Yesterday, I posted why I thought Dave Perry was a God-damned idiot for his idea that testing should go the way of the dodo. Here are three more reasons.
Security testing is essential when working on any MMO. Proper security testing requires extensive knowledge of the code and codepaths so that a tester can do both white- and black-box testing. Right now, the number of black hats doing security testing of MMO's is significantly higher than the number of white hats. You're essentially trusting the keys to your castle to the bandit king.
Dave states that having the customers test is a way of cutting costs, but he forgets that a large part of testing is a cost tradeoff. A slightly higher cost prior to release offsets the higher cost of support after release. Customer support isn't cheap. In single-player games, the average cost associated with a support ticket wipes out any profit from that unit. For MMO's, I don't even want to imagine the costs associated with it.
Finally, he's failing to learn from history...namely Netscape. Thanks Schnapple for pointing me to this piece from "Joel on Software." Dave, if you're reading this, read that entire article, but pay close attention to point #3.