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Alpha may refer to different concepts:
- A part of a mob name usually indicating the tougher ones of its type.
- Alpha-stage program, also explained on Wikipedia, that occurs before the Beta-stage.
- Opacity of user interface elements such as
What is an alpha?
In terms of the software development, alpha is usually the stage where some major feature implementation should be finished and the software is in the phase of design, feature development and initial testing before moving on to the beta stage. Often major changes occur in this stage, so nothing can necessarily be relied upon.
Alpha, of course, comes before the Beta stage where feature implementation completion and stabilization usually occurs, is known to be more stable, and generally fit for internal trial and possibly user outside the Company. The stage before Alpha some call "Pre-Alpha", "Proof of Concept", or "Prototype".
These stages are semi-formal within the software industry, so "your results may vary".
Friends and Family vs. Closed alpha
The terms "Friends and Family alpha" and "Closed alpha" are also used when referring to the actual alpha trial period of testing. The usage of these terms is not consistent, but the following definitions can be used as a guideline:
- Friends and Family alpha - Only a selected group of users are invited to the alpha trial with varying criteria. Blizzard usually defines it as internal users and a very select, small group of outside "influencers" or trusted industry represetatives (large fan site admins, etc.). Invitation, of course, is not guaranteed.
- Closed alpha - This is basically a trial which usually still requires a specific invitation (code or account marked) and go through some sort of registration process. It is not clear what other criteria may be involved, but a wider group of "influencers" and industry representatives is usually included.
Battle.net desktop app
- Main article: Battle.net desktop app
Battle for Azeroth
This section concerns content exclusive to Battle for Azeroth.
Select people attached to large fan sites or favored streamers were given access to the Battle for Azeroth alpha. The specific criteria are unknown. Some MVPs and former MVPs may have also gotten access.
Battle for Azeroth Closed Alpha realms
This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
Select people attached to large fan sites or favored streamers were given access to the Legion alpha. The specific criteria are unknown. Some MVPs and former MVPs may have also gotten access. As of mid-March 2016, Legion still appears to be in alpha (not all specs are playable and many quests are not finished). The expansion was announced to leave alpha when the beta began May 12, 2016.
|Legion Alpha status infographic (April 21-22, 2016)|
|Legion Alpha status infographic (April 13-14, 2016)|
|Legion Alpha status infographic (April 6-7, 2016)|
|Legion Alpha status infographic (March 9-10, 2016)|
Warlords of Draenor
This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.
The Warlords of Draenor Friends and Family Alpha test was officially announced to start on April 3, 2014 which presages the Beta test, but with no time frame given. The Closed Alpha test started June 4, 2014.
Warlords of Draenor Closed Alpha realms
- ^ NPCs with "Alpha" in their name. Wowhead.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Legion Developer Update and Beta News. World of Warcraft official game site (US).
- ^ World of Warcraft: Legion Beta Testing Begins!. World of Warcraft official game site (US).
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2014-04-03. Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins. Official World of Warcraft Game Site (US).
Blizzard Entertainment 2014-04-03. Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins. Official World of Warcraft Game Site (EU).
- ^ chaud 2014-06-04. Warlords of Draenor Alpha Invites Going Out. MMO Champion.
- Legion Alpha