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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands closed alpha starts this week

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
Image via Blizzard

World of Warcraft’s eighth expansion will drop this week in the form of a closed alpha test for select players.

Who will get invites?

If you’re an active player with an extended history in the game, you just may get in. According to a blog post by the developers, most invites will 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.”

What’s included in alpha?

The Shadowlands closed alpha will be the first chance for this community to sift through Blizzard’s work to see what exactly will be included in the new expansion. For now, this round of access will be restricted to two areas: Bastion, the starter zone, and its dungeon, The Necrotic Wake.

Game developer Ion Hazzikostas said in the same blog post update that areas of the game will be made available incrementally: “We’ll aim to roll out new content on a regular basis throughout the test cycle—later 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. We will continue to unlock content such as zones, dungeons, and endgame questlines when they’re ready for feedback, using template characters as needed to focus testing and feedback on specific parts of the game. “

Listening to the fans

Fans have been excited since the trailer reveal for Shadowlands at Blizzcon 2019. It seems like the developers have listened to community feedback, including changes to who you level your character’s power and abilities. Now it seems that it will be less of a grind-fest, thanks in part to the fact that legendary equipment is also coming back. Instead of waiting for equipment drops from monsters, you’ll be able to craft them yourself.

With so many people hopping back onto World of Warcraft during their quarantine, it’s no surprise that news of Shadowlands comes with a lot of excitement. What do you hope to see in the new expansion? Let us know by following @SlashShout!

Theresa Gaffney

Theresa is a seasoned esports professional with nearly ten years under her belt developing content and running esports teams and leagues. She is currently the head coach for Messiah College's esports program and a freelance industry consultant.

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