Blizzard is testing the launch of Battle for Azeroth, beginning today. The new World of Warcraft expansion isn’t actually due to launch until the middle of next month, but a test build will hit the beta client later today, giving access to some of the earliest parts of WoW’s new chapter.
Testing begins at 14:00 PDT (22:00 BST) today, July 3, with the arrival of the Teldrassil scenario and the battle for Lordaeron. Those will take place on a new Beta realm called Launch Test, which testers will be able to copy their live characters over to. Once there, you’ll have access to the full storyline, minus a few important cutscenes that Blizzard doesn’t want you to see just yet.
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In a post on the WoW forums (via Icy-veins), community manager Kaivax says that that same realm will be updated on Thursday July 5 “to test the subsequent events of the actual launch of Battle for Azeroth.” To get access to that test, beta testers will need to have completed the Lordaeron scenario before it goes live. Assuming they’ve done so, testers will then be invited to the expansion’s first test.
Kaivax says that the purpose of the test is “to check for bottleneck issues where many players are competing for the same resources,” as well as allowing Blizzard to monitor for server issues. With that in mind, don’t expect this to be the smoothest WoW experience you’ve ever had.
The Battle for Azeroth release date is August 14, so if you don’t have access to the beta, then you won’t have to wait too long to get access to it. If you do have access, prepare to deal with the envy of your less fortunate friends.