Pvthudson would like you to test the game if you are a beta tester. Revolutionary concept, I know. I skip most betas for that reason: why provide free bug-testing for some company when you could pay to play someone’s live-but-should-still-be-in-beta MMO? Wait, that didn’t come out right…
I propose something in the opposite direction: developers, please tell your players what you want from this test. Pvthudson cites the mis-labeled stress test. If you are not seeking feedback on something, let us know that, since it does no one any good if you invite 20,000 people and they fill your forums with comments on balance. And frankly, it will just annoy everyone who feels like his feedback was ignored. On your test server, please do not describe the change as “increased fire damage”; your players cannot test if something is working as intended unless you tell them what is intended. Don’t be vague or coy here. You can even tell players, “This will be on test until we are sure of X, Y, and Z.”
If you want to harness the power of your playerbase, you should attach that harness to something.