Q: What is a Technical Alpha?
A: The main goal of the Technical Alpha is to test stability and improve the game service, which will allow us to handle more players online. This phase of testing is necessary for us before we move into wider scale testing with more players. Feedback from this phase will also help us fine-tune the game’s features and balance prior to releasing it for larger scale testing.
Q: How can I get access?
A: Currently, the Technical Alpha will only be offered to a small number of players in the United States who have opted in for testing, as well as a select group of international journalists and community contributors, with the goal of expanding that player base as testing goes on. If you are interested in testing Heroes of the Storm or other unreleased Blizzard games, log in to your Battle.net account at www.battle.net, go to account management, click on Beta Profile Settings, and select which game universes you want to be opted in for. You will be entered into a pool of players that we select from as we open up game testing for any of the game universes you selected.
Q: Why is this test restricted to US players only?
A: The main goal for this phase of testing is to test stability and improve the game service. In order to make this process as fast and efficient as possible, we need to keep the scale of the testing relatively small and restricted. We’re very eager to get players from many regions testing and giving feedback on Heroes of the Storm, but in order to do that we need to start small first and then expand once it makes sense from a development perspective.
Tech Alpha testing will take place on servers based in the United States and in-game purchases can only be made using USD (United States Dollar) during this phase. As such, we will primarily be including players from the U.S. so that we can observe the environment and gather relevant data before we include players from other regions. We want all of our global players to have the best experience possible, and in order to do that, we need more time to improve features, such as being able to purchase items in more than one currency, as well as other in-game experiences.
Q: If the Alpha is US-only, then why are all these foreign press sites and personalities playing the game?
A: While we’re not quite sure when we’ll be ready to extend access to the rest of the world, we are going to invite a few international press sites and Blizzard community contributors so that players from all of our global communities can keep up with the latest Heroes developments. Please know that we’re working hard to ensure the Heroes experience will be great for all of our players before we expand access to additional regions in the future. Thank you very much for your patience and understanding during this early testing phase.
Q: I’m in the United States. How do I know if I’ve been chosen?
A: If you are selected to participate in the alpha, you will receive an invite via email. Opt-in invites will always be sent to the email address associated with your Battle.net account.
To help avoid phishing attempts, if you believe you’ve received an invite, it’s best to refrain from clicking on any links in the email(s) you receive. If you received an opt-in invite, you can verify that your account has been granted a technical alpha license in Battle.net Account Management.
Q: I opted-in for testing. Why wasn’t I chosen?
A: Testers are chosen based on many factors, including your Battle.net region, when you signed up, your computer hardware specifications, and an element of luck. Our goal is to have a good variety of player types to test the game. As mentioned previously, however, this initial testing phase will include a very limited pool of players. While a few participants may be selected from opt-ins during this time, we will likely wait until the closed beta phase before we begin granting access to a larger number of players who have opted in via Battle.net.
Q: I’ve seen sites offering alpha and beta keys. Should I sign up?
A: No! As of now, we have not released any keys to websites to offer to their readers, so any alpha/beta-key offers on these sites are fake and could be attempts at phishing for your account information.
Q: Will there be any other ways to get into the alpha besides the opt-in?
A: Not at the moment. If this changes, we’ll be sure to let everyone know.
Q: How many players do you plan to invite to the Technical Alpha?
A: The number of players we invite will be based on our testing needs. If during the course of testing we determine we need more players to participate, we’ll continue to invite more players from the opt-in pool.
Q: What game content will be available in the alpha?
A: The Technical Alpha will start with a matchmaker, an assortment of heroes, a small selection of skins and mounts, a basic tutorial, and a progression system that players can use to unlock more content and features. Remember, the goal of this phase is to test stability of the service, so the content we have here is just the beginning. Our plan is to add more content and features over time as we expand testing, until we’re ready to launch the game. We may even remove certain content and features as we enter different phases, and then reintroduce them later.
Heroes of the Storm will be a constantly evolving game, and you’re getting a front row seat into the development process as we grow the service. Your input along the way will be valuable in making sure the game gets better and better as more of the community gets in to the game.
Q: Will testers be able to purchase items using real money?
A: Yes; however, testers must use USD (United States Dollar) payments to purchase items in the game. Purchases are capped at $325 for this phase of testing. Once the Technical Alpha comes to an end, accounts will be wiped, and testers will receive a Battle.net Balance credit for the amount spent. As mentioned previously, real money purchases are enabled only for players in the North America region using USD as their currency at this time.
Q: How long will the Technical Alpha last?
A: We’re not sure yet, but we’ll provide testers with advance notice before it ends.
Q: What’s the difference between alpha, beta, and the final game?
A: Alphas and betas are still considered “work in progress” versions of the game. This means all the content included is subject to change and might not be representative of the final game.
Q: Do I have to participate in the alpha in order to get access to the beta?
A: No, we will continue to pull players who opted-in as we progress into closed and open beta testing.
Q: How long until the closed beta test starts? How long until other regions can participate?
A: This timing has not been determined yet. A lot will depend on the results of the Technical Alpha and the progress we make during this phase of testing. Stay tuned for more details as we get further along in development.
Q: When will the game be released?
A: We have not announced a release date.