Firstly - If you have not become aware of this yet, The Elder Scrolls Online is currently accepting applications for Beta. The signup page can be found here. Secondly - there are a number of important issues regarding this that must be addressed here regarding beta, and our website. So please bear with me. This post is one that is very important.
1. As per their FAQ Beta Page, just because you were chosen for one Beta Test, doesn't mean you will be chosen for EVERY Beta Test - And this, too, is okay.
2. Not everyone will be accepted - Just because you signed up does not mean that you will automatically be chosen for Beta. It is quite likely that hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for Beta, so it is possible that you may not be accepted. If you aren't, well, you will get to enjoy the finished product soon enough.
How Beta Affects Our Wiki
More importantly (to us), though, there are some issues regarding OUR site, and Beta.
To sign up to Beta, you have to click that you have read and understood Zenimax's Non-Disclosure Agreement.
To the wiki, the most important part of this NDA is the following:
"4. Nondisclosure of Confidential Information. You acknowledge that ZeniMax, through the investment of significant time, effort, and expense, is providing You confidential and/or proprietary trade information, intellectual property, business information or materials as part of the Beta Trial and that ZeniMax wishes to maintain the confidentiality of its Confidential Information. As a material inducement to ZeniMax to enter into this Agreement and to permit You access to participate in the Beta Trial, You hereby expressly represent and agree that You will not disclose, nor make any use of, or benefit from, directly or indirectly, the Confidential Information of ZeniMax."
If you aren't a legal expert, what that above sentence says is as follows: WHAT HAPPENS IN BETA STAYS IN BETA.
Whilst many of you may feel the urge to take and post screenshots, information about quests, characters, cool snippets of information about Ultimate Abilities, even - Please resist this urge.
You may be thinking - surely not, right? We're a wiki! Wikis are meant to share information. Who cares?
Well - for one thing, Zenimax cares. They spent a lot of time and money developing the game. The Beta Testing is for getting things fixed as much as possible before the game is released fully. Its a necessary part of the development process.
Without it, you can have a myriad of embarrassing errors when the game is released. One recent example of this from last year - Diablo 3. Blizzard didnt realise that if they forced every character to be online similtaneously in order to play the game (instead of only those wishing to use the PVP/Co-op Battling system), that they might, you know, need a TONNE of extra servers, not just double the amount. But I digress.
It's important for the Admins here at this site to re-inforce Zenimax's rule where we can. I realise that this is next to impossible - they will have thousands of testers, and it is inevitable that some of the information will be leaked. It is important to us that we limit this happening from our website as much as we possibly can. We would like as many of you as possible to experience the Beta test, so you can see what the game is like. However, respect that you are being given a rare "sneak peak" opportunity, and keep what you have learnt to yourselves - for now.
Just so we're clear - If you DO post things, Zenimax Will Ban You - This means that any and all future games where they are beta testing - You won't be able to participate, no matter how much you might want too.
So What CAN you do?
Well, there's a lot you CAN do if you are chosen.
First off - you can enjoy the game. Sure, there will be bugs. You can give Zenimax the feedback on the bugs that you find - and in doing so, you can help make the game better for millions of people when it does go live.
Secondly - you CAN actually take those screenshots, and pages and pages of notes about what you have learnt. Yes, you can. For one thing - it will make it easier for you to give feedback to Zenimax if you actually have notes about what issues or drawbacks you find. For us, though - it will make it easier, when the game is finally released fully, to get as much information about the game up on the wiki in as short a time as possible.
It might have changed a little bit - but much of the information will be usable, still. And, given the scope of the game, there will be a lot of stuff to add.