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WoWApr 24, 2020 3:22 pm CT

The Shadowlands alpha is still an alpha, so don’t take datamining too seriously

Forsaken are not going to knit a sweater and a tea cozy for the living any time soon. I know, we were all looking forward to the new Forsaken direction when we saw the datamined text from the Exile’s Reach 1 to 10 experience in the alpha, which read:

“As one of the undead Forsaken, you have been reanimated by dark magic. Though shunned by the living, you tirelessly strive to protect them.”

That’s sounding pretty darn friendly for the Forsaken, and I know at least a few of us were thinking it might be a nice change for the Forsaken to protect us, even if they generally would likely have to protect us from themselves.

But today, Lead Narrative Designer Steve Danuser commented on the situation on Twitter, and it serves as a useful reminder when discussing anything we see on the alpha: until it goes live, it can go away at a moment’s notice.

Alpha builds are works in progress, put in front of testers in order to find as many flaws and bugs as possible, and sometimes that means they have content in them that isn’t ready for prime time, content that may never even make it to the beta test.

We all remember the Ji Firepaw text in the Mists of Pandaria beta, I’m sure, and similarly the text between Maraad and Yrel in Warlords of Draenor. Some of the earliest stories we saw from these characters was tone-deaf at best, but they never made the leap to the live game. Compared to those, the datamined Forsaken introduction is a bit more innocuous. Steve is telling us this is essentially placeholder text for a piece of content that isn’t finished yet and not to read much if anything into it.

We’re all excited for new information, and it’s completely understandable that people saw that text and were surprised. My own personal reaction to it was something along the lines of Come again for Ol’ Grumpy? The Forsaken tirelessly striving to protect the living is definitely a direction change for them and one a lot of Forsaken players didn’t sign up for, so I’m glad Steve took the time to clarify this.

Remember, always, until it goes live, alpha content can and likely will change.

This is an alpha test, and a lot of stuff in there is in a “good enough to test” state, but not much more than that. Content is missing, details are glossed over, and in cases like this Forsaken story, some blocks of text exist just to fill empty space that needs text. There’s a lot of testing to be done and sometimes things will be put out there that are not intended for release.

So relax, Forsaken players, you don’t have to learn how to make cookies for the living yet. And everyone else, relax, becausewe won’t have to eat cookies from the cannibalistic undead just yet.

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