Blizzard revealed it was beginning phase one of the World of Warcraft Dragonflight alpha on July 14, with testing focused on some of the new features the expansion will bring to the game.
The strategy of releasing the alpha in highly-focused phases represents a change from previous WoW public tests. And while it may seem like Blizzard is rushing to get from the alpha to the game’s release later this year, WoW’s game director Ion Hazzikostas says he’s “comfortable” with the pacing they’ve established.
Unlike previous expansions, Hazzikostas said that the team is further along in the development process headed into the start of alpha testing, and they will open and close testing for various forms of content in ways that they believe should give them more meaningful feedback relative to previous alphas.
When does the Dragonflight alpha start?
The World of Warcraft Dragonflight alpha kicked off on July 14. If you’re interested in getting an opportunity to test out the game, make sure to sign up to be a tester.
In an interview with media members, Hazzikostas said Blizzard already has set plans for the next five iterations of the public-facing alpha. Each phase will include testing that is focused on certain aspects of the game, including zones, dungeons, class revamps, professions, and of course Dragonriding, among other things.
Blizzard will make a post on its forums to lay out its intentions for testing so that players can stay in the know on what exactly is being tested and get updates.
“We don’t want to put firm stakes in the ground just yet,” Hazzikostas said. “But we want to give people a sense, a rough roadmap of what they can expect in the weeks to come.”
When does the Dragonflight beta begin?
With the alpha just getting started, Blizzard has not yet announced when exactly the beta will start. But Hazzikostas suggested on July 13 that players might not have to wait too long before the game moves into beta.
“We’re going to have a lot of excitement over the next month and a half as we roll out our zones, the rest of the talent trees, dungeons, and everything else,” Hazzikostas said. “And then as soon as it’s all there, we’ll move onto the beta.”
He didn’t give a set date for the beta launch, but as the alpha develops, the general timeline for the game’s testing will quickly become clearer. If all goes well, it seems like players can expect to see the game move from alpha to beta around September.