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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Establishing a Timeline

Blizzard have formally announced the Cataclysm pre and post-patch deployment on their site. A blue names a possible date for the end of the current Arena Season ('We are currently planning to end Arena Season 8 as early as October 12') Does this FINALLY mean that a release date is coming?

As my learned friend J has pointed out on several occasions, Blizzard likes to to give two months notice on their expansion announcements. Were we to actually believe the Amazon-leaked date that means we've already missed the boat (no news this week) This means that the next possible Tuesday release date is November 30th, and we'd look for something on the 5th. With Blizzard's announcement of the following week for possible Arena end I'd say that MMO's prediction of early December has a fair bit of credence. From a 'sell as many copies of the Expansion by Christmas as possible' perspective however the earlier Cataclysm ships the bigger Activision's profits will become the following year, so there is still a chance we'll see it in November, but it is becoming increasingly slim...

There will be plenty to keep us occupied however: there is formal confirmation of the patch AFTER 4.0.1 bringing some pretty juicy changes...
4.0.3: The Sundering. Shortly before Cataclysm launches, Azeroth as you know it will be changed forever. Patch 4.0.3 will bring with it cataclysmic changes to the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. Players will be able to find new and exciting sights to see and quests to do in the level 1-60 zones, all-new troll and gnome introductory experiences, redesigned capital cities, new race/class combinations, and more!
Right then, that settles it. N the Draenai will be changing into N the Gnome, and with the much-anticipated introduction of a Gnome Starting Area there should be the opportunity for those without Exalted rep with the little guys to go get that bar filled... but the question now has to be do I level someone as something to do while I wait for the End of the World as we know it? The jury will shortly be retiring to consider this possibility...

4.0.3 will, by the sounds of it, be the new terrain without the ability to use a flying mount across it. However part of me suspects that Archaeology is going to be locked into the Expansion data and if this is the case, having something to do before it arrives is looking increasingly attractive...

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