Hi folks, new to the show and a first time poster here.
I just wanted to comment that Zach (Zack? Zak? the gentleman whose voice sounds like mine when I haven't slept for a couple of days
) is greatly overestimating the quality of the data gathered during open betas. While far from an expert, I've participated in close to a dozen MMO betas at this point, and have read quite a few developer logs and retrospectives.
Hardly anyone signs up for the open beta to report bugs and help "fix" the game. Most folks sign up to try out the game, whether it's to play with the character generator or get as far ahead as possible to have an "advantage" in the final release. An equal mass of people sign up so they have something to complain about on the forums, like how their level 2 Sith Warrior is gimp and how level 3 Counselor CC is unbalanced. At the end of the day, open betas simply don't last long enough to gather any meaningful data about bugs/balance/etc., much less implement solutions for them. Most of that happens in closed beta, and going by leaked material over the last few months, they seem to be doing just fine.
Open betas, on the other hand, are purely there to stress test the hell out of the servers. As the other host (sorry, didn't catch the name) succinctly put it, it's more about "what happens when a million people log in at once". I would be shocked if they have an open beta that last more than a couple of weeks (WoW's ran from Nov 10 to 24th), and wouldn't be very surprised if they didn't have one at all. From everything we've seen so far, Bioware is not following the standard MMO development playbook.
Anyway, thanks for the great show! I hope the rest are just as good.