World of Warcraft starts Battle for Azeroth alpha testing

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!”

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Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

Many non-streamers have access too, i have to point this out, it’s not just “famous” people getting access.

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Matthäus Wey

Really? Alpha has always been mostly Streamers. Also, I highly doubt that many people got access to the alpha anyway.

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

3 writers from Blizzardwatch.com have access, they found that while doing live podcast, none of them is a streamer.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

Giving access to streamers is fine and, for better or worse, a vital channel for marketing any game now. But it gets annoying when they hand out the golden tickets only to a handful of big name streamers who never play the game normally, and who won’t even bother to stream it for more than a couple of hours before bolting back to PUBG or “IRL,” while ignoring dozens and hundreds of lesser streamers who usually only have a handful of viewers, but who would stream a lot of hours actually playing the alpha if allowed.

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IronSalamander8 .

I’ve seen the Vulpera mentioned elsewhere as possible player races. It does seem like they did a lot of work for the race. I would be surprised if they weren’t made a player race after all that effort.

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Zora

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.

Worth pointing out that despite the attempt at deflection, attentive dataminers uncovered snippets and bits in the code that would flag Vulpera’s development as an actual future playable race well beyond other races datamined, in the same way nightborne were back when nobody knew yet.

And they tried to deny nightborne would be an option back then in the very same way, if you like yourself a conspiracy theory in the morning.

They might absolutely change their mind, postpone or cancel it altogether but at this time code points to them working on it with the specific purpose of making the race playable, unlike other races datamined so far.

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Zora

Heh we went a long way from when the alphas/betas were “leaked” by anonymous people to the company itself openly using e-celebrities to promote the earliest incarnations of a pre-orderable product.

Friends, family and courtesans Alpha? :P

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Sally Bowls

Friends, family and courtesans Alpha

/salute

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Armsbend

Easy way to get into the promotion alpha is to be a popular streamer.

Surprise?

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Rumm

No shit. And it just fuels even more growth for that person’s stream, rather than potentially a new person getting a bit of the spotlight. This is how we end up with a walking, breathing meme with 100k views putting games in the 1-3 spot on the front page by themselves. Everyone wants to watch the new game, and only the people who are already popular have access to the new game.

semugh
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semugh

rich gets richer, that’s capitalism, kids.