Blizzard launched the alpha test for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
in early April but hasn't begun inviting subscribers yet. This week the studio's community manager Jonathan "Zarhym" Brown explained what's taking so long.
added that the development team is reworking the flow of quests for these opening zones. Garrisons, the fortresses that players gain in Warlords of Draenor
, were partly to blame as well.
There's a running joke/conspiracy theory among MMORPG fans that Blizzard plans big World of Warcraft
announcements and updates around competing games. The reasoning behind this theory is that Blizzard wants to keep subscribers' attention on WoW
and stop them from trying other MMOs. Patch 4.3's release a couple weeks before Star Wars: The Old Republic
's launch is considered one example of this strategy in action. The announcement of Warlords of Draenor's alpha
on the same day as Elder Scrolls Online
's release is another.
One Twitter user floated the theory that Warlords of Draenor
alpha invites would be sent out near WildStar
's launch in early June to steal that game's thunder. Zarhym obviously disagreed with that:
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
lets players travel to the orc homeworld in an alternate history. The new zones
are filled with quests and dungeons to help players get to the new level cap of 100. In the process, they gain a garrison that can be upgraded over time and staffed with NPC minions. Each purchase comes with a free level 90 boost for one character so players can dive right into the new content even if they've been away from WoW
a long time.
Blizzard expects to release Warlords of Draenor
by late December of this year. While the alpha test will only be available for a small number of players, Blizzard will hold a wider beta before launch. The company gave out the first beta keys