Quoting Tridus, reply 30
The problem isn't testers. It's people who don't know about the game seeing alpha footage and not knowing its alpha.
Currently being in the Planetary Annihilation Beta, where it flatly says (twice) "this is a beta!" and has a gigantic "Beta" symbol on the main menu, people say almost every game something along the lines of "Dude, Uber really screwed up this game" or "Balance sux".
The problem is with the testers, but seeing as TBS games tend to attract more analytical players, I have misplaced hope this will be the first Alpha/Beta in the history of the universe where every other player isn't a walking lobotomy.
I'd say that given Stardock is taking a page out of the Klei handbook of only releasing 'early access' to really hard core fans who actually understnad wtf is going on is a good one. It should limit the amount of 'omg the game sux' comments.
It's interesting to see the different approaches to Early Access. It's worth a wtch even to just watch the Uber and Klei guys spar over their various decisiosn concerning Early Access.
I'm part of Klei's "Invisible Inc" alpha as well as Prison Architect. I think the concept of doing Early access to yoru core fanbase first, works great to iron out a lot of the egregous stuff and the hard core fans will be more forgiving and understanding of the state of teh game. Then as you get a really solid workng game, to go to "Steam retail" early access. Klei's Invisible Inc alpha is still distributed by Steam only, even though you can't buy it on Early Access on Steam itself, only via their Humble Store where you get a Steam key.
This "Hidden Early Access" model I think would work great for GalCiv3. Rather than releasing an Early access with a $100 and $40 price point package, which inevitably will draw the ire of Steam idiots who will re-hash the arguments that Planetary Annihilation had with their game pricing on Steam. And god I do not want to go through that idioicy.