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9-10-2009 @ 6:19PM
Patch 3.2.2 contains information pertinent to the 5th Anniversary Celebration, which will occur in November. The patch could easily go live well before then, and then Onyxia isn't switched to 80 until the Anniversary event starts. So basically, we know the patch won't be any later than November, and given the relatively small amount of content we can expect in this patch (compared to, say, Ulduar or the Coliseum) it should certainly not be on the PTRs for another two months. All that being said, Blizzard's transparency about the game's development is of much more importance to me than their transparency about release dates and uptime. Others have commented that giving advance notice of release dates would cause some players to delay play or cancel entirely until the release. Blizzard serves it's ends far better by dangling a perpetual carrot before it's playerbase rather than saying "we'll have a carrot for you on Smarch 13th!" and running the risk of missing that target date. I'd also like to comment that while Blizzard must have a target date for Cataclysm's release, a target date is not necessarily a release date. Activision (as publisher) will require a target date so they can have resources ready. The game vendors (Gamestop, BestBuy et al) will have a possible date so they can accept pre-orders and get revenue from that, but that's either guesswork or insider knowledge from the publishing industry. Blizzard won't release it until it's ready enough to be playable. We can all make a lot of assertions about Blizzard's behavior up until now, but I think asking them to change their philosophy about announcing their timetables is asking the tiger to change his stripes.
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