Generally, new features that are added to Aardwolf do not go straight from the coders' minds into the live game. Because new features are often not checked for every possible argument, some may have game-crashing flaws or unbalancing aspects that were overlooked in the coding process. For this reason, a copy of the main MUD is set up on a different port, where changes are first installed and Immortals and players help make sure these new features are working properly.
Those with a tester flag are asked to help check every possible facet of any new features. Testers not only check if a change works as stated, but if the change itself makes sense and also help with suggestions, balance issues, etc. Complex features may go through several changes on the test port before finally making it live.
Players on the test port have separate copies of their characters and a number of commands available to set their levels, stats, class, etc., as necessary to test new changes. The test port is not a place to play around or use to gain information on the main port (such as using the test port to hunt campaign mobs, solve new goals, etc.). Abusing these commands will at the very least leave you without test port access.
Testers are privileged with advance knowledge of new features. As such, they are asked not to share this with fellow friends, clan members, or on public channels. Several forms of communication ('note to tester', 'who tester', and channels/boards on the test port itself) are available for testers wanting to discuss test port changes.
A small pool of testers already exists. If you would like to become a tester please write a note to 'imm' on the Personal board with reasons. If accepted, you will given the necessary flag to access the test port.