Cataclysm Goes Into Friends & Family Alpha

Hark! Do you hear that sound? It’s thousands of people typing out hurried e-mails to Blizzard employees they’re friends with, flamed on the forums, brushed past at BlizzCon, or even currently stalking from a car parked across from the Blizzard campus (though those kind of requests are usually delivered in the form of cut-out letters on a sheet of paper, tied to a brick, and thrown through the front window).

The Friends and Family Alpha for World of Wacraft: Cataclysm has officially begun, and a few lucky people out there are already downloading, installing, and probably playing the heavily-anticipated expansion. This really doesn’t mean a whole lot to the rest of us for a couple of reasons:

One, F&F Alpha is usually a very small test group, meaning that you’re waiting in the same boat as most other fans and there are less people to party/play with. Two, it’s under heavy NDA. So, while I expect some information to leak out (it always finds a way), I wouldn’t expect many people to try their luck at smuggling images and content out until at least the closed beta happens. We may not even really be able to report much if they do, either, considering how harsh Blizzard can be towards those sites that do so.

Still, it’s a positive note, and it means that the closed beta phase should only be a few weeks out. Chances are if you’re accepted to this Alpha, then you already know someone who works at Blizzard and what e-mails you can trust. I urge everyone else to not fall for scams in the meantime, meaning don’t click on suspicious links, respond to fishy e-mails, or respond to any in-game messages that might promise you early access to Cataclysm. That’s just not the way Blizzard handles things.


  1. @Reavijinoo

    If you go to your account, there is a Beta Opt-In section that you update your computer specs and select your preference for being selected for Beta Opt-Ins (Star Craft, World of Warcraft, or Diablo). This allows Blizzard to sift through people of certain choices for those games that are going into Beta phase and the computer spec to know more about that person and what kind of equipment they’re running.

    My good friend and I, have speculated, that they will select a wide variety of people of different computer power to Beta test so that there is a wide spread of data being gathered. This is an example we came up with: If 20 people with i7 processors and graphics cards go into the pool, Blizz will only select one to three people from that, and others from lower computer specs.

    Hope that helped.

  2. So much for “I wouldn’t expect many people to try their luck at smuggling images and content out until at least the closed beta happens” I mean…. woah!

  3. @alickUK

    The thing is that people really aren’t smuggling images out. The only thing that was really “smuggled” was the alpha client. Nearly everything that has been posted so far comes from people who have downloaded that client, but aren’t in the F&F Alpha themselves, which means all they can do is data-mine, or take images from a sandbox server which doesn’t contain NPCs, quests, items, mobs, or really anything but the terrain and your character.

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