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Friday, June 22, 2012

Not Long Now...?

A lot has changed since the beta launched...

Today sees the first day of Raid Testing on the Beta Server.

Looking at the timings, and the situation on the beta generally, plus the fact that a number of sites are beginning to hint they feel an announcement is not far off, it could be time to guess the release date AGAIN. This time around however we have some limiting factors to consider, most notably the updated Brewfest rewards (which are suddenly looking like they'll be must wants for most, if not all of my alts at this rate) That's September 20th, which means (considering where we are), I'm going to assume the following:

  • PTR should open 'soon' for a 'transitional' patch which would apply new skills and introduce the Theramore Scenario. In this case, I'd say soon to be 2-3 weeks. This would go live at the beginning of August.
  • Raid testing will go on even after release date is announced, and we will get a 'balancing patch' very soon after release. I would expect a lot less raid testing than perhaps many people are expecting, to try and keep the encounters 'fresher for longer'

As to the date itself? Best guess is now late August (eight weeks lead time still applying) That means, if you picked either August 21st, 28th or even September 4th in the #mopreleasedate contest, I reckon you might be onto a winner... :D There are still spaces left on these dates for entries, if you've not yet cast your vote...

Personally, looking at the situation as it stands (and considering some people think Blizzard is playing chicken with the Guild Wars 2 people in terms of release dates) I'm going to pin my colours to the flag and say August 28th, just before the kids go back to school.

Whether I'm right (a second time) however now remains to be seen... ^^

5 comments:

CATS said...

I think you are right with your estimate.

TheGrumpyElf said...

Your new estimate seems like a solid guess. We will know next tuesday. If it is going to be the 28th it will be announced then.

Either way, I would say that mists, even if it came out today, is already almost 2 months late. It should have been out in may.

El said...

Ah, the eternal optimist! Brewfest is Red Herring. It is possible that the expansion will be released by then, so pragmatic to upgrade the drops. But whether Brewfest is ready is not the factor that determines whether the expansion is ready.

There are at least 3 blockers in the current beta. Flaws that prevent release, and as such prevent commitment to a release until they can be resolved:

1. Pet Battles. A headline feature of the expansion. Still not available to test, yet in need of a lot of feedback and balancing.

2. The Jade Forest. Pandaria cannot be released without the first zone. The revised Jade Forest is not yet available to test.

3. MoP's client/server programming has been consistently terrible**. We are still seeing widespread client crashes, characters unable to login, or login for more than 2 seconds, a plethora of cross-realm zone bugs which few notice because they don't affect Pandaria. It's not that beta brings bugs, it's that these bugs are still being written into the backend of the game months later.

Add 2 months to your estimate after those 3 are dealt with. If the announcement comes sooned, commerce has usurped quality, and you should run for the hills.

The earliest I'd estimate release would be the end of September, but I won't be surprised to see it drift into October.


(** There was a funny thread on the US forums demanding an apology from the programmers. While that's obviously not going to happen, one would hope that Blizzard will take a long hard look at just why their programming has gone so badly wrong. From the broken code I can debug, the methodological errors are school-child level - or sheer laziness.)

Kamalia said...

If I'm remembering correctly from when I went to Barnes & Noble and asked last week, the Jaina book, "Tides of War", is due out on 28 August -- so I'm currently thinking that the release date for MoP will probably be the week after that.

The Godmother said...

@El. I'd not expect to wait too long now, as there's very legitimate packaging now doing the rounds. :D