FYI: Be sure to read all the way to the bottom, I address the latest Pottermore update there. :)
So now that Pottermore is due to open to the public any day now (the site only says “Open to all in October”), I figured it’s now safe to post my thoughts on the site now that it’s been two months since beta testing opened.
Okay, okay, I’m totally aware that others have been posting their opinions already, but saying “I’ve been too lazy to write anything detailed about it for two months” doesn’t sound as good. xD And, truth be told, I’ve hardly been logging in at all. This is due to three main problems:
1. Feedback sucks.
2. Not enough beta time.
3. Lack of working content post-exploration.
one I don’t know if the Pottermore team ever consulted anyone on what to do for their feedback system, but either that consultant sucks or the Pottermore team never consulted anyone in the first place. There’s absolutely no place to write a comment directly telling the team what’s wrong – all you can do is rate the page on a scale of 1-10.
Yes, seriously. Apparently they take this “rating” and if it’s low, they go and check out the page to see if there are any bugs. Honestly, with a site this expansive (and considering this is BETA TESTING), you’d think they’d want all of the detailed feedback they can get. I mean, how long is “Diagon Alley” going to say “Daigon Alley”?
two This site is nowhere near ready to “open to all” in October. The Pottermore team has only just now sent out the last 500,000 or so beta testing emails, and that was because they promised us we’d all get in before October and they needed to hustle. I think they were doing the right thing by letting in users in small groups and waiting a few days to see how the site changed. Now that there’s suddenly half a million new users poking around, the site has been down constantly. In fact, today is the first day I’ve been able to log in in almost a week.
Honestly, this site needs about six to ten months of beta testing, not two. It’s breaking under the pressure of just one million users – what’s gonna happen when the rest of the world starts signing up? If I were the Pottermore team, I’d be worried.
three Potions and Dueling, the two “extracurriculars” if you will, are nearly always broken when I try and use them. I’ve yet to complete a full spell, duel with a friend, or properly brew a potion – and not because I’m not doing it right. (This is where being able to give direct feedback would be awesome. What do I do if my potion is stuck on 100% for three weeks?) Also, Potion ingredients are expensive. Sure, while you’re exploring the book you can pick up a spare Galleon here and there, and you start off with about 500 Galleons, but there’s no way to earn more. Rewards only come in the form of House points.
Once you finish exploring the first book — which is amazingly fun, don’t get me wrong – and with Potions and Dueling constantly on the fritz, there’s simply nothing else to do on the site. It’s a shame, because after you get your wand and are Sorted, the novelty ends there. Really, I’ve only been logging in every now and again to accept a friend request and add nicknames to friends I already have so I can tell them all apart. I mean, what’s the point of trying to do anything else? I either can’t log on, can’t get anything to work, and have no way to tell any team members what’s wrong. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and I defended the site initially, but at this point all I can do is shrug my shoulders and admit defeat. Pottermore is kind of a bust. It’s amazing that the site was reportedly in the works for a few years and yet it still needs so much work.
Is it worth signing up for when it opens to the public in October? I’d like to say yes, because getting a wand and being Sorted is extremely fun. Like, ridiculously fun. But otherwise? You’ll probably get bored and abandon your account, which will inevitably be deleted. (Pottermore’s Terms & Conditions state that accounts that haven’t been used in 6+ months will be terminated.)
It sucks, because I was truly looking forward to the site and really did try to find the good qualities it. But honestly, I think it would’ve worked better as an online encyclopedia with just the Sorting and wand quizzes on there for fun. Of course, this is all my own opinion and who knows what’s going to happen once the site opens to all. Try it out and see for yourself!
Now, here’s hoping this head cold that’s been plaguing me for over a week is on its way out. Bleh.
ETA: So since I drafted this post, Pottermore has announced they’re extending the beta period and non-beta members who sign up will, like the magic quill challenge to get into the beta program, be let in in “waves.” Again, their ridiculousness astounds me. How the hell is a parent going to tell their child “Yes, sweetie, you registered but you can’t play on the site right now. No, I don’t have a good reason why.” Did the Pottermore team never go to a release party or a movie premiere? This won’t go over well.
And LOL at “We didn’t realize Dueling would be so popular.” It crashed after the second day and hasn’t worked since, what are you talking about?