World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands closed alpha is finally beginning this week

    
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Blorf

Earlier today, we noted fresh changes in World of Warcraft’s launcher that indicated Shadowlands’ testing was imminent, and this afternoon, Blizzard has confirmed it.

“Later this week, we will send out our first round of invitations to a closed alpha test for Shadowlands,” the studio writes.

“This first batch of invitations will mainly go out to long-time WoW players with active accounts in good standing, as well as Blizzard friends and family, along with a limited number of content creators and journalists. This initial wave represents only a small fraction of the pool of testers that will ultimately gain access to the test in the coming months—if you’re interested in helping make Shadowlands better, sign up using the Beta Opt-In link on the Shadowlands home page. Later on, as we engage in focused PvP and raid testing, we’ll also do some targeted invite waves that prioritize players with extensive experience or expertise in those parts of the game.”

The first leg of the alpha will test the “full level-up experience in the zone of Bastion” along with the Necrotic Wake dungeon, the new player experience on the Alliance side, the changes to spellbooks, talents, resources, the quest UI, and PvP currencies. “[L]ater in April we hope to offer the zone of Revendreth, as well as a look at Torghast, Tower of the Damned, our endless dungeon experience,” the team writes.

And if you’re looking for a launch date? It’s not in this post. “Once everything has been released into the test environment, we’ll officially move into a beta phase, wiping all characters and kicking off a larger round of invites for an end-to-end test of the entire Shadowlands experience,” says Blizz.

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Denice J. Cook

How sad is it when the only positive thing you can think about a new WoW expansion is, “Well, it’s can’t be as bad as BoA was!”

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Carebear

I have to say that one step in good direction is that they dont ask you to subscribe for a chance to be alpha/beta tester.. oh btw, this is the first wow expansion I am not even willing to join in beta even if they invite me… not even care to know the release date. Maybe thats good, my expectations are super low and I may be surprised at the end.

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Sarah Cushaway

This has got to be the least-hyped WoW expansion yet. I’m really not optimistic since they seem to think giving us back some old talents they screwed up and over-pruned the first time is “a feature”. No, it’s not. It’s just balancing, not a feature, thanks.

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Bruno Brito

To be fair, this xpac is looking so average that not hyping it sounds like a great idea.

Alyn
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Alyn

I grow somewhat skeptical of the hype-or, rather any hype. I keep to this thought;

“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”

– Cherokee Indian Proverb

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Utakata

Adds the obligatory, “So it begins…” o.O

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Bruno Brito

15 years.

It took them 15 years to FINALLY add buttcapes.

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sirradoria

And waypoints!

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Minimalistway

I’m most interested in the interface changes, Blizzard improved many parts of the UI and many parts still need improvements, and i hope they update the guild tabard interface and options.

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Greaterdivinity

Those…aren’t amazing examples of improvements.

We’re returning a bunch of fun/situational abilities we removed over the years. You’re welcome!

Quest changes seem nice, but the game is already plenty clear and there are already tons of quest tracker mods that do this. This seems more like a footnote than something I’d call out in a post like this.

We’re returning PvP vendors that we removed before! And we added progression a la PvE gear!

We remain guided by the core philosophies that we articulated at BlizzCon: player agency and empowering choices.

Please stop with the grandiose nonsense like this. I get that he’s talking about gameplay vs. narrative agency/choice, but even then it’s not like it’s been super meaningful or interesting for a while.

I guess it’s better than “class fantasy” at least.

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Danny Smith

Correction: “We’re returning a bunch of fun/situational abilities we removed over the years. PAY US FOR IT”

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Carebear

I would pay for them if they were meaningful … I mean they brought back some paladin buff last expansions and felt meh.. Buff should matter like in Vanilla / TBC, not just a fluff addition.

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Danny Smith

The lack of interest i’m seeing online is surprising even given Blizzards consistent bed shitting all of last year. You assume its going to ride its down with the ship crowd as long as the money comes in like any zombie IP that deals with its primary villains and then pulls a new power tier out its ass to keep dragging itself along but this is the first time i’m not seeing the sites like mmo champion exploding with interest from brand die hards.