Recently activity on Offworld seems to have been increasing which is awesome, there was a fair while where I didn't have a hope in hell of getting an 8 player ffa together even at the weekends and weekday evenings at GMT were a ghost town. This is no longer the case, however, there is one thing that is still standing in the way of my solar panels being muntinied away by no less than 6 people in any given game: multiple live betas.
I'm not a games developer so if I'm suggesting something stupid then feel free to call me out with hurtfull comments and name-calling.
When I'm sending out invites to try and boost numbers for an ffa I constantly run into the issue of a new player wanting to join but not being able to find our lobby. I walk them through how to change betas which 80% of the time ends up with them either coming too late and the game having already started or more often them giving up and going to play Dota.
This isn't a problem for the experienced members who not only know how to change Beta on a whim but are also confident in joining an ffa and are fiercely addicted to this game already. It is off-putting to a new player who may be a little nervous of stepping into a lobby with a lot of other people so really dont need another barrier to entry. A shame as I believe ffa is more fun, less personal and a more stable learning environment than 1v1 (your oponents will rarely buy up all the alu so you cant expand for 10 mins). Even when a new player is bought out early they still have a lot of experienced players to watch but I digress.
I understand why games such as LoL have their closed development version for testing; they have an established competative scene which people are heavily invested in and if they released a new patch on this that was a little janky or imbalanced then there would be outcry. But we're in early access, we don't yet have the player numbers to split the community and we should expect a little jank now and then.
The biggest problem I think this split causes isn't established players being unable to find games, but the increased difficulty of binding new players into our community. if I can't find a game I'll come back tomorrow, if we can't introduce new players into our ffas (which are still mostly found only by networking with active players) then I'm concerned that more players will bounce off this game as they won't have access to the more enjoyable content that it provides.
If you didn't want to get rid of the multiple live version approach could I suggest that you make it very clear somewhere in a pop up or prominently in the forums how they can change betas if you havn't already.