World of Warcraft's eighth expansion, Shadowlands, is rapidly approaching. Blizzard has been working hard to get this expansion finished, and the time has come to bring in the community for some help. \n \nTo be clear, though, the beta hasn't started yet - the alpha hasn't even begun yet, actually. But Blizzard has opened the ability to opt-in for the community, allowing players to essentially sign up as a willing participant for when Blizzard begins sending out invites. \n \n \n \n"This first batch of invitations will mainly go out to long-time WoW players with active accounts in good standing, as well as Blizzard friends and family, along with a limited number of content creators and journalists," Blizzard stated, discussing the alpha invitations they intend to send out later on this week. "This initial wave represents only a small fraction of the pool of testers that will ultimately gain access to the test in the coming months - if you're interested in helping make Shadowlands better, sign up using the Beta Opt-In link on the Shadowlands home page." \n \nSo this first test that's beginning will be a closed test only open to those that Blizzard is inviting. This alpha will be the first wave of testing of the game, primarily for friends and family of the developers and journalists though a few long-time players may luck out and get an invite. If you don't get an invite, don't feel like your chance to test is gone. \n \nBlizzard hasn't announced when they intend to hold the beta, but you won't have a chance of getting in if you don't use the opt-in function! This allows the developers to have a sizeable player base to pull on when the time to beta test comes. \n \nAnd to be clear, opting in for the test does not mean you'll get invited! Blizzard is selective with these, as the main point of them is to test the game. A brand new account with a few hours on the game likely won't be invited, as Blizzard doesn't expect new players to be able to provide a huge amount of helpful feedback. Similarly, if your account has been banned several times and your account isn't in good standing, Blizzard may not choose to invite you out of a question of judgment. \n \nEither way, the beta test is coming soon in the future. If you want to get a first look at the game before release and help Blizzard improve their title, make sure to opt-in as soon as possible!