I knew if I was away for a few days some big news item would drop. Actually, a few things came up while I was gone, but for me the big one was Blizzard announcing the launch date for the Shadowlands expansion.
The worldwide launch, similar to how the company launched WoW Classic last year, will happen across time zones landing on October 26th or 27th depending on where you live.
There is also a release date trailer… which looks pretty good.
I wish my in-game experienced looked so good. I probably need the latest generation video card to get there.
By a complete luck, when I wrote about potential launch dates, my sample date for estimating the time between releases was October 27th. If only I had been that on the nose with my new year’s predictions, where my call was August 18th. No points for that prediction I guess.
So, if Shadowlands launches on time, the time between expansions list will end up looking like this:
- WoW Launch to The Burning Crusade – 784 days
- The Burning Crusade to Wrath of the Lich King – 667 days
- Wrath of the Lich King to Cataclysm – 754 days
- Cataclysm to Mists of Pandaria – 658 days
- Mists of Pandaria to Warlords of Draenor – 778 days
- Warlords of Draenor to Legion – 670 days
- Legion to Battle for Azeroth – 728 days
- Battle for Azeroth to Shadowlands – 804 days
That still makes Battle for Azeroth the longest running era for WoW, running out to 804 days, passing even the run from the launch of vanilla in 2004 to the release of The Burning Crusade 784 days later.
I have not been paying much attention to the Shadowlands beta. That probably makes it more likely I will enjoy the expansion, if my rule of surprise… not knowing the content ahead of time keeps me more engaged… holds true. We shall see.
We still have one major milestone to hit before launch though, and that is the pre-launch patch.
While the pre-launch patch is generally a big deal, as it opens up the lead-in stories and quests that set the stage for a new expansion, this one is doing extra duty as it will also usher in the level squish. The level squish will make 50 the new pre-expansion level cap. All old content will scale for levels 10 to 50, and a new level 1 to 10 starter experience will be introduced.
For at least some period of time my highest level character in WoW Classic (my hunter is level 54) will be higher level than any of my retail WoW characters, which will cap out at level 50 pre-expansion.
Strange but true.
So the big question is when the 9.0.1 update will hit, bringing with it all of these changes?
Another chance to guess a date! I am going to guess it will hit the week of September 21st. This is a big change, so my thought is that Blizzard will want some extra time to work out the wrinkles. That will give them five weeks to get things settled down.
Of course, with the 10-50 scaling of all of the old content, it also means that if you were solo farming some old raid for a specific drop… maybe something for one of the Raiding with Leashed achievements… you had best get it done before the patch hits, as all the content will be level 50 afterwards. How things will play out when you get to level 60 is an open question for me still. We shall see.
Addendum Oct 1, 2020: The release has been delayed.