They run the gamut from not-ready-for-prime-time mess to "hey cool, content previews." Test shards feature everything from stand-up fights to bug hunts and quite a lot of shenanigans in between. Just about every MMORPG has one, and many game developers publicize the venerable PTS in order to sweet-talk players into providing free testing services for upcoming patches, expansions, and fixes.
A few test servers change the game experience quite radically (Aion's double XP PTS springs to mind), while others are replicas of the live shards and even allow you to port over your existing avatars. For today's Daily Grind, we'd like to know your feelings on test servers, and specifically, why you do or don't use them. Do you do it to help out? Are you more interested in getting a leg up on the next patch? Do you avoid them altogether or do you roll on test servers?
Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!