Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cataclysm Release Date: February 1st, 2010

I have been an advocate since before Blizzcon that Cataclysm will release before March 1st, 2010. The purpose of this post is to share my reasoning with you.

(1) Given that Blizzard has already announced Cataclysm at Blizzcon 2009 it makes no sense that that they will wait for yet another Blizzcon to go by before the release. In fact, it makes no sense for them to announce the new release and then wait an entire year before the product comes out. Whatever suspense they build up with the end of Wrath will be dissipated if there is a six month gap between the end of Warth and beginning of the next expansion. Further, the summer is the slowest season for playing the game and it makes no sense to release a game at a time when people have no desire to play it. In short, it's inconceivable to me they would release after May 1st, 2010.


(2) There is precedence for releasing a game in mid-winter (Northern Hemisphere). The Burning Crusade was released January 16th, 2007. In fact, with Wrath being released in November 2009 both expansions have been released in wintertime. So another winter-to-early spring release is in keeping with that pattern.


(3) After Wrath came out Blizzard publicly stated that their goal was to make expansions on a yearly basis. While it is true that Blizzard does not always keep its word in such matters, there doesn't seem to be any particular reason to think they can't keep that pace. Furthermore, Blizzard stated at Blizzcon 2009 that they had already started working on Cataclysm before Wrath was even launched. Anything in summer of 2010 would mean that the company was not merely off target; it would mean that the third expansion took just as long as the 22 months it took to complete as Wrath. That's unlikely.


(4) Patch 3.1 dropped in mid-April 2009. Slightly less than four months later patch 3.2 dropped in early August. Patch 3.3 is on the PTR and a four month gap means it would drop no later than December 1st. A release day after March 1st, 2010 would create a yawing gap of content. In fact, all three patches have been essentially raid patches with no new solo content to the game. The idea that Blizzard will go six to eight months with no major updates (either raid or solo) to the game is inconsistent with recent practice.


(5) A release date after March 1st misses a landmark sales opportunity: Christmas. Christmas is the busiest shopping period in North America. With Patch 3.3 coming out no later than the beginning of holiday season it's inconceivable to me from a business point of view that any company, let alone Blizzard, would fail to have some major Warcraft product for sale during that time period. A release date of the first three months of 2010 allows them to market and sell pre-orders during the holiday shopping period.


I could go on but for me that's enough. There is a constellation of reasons why it's highly improbable that Blizzard will release the next expansion after March 1st, 2010. Given the release status of Patch 3.3 I expect it to drop mid-November, a public announcement of the release date of the next expansion during the holiday season, and the next expansion to release February 1st, 2010.

81 comments:

huntarder said...

1) Wrath was announced Blizzcon 2007 and released after blizzon 2008, so I can definitely see them doing that again.

2) WoW has always been released during winter so no argument there, but it has also always been targeted for pre-christmas (BC simply missed it's launch date).

3) Blizzard releases games Soon(TM). They have stated many times they release things when they are ready..

4) 3.1 was 6 months after 3.0 (Big patch)
3.2 was 4 months after 3.1 but was a very small patch (it was a 1 room instance). The work required to complete ICC is much more akin to Ulduar than to the coliseum.

5) Pre-releases are already being sold by many stores, many of them don't feel the need to wait for an official date (and blizzard knows this).



Something tells me they are going to rush to get this out as soon as possible, but they are going to give us 3 months MINIMUM to complete ICC so I don't see Cataclysm coming before March.

scrusi said...

As far as I know, blizzard committed to one frontline release per year as opposed to one wow expansion. This year's release was supposed to be Starcraft II, which got pushed to early 2010. That means that a late 2010 Cataclysm would be completely in line with their policy.

Additionally, while SCII and WoW are quite different games, there is definitely some overlap in the playerbase and releasing both in the same timeframe seems like a bad idea. Such a release would also mean providing launch support for two major titles at the same time, something they can't be looking for.

Obviously, a late 2010 release will require another content patch, but we've seen a .4 patch after the main boss of the expansion died once before. My money is on second half 2010, most likely 4th quarter.

Anonymous said...

2nd or 3rd Qtr of 2010, morel ike 3rd.

Ill bet 100g, any takers?

Cacknoob

Verdian said...

Agreed. Early 2010 is *way* too early. Judging by the looks of Cataclysm at Blizzcon it has certainly had plenty of time in development (i.e. since before Wrath). However, so many of their 'big ideas' (guild talents, revamped Old World, redoing all the classes & talent trees) were still that - ideas. I cannot see how they could go from whiteboard scribble in August 2009 to release-able material in February 2010.

As huntarder pointed out, Wrath was previewed at 2 consecutive Blizzcons, as I'm sure Cataclysm will be. August 2010 will come off the end of the summer 'low-ratings' season for WoW, and an almost-finished look at Cataclysm will get plenty of people reactiviating accounts and pre-ordering Cataclysm as the winter/holiday season start in November 2010.

I am honestly not sure what sort of content patches they will release during the next 12 months though. Ulduar was a big content patch, but took 6 months. ICC will be another big content patch, and still has plenty of time for all the dungeons and raids to be finalised and released on the PTR let alone the live realms.

TL;DR: it'll be interesting to see what Blizzard does to keep people playing between ICC and Cataclysm...

Elnia said...

@huntader. In regards to #4 the problem there is that 3.3 is already on the PTR. In order for you to be correct 3.3 would need to spend several months on the PTR. Not likely. As to #5, maybe so. But it's not being marketed...and it was the marketing, not the sale that was the point.

@verdian. The difficulty is that essentially that would mean six to eight months before the end of Wrath and the next expansion. Even a 3.4 patch is not going to fill up that space, and there are no announced plans to do that. Now, IF there were to be a 3.4 in March or so obviously I am wrong. But my assumption is that 3.3 is the end of Wrath. Blizzard has never indicated anything to indicate it's not.

Elnia said...

@huntarder. I went back and double checked. 3.1 hit the PTR Feb.24th 2009 and and went live April 13th 2009 or 50 days later. Assuming your argument that 3.3 is akin to 3.1 in in it's size and complexity that means that means that 3.3 should go live November 20th, or 50 days after the day 3.3 hit the PTR (Oct. 1, 2009).

So taking your three months at a minimum standard, we are still left with a launch date before March 1st, 2010.

Of this I am sure, something will happen in the Spring of 2010. It may be a secret patch 3.4; it may be the expansion. But something in the game will happen in the spring.

Ngita said...

The november release of wotlk pretty much hit the US peak Xmas shopping period, huntarder is correct in that TBC missed it the mark.

Scrusi since they have not released a single frontline release except for wow expansions since that statement i doubt your interpration is correct.

March from the numbers you have given sounds correct, its just not a traditional date. A 3.4 patch is only likely in the event of something going badly wrong . The only exception being Naxx 1.0 was out 6 months? and many complained they didnt get time to finish.

Their was a thread that talked about release dates with many giving late 2010 for Cata, the only blizzard responses where that most were grossly over in their times lines and that it was sooner then you think.

Kromus said...

Well I have to agree, it'd certaintly be good marketing-- and I doubt they'd waste the opourtunity.

Tis' the season to raid Deathwing
Lalalalala lalala la

They were later than expected with The Burning Crusade, they wanted to release it earlier but were set back, they didn't let that happen with Wrath, so one thing is for sure whatever they've decided it'll likely come out there and then.

morrighan13 said...

I have to say I think they've not really thought the announcement through if its not going to be released until late 2010. I remember the run up to Wrath and it was crap. People stopped playing TBC because they were waiting for Wrath, they wandered off to other games, they lost interest. If there is no patch between 3.3 (Christmas I expect given its on the PTR) and November next year how many people will just stop playing from sheer boredom with the content? And since Cataclysm is revamping the levelling experience then people won't even want to fall back on chronic altaholism.

That being said, I think that February is a little early too. Mainly because it would give people a very short time to complete Icecrown. I've been guessing (hoping for?) May 2010. Nowhere near Christmas, but should cooincide with the summer holidays when raiding is traditionally crap anyway. So all the guild rejigging, etc. that normally takes place through a new expansion and all the summer rejigging could happen at once.

Spinks said...

Elnia: I think you are right and they'll have something lined up for next spring, but more likely to be another patch/ raid than the expansion.

How long were Wrath and TBC in beta? That might gve us a rough idea

Attorama said...

The last major content patch of The Burning Crusade, patch 2.4, was released on March 25, 2008. Patch 3.0 was released a little less than 7 months later, on October 14, 2008. Wrath of the Lich King was released on November 16, 2008.

With the notification that all non-Battle.Net accounts will be offline after November 11 2009, I’m predicting that will be the day patch 3.3 is released. If Cataclysm follows a similar time schedule, we can expect patch 4.0 on June 2, 2010 and the next expansion on July 7.

Dw-redux said...

I agree on all of your points. except 5).
When you are bigger than christmas, you don't need christmas.
March 1st is my bet! :)

scrusi said...

@Ngita: The announcement was made in february 2009. By your definition, it can't count WoW expansions either since none of those have been released since.

Carra said...

I've written another reply on Tobolds site.

In short, i expect it november of next year.

1) Starcraft 2. You do not release anything a month after you release the most expected RTS game of the decade. I'd like to play Starcraft 2 for a few months before they give me the expansion to WoW.

2) No buzz created yet. Some was created at Blizzcon. But the new talents, more info on the professions, more info on the new zones?

3) They need months to teste the beta.

4) After the SC2 release they can free developers to help with the WoW expansion.

5) End of 2010 is right on time for the Christmas period. Why miss it? Although I suppose WoW fans don't really mind if it comes out on christmas or not, it's more important for new games like SC2.

Staffan said...

Regarding the size of patch 3.2: Sure, the Coliseum wasn't so big. But it also had a whole new battleground, which isn't exactly free in terms of development.

Me, I think we'll see 3.3 within a month or so, and Cataclysm within 4-6 months after that. February sounds a bit too soon, but Q2 2010 sounds about right. If it goes longer than that, we'll probably see a filler patch of some sort.

Hatch said...

Not a chance it will come out that early. 3.3 around Dec 1st (they haven't even started testing the 3rd dungeon, let alone the raid, which is as big as Ulduar!), 4.0 in April or May, Cataclysm in June or July. Just look at their previous release date habits.

Also, at this point, the holiday shopping season is a non-concern for Blizzard. No one will get Cataclysm as a gift, 99% of players will go out and buy it on day 1, no matter what day that happens to be. Blizz has no use for the holiday season when it comes to WoW.

Larísa said...

They really seem to be launching Icecrown much sooner than I had hoped for. So little time, so much to do! We're still working on the hardmodes in Ulduar. But I guess most guilds think otherwise. They'r just doing ToC for the loot and can't wait to get Icecrown for more loot. Sigh. If you asked me they could as well wait launching Icecrown until december and then maybe Cataclysm in May.
No rush for me.

weenie said...

The expansion is available as pre-order on Amazon - they cite Sept 2010 as the available date for despatch...

Staffan said...

Amazon's release dates carry pretty much no weight. They need to put something in the release date field, and if they don't get anything from the producer they just make something up.

fallingleavesandwings said...

Honestly, anything before Q3 2010 I don't feel will happen.

They don't even have Cataclysm in Beta yet. A February release date is at most 4 months away. Far too soon.

I would agree with everyone else that the next big release is going to be Starcraft, and they aren't going to pit competition for their own products by placing release dates that close to each other.

My guess is that we are going to see Starcraft Q1 2010 and Cataclysm Q3/4 2010. I think when we mathed it out, we were thinking September at the earliest.

We've a minimum of two more months of ToC, more likely 3. That puts us at December-Januaryish for Ice Crown (I'd hope January so they don't introduce a new raid with the holidays). Figure Ice Crown is at least as big as Ulduar, and is the final instance for the zone, that puts 6-7 months of expected play for it? I think at earliest we are looking at a June/July release. But I just don't see them releasing the expansion mid-summer.

Just my 2 cents =)

Hinenuitepo said...

Blizz has definitely accelerated content releases in Wow 3.0.
However, I have to agree with the majority that see this as a very unlikely outcome.

I predict 6-8 weeks on Icecrown Citadel, which puts us at ~January 2010.

This is a MAJOR instance, and WotLK's penultimate content. I think they'll give us at least 3-4 months with it, maybe longer (more like the six+ months many have said).

My prediction is May 2010 at the soonest for Cataclysm.

I'm in no rush to get a half-baked expansion. I hope they take their time and do it right.

Staffan said...

@Hinenuitepo: Sorry, but you triggered one of my pet peeves. Icecrown being Wrath's penultimate content? So you think there's going to be a patch 3.4 as well?

Penultimate means "next to last". The "pen" comes from "paene", meaning "almost."

Elnia said...

@fallingleaves. I don't really understand what Starcaft and WoW have to do with each other in terms of release dates. You're basically making a dogmatic assertion without any facts. You might be correct, but I don't know how to respond to that assertion in any reasoned way.

@hine. 6-8 weeks of Icecrown on the PTR puts us at Thanksgiving, not January. As for half-baked expansion, they said they started working on it before Wrath was released. I don't see how 16 months means it's going to be 1/2 baked.

It's worth noting that both BC and Wrath were in beta three months. In BC the last patch was released three months before the beta dropped. If that timetable were to still hold we would expect to see the beta Feb 1st and the actual expansion May st.

To my mind that's the worst case scenario.

What's my main Again? said...

I agree with an early 2010 release. I would like to add to your reasoning the fact that they are yet again doing a gear reset with 3.3. You won't have to go through 3 tiers of raids to get into icecrown you will simply have to do the regular and heroic version of the new 5 man.

This leaves me to believe they are trying to rush people through the content sort to speak. In BC they eventually nerfed every instance and boss in the game in order to get people to see what was left. This time they are simply giving a direct gear path to get new 80's the gear to see Arthas die.

I also see Cataclysm having a relatively short beta considering the entire continent already exists and it is mostly the flying aspect that takes a lot of development time.

If Cat isn't coming out for another year there will indeed be a lot of burn out of the player base.

Anonymous said...

Or they could keep doing thing the way they have been and release a new content patch roughly ever 6 months. If IC opens Nov 09 expect to see something either another content patch like the sunwell or the next expansion around May.

River said...

My prediction will be Early Summer 2010. To pick up the Summer duldrums that usually hits.

Stripes said...

"I don't really understand what Starcaft and WoW have to do with each other in terms of release dates. You're basically making a dogmatic assertion without any facts."

A lot of the people who play WoW don't play any (or many) other video games. However a lot of them do play other games. So releasing WoW and SC2 at close to the same time has the two competing for dollars and time from the same people. Personally I find this a modestly convincing argument.

Blizz's phone support staff is almost definitely the same folks for all the games, just reading from a different help book. So multiple releases in a short span of time will put more load on them (either meaning longer hold times and pissing off customers more, or hiring more support staff and cutting into profits). Personally I find this pretty convincing.

From working at a game company in the distant past there are shared resources. At the place I worked at voice talent and 2D artists were heavily shared. Given Blizz's size and success they should be able to _hire_ lots of these folks...but they also have very high standards. They just may not be able to find enough talent in area X to multiply staff it. Not that I'm saying voice talent, or 2D art are specifically the area they can't gets lots of folks for, just that there is probably A bottleneck in there. I would say...I'm not all that convince on that item, but it is my very on pet theory so I'll put it foreword.

Media outlets tend to only give a company so much "time". So if you want a review of SC2 and then a review of WoW:the-next-five-levels it would be good to space them out a bit.

Of corse I'm not the original poster, they may have other things behind their assertion.

Staffan said...

@Anonymous: I seriously doubt we'll see another Sunwell-type patch. Blizzard has admitted that that was a mistake, or rather an attempt to fix a mistake (having Illidan killed off in patch 2.1 instead of a later patch). 3.3/Icecrown will almost certainly be the last major patch before the 4.0/Cataclysm pre-patch.

Kromus said...

Indeed, I wouldn't worry about a sudden "Oh btw Kael'thalas survived a third time.." lmao.

Yeesh. Unless he becomes undead....

..

*averts this information from Blizzards eyes*.

Carson 63000 said...

Friday, July 30, 2010.

I think Blizzard will try to push hard, and go from the 26-month launch-to-TBC and 22-month TBC-to-WotLK schedules, to getting Cataclysm out 18 months after WotLK.

Which would be May 2010.

However, Blizzard being Blizzard, it will slip from initial intentions, and not get out the door until the end of July.

Bronte said...

Hi Elnia,

You started this whole process. Now Gordon and Tobold have joined the fray, and more from the blogosphere are sure to follow.

I have mixed feelings on the 5 points you mentioned. I agree with some and disagree with some. I also conducted a mathematical and chronological analysis and put it up in a blog post.

Take a look and tell me what you think!

Hinenuitepo said...

@Elnia, 8 weeks from today? Closer to January imo, but perhaps 'Christmas' might be better. That's the week before January. But that's quibbling. I'd be very surprised to see Icecrown before T-giving. Much more likely around Christmastime.

@Staffan, good point - while I didn't say it clearly perhaps, BT was the penultimate content in BC. It was seen as the last and best, yet Sunwell came out as the stopgap to Lich King. It wouldn't suprise me at all if Icecrown is indeed penultimate.

Which is why I see May as the soonest it could possibly come out. I think Q3 is much more likely.

Carra said...

I don't really understand what Starcaft and WoW have to do with each other in terms of release dates.

Simple. If WoW: Cataclysm comes out at the same time as SC2 I'd have to pass on buying SC2 for a few months as I'd be playing nothing but Cataclysm. Why would they want people to choose between their two games? Just delay the other game a half year and you can be sure that people will buy both.

It's just terrible marketing to release two games in a small period of time. Add indeed the logistical nightmare. Support phone lines. High level bug fixes. Spreading the games won't cause a huge spike in people needed.

Anonymous said...

I remember at Blizzcon they stated that we would be complaining about the goblins and their backpacks by the next blizzcon. 1st Quarter 2010.

Tore said...

I have to say i totally agree with what you claim here. The main reason being that the arguments you come up with here, for a cataclysm release before march 1. is better than the "against" arguments. I've been following blizzards statements about Cataclysm the last half year very thoroughly, and I have to say...the way they talk about it, and the fact that they all are VERY excited about talking to us about it seem to me like a hint of what's going to happen. In my opinion, we will be able to play Cataclysm at early 2010, probably first quarter. I have to admit, that is also my hope, but even by being objective about this, I still see this happening.

Anonymous said...

I think that Cataclysm will drop probably in Fall 2010, and, in my opinion, a HUGE patch will be uploaded around late spring to usher in Deathwing and Cataclysm. This will incorporate a massive World Event of some kind (probably destructive). The world will change and never be the same. Goblins and Worgens won't show up until the actual retail release of Cataclysm, but many of the changes will have already been in place way before Fall 2010.
Just my opinion :D

Staffan said...

@Anonymous: I doubt it. Historically, the pre-expansion patches have dropped about a month or so before the expansion releases.

Patch 2.0: Dec 5
Burning Crusade: Jan 16
Patch 3.0: Oct 14
Wrath: Nov 13

Tore said...

Well, we can at least say that February first is out of the question, seeing Arthas won't join us before like april, if Blizzard continues to have 28 days between each of the ICC wings. I'd say give it 2-3 months after that, probably more. Then we're looking at late May-June. I'd say that's a fair guess. It won't come earlier than that, maybe later though, but I doubt fall is probable, seeing people from Blizzard said that we will be whining about goblins next BlizzCon.

Staffan said...

According to wow.com, the progression will speed up after the holidays. So probably more like 2 or 3 weeks between gates.

elijah said...

Well hears a good qeustion( not involing the realse date) what about the level cap, 85? Obviously they started Wow on the wrong foot and the level cap was 60, when it should have started out in the 40-50 range, now our new MMORPG's are learing from blizzards mistake, and starting off a level cap of 50, when they gotta slow down because, being level 1 in Wow sux, and I personall think Cataclym is going to a short term sususs, people will hit 85 way to fast, and spend a couple months gettig new gear and blizz will continue there usual cical of making new pathes with new gear and keep the palyers occupied until the next expansion pack. I already have a bad feeling for Blizzard, maybe it's there end time? I see Cataclysm as a short term goal :/

Tore said...

Elijah:
I do see your point, but to be quite honest I couldn't disagree more. If you'd been reading on Cataclysm at all you'd see that there's so much more than only the raise of level cap that will happen in the game at Cataclysm release. We will have two new races (which will make a lot of people reroll, forcing them to start all over again). We will have a ton of new dungeons, far more than Wotlk ever had. We'll get Path of the Titans, which is like a leveling after you've hit level cap (kind of). Not to mention the whole World of Azeroth will change, being one of the reasons for some people going as far as calling the expansion "World of Warcraft II".

Tore said...

This is of course just a tiny fraction of all the changes that will be made when Cataclysm is released. I do not believe at all that WoW will expire because of too few changes arriving with Cataclysm.

Anonymous said...

Just because you people think everything is on a schedule doesn't mean it is. Blizzard confirmed 3.3 is the last patch of this expansion. A Q3 release would mean we will be in 3.3 for over 7 months. Proposterous, 7 months? Everyone will grow bored and quit, and by looking at what they have so far, including a playable demo back at 09 Blizzcon, it's coming earlier than you expect.

Anonymous said...

Well, I had gone to gamestop about a week or two ago, and had wondered to ask them when Cataclysm comes out, the teller there looked through a bbig book and had said "November First" so around when LK came out is my bet. oct-dec '10

Tore said...

I'm afraid that's wrong. Gamestop has to set a date for the release to be able to take pre-release purchases. Gamestop does this with every game, and they always set it later than what they really expect, so they don't get angry customers. Blizzard haven't release any info to anyone about the release date, and they never will. If it had been as easy as going to Gamestop to get the date, why do you think there are close to 1k discussion forums on this topic?

Anonymous said...

posted January 25th, 2010
-------------------------
The Burning Crusade was officially announced on October 28th, 2005
The Burning Crusade was released on January 16th, 2007
=1 year 2 months 14days

Wrath of the Lich King was officially announced on August 3rd, 2007
Wrath of the Lich King was released on November 13th, 2008
=1 year 3 months 10days

Cataclysm was officially announced on August 21th, 2009
Cataclysm WILL BE released BETWEEN November 7th AND November 31th, 2010

..or like other prophets would say, November 2010

Tore said...

Well, you do have a good point there. I've still got a couple of arguments against your view though:
1. Blizzard employees SAID that we'd be complaining about goblins at next BlizzCon (which should be in August).
2. Blizzard have said that they had already started working, and had done quite a lot of work, on Cataclysm when they released Wrath of the Lich King. They didn't start on the earlier expansions before they released the expansion pack before it.
Your comment is an assumption that they will spend equal time on every expansion based on facts from two observation. As I'm a bit of a scientist myself, I know that you need a lot more observations than two to even form a thesis. My arguments are facts, that's the difference between our comments. I still stand strong on my earlier conclusion: May-June 2010.

Anonymous said...

"1. Blizzard employees SAID that we'd be complaining about goblins at next BlizzCon."
-It could just mean that beta will be out before BlizzCon, and that people playing beta will complain about goblins.

"2. Blizzard have said that they had already started working, and had done quite a lot of work, on Cataclysm when they released Wrath of the Lich King. They didn't start on the earlier expansions before they released the expansion pack before it."
-You beeing the Scientist you are, do you know this for a fact, that they didnt start work on wotlk before tbc was out? Isnt it entirely possible they have two individual teams, one working on wotlk patches and one that has been working on cataclysm even while wotlk patches were developed? And why wouldnt that have been the case in earlier expansions? Wouldnt that make these two facts kinda hearsay, and open for interpretation?

And the two last releases wasnt just some random observations. They were a part of a business plan, where they aim to make most money possible on the product, while at the same time keep their audience captivated. November/December is when people go crazy with their wallets. The release in january was abit delayed, but it was still possible to pre-order x-mas presents.
I stand by my November 2010 prediction. :)

Larísa said...

It's obivious by now that Elnia was wrong in his first prediction. However I must say that it's great to see that the discussion is still going strong in this thread! I honestly must say that the idea that it wouldn't come out until november is a bit disturbing to me. If that was the case they REALLY would have to make another content patch or they won't have any playerbase left...

Tore said...

Okey, first of all, the part about me being a scientist was me being ironic. I was just trying to make a point..you really don't need to be a rocket-scientist to understand that two observations is not enough.

They did also say that they have never been this quick to start on an expansion before. I would believe that there are different teams working on the different aspects of the game, but I think who works on the expansion is decided by where the expansion is by means of development. Meaning in the start of the development of an expansion, people good at basic development work on the new expansion, and then, when they're done the more advanced people take over, like programmers and so on. I don't think Blizzard employees is divided in two, and half the group is told to work on the new expansion and the rest work on patches for the current game.
These are all assumptions though,which I don't enjoy fiddling in, seeing this is not really my field.
I'd still say this is a valid point though, wouldn't you?

On your response to my first point though, you might as well be correct. If I'd been in the audience at BlizzCon 2009 though, I know that would have made me feel a bit tricked.

Anonymous said...

well... its Feb 2nd.... wheres cataclysm? gg haha

Dominick said...

well i mite shoot myself if it doesent come out soon JK

Anonymous said...

I wish you were right...

~hopeful

Anonymous said...

May 15 2010

Anonymous said...

well here we are with no information... blizzards attempting to keep their game alive with very little content. The hardest part is to redo the starter zones with new graphical updates. The rest is literally like 2-3 raids. So they're really not making a whole lot of content just revamping some areas. They're trying to spread this out as much as possible. b/c they know wow is dying, so they're going to try to make this game last as long as humanly possible.

So if we take a look at the last tbc patch and compare it with the KNOWN launch of wotlk it was 4 motnhs. So it'll be 4 more months after the lich king falls.So we're looking at a GOOD atleast june release. And since as you said no one wants to play this game during the summer. It's going to be november once again. That is unless, they for some odd reason decide to make it happen in april.

I doubt they will though considering how the lich king is and this patch in and of itself. Look at how they did it, they made it last a GOOD two months. So if we then say they're going to release the next expansion at least four months after everyone's killed the lich king the release date is somewhere around june. Once more this is highly unlikely, so is them releasing it in april. As that's close to summer.

Honestly though, i'd personally see a summer release a great thing/idea for them. Since alot of kids are going to be off from school, and that means people resubbing to blow away their summers.

Anonymous said...

3.3.5 patch is coming, with new content. I still stand by my original date:

Cataclysm was officially announced on August 21th, 2009
Cataclysm WILL BE released BETWEEN November 7th AND November 31th, 2010

..or like other prophets would say, November 2010

Stupid said...

first off they've already released gameplay which means that they're close to finished.
Secondly i do agree that they would release it before summer as no one plays during summer alot.
3.3 is ready to be released by march 15th so it should mean that patch 4.0 will be released mid-april.
Lastly alot more birthdays are beginning before june so that info is spread among businesses ready to be realeased for the multitude of birthdays within the march-june sector.

Anonymous said...

hehe, "stupid says..." .. and all that useless information. I take it your whole post was ironic. ..if not, I pity you. 3.3.3 patch is coming AND 3.3.5 patch is coming before cataclysm btw.. so dont hold your breath

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just stumbled upon this 'prediction' and I can't fathom why you would have thought Blizzard would release an expansion at any time OTHER than the holiday season? It was common speculation after the announcement at Blizzcon that the xpac would be released around the holiday season of 2010. Every WOW player on my server or otherwise guessed that. What part about commerce and holiday buying power eludes you, or better yet...what part of Blizzards xpac release cycle don't you understand? BC was set to release during the holidays of 2007, it was delayed a few weeks to Jan 07. Wrath came out in November of 2008. I guess you have trouble sensing patterns??

Tore said...

I'm guessing you're refering to the February first prediction? I'll still give you a response on this. The thing is, Blizzard said in BlizzCon 09 that they are aiming for a yearly release of expansions. That is clearly not the case with Cataclysm, but they are still going to shorten the time between expansions as much as they can. I would also like to ask you this..if Blizzard are waiting to for the holidays before they release it, that would mean they won't release Cataclysm in 9 months from now. You really think Blizzard think they'll keep the player base they want with a mere 1 boss raid for 9 months? Face it, people won't raid Icecrown for that long, and Blizzard knows this perfectly well.
And about the patterns...mate, Blizzard is probably one of the more unpredictable companies within the gaming industry.Statistics is not something you'd want to trust when it comes to Blizzards' releases, logic is.

Anonymous said...

patch 3.4 , Ruby Sanctum, the instance to be released between Wrath and Cata.

Eric M Bleau said...

3.4 is NOT ruby sanctum....

3.3.5 is.

3.3 is the last major patch before 4.0

roger said...

if this xpack comes out in Nov i plan on dropping my WOW account and playing the new star wars MMO, i may or may not ever go back to WOW.

many players are already tired of ICC already and are leaving the game, blizz needs to do something quick or there is going to be a huge drop in subs.

Anonymous said...

i went onto bestbuy.com and the preorder release date is set up for oct 1st-10th. nice

Anonymous said...

Well here it is Mid-April and blizzard hasn't even announced the date yet....I bet you feel pretty dumb huh? Missed that prediction by quite a bit huh? Back in october when you wrote this they would have announced it by then if it was released in march of this year.

Larísa said...

@Anonymous: I wasn't the one predicting release date to Feb 1. My ex bartender Elnia (appearing now as Daniel in this post for some technical reason, don't ask me why) was the one who wrote it. I've thought it would be much later all the time. I think his prediction was mostly wishful thinking.

In my more optimistic moments I would vouch for mid-end of Septemeber. In my moments of pessimism: November.

Anonymous said...

i highly doubt it'll even be during 2010. currently we are on patch 3.3.3 and the retaking of gnomer/echo isles is going be to during patch 3.9(stated in blue posts i found on mmo-champion) So unless the time between patches is less than 1.5 months we wont even see that patch until after the new years

Tore said...

So you really think Blizzard will leave us raiders with the ruby sanctuary only until Cataclysm?? I find that highly unlikely. No, it will be out in september~.

Tore said...

By Cataclysm I mean next year, lol! :P

Anonymous said...

It is just too, too funny that everyone continues to think that WoW is based on the very small population of players that are hard core raiders. I always thought it would be the Oct-Nov time frame because ~2 years seems to be a good pattern. (So, I guess I am thinking Blizzcon attendees get some nice swag and two weeks later are in the game)

I don't hate on raiders, but some of the comments I've seen that act like Blizzard owes it to end-gamers to constantly upgrade end-game content is laughable.

So what that a few guilds per realm can get through ICC in a relatively short time? It's the other 95% of casual players-to casual raiders that are the bread and butter for Blizzard.

I mean, I raid a small amount, but I like to do other things, too and almost every guild I knew hadn't even gotten into the last raid (can't even remember - Sunwell, right?) before WotLK popped.

So, before I get flamed - I am not hating on raiders, I'm very impressed by their abilities. I am just saying that posts stating that players "won't stand" for 4-6 months of ICC and/or Ruby Sanctum are just unrealistic.

Staffan said...

"Patch 3.9" likely doesn't mean that we'll see patches 3.4 through 3.8 before it happens. It means it will be the last patch before 4.0. So the patches will be 3.3.5 (Ruby Sanctum), followed by 3.9 (Gnomeregan/Echo Isles), 4.0 (pre-Cataclysm patch that will include all the mechanical changes), and then the actual expansion with the new zones and such.

I'm pretty sure I read of someone official at Blizzcon saying "By next BlizzCon, you'll have been able to try out the new races and such for yourselves," although I can't find the quote at the moment. But some time before Blizzcon 2010 (which is in October), I think we'll see Cataclysm.

Tore said...

Anonymous: You do have a couple of really good points, I have to say. Thing is though, what do you do in level 80 besides raiding? There isn't really alot, is there? If we actually have to wait for 2011 before we see Cataclysm, there will be a lot of people leaving because they're tired of ICC and Ruby Sanctuary. I mean, most people raiders are tired of ICC already. Maybe not because they've cleared it on 25 man HC mode, but because they've been there countless nights trying to get as far as possible. A raid instance have a set "life", and after that life's expired, people will get tired. Think about the last couple of raids in WotLK. Naxxramas lasted until Ulduar came out in March or so. Ulduar until ToC in August. Okey, so people still do them, but mostly to gear up for ICC. I'd say about 50% of the level 80's do enjoy raiding, and see that as why they play their 80.
And on the Sunwell thing...Sunwell were far more hardcore than ICC is. To do Sunwell, you'd have to have loads of gear from BT, TK, MH and so on. Now you can just get the gear you need from doing heroics. It's not even close to comparable.

I'm not saying WoW is finished if Blizzard doesn't get Cataclysm up before 2011, but I'm saying they'll lose most of their raiding playerbase, and raids is something Blizzard enjoys designing the most.

Oh, and btw, Staffan is correct, Blizzard did say that we'll be talking about the new races and stuff by next BlizzCon in October.

Anonymous said...

@Tore: I agree with you on some of your remarks. Raiders MAY get bored, but from my personal observations, it seems like they have done a pretty decent job in adding fresh content. I do disagree that 50% of players enjoy raiding. I would bet that the real number is not even close to that. Those just happen to be the more vocal players…and even if it was 50%, it’s still probably only a small % of that number that have progressed to the final raid before the next xpac (Granted, I am on possibly the worst server to judge progression on – Garithos). But I definitely agree that 2011 would be too long (and would probably only happen because of huge issues that weren’t foreseen). I think 21 months is perfect (because I think 18 is too short and 24 is too long). I am personally hoping for a September release.

As for what is there to do at 80? Well, lots of people continue questing, work on reputations, work towards achievements, gather gold for whatever the next xpac will have, collect badges and probably most commonly they work on their alts (probably way more altaholics than raiders). I personally am working on a healer, which I have never really done before.

Tore said...

Good thing that we at least agree on some parts then! ^^
I'd like to ask you a question though: Do you raid? Because raiding today means ICC. If you do VoA, you do it to gear up for ICC (Or PvP, but that's not the point^^). If you do Ulduar it's because that happened to be the weekly. You might do ToC, but that's because you're gearing up for ICC.
As mentioned, back in Sunwell days the only way to get there was to do the other end raids. ICC is pretty much accessible for everyone now because of triumph from heroics and daily random and so on.

I have to admit, I may have been a bit off in suggesting that 50% of the level 80s out there enjoy raiding. What I think though, is that Blizzard enjoy designing raids, rather than making weird achievements, quests for level 80s, reputation-grinding hubs, and so on.

I see you altoholic-point though. I'm quite an altoholic myself, even though I try to do the occasional raid! ^^

Anonymous said...

guess you were wrong lol

Anonymous said...

We can only wish all those bored people leave the game. In my opinion many (not all) of those people who are blowing through content that fast are the same "leet speaking" fools that clog trade channel with trolling and senseless conversation. I came from one of those high end guilds in BC and had to deal with those type of people 5 days a week and aren't very funny.

Why are so many making a fuss about OMG no new content!!! I mean seriously... it's a game you either play it for fun or what... play it to make yourself feel you can win at something since you fail at life? I don't get to raid hardcore anymore since my personal business picked up... but hey, that's just me and my opinion I would rather make 95k/yr and take longer to get through ICC, even if it means I am still raiding ICC into summer. From the looks of things, that is coming to pass for all of us whether we like it or not.

I do agree that the highest percentage of the WoW player population is NOT the "I'm bored and I quit" section. I don't have proof to back that up but when those bored people quit before Blizz sure didn't go belly up from losing them did they?

In the end Cataclysm arrives when it arrives. I guess we all as players have a couple of choices. Slow down; stop and smell the binary roses -vs- don't play for pure enjoyment and leave WoW for some other game because you get bored.

PS: If people are going to talk about how we should "look at all those who quit playing" when we had a long delay in content, perhaps there should be some server stats and/or financial numbers to back that up. I don't recall hearing about Blizz being in a panic over low subscription numbers nor do I recall them having any wildly low quarterly income reports.

Anonymous said...

You were wrong.. Even your predictions were way off..

If you were -actually- AT the blizzcon 09, and played the demo version for cataclysm, you'd know it was a very early version and form of the game.. They still have ways to go, even now, they're still polishing and minting up the game... Not to mention that The burning crusade came out in January, and Wotlk came out in Nov. Its going to be a winter release.. ALl they -have- confirmed is that its coming out in 2010.. Porbably around the holidays of december too.

Please keep in mind, that the whole world changing cataclysm is NOT HAPPENING over night.. Its happening in the next patches.. THey still have a lot to do.. Along with with the ngome and Troll events coming up ( I'm so excited :D ).. Soo, when patch 3.9 is at its end, cataclysm shouldnt be far away.. Cataclysm will start the 4 patches.. WOW was 1, BC patch 2, and Wotlk patches 3.

Séan Llew said...

Fail

Anonymous said...

you were wrong

Anonymous said...

lol wow your retarted... Cataclysm will be released late August to early October.. and yes that will still be before next Blizzcon... Blizzcon is October 21, 2010 and Alpha just came out about 2 weeks back so about 3 - 5 months before release

Larísa said...

I'm locking this thread for further comments since it's very old and of course it's apparent that the one who wrote the post was wrong. However for anyone who wants to speculate further on the release date there's a newer post about this. The comment thread there is open, so feel free to jump over there if you have anything to say on this matter.

http://www.pinkpigtailinn.com/2010/05/further-speculations-on-release-date-of.html