From the EQ Blog
I am working on the details right now for the Beta rollout. Last year we had a longer Beta period and I believe it helped nail down some of the nasty bugs that would have made it though in the 6 month dev cycles. We plan to do a similar Beta cycle this expansion as well.
Once we are getting a little closer to the Beta date I will send out instructions for those of you that would like to participate. Just a reminder… we absolutely love working with players and guilds that can commit to a schedule. We tend to give those players/ guilds more detailed interaction with the Dev Team and in most cases real-time game balancing. If you think that you might be interested or you would like your guild to be considered, please make sure you follow the Beta instructions when they roll out next month.
It seems like SOE has actually been adapting over the last year or so. First the changes to EQ2 to make it a much, much better game; then the move away from fire and forget EQ1 expansions. I wonder what they can do with Vanguard over time?