There are four things I *could* do related to online role-playing games of 2012:
- Play the Mists of Pandaria beta
- Download the client for the TERA open beta starting in a week
- Pre-purchase Diablo III
- Pre-purchase Guild Wars 2
I am not at all interested in the MoP beta, although I have an invite. My experience with World of Warcraft expansions is that they provide not enough content to cover the two years between their releases. Thus getting a sneak peak before release is shooting myself in the foot, or even both feet, as I not only will have less fun in the release version but also will have to redo stuff I already did in the beta.
While I am in the Diablo III beta, and played it through several times in earlier incarnations, I can't even bring myself to play the latest version again. Action RPGs tend to bore me quicker than games with more tactical combat. So why would I want to pay for this game before it is even released?
Same thing for Guild Wars 2, why pay full price for a game before it is even released? I'd rather wait until the game is available on Steam, hopefully for a more reasonable price than the one on offer for the pre-order, which here in Europe is €54.99 or the equivalent of $72. And that is for the cheapest option with no extra goodies!
I have been in enough betas and launches to know that not every launch goes smoothly, and that games tend to become cheaper more and more quickly after release. The hype-then-disappointment cycle for games is bad enough without the current trend of developers to try and cash in on the hype before the first reviews are out. Diablo III and Guild Wars 2 might well be both better and cheaper three months after release. So I consider waiting and playing open betas for free instead of pre-purchasing.