Update: Blizzard emailed us to say that the emails sent out today were not actually invites, as the alpha has not started. They added that the emails "might be confirmations that those sites will be invited once it starts."
Original article: Heroes of the Storm's alpha test is about to begin. Some gamers have reportedly received email invitations from Blizzard this morning.
"You've been chosen as one of the lucky few to participate in the Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha," the email begins. "Welcome to the first phase of the external Heroes of the Storm testing."
The email then notes that the technical alpha doesn't have a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) so testers are free to share gameplay footage and information from the game. Blizzards adds that the game's a work in progress and may have bugs or missing features. They'd appreciate it if you note the game's alpha state when sharing details.
You can opt into the Heroes of the Storm alpha (and eventual beta) by opting in through your Battle.net account. Invites are sent out based on region, your computer's specs, and the day you signed up. Luck is also a factor as well, particularly in the small-scale alpha test.
The invites sent out so far have been to European gamers. Presumably American invites will arrive this afternoon. When Blizzard first announced the alpha, they said that most of the testers will be from the United States. They're also sending out keys to "a select group of international journalists and community contributors, with the goal of expanding that player base as testing goes on."
"The number of players we invite will be based on our testing needs," Blizzard said in the FAQ for the alpha test. "If during the course of testing we determine we need more players to participate, we'll continue to invite more players from the opt-in pool."
Heroes of the Storm, formerly known as Blizzard All-Stars and Blizzard DOTA, is a free-to-play MOBA game. Two teams of players take on the role of characters from WarCraft, StarCraft and Diablo. Every character has their own unique set of abilities. Each team tries to destroy the enemy's base while defending their own.
During the alpha, players can test out the game's microtransactions. They can spend up to $325 USD (the only supported currency in the alpha right now) on these optional purchases. The full details on the microtransactions haven't been announced. We do know, however, that there's a free rotation of characters and that players can spend money to unlock them permanently - a business model that should sound familiar to League of Legends players. Blizzard mentioned that the alpha contains a selection of mounts and skins. Given their cosmetic nature, both types of items will probably be sold for cash as well.
While conducting the tests, Blizzard is slowly releasing more information on the game to the general public. Yesterday they released a spotlight trailer for Tychus Findlay, the StarCraft 2 marine who can played in Heroes. Tychus uses a minigun and laser drill to deal heavy damage on the battlefield.
Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.
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