Sanya Thomas posted a new article with updated infromation about the Warhammer Online Beta Stages.
- Alpha: What began in July. Alpha does not have anyone playing who does not draw a paycheck from Mythic.
- Double Secret Beta: That is just beyond alpha, and only includes people from EA Mythic Studio. Started in Summer 2006.
- First Stage of Closed Beta (Beta 1): (Current stage) What we are in now. Sometimes called "Friends and Family," somewhat inaccurately, this is a stage where there is actually a game, but it is not usually very complete or even stable for that matter. In this first closed phase, they begin including people outside the EA Mythic Studio, but bound by the employee NDA.
- Beta1.7: This is the stage you'll start seeing community testers. People who have tested for Mythic for years, or have been otherwise recommended to them as quality volunteer testers, are starting to be included. There is usually a restriction on how many people get in at this point, and often perfectly wonderful people are left out. Tentative date: Early 2007.
- Beta2: Still closed and covered under NDA, invitees include prize winners, guilds that win the guild contest, and some members of the print and web media - usually the ones EA Mythic has relationships with. People who work at GW retail shops are getting in here, and there are some plans for existing Dark Age of Camelot players to be invited to check out their new sibling. There will be up to a thousand people by the end of Beta 2. Tentative date: Early spring 2007.
- Beta3: Closed, NDA. EA Mythic will be choosing randomly from the giant pool of people who are subscribed to the WHO Newsletter. This phase will have thousands of people invited, possibly as many as ten thousand. Tentative date: Summer 2007
- Final Beta: No NDA. Because there is no NDA, people often refer to this as "open beta." EA Mythic is not planning the kind of open beta where everyone with internet access can download the game and hop in. Probably everyone who pre-orders the game will be invited to this phase of beta. This phase will also invite winners from big media promotions. Tentative date: Summer 2007
People who already won beta keys are listed under Beta2.