So let me try this again. I apologize in advance for the cynicism below, but I am compelled to say my piece.
This game is supposed to launch at the end of the year, is that right? "Winter 2014" , "December 2014"
I can't see how that is possible given where the game is at today.
Bugs, giant, glaring, basic gameplay bugs are everywhere. Subscribe to the Bug forum and you'll see, or better yet, just play the game. I'm old by gamer standards, older than some of the developers, and I've playtested my share of games. I expected more from a game that is only a few months away from release, a lot more.
It's impossible to play the game and feel like the backers are THE QA for this game, yet we're not even given a bugtracker, only a forum that buries threads in to oblivion.
The fit and finish is abysmal for a beta, in my opinion, with notable exception to the obviously heavy investment in aesthetic backgrounds and some assets. There obviously has been a heavy emphasis on developing the story archs and dialogs, too, which is great. But having core mechanical issues like pathfinding, from this team, is hard to excuse - this should be a slam dunk, not to say that pathfinding is easy, but look at who we're talking about here... this should have been a priority.
The outdoor scale is off. I know IW games don't do 1:1 scaling in outdoor environments but it is just off, walking around town feels like a group of giants romping around a dollhouse-scaled town. I may be in the vast minority in this, but for me it's enough to disrupt immersion.
The feeling I get is that the development has wandered down paths of priorities that they were most interested in, making "cool looking stuff" and "cool stories" - which is awesome! Don't get me wrong, but while working hard to generate content, the game mechanics have been relegated to "just do enough so we can see our content, we'll work out the playability issues later once we get our playtesters (backers) in"
I hate to sound so cynical, I want this game to be a huge success, but I'm not really interested in struggling through broken game after broken game the throwing "bug reports" down a forum black-hole. I would be spending almost as much time documenting problems as I would playing. I didn't back this game for the "insider" honor to be a primary playtester and bug reporter.
So take this all as "wah wah don't play if you can't handle it and don't want to contribute to the quality of the game" (thought I already HAVE contributed to the quality of the game, quite a lot, thank you very much), or, to be more fair : that I'm simply not a good candidate for this backer beta and am disappointed with the technical acumen applied thus far to the mechanics and stability so close to release.
I hope the team is skilled and managed well enough to get in the coverage needed before launch .. from my perspective, however, it doesn't look promising. I truly hope I am surprised and would be so delighted to be wrong.
I'll probably check back in after a patch or two, but until we get a bugtracker and the game isn't constantly telling me to search the bug forum, see if the bug has been reported, and enter a 'new' bug or add to that thread, I simply won't be participating in bug reports.
Good luck everyone, for what it's worth the parts of the game that do work predictably I am reasonably pleased with it and the content.