Checked my email last night, my invite's apparently been waiting for me for about half a week! Things to know about the beta :
Level 92 is the current cap.
The game isnt optimized for computers so your either 60 fps and winning or like me and struggling to find 25.
Alot of cutscenes arent in game yet.
Several character models entirely arent in game yet.
The story follows the break. Spoilers follow.
I'm going to assume that what I've experienced follows minutes after what will be a iron horde invasion of eastern kingdoms. We players are asked to volunteer for a suicide run, its considered that because no one expects us to live through what we're about to attempt and even if we do, we'll likely be stuck on draenor afterwards.
We the players go through the blasted lands portal which is no longer linked to outlands, it goes to the iron horde's draenor now. Once in there, we fight everything down until we figure out whats powering the portal itself. Nerzhul himself. Iron Horde are pretty much sacrificing anyone who isn't on their side and funneling the soulsto Ner who then uses them to power the portal. We get him out of it... and he dosent really seem annoyed with us. I'm wondering if in this alternate draenor he feels bad for what he did. Udunno. Either way, shutting down the portal really makes the iron horde mad and they chase us all over the Tanaan Jungle (this is what hellfire was before outlands). Alot of killing, alot of draenei freeing, we finally reach the world breaker cannon the iron horde have, use it to kill a whole lot of iron horde and then we use it on the dark portal itself. Now the cutscene for this is missing but I assume we destroy the portal and that leads me to believe we have pretty much stranded ourselves for the time being on draenor.
The iron horde gets even madder, chases us to the shoreline where we steal one of their ships. At this point horde and alliance go their own ways, horde to frostfire ridge and alliance to shadowmoon valley. I'm alliance so what I know is that once there, this draenor's Velen leads us to where we build our garrison and that also becomes our first quest hub. Khadgar opens a portal to stormwind briefly, it lets alot of civilian workers through and the garrison gets under way.
And this is as far as I've made it. Observations :
. The random mount button is useful. you identify your favorite mounts and it randomly puts you on them.
. Speaking of the mounts, mount screen now lists every single mount in the game ever and highlights those you own. It also lists both factions so you can get an accurate count of your mounts. I have 445 atm.
. I was level 91 by the time I got out of Tanaan jungle.
. 91 thru 100, you learn draenei perks, each class has'em and their all passive so far. And you learn them in a random order.
. Garrisons have their own currency and its earned by anything you do for the garrison as well as killing rares and I've been told random chests hidden around the zones (think timeless isle chests). You spend the currency on buildings in your garrison, you place them where you like and their all useful. And there's alot of them. Seriously, over 30 buildings. Each building gives passive boosts to you at all times or unlocks professions for you or generates crafting materials for your professions daily.
. Buildings placed get built in real time, cool to watch.
. Shadowmoon Valley is gorgeous, reminds me of a blend of Terrokar forest, north half, blood elf starting areas, in shades of blue, and the draenei starting zones for new characters.
. On the map you can see your current quests for the zone your looking at as well as the achievement for completing that zone which when moused over has a list of all mini story arcs in that zone and whether you've completed them or not.
. All zones can be looked at on the map currently except Tanaan and the north east islands.
. For the alliance, human female, dwarf male/female, gnome female/male, worgen human female, draenei male, and night elf female new models are present. Haven't played horde yet, no idea on them.
. Once you have the garrison it appears that you are free to go anywhere in shadowmoon valley and tackle it in any order. Flight paths are all clearly marked.
. The music of this expansion so far. Oh my god. Its a modern touch to alot of the burning crusade tracks, some more sorrowful, others more engaging.
. Garrosh's father chews you out across the entire zone at the end of the Tenaan storyline :)
. Draenei architecture is everywhere, and actually looks decent when not in pieces and ruins. Go figure.
. No flying on draenor but annoyingly flying mounts can be used as grounders. For most mounts, not a problem. But there are certain... mounts (looking at you proto-drakes!) that easily clog up quest hubs everywhere.
. The pve beta server is level capped at 92 and is for story line progression. The pvp beta server only lets you make lvl100's and is for pvp and stuff.
. Tenaan starting area quest loot rewards are ilevel 502.
. If you had 760k hp's in pandaren expansion, you have 76k hp's at start of draenor.
. If your lfr seige geared or better, you will find no gear upgrades during the tenaan starting area.
I'll keep posting more as I go further in. Initially I had decided that I wasn't going to participate in the beta but well thinking on it, this way I'll have answers for everyone, friends, family, etc regarding this entire expansion by the time it hits. Here's abunch of shadowmoon valley screenshots, some I took, others I web scoured.
Got questions? Ask, I'll persue the answers.
Tanaan Jungle Event
Like I said, most screenshots I picked up around the web, tymuch for those who put them out there. I'd screenshot from my own computer but my computer isn't playing nice with the beta and the game just dosent look as pretty when your forced to play the entire thing on low settings just to maintain 25fps. :/