This is an experiment with a bullet point style, I think sometimes the logic speaks for itself.
1. mmo-champion is now estimating that Cataclysm won’t be out before December (at the earliest).
2. Lots of players are bored, it has been a long time since the last new content patch (aside from short pre-Cataclysm events)
3. Players who are in the beta test have plenty of new content to explore, even if their main goal is supposed to be ironing out bugs. Not only that but they will get a significant in-game advantage when the expansion goes live from being familiar with the new zones and content. Many players enjoy seeing content before it has been finalised and extended writeups and guides spread all over the net.
4. Beta players pay the same subscription as everyone else, but get access to the beta as an added bonus, possibly for months.
5. Should there be some kind of compensation for non-beta players, who still pay the same monthly fee but don’t get the same advantages?
The flip side of this argument is whether it would be appropriate to charge for beta access. A lot of players would happily pay (particularly for a Blizzard style beta that goes on for several months) and many of these might be the hardcore players whose feedback is already known to be valuable.
What do you think? Is the lottery system better? How about if the beta testers got shuffled every couple of months?