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Starym

Ra-den Reset "Exploit" Drama

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Method have caught up to Complexity Limit on 9/12 and they're both on Il'gynoth now, which we'll cover in the daily summary a little later today, but something happened on Method's Ra-den kill that has the community in a bit of a conundrum and we've had the age-old "exploit vs. creative use of game mechanics" dilemma crop up once more.

So what exactly happened?

We already covered Limit's initial use of Ra-den's short reset timer to get uptime on their Demon Hunters' Metamorphosis Metamorphosis for the initial pull and Method following suit after finding out about it. Method (and possibly Pieces as well) then added to this, as they reset the boss several times (up to 4) in order to stack their 4 Warlocks' Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Supremacy to get a very high burst of damage on the pull, which allowed them to not use Bloodlust Bloodlust in the start and save it for later in the fight. Here's the video of the kill and the detailed explanation by our own Impakt so you can get a better idea of what happened and it's relative strength:

Quote

Whenever a Destruction Warlock casts Summon Infernal Summon Infernal , if they have the talent Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Supremacy , then it also procs a new buff called Grimoire of Supremacy that lasts for as long as the Infernal cast. This buff does not override the old buff, but rather extends the existing buff if one already exists. This is primarily because of the Vision of Perfection Vision of Perfection essence, which can proc mini-infernals which each add 10 seconds to your Grimoire buff if one is already up.
Not only does the duration get extended however, but with Grimoire of Supremacy, you can keep generating stacks. While Grimoire is active, you generate a stack each time you spend a soul shard. Each stack (with a max of 20 stacks) increases your Chaos Bolt damage by 8%, so up to a max of 160%.

In a normal 30 second buff from your standard infernal, you maybe would hit 20 stacks at the very end on a single target encounter, if that.

What Method did, however, was have their Warlocks cast Infernal, spam Rain of Fire Rain of Fire using the out of combat shard generation rate, and then reset the boss to cast Infernal again before the Grimoire buff was expired.

This enabled them to start the encounter with a Grimoire buff that would last a minute or more, but even more importantly they would start with high stacks. This meant that they would be doing the majority of their damage at the full 20 stacks, or with +160% Chaos Bolt damage, instead of ramping up to that over 30 seconds.

Overall, this results in the equivalent of each Warlock doing approximately 2x their normal damage for a minute or more into the fight.

- Impakt, Destruction Warlock main, Big dumb Guild raider and Icy Veins guide writer

So now that we know what exactly happened, it's on to the drama part. The discussions over this particular move have been intense, both on reddit and on the official forums, with the usual calls for bans from some and others saying it's either an ok move or is up to Blizzard to decide.

It seems that Blizzard did decide, however, as players from Pieces apparently got info from a Blizzard blue explaining that Ra-den's short reset would not be fixed until next week's reset, which implies they are fully aware of what happened and haven't taken any action against Limit or Method. Both those guilds might have also gotten confirmation from Blizzard before they tried their reset shenanigans, but we don't have any information on that. Pieces also downed Ra-den later in the day.

The big dilemma here then, is about size and scope. Technically what Limit and Method did are the exact same exploit/creative use of game mechanics, with Method going further on their end. However, we can't know if either guild would have gotten their kill when they did (or at all) without using either the Demon Hunter or Warlock technique. While Method certainly got more of a boost from it and would certainly have needed more time to get the boss down without it, the same applies to Limit, despite their lesser use of the exploit/creative use of game mechanics. This also puts the other guilds progressing on Ra-den in a tricky spot, as they know about both of these techniques and even if they don't want to use them they also know it's ok to, as (supposedly) confirmed by Blizzard, so if they don't use them they get left behind. We also have this comment from Complexity Limit GM Max on the subject of people accusing Method of exploiting:

 

It's definitely an interesting discussion in any case, regardless of the fans of either guild yelling at each other, so let us know what you think about it in the comments!
 

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World First race related articles

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I don't wanna get lengthy about this, but I'm always against exploits. For me, there's no such thing as 'creative use of mechanics'. If it's not meant to be done that way, then it's cheating/an exploit. I'm rather disappointed in those guilds for abusing that.

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2 minutes ago, Jettafae said:

I don't wanna get lengthy about this, but I'm always against exploits. For me, there's no such thing as 'creative use of mechanics'. If it's not meant to be done that way, then it's cheating/an exploit. I'm rather disappointed in those guilds for abusing that.

While I generally agree with you, there are a  lot of cases where a boss is simply not killable without using these due to poor design, and then the guild basically has to decide whether to use the creative thing or sit there wasting time and dying to an unkillable boss. I'm not saying that's what happened here, but it's happened plenty of times in the past. Also the biggest problem with the "no creative use ever" is that Blizzard does not enforce this consistently at all, and so you might be principled and not use something and then watch your competitor do it and get no punishment for it, making all your hard work and effort in the race meaningless.

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1 minute ago, Starym said:

While I generally agree with you, there are a  lot of cases where a boss is simply not killable without using these due to poor design, and then the guild basically has to decide whether to use the creative thing or sit there wasting time and dying to an unkillable boss. I'm not saying that's what happened here, but it's happened plenty of times in the past. Also the biggest problem with the "no creative use ever" is that Blizzard does not enforce this consistently at all, and so you might be principled and not use something and then watch your competitor do it and get no punishment for it, making all your hard work and effort in the race meaningless.

I can agree there. Blizz definitely needs to be more consistent and I think they need to do better with testing these raid bosses before they launch. Just in this case specifically, especially with Blizz saying they're gonna fix it so they can't do that anymore, I don't think 'creative use' was needed.

I will also state, I don't think anyone should be permabanned over this since it's not the worst exploit usage that's been done. However, I think a good compromise would be to roll back their kill on Ra-Den so it doesn't count and they have to do it as the fight was intended.

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In my opinion, this doesn’t meet the criteria to be called an exploit or warrant bans. The textbook example of an exploit that warranted bans was Saronite Bombs on Heroic Lich King. The interaction of a Saronite Bomb reforming a section of the collapsed platform was obviously a bug, as there was no logical mechanical interaction between the two, and it directly interfered with a mechanic of the fight.

This, on the other hand, is simply a combination of intentional mechanics, all of which are acting as Blizzard designed them, combined in a logical interaction Blizzard didn’t foresee. When a boss resets, the cooldown on Summon: Infernal resets, as intended. With Grimoire of Supremacy talented, any soul shards spent stack a damage buff, as intended. Rain of Fire allows the Warlock to spend soul shards out of combat, as intended. Buffs don’t reset when entering combat, allowing pre-potting and popping cooldowns on the pull, as intended. Ra-den has a short respawn timer. It’s not as if it’s a bug. Blizzard designed it that way. Is the interaction overpowered and does it warrant a nerf? Yes. Does it in any way interfere with the mechanics of the fight or abuse a bug? No.

It likely won’t be nerfed until N'zoth goes down and the world first race ends, because doing so would give an unfair advantage to Method over the guilds who haven’t killed it, but it also won’t make much of a difference. Every guild in the world first race is either running multiple Warlocks already of have alts to bring in for this fight, and by the time the general raiding populace gets to it, it’ll be fixed.

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26 minutes ago, AcediaRex said:

In my opinion, this doesn’t meet the criteria to be called an exploit or warrant bans. The textbook example of an exploit that warranted bans was Saronite Bombs on Heroic Lich King. The interaction of a Saronite Bomb reforming a section of the collapsed platform was obviously a bug, as there was no logical mechanical interaction between the two, and it directly interfered with a mechanic of the fight.

This, on the other hand, is simply a combination of intentional mechanics, all of which are acting as Blizzard designed them, combined in a logical interaction Blizzard didn’t foresee. When a boss resets, the cooldown on Summon: Infernal resets, as intended. With Grimoire of Supremacy talented, any soul shards spent stack a damage buff, as intended. Rain of Fire allows the Warlock to spend soul shards out of combat, as intended. Buffs don’t reset when entering combat, allowing pre-potting and popping cooldowns on the pull, as intended. Ra-den has a short respawn timer. It’s not as if it’s a bug. Blizzard designed it that way. Is the interaction overpowered and does it warrant a nerf? Yes. Does it in any way interfere with the mechanics of the fight or abuse a bug? No.

It likely won’t be nerfed until N'zoth goes down and the world first race ends, because doing so would give an unfair advantage to Method over the guilds who haven’t killed it, but it also won’t make much of a difference. Every guild in the world first race is either running multiple Warlocks already of have alts to bring in for this fight, and by the time the general raiding populace gets to it, it’ll be fixed.

Funny you should mention the Saronite - Ensidia actually had no idea what was going on there (I know all of them and talked to the rogue that was using the bombs), the rogues were just using Saronite bombs as a normal part of their rotation and from their perspective the platform was just randomly reforming for no reason. They also didn't care about the Normal mode kill in the slightest so they just ignored the bug and killed it anyway, and Blizzard massively overreacted. It's not your fault though, basically everyone uses that example as the biggest exploit ever and that just makes me laugh since there are SO many much worse offenders that were never punished.

Also, according to the blue that talked to Pieces, the issues should be fixed on the reset (presumably prolonging the Ra-den reset time).

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27 minutes ago, Starym said:

Funny you should mention the Saronite - Ensidia actually had no idea what was going on there (I know all of them and talked to the rogue that was using the bombs)

Oh c'mon Starym, them knew... they always knew. They were just pretending they are stupid.

All guilds in the article did use the exploit and should be banned for 24 hours. They get the advantage of the situation and they were able to kill the boss due to exploit.

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22 minutes ago, Sabejnos said:

Oh c'mon Starym, them knew... they always knew. They were just pretending they are stupid.

All guilds in the article did use the exploit and should be banned for 24 hours. They get the advantage of the situation and they were able to kill the boss due to exploit.

No, they didn't, I know all of them and they have 0 reason to lie to me (I talked to them when it happened and like 7 years later). It's really easy to assume this *filtered* but in the Saronite case it makes 0 sense and it really pisses me off how some people just WANT these top guilds to be assholes and cheaters - WHY would a guild like Ensidia that was going for Heroic WFs risk the exploit on a GUARANTEED kill on Normal where they had no difficulty killing it? Seriously this NEVER made any sense, even if you ignore my direct contact with like 5 players that were there and woulnd't have any reason to lie to me (I wasn't covering the race or anything back then).

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6 hours ago, AcediaRex said:

In my opinion, this doesn’t meet the criteria to be called an exploit or warrant bans. The textbook example of an exploit that warranted bans was Saronite Bombs on Heroic Lich King. The interaction of a Saronite Bomb reforming a section of the collapsed platform was obviously a bug, as there was no logical mechanical interaction between the two, and it directly interfered with a mechanic of the fight.

This, on the other hand, is simply a combination of intentional mechanics, all of which are acting as Blizzard designed them, combined in a logical interaction Blizzard didn’t foresee. When a boss resets, the cooldown on Summon: Infernal resets, as intended. With Grimoire of Supremacy talented, any soul shards spent stack a damage buff, as intended. Rain of Fire allows the Warlock to spend soul shards out of combat, as intended. Buffs don’t reset when entering combat, allowing pre-potting and popping cooldowns on the pull, as intended. Ra-den has a short respawn timer. It’s not as if it’s a bug. Blizzard designed it that way. Is the interaction overpowered and does it warrant a nerf? Yes. Does it in any way interfere with the mechanics of the fight or abuse a bug? No.

It likely won’t be nerfed until N'zoth goes down and the world first race ends, because doing so would give an unfair advantage to Method over the guilds who haven’t killed it, but it also won’t make much of a difference. Every guild in the world first race is either running multiple Warlocks already of have alts to bring in for this fight, and by the time the general raiding populace gets to it, it’ll be fixed.

Perfectly stated.  100% agree

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6 hours ago, Starym said:

Funny you should mention the Saronite - Ensidia actually had no idea what was going on there (I know all of them and talked to the rogue that was using the bombs), the rogues were just using Saronite bombs as a normal part of their rotation and from their perspective the platform was just randomly reforming for no reason. They also didn't care about the Normal mode kill in the slightest so they just ignored the bug and killed it anyway, and Blizzard massively overreacted. It's not your fault though, basically everyone uses that example as the biggest exploit ever and that just makes me laugh since there are SO many much worse offenders that were never punished.

Also, according to the blue that talked to Pieces, the issues should be fixed on the reset (presumably prolonging the Ra-den reset time).

 

6 hours ago, Starym said:

While I generally agree with you, there are a  lot of cases where a boss is simply not killable without using these due to poor design, and then the guild basically has to decide whether to use the creative thing or sit there wasting time and dying to an unkillable boss. I'm not saying that's what happened here, but it's happened plenty of times in the past. Also the biggest problem with the "no creative use ever" is that Blizzard does not enforce this consistently at all, and so you might be principled and not use something and then watch your competitor do it and get no punishment for it, making all your hard work and effort in the race meaningless.

I think a better example of sploits would be the lamps back in SWP on ET, though I'm doubtful as to the supposed origin of the guild that was doing it.

Boss resets are a known issue that Blizzard either can't or has chosen not to address. How many raids have skipped trash on the way to Orgoza by having a DH glide down to the boss and do a reset pull? We just went 7 months without that ever being fixed. Ra-den they'll be able to address by increasing his reset time, and in the mean time they're probably working on a way to force things like this to reset the player benefits when used in a raid boss encounter.

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I'm gonna put this right out there right now before people whine: Is is blizzards fault for hurrying a raid out before all major bug exploits possible are fixed so please guys ladies gamers do not stick the blame or point the fingers at complexity limit or method its not their fault theres lazy people at blizzard a billion dollar company.

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The gap between "clever use of game mechanics" and "exploit" is really small.

9 hours ago, AcediaRex said:

In my opinion, this doesn’t meet the criteria to be called an exploit or warrant bans. The textbook example of an exploit that warranted bans was Saronite Bombs on Heroic Lich King. The interaction of a Saronite Bomb reforming a section of the collapsed platform was obviously a bug, as there was no logical mechanical interaction between the two, and it directly interfered with a mechanic of the fight.

This, on the other hand, is simply a combination of intentional mechanics, all of which are acting as Blizzard designed them, combined in a logical interaction Blizzard didn’t foresee. When a boss resets, the cooldown on Summon: Infernal resets, as intended. With Grimoire of Supremacy talented, any soul shards spent stack a damage buff, as intended. Rain of Fire allows the Warlock to spend soul shards out of combat, as intended. Buffs don’t reset when entering combat, allowing pre-potting and popping cooldowns on the pull, as intended. Ra-den has a short respawn timer. It’s not as if it’s a bug. Blizzard designed it that way. Is the interaction overpowered and does it warrant a nerf? Yes. Does it in any way interfere with the mechanics of the fight or abuse a bug? No.

It likely won’t be nerfed until N'zoth goes down and the world first race ends, because doing so would give an unfair advantage to Method over the guilds who haven’t killed it, but it also won’t make much of a difference. Every guild in the world first race is either running multiple Warlocks already of have alts to bring in for this fight, and by the time the general raiding populace gets to it, it’ll be fixed.

I do like your approach. As long is something works as intended, its not exploiting. If they would have to do something strange to not lose the stacks, what would cause an unintendend behaviour of boss, that would be an exploit. If boss is reseting that fast without any other manipulation - it's not an exploit.

But even then, there are some exceptions in my pov. If you can use any intended mechanics to oneshot bosses or do insane high damage/heal - this would still be an exploit, if it happens on purpose. But this is just my opinion and dont have to be the truth 😄

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I imagine that the respawn timer of the boss was unintentionally left in from when it was being tested, meaning that it is unintentional.

Compare this to Rextroy who got banned for stacking a buff to one-shot bosses. There is no limit on buffs compared to vanilla, and he was banned because of an oversight on Blizzards size. Yeah, it's true he was unbanned as he generally reports any bugs he comes across, but he was still not exempt and got banned for a month until they reverted it.

I don't believe they should be banned but they do need to send players a message, and reverting the boss kills of anyone who did it would send that message. It shows that nobody is exempt.

 

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I'm not a raider or a particular 'fan' of any top guild but enjoy watching the gameplay sometimes so here is my two pennorth.

As it happens I stumbled across Method's attempts at Ra den including the successful one live. After coming to terms with the mind blowing boredom of the downtime involved (do raiders learn another language or do some baking while waiting I wondered) these players certainly put the effort in. To me having read the description I cannot see how this is an exploit. The mechanics used are what Blizzard intended but as usual the inventive player base has out thought them.

From social media I see that a lot of people would enjoy seeing Method fail, isn't that the most likely reason for the shouts of 'exploit'? All of these top guilds have my respect for their dedication but I wouldn't recommend watching their videos unless you enjoy watching paint dry 'cos, dang, that downtime!

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I hate exploits like this especially from the super guilds, but I'll admit my hypocrisy. We used to do this at Vaelastrasz.

 

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1 hour ago, Takatsuki said:

I imagine that the respawn timer of the boss was unintentionally left in from when it was being tested, meaning that it is unintentional.

Compare this to Rextroy who got banned for stacking a buff to one-shot bosses. There is no limit on buffs compared to vanilla, and he was banned because of an oversight on Blizzards size. Yeah, it's true he was unbanned as he generally reports any bugs he comes across, but he was still not exempt and got banned for a month until they reverted it.

I don't believe they should be banned but they do need to send players a message, and reverting the boss kills of anyone who did it would send that message. It shows that nobody is exempt.

 

But how are Limit and Method supposed to know that the reset is not meant to be this short? They only saw the boss on PTR and here, with a consistent reset timer.

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20 minutes ago, JJ77 said:

I'm not a raider or a particular 'fan' of any top guild but enjoy watching the gameplay sometimes so here is my two pennorth.

As it happens I stumbled across Method's attempts at Ra den including the successful one live. After coming to terms with the mind blowing boredom of the downtime involved (do raiders learn another language or do some baking while waiting I wondered) these players certainly put the effort in. To me having read the description I cannot see how this is an exploit. The mechanics used are what Blizzard intended but as usual the inventive player base has out thought them.

From social media I see that a lot of people would enjoy seeing Method fail, isn't that the most likely reason for the shouts of 'exploit'? All of these top guilds have my respect for their dedication but I wouldn't recommend watching their videos unless you enjoy watching paint dry 'cos, dang, that downtime!

About the downtime, the raiders don't really have much of it at all. When "nothing" is happening on the stream that means they're either eating or having extremely long discussions on the strats for the boss. I'm not 100% sure how Method or Limit do it, aka if ALL raiders discuss or at least listen to the strats, but I'd assume so.

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It definitely falls on the "exploit" side of the table, but it is handled correctly by every party involved. No need to rush the patch - next week it will be upped to 31 seconds - 1 minute, so everyone can try this reset with the same timer. Gaining advantage through a minor bug is unfair, but any intervention (such as bans, kill revertion, hotfix) would cause far more trouble and unfairness in the race to world first, so yeah - the drama is pointless as always.

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the thing is "world first race" is nothing official its just a player made thing.. so why would blizzard care to not ban those guys? exploit is exploit.. but after reforged i think they dont want to kill another franchise.  they are cowards that hang on to their sinking ship.

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6 hours ago, Starym said:

About the downtime, the raiders don't really have much of it at all. When "nothing" is happening on the stream that means they're either eating or having extremely long discussions on the strats for the boss. I'm not 100% sure how Method or Limit do it, aka if ALL raiders discuss or at least listen to the strats, but I'd assume so.

Ah thanks for that explanation Starym, I should have engaged brain slightly more. The streaming I watched there was no broadcast chat presumably so no one copied their tactics. Smart move.

56 minutes ago, Badadada said:

Gaining advantage through a minor bug is unfair,

Is it a bug though? Have Blizzard said so?

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33 minutes ago, lolblizzard said:

the thing is "world first race" is nothing official its just a player made thing.. so why would blizzard care to not ban those guys? exploit is exploit.. but after reforged i think they dont want to kill another franchise.  they are cowards that hang on to their sinking ship.

Your nickname completely deflates anything you talk about. When your starting point and only motivation is to talk trash your opinions matter less. I agree reforged was terrible, but that literally has nothing to do with this. Blizzard's exploit philoshopy and implementation has been inconsistent since the first raids ever and has nothing to do with Limit, Method or anything else.

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Isnt this the same thing like certain classes being able to build up certain trinkets or spell's pre pull that let them do more dps (which was used by alot of people and was patched few days after it became viral)? With this Blizz opted out to let it persist for this reset and will fix it for next one so all guilds are kind of on the same plate. Any guild that actually goes for this level of mythic raiding is gonna reclear again after the reset (if N'zoth isn't killed by then). Ultimatley its up to Blizzard to decide what they want to do with this whole thing and community feedback can help if its actually constructive and if it's not coming from the ' I don't like this guild so they should be punished for it' while completly ignoring that the guild they love took advantage of it aswell. Im fan of both Method and Limit btw and im glad to see alot more competition from other guilds and regions in World First races(the more the merrier and its more fun then wtaching only 2 guilds with no other competition)

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On 1/31/2020 at 6:09 AM, Starym said:

While I generally agree with you, there are a  lot of cases where a boss is simply not killable without using these due to poor design, and then the guild basically has to decide whether to use the creative thing or sit there wasting time and dying to an unkillable boss. I'm not saying that's what happened here, but it's happened plenty of times in the past. Also the biggest problem with the "no creative use ever" is that Blizzard does not enforce this consistently at all, and so you might be principled and not use something and then watch your competitor do it and get no punishment for it, making all your hard work and effort in the race meaningless.

It gets worse when a guild bashes another guild for using exploits years before (Helya Mythic anyone?) and then proceed to do it themselves, for pretty much the exact same reason.

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      We’re working on a set of hotfixes to the game that should streamline upgrading your Legendary cloak via Horrific Visions.
      Coalescing Visions now drop in higher numbers from Assaults and Daily Quests. The Unique (5) inventory cap on Vessel of Horrific Visions has been removed, allowing you to carry as many Vessels as you like. Up to 4 Torn Pages of "Fear and Flesh" quest items can now drop in Horrific Visions from objectives on the rank 7-11 Legendary cloak upgrade quests (was a max of 2). You’ll need to clear more than two sides areas in one run to get more than two pages. The rank 13-15 quests will still drop a max of 2 pages, only from Lost Area objectives. These updates will go into effect with weekly maintenance (Tuesday, February 25 in this region).
    • By Stan
      The beta opt-in support page has been recently updated and now would be a good time to opt in for Shadowlands Beta if you haven't done that already.
      Blizzard (Source)
      To put your name into the pool of candidates interested in beta testing for Shadowlands, sign up on the Shadowlands home page using the Beta Opt-In link at the top of the page.

      Signing up for beta does not guarantee you will be chosen to participate, but players who have not signed up to indicate interest cannot be chosen. Customer Support is not able to provide access to beta. Blizzard has released the first encrypted Shadowlands Alpha build earlier this week and added the forthcoming expansion to the Battle.net App Catalog, suggesting that Friends & Family Alpha is really close. Opt in for Shadowlands Beta by visiting the link below!

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