(Update) When is the release of Wrath of the Lich King

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King is in the horizon. Many are crazy about it with all the good (and some bad) changes that will come with it. As all WoW’ers are aware, there will be a pre-expansion patch – v3.0.x, that will go to the PTR, then to the LIVE servers a month before the release of the second expansion. In this post, I reposted my analysis and guess of the big dates, first posted in the WoW Forums and in other WoW Communities, but first, some of the features that may come with the pre-expansion patch:

  • Mounts and Mini-Pets “skill” feature – no longer will your mounts and mini-pets take up bag space as these will become part of your Skills Tab (when you press ‘P’)
  • Free Talent Reset
  • New Talents – we’ll be able to use the new talents and everything that comes with it, like:
  • Hunter Exotic Pets – Chimaera; Core hound; Devilsaur; Rhino; Silithid; Worm
  • New Arenas and BGs – but these will not be usable until you reach 80 and 71 respectively (which you will need Wrath :p )
  • We’ll get to see a new Class Icon when we create new characters (Death Knight)
  • Maps will be updated – the World Map will show Northrend and Eastern Plaguelands will show the DK starting sub-zone
  • World Event that will trigger a day or a week before the Release Day of Wrath – where it is rumoured that Orgrimmar and Darnassus/Stormwind will be raided by the Scourge and burned down to ashes
  • Built-In Guild Calendar
  • Inscription – new Profession; Can only be leveled up to 375 until Wrath release
  • and many more!!

Follow up:

So let’s get down to business, based on my analysis and best guess, the big dates are…

  • Let’s face it, any good business will at some time make a move to counter its possible main threat – Warhammer for World of Warcraft
  • Any WoW player who will play Warhammer will more likely not play WoW for a couple of weeks, so
  • the Pre-Expansion Patch is best seen to be released in the PTR between September 23 to October 14 (all Tuesdays);
  • then Patch Day on October 21 to November 11

  • Holiday season will start for many on 2008-Dec-16.
  • The Christmas in-game event will also kick in sometime that week (I didn’t check the WoW calendar)
  • Holiday season means more and more people will be on vacation, and thus, more and more players are going to log-in. This is the worst time to release WotLK, unless they will force all their employees to report on duty :p
  • November 24 to December 5 is the best window for WotLK. Not too early for the Holiday Season and the hype is also going wildly, and not too late, considering the Pre-Expansion Patch was released just a month ago, OR a few weeks ago if the patch is released on the second possible date (letter D above)
  • Late November to Early December, people should have recovered from their spending from other games and what not.
  • Since they have recovered, this really makes this time-period best for WotLK, JUST BEFORE they start to spend for gifts and vacations for the Holiday season – Get them to buy before they spend their new money flow!!

Main objective here: Get as many WoW players to play WotLK as possible:
* those who played WAR – trying or sticked to it;
* those who simply stopped for whatever reason;
* those who are still active – get them to spend more;
* those new breed of players introduced through other new online games (like WAR and AoC); and
* those who never tried the game just because but with WotLK they’ll be tempted.

Personally? September is Warhammer Month. October will be Pre-Expansion Patch month. Then November will be WotLK release month. December will be when we all lose our lives LAWLZ!!

Update 7:11pm ACT: The World of Warcraft TBC logo in the Official Website is already half icy signaling the coming of Wrath. This was first noticed by Munty from the WoW Forums.

Then I remembered how Blizzard Entertainment makes choosing dates fun and how they leave clues (which obviously already started). I came up with the following:

If PTR will be on Sept 16 Tuesday; then
BlizzCon will happen on October 10-11 (Friday and Saturday)
We have October 14 after BlizzCon falling exactly one month after PTR and after BlizzCon.

Making October 14 the possible date for Patching 3.0.2 to the Live servers. It could also be a week later on October 21, which either way still falls closely to my predicted dates.

Now if we follow the format of Patch 2.0.1 and TBC release, then one month after October 14 is WotLK release. I can say that November 11 to December 2 is the window.

What do you think?

Originally posted a week or two ago in WoW Forums and other WoW Fan Communities. Today Soon, Patch 3.0.2 can be downloaded via the WoW Background Downloader, only signals that Patch Day is near, they are already letting their customers to download the HUGE patch.

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