Dragonflight short Alpha/Beta? Concernes and communication

With the announcement of Dragonflight pre-purchase, a lot of the community fixated on the little disclaimer in the store that says DF will release on or before December 31, 2022.

My, like many others, immediate though was “Huh. That doesn’t leave much time for iterating on Alpha/Beta feedback.” which I think is a natural reaction and a legit concern given how short the BFA beta was, and how Azertie Armour went live with little to no iteration based on user testing feedback.

There is a narrative starting throughout the community that Drangonflight may end up in a similar situation and that the devs are rushing it out without leaving adequate time to act on community alpha/beta feedback.

With no official communication from Blizzard on when the alpha/beta will start, the community is left to speculate, spiral, assume negative intent and exaggerate (as we are one to do).

This is one of those instances where the lack of direction communication form the WoW Dev team is frustrating and seems to be reinforcing an emerging negative narrative around the quality of Dragonflight. Its more of a PR failing than anything else.

It would do wonders to release a short, direct statement, or tweet acknowledging the concern, updating the community on how far Dragonflight is along in development and when a we can alpha/beta to being (even a general window would be fine).

This would help nip the negative narrative in the bud, and help the community understand Blizzard’s intent here.

The community responds very well to direct and informal dev communication. They gets frustrated and confused when they are left hanging with concerns, or when the only statements they receive seem like they are coming from a marketing/PR department.


Gonna have to agree with alot of what you are saying with almost everyone Ive played with/has played the game is waiting for content to be shown because it seems like it is pretty rushed if they are releasing Soon but have zero beta announcements. Kinda seems like people are feeding into the narrative if they preorder when we haven’t really seen much yet for cash shop things they will exist after the expansion launches.

This is probably the biggest problem people have been having with development as pretty much everything can be foreseen as being a problem with PTRs and Betas and steady patch notes and then it does not get addressed until well after the player base has dropped off (Examples like covenant swapping)

been feeling this for a while for sure and probably the biggest problem for the majority of the people still playing


Agreed. It doesn’t have to be a perfect schedule, but an idea of the plan.

I have to assume that with the success it had in Sepulcher there is a great deal more internal testing going on than in other expansions (which is a good thing IMO), so maybe a shorter Alpha/Beta cycle is do-able. That’s fine if it is, but transparency is always going to be preferred, even if its not 100% accurate.

For example, I would rather know that the plan is to open up Alpha on July 5th and it get bumped by a week for X Y Z reasons, than hear on July 11th that it’s opening on July 12th.


Can only add my voice in agreeing that some broader communication on timeline is needed right now. The community is rife with extremely divisive voices stirring folks up, and there’s a lot of (unfortunately well earned) distrust amongst the playerbase that is active in discussion. Wumba said it really well that the playerbase responds well to direct and informal dev communication.

Since we’ve heard directly that the devs want to increase player communication and whatnot before, it’s almost a double hit to the general good faith of the players if there isn’t that communication now. We’d love to hear more, even if its not necessarily exciting news.


I’m in agreement to much of what has been said in this thread.

While I understand Dragonflight has less moving parts (systems wise) compared to Shadowlands and may have less box features to test, the timeline is still concerning - but not as concerning as the lack of communication about the timeline. Outside of the “alpha soon” we heard in some interviews post-announcement, it would be nice to see some loose timeframes. I understand hard commitments to dates is a liability, but something along the lines of “we hope to have alpha/beta out by mid-late summer followed by X Y Z in the fall/winter” could help ease speculation and panic in the community.


This was my reply in the announcement thread. Having some open communication on how long you expect things to last would be helpful. Even if it’s just a “These are subject to change” approach. Because the release timeline scares me, since alpha hasn’t started. Let’s go through some math, assuming it’s the same -

The absolute shortest a beta test has lasted was 96 days for Burning Crusade. However, every expansion since has lasted a LITTLE under 4 months, up to 6 months.

Assuming that you launch alpha today. Like, literally today, and the shortest beta duration you’ve had - this means alpha will end October 9th. (In the longest it’s taken - the alpha wouldn’t end until literally January 1st exactly [180 days from now])

So, assuming you launch Alpha sometime in the next 2ish weeks, I’m not worried about alpha not having enough testing. However, the prepatch is another story.

Now, prepatches always last 4 weeks. The one that went above 4 weeks was Legion, because you had a 2 week pre-purchase bonus of Demon Hunter. So it lasted 6 weeks. So let’s assume 10.0 will last 6 weeks.

This means, assuming the game launches (worst case scenario) the week of December 31st, that 10.0 will launch the week of November 19th, so the 15th.

PTRs always last 2-3 months, I don’t think there’s been anything less or more than that but I could be wrong. So again, we’ll take the “worst case scenario” - which in this case is the shorter time.

This means: (I’m using the dates of the Tuesday of each week for simplicity.)

10.0 PTR will hit the PTR on the week of September 27th. (Though if it’s 3 months, it will be the week of August 23rd) NEXT MONTH
10.0 will launch the week of November 19th.

Now, with the knowledge beta has lasted a minimum of 96 days, and a maximum of 180, I’m lost on how this is going to work. I know the PTR and Beta have run concurrently before - but based on past numbers, the PTR would have to go up 1-2 months after alpha starts - assuming you started alpha right now.

So can we get some clarification, cause this is worrisome. I have no doubts the expansion is ready if you guys feel it is - however, the lack of time for testing is alarming. Considering there’s like 3,000 talents that need testing, multiple zones of quests, pet battles, the new crafting system, an entire new race and class, etc.

Like, are you skipping the 10.0 PTR this time around and just going to test pre-patch stuff on the alpha? Are you planning a shortened PTR to only test pre-patch event? Etc.

Cause as it stands, this is worrisome.


Who knows (other than those on the teams directly working on the expansion) how much has already been developed behind the scenes over the last few years. We could potentially see a more complete alpha/beta than we have seen w/ prior expansion releases.

I think it’s important to keep in mind that even if we had an 8 month alpha/beta, if certain aspects remain in place despite consistent feedback of basically “please don’t do this lmao” then it’s arbitrary anyway. If it’s tested for that length of time and nothing changes, then there’s negligible difference between an 8 months of testing and 4 months of testing.


I do believe this to be the case. Although I will say, if this is true then the entire idea of “getting testable content in testers hands sooner for feedback early in the design process” that we had in SL, goes out the window and that is very unfortunate.