To be precise, the beta will kick off on Thursday, May 12th, at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Invitations for the beta should start going out soon, and all participants — both previous alpha testers and new beta players — will have to start the expansion as a fresh level 100 due to an end-of-alpha wipe.
Originally Blizzard announced that Legion’s beta was scheduled for November 2015, but the studio later walked back the statement and changed the terminology to “alpha” instead.
In regard to the question of legacy servers, the devs said that the studio’s position hasn’t changed and that its current focus is on Legion. There was a lot of discussion on the stream about the idea of pristine servers, the desire for a vanilla experience, and how the pacing of the early game is off Blizzard’s standards. “Heirlooms are a whole ‘nother level of degeneracy,” Ion Hazzikostas said, pointing to the current low-level game and how it’s a cakewalk for much of the population.
You can check out the dev stream discussion (and the crowd chanting “legacy!”) about the expansion after the break.