Is it alpha, or just the first public release?
As a gamer I would prefer game companies to release as public alpha without restriction. Not so much that I want to get into the game quicker. I want to give opinions earlier on that may have positive effects on the game.
Clearly this is not always a viable option, if you let people in too early and the game is not polished enough, they won't stick around to see the final product. I guess I lean towards a game release that states what is being play tested and what will come in the future releases/patches.
So for my game, I plan to open the doors as early on as possible. Time in the game is significant given the way experience works so that the idea of power-grinders does not really exist. While it is possible to advance by playing more, most of the important experience happens whether or not you are even logged into the game.
Is this my announcement for public alpha testing?
No, sorry that won't be for a couple more months. My target date to open the game for early exploration of the galaxy is Nov 1.