Warlords of Draenor Enters Alpha

Warlords of Draenor Enters Alpha

Blizzard Entertainment has announced that the latest expansion to its MMO World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor , has now entered Alpha testing. As part of this test, the studio will be making use of public servers to host data, meaning that you may experience some datamined information cropping up in unusual places.

Similar to when Heroes of the Storm entered Technical Alpha , Blizzard will be inviting employees, friends and family members to to test out new technologies in action during this early stage of the expansion’s development, including a new file format called “Content Addressable Storage Container” (CASC).

CASC, which is also being used in Heroes of the Storm’s Alpha, will help Blizzard proceed past the technical limitations caused by its previous file format. This new format will be utilized during Warlords of Draenor’s Alpha and Beta tests, and the studio has the intent of converting everyone seamlessly and painlessly to this new format in a pre-expansion patch. Blizzard has detailed a few of the new format’s technical benefits, which are listed below.

  • File Corruption: File repair tools are a thing of the past. The file structure maintains itself, helping to prevent errors during installation;

  • Speed: Real-world game performance should increase for many players thanks to a non-redundant file structure–in layman’s terms, the game can find the assets it’s looking for more quickly;

  • Patching: Updating your game files should be faster and more reliable. Patch data is integrated seamlessly, and no longer requires double the installation size on-disk when patching;

  • Client Hotfixing: CASC allows us to be able to hotfix client game data, similar to server hotfixes, giving us the ability to address client-side issues that would normally require a patch;

  • Streaming: The new format provides better support for streaming data and gives us greater flexibility to define how content updates are delivered and released;

  • Expandable: The file structure is built to allow easy integration of new technologies in the future that we haven’t even thought up yet.

Warlords of Draenor’s content will be trickled out over the course of its testing process. At the beginning, there won’t be much content to play around with, but major features–such as Garrisons–will be available later on. As such, this Alpha will help Blizzard prepare for a larger Beta phase later on, in which the studio will be inviting more players.

You can sign up for the expansion’s Alpha by creating a Beta profile, which is done through your Battle.net account. You’ll need to head into Beta Profile Settings to download and run the Battle.net System Check tool (if you haven’t done so already), which will submit your PC’s specification’s to Blizzard. Once done, head into the Beta Profile menu and tick the “ Warcraft ” box in the selection of games you’re interested in for Beta tests. You’ll then be eligible to be randomly selected to partake in Warlords of Draenor’s expansion once it goes into Beta.

Source: Battle.net .

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