WoW-Warlords of Draenorbeta test for it went live over the weekend

The player base for World of Warcraft may never top 12 million players again, but declining subscriber numbers hasn’t deterred Blizzard from releasing new content for its MMO. The next expansion is set to arrive this fall in the form of the Warlords of Draenor, and the beta test for it went live over the weekend.

This isn’t an open beta, but one that Blizzard needs some serious feedback from as it moves into the final development stages of the expansion. With that in mind, veteran players, members of the press, and fan site contributors will be at the top of the list for access, and that access will be offered over email.

Interestingly, Blizzard isn’t attaching an NDA to beta access, so if you get an email and sign up, you are free to share screenshots and record video of the expansion being played. In fact, it feels like Blizzard is actively encouraging the practice. That makes sense as seeing what Warlords of Draenor has to offer will entice players who have stopped playing WoW to return.

Here’s a good example of the expansion being played already:

Warlords of Draenor introduces a few key new features that will certainly have veteran players eager to get their hands on it. Top of the list is a level cap raise from 90 to 100. There’s also a range of new dungeons and raids to take part in, as well as a new tier of extremely hard raids called Mythic. The other big feature is garrisons. These are personal areas where you can build and upgrade your own garrison and then recruit NPCs to carry out missions for you.

Away from actual gameplay, Warlords of Draenor will introduce a brand new file format that we’ve discussed previously. The game is also set to look better due to character models and textures being improved. Blizzard claims this has been achieved with no degradation in overall performance of the game.

As there’s no NDA, even if you don’t get a beta invite you can expect to see what these visual updates look like in the countless YouTube videos and screenshot galleries that are sure to appear. Most interesting to me is seeing how this garrison and NPC mission system works.

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