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I'm trying to merge vertices using the Alt+M keyboard shortcut, but instead I get an option to split. I never saw this menu before
The new shortcut to merge is M.
No Alt is needed no more.
You can use the right mouse button to bring up the Context Menu, and the shortcuts should be visible there.
No need to use Alt before M.
Simply go to 3D view window. Press hotkey M and select your merge choice.
Here's something new about Merge: If you ever want to remove doubles before rendering, it is now hotkey M > Merge > By Distance.
You can also just press F between 2 selected vertices. It will automatically fill a line. Once they are connected by a line, select 3 or more vertices and press F once again to fill it.