kind of time frame are you thinking of for the beta test?

Tanaka: We don’t intend to set a specific time frame for the test, but if we begin too close to a finished product, we cannot apply the opinions and reactions of the users.  Therefore, we want to let users try out the game in its unfinished state, and from there we will take in user feedback and gradually build together towards a final version.  However, we have to avoid making it too much trial-and-error, or it would be more of a development process than a beta test, which could pose problems.  For instance, the servers would need to be shut down for days at a time while the developers work on the game, and I think it would be difficult to run a smooth beta test.  I can’t really say anything definitive about the length of the beta test at this time.

This is basically what has been said in the past – so not really noteworthy other than to debunk the rumors about beta.  It also does strongly suggest that public beta testing has not yet started.

More importantly it should serve as a reminder to all of us crossing our fingers and waiting for an invitation into the beta test – a reminder that we will be in Eorzea for a specific reason.  And not only is that reason not to play the game or get a “head start” on others, nor is it to tell Square Enix that it needs PvP, or that Gladiators should be able to cast magic.  It is not to develop, but to test for bugs and report those bugs so that the finished game is a success.  With that said… let’s just all hope that Square Enix gives us that chance soon.