Bashiok has explained that the first wave of Beta invites is being targeted to “WoW veterans”. I wonder what their definition is; and whether we might extrapolate any interesting pattern by looking at the data of which players got an invitation. For the record, I’ve been playing since 2006 and I got an invitation.
Or, perhaps the aim of this targeting is to give long-time players something to do. Or it could be any of the twelve other reasons why choosing experienced players is useful for a beta test. Speculation is fun!
We’ve been seeing some very active chatter on the subject of new character models. The way they’re talking about it gives me a strong impression the expansion has entered crunch. They need to get as much as possible done before the end of the year when they promised to deliver the product they have already sold people– the dialogue has shifted to become mainly about managing expectations and prioritising the most important things.
It’s really interesting to watch the character model situation evolve, and to gain an appreciation for how tricky a challenge it really is. It reminds me of the way game sequels always tend to update the player character models– they never look quite right next to the old ones. I always assumed it was because they were deliberately updating the style with each iteration, but now I understand it’s simply hard to maintain a sense of common style between two different levels of detail.
But the most important update is complete: male human high res nipples/chest hair.
It’s also interesting to note the emphasis on PvP testing this time, which has always struck me as an important thing to test because it’s the area where class balance issues reveal themselves most prominently. One of the PvP beta realms has been set up for this specific purpose, with players who roll on this realm given an instant boost to level one hundred, but with all of Draenor’s PvE zones disabled. Previous WoW betas I’ve been in always struck me as poor tests for PvP because without meaning to they were giving players the choice between brand-new pre-release PvE content or the same BGs they can play on live and receive real rewards for.