WRUP: The Unpredictable Beta

Azshara rocket path beta

Waves of targeted beta invites are going out. Will there be more? Who can say? Predicting beta waves is like predicting the ocean. The only thing you can be sure of is that you'll probably get wet.

But what about the community? Now that the world at large will be getting more of their collective eyes upon the not-time-travel of WoD, how do you think they'll react? What do you think the zeitgeist will be about the beta in the coming week?

Also, WRUP.

Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) This weekend is really just going to be spent writing for the most part, and playing beta for the rest of it. Busy busy!

I think that beta players shouldn't go into the beta "looking" for something or other, I think they should just go in and start playing -- because what they'll find is that things have changed a lot. It's not the major changes that get you, it's like Dawn said -- little quality of life changes. Small UI changes. The streamlining that Blizzard has done is fairly unobtrusive, but it makes the overall experience feel a lot smoother as a result. Also, the world feels absolutely MASSIVE. Shadowmoon seems like it just goes on and on and on, but not in a bad way -- every hill you go up has some absolutely gorgeous stuff on the other side. There are little hidden nooks and crannies and gorgeous bits of scenery all over the place. Sure, you should test the quests and garrisons and content, but while you're at it, a little exploring never hurt anyone!

Dawn Moore (@dawnwow) A lot of the nicer things I've experienced so far in alpha/beta/whatever-they're-calling-it-these-days are really small. New zones and dungeons are always exciting to the community, but the biggest thing for me so far has been the little quality of life changes. The changes to improve loot and inventory management sound good when you first read about them, but when you experience them for yourself in game you realize how much of an impact it has on your game play experience. I don't think the community will really be able to react anymore to those until, like me, they get to play with it themselves.

Sort of the opposite of that, I've been surprised that the new character models haven't been all that big of a deal to me. When I saw the previews Blizzard released I would get so hyped, but now that I'm playing my updated character in the alpha I barely even notice or care. It might just be because I was already playing one of the pretty races (night elf female), or that my transmog gear is dated and hides a lot of the model (arena season 4 stuff), but I hardly notice the new model unless I pivot the camera to look at my character's face. I have to give Blizzard props for make the models so close to the originals in feel, but it makes me think maybe I would have been fine with the old models and should have been demanding that Blizzard work more on innovative game play than aesthetic updates. Hindsight is 20/20, eh?

Matthew Rossi (@MatthewWRossi) I downloaded Ryse on my Xbone, cause why not. Might play it.

I don't have the slightest idea how the community will react. I'm the guy who thinks bacon is overhyped, what do I know?

Michael Gray (@writegray) This weekend I'm powerwashing my deck. My life is one of luxury.

Sarah Pine (@ilaniel) I finally finished my legendary cloak this week (yes, I'm slow) but I had to run so much LFR that I don't want to go anywhere near my computer this weekend. So I don't think I'll be playing much of anything.

I'm terrible at predicting what might catch the eye of the WoW community at large, however, now that the beta seems to have stabilized some more, I'll be interested to hear about how the stress testing goes and to learn in more detail about the experience in Shadowmoon Valley. I'm really looking forward to Karabor and that whole region.

The weekend is the perfect time to kick back, relax and enjoy some game time. Are you an achievement junkie? Can't get enough raiding? Rolling a new alt? Considering taking the leap into roleplaying? Whatever your favorite way to play World of Warcraft, let us know in the comments what you're playing this weekend!