World of Warcraft's Shadowlands expansion artwork for the Bastion zone

[Update #2]: Blizzard has now also unveiled some of the massive class changes coming with Shadowlands!

[Update]: Blizzard has released a new Shadowlands preview highlighting some of the Covenant class abilities and effects.

With Battle for Azeroth now slowly winding down, Blizzard has begun focusing all of their attention on the upcoming Shadowlands expansion. So in order to better collect player feedback, as well as test out new systems such as Covenants or the leveling overhaul, Blizzard has now revealed that the Closed Alpha test will begin this week!

While the exact release date hasn't been announced just yet, this initial alpha will mainly be for long-time WoW players with active accounts in good standing, as well as Blizzard friends and family members. In terms of content, the entirety of the Bastion zone will be available for exploration, along with its accompanying dungeon - the Necrotic Wake. You'll also be able to check out the Alliance side of the revamped new player experience, as well as mess around with the freshly improved classes and abilities.

New content will be added regularly throughout the alpha test, with the first major update arriving in late April. This one will be particularly exciting as it will offer the players a chance to explore Torghast - the endless dungeon experience that is one of Shadowlands' most exciting new features.

This cycle will continue until Shadowlands finally goes into the beta phase, at which point all characters and progress will be wiped. On the positive side, the beta will also mean a massive influx of new players, which should give everyone a much better idea of how Shadowlands will actually play out on the live servers.

You can read a little bit more about the upcoming Shadowlands alpha, as well as try to secure a spot for yourself, over at the official website.