Almost exactly five months after the announcement at BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard has finally decided to launch the alpha for WoW Shadowlands. However, this will only be open to a very small selection of players at the beginning. In addition to a few journalists and influencers, friends and family members of WoW employees will also get access. But that doesn't mean you have to look down the tube. Because according to Ion Hazzikostas, invitations will also be sent to a number of long-time players with active and exemplary accounts. And these invitations should still go out in the course of the current week, so Hazzikostas further. For those who are not among the chosen ones, the beta sign-up link is once again recommended.

WoW: Alpha of Shadowlands starts - first invitations this week! (1) Source: Blizzard At the start of the alpha, the entire expansion Shadowlands will not be available, but only the zone Bastion (including the dungeon Necrotic Aisle), which can only be visited with Alliance characters. In the course of time, however, more content will follow. Most of the class customizations, on the other hand, should already be available for testing in the game. Adjustments to the interface and changes to the PvP currency system have also already been implemented. When exactly the alpha will start was not mentioned, but it can be assumed that the first servers will go up with the first invitations - or in the worst case, a few days later.

Below we have the complete message from Ion Hazzikostas for you:

It's been five months since we released World of Warcraft (buy now €14.99 ): Shadowlands at BlizzCon 2019. The whole team has been working hard to turn the vision we showed last November into reality. We can't wait to share our progress with all of you.

Later this week, we will be sending out a first round of invitations to a closed alpha test of Shadowlands.

This initial set of invitations will go primarily to long-time WoW players with active and exemplary accounts, Blizzard friends and family members, and a limited number of community figures and journalists. This initial wave represents only a small fraction of the testers who will be able to try out the game over the next few months. If you would like to help improve Shadowlands, please use the beta sign-up link on the Shadowlands website. Later, when we focus our testing on PvP and raids, we will also run some invitation waves for which we prefer to select players with extensive experience or expertise in those parts of the game.

When the alpha servers go live, the full Bastion zone will be available, as well as its companion dungeon, Necrotic Aisle. Testers who want to try out our revamped gameplay experience for new players can complete the new zone and tutorials with an Alliance character. Our goal is to make new content available regularly throughout the testing cycle. Later in April, we plan to release the Revendreth zone as well as our endless dungeon Torghast, Tower of the Damned for testing. We will continuously unlock content such as zones, dungeons, and max level quest lines when they are ready for testing. As needed, we will use character templates to direct testing and feedback to specific parts of the game. Once all content is released into the testing environment, we will officially move into a beta phase for which all characters will be cleared and a larger number of players will be invited to test the full Shadowlands experience with all content.

While content will be made available gradually over the course of the alpha, many of our underlying system changes will be active from the start of the alpha later this week. Other changes that are still in development will be at least beginning to be seen. Some examples:

  • Players of all twelve classes will immediately see changes to their spellbooks, talents, and in some cases even their resources. In the coming days, we will publish a separate blog post explaining the implementation of the class design philosophies presented at BlizzCon 2019 and giving some key examples of the changes you can expect for each class and its specializations. During the alphas of the last expansions, we often asked the community which spells they miss the most. This time, instead, we want to know if we've 'pruned' the system too much. Maybe some of you have hated 'Eyes of the Wild Beast' all along ... who knows?
  • We've made improvements to our quest interface to better distinguish important quests for plot progression from optional side quests that tell smaller side stories. Our 3D display of quest destinations, which is still in development, will be available. This will hopefully reduce the need to open the map to navigate the world and help you see if a target is above or below you. We're also implementing a system that allows players to set a personal waypoint on the map and share it in chat. This way, you won't need an extra addon to convey exactly where Rusty Feather just appeared.
  • Also worth mentioning are some changes to PvP currencies. For example, Conquest is once again a usable currency earned through rated PvP in Shadowlands. Players can use Conquest points to buy certain items of their choice from a merchant in the capital city of Oribos (in an easy-to-find location, of course). Conquest can also be used to further upgrade this equipment (similar to the system with benthic equipment and mana beads in Azshara's Ascension). We'll have much more information on the details of this system, as well as our general plans for max level gear, as the alpha progresses and we reach long-term content.

Our community and fan sites will be sure to comb through the game files that will be released with the client in the coming days. In the process, you're sure to come across bits and pieces of data for long-term systems such as soul bonds, sank pacts, and crafted legendary items. Many of these features are still in the works, and especially during the alpha, the game data contains many experiments and discarded ideas. So what you find while datamining won't necessarily appear later in the game. We're still going with the basic philosophies we expressed at BlizzCon: more significant and freer player decisions. We can't wait to share the details of these systems with you as soon as we can. One of our most important lessons from past expansions is that a wide scope for feedback and improvements to long-term systems during alpha and beta is crucial.

Thank you for your patience and we'll see you soon (without TM) in the Shadowlands!

Ion Hazzikostas
Game Director

Source: Official WoW WebsiteSupport

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