Blizzard is getting prepared.
Blizzard Watch reported that the studio has started World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth alpha testing this week. The test is smaller in scope, both in population (friends, family, media, and content creators) and in content scope.
Right now, the studio is focusing the alpha test on the zones of Drustvar (Alliance) and Nazmir (Horde), and the dungeons of Atal’Dazar and Freehold. Even if you’re not a part of this test, you can still check it out, as Blizzard has no NDA on the alpha and in fact encouraged testers to share their adventures with the community.
Meanwhile, alpha datamining has unearthed hints of possible allied races, such as the fox-like Vulpera. That isn’t confirmation, merely a possibility, as Blizzard cautioned players that such datamining might not be what they think.
“We’ve found that setting up certain races as though they were player characters can be highly advantageous for NPC customization in story content,” the studio said. “While those races did become Allied Races later, we still intend to use this approach for non-playable races. Please don’t take a race being datamined in this way as an indication that it will become playable in the future!”