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1-25-2012 @ 3:26PM
"While this is sad news, it does definitely make me think we're going to be running around Pandaria (and freeing Sanctuary, and dealing with the Zerg) well before the middle of this year."Wow, you are much more optimistic about Pandaria than most. I doubt we'll see a beta before April. I'm sure Blizzard will want to let Dragon Soul breathe for a while longer. Add to that the fact that D3 doesn't have a release date yet, the Pandaria pre-patch content, and the fact that Blizzard has offered up almost nothing new since Blizzcon and "well before the middle of the year" for the next xpac doesn't seem likely at all.
1-25-2012 @ 3:36PM
"I'm sure Blizzard will want to let Dragon Soul breathe for a while longer."Why? The first raid buff will be appearing very soon, and one of the big bosses already said the LFR should tide us over for "a few months" until Pandaria opens.
1-25-2012 @ 3:49PM
Not that optimistic. Beta usually takes 4 months by itself. They could start it Feb 1 and that should still leave enough time for DS to start wheezing and the expansion event to be stale. We are a fickle and impatient bunch. I don't think DS can last more than 6 months.D3 has been in beta for a while now, so I'd expect a release pretty shortly. I think they released the contents of the Collector's Edition not too long ago. Starcraft will probably be early next year, but a Christmas release isn't out of the question.
1-25-2012 @ 4:13PM
Considering that between the last raid patch of one expansion and the pre-patch of the next, Blizzard has traditionally waited awhile. There were 7 months between patch 2.4 (Sunwell) and the Wrath pre-patch, with another month until the full Wrath release. There were 10 months between patch 3.3 (ICC) and the Cata pre-patch, with another 6 weeks until the full Cata release (I'm not counting Ruby Sanctum here).Allowing for even a shortened time frame of 5 months between Dragon Soul and the Pandaria pre-patch would put us at early-to-mid April, and then add roughly a month until the full Pandaria release to mid-May. But, to date there have scant updates on Pandaria from Blizzard and zero indication that even an alpha testing phase has started, much less a beta. If Pandaria indeed was releasing in May, the beta would probably be starting up very soon (i.e., in a few weeks).
1-25-2012 @ 4:37PM
It also depends on what Patch 4.4 brings. I hear it described as world event to set the tone for Pandaria, which would only need to drop a few weeks before 5.0. If prior patch numbering is any indication, however, 4.4 would include additional content. If 4.4 unlocks a PUGgable raid like Ruby Sanctum or a daily quest hub like Quel'Danas, it could keep players occupied for several months.I've heard at least one Wow Insider columnist hope for an August ship date, but, it wouldn't be wise to introduce a wave of new content as the new school year and TV season are getting started. [speculation] I think 4.4 will hit in late spring, bringing a lair boss and a Save the City/Destroy the City questline. That, combined with beta access for those who took the Annual Pass, will keep players busy until the Pandaria content patch hits in October and the game ships in November. [/speculation]
1-25-2012 @ 4:47PM
Plus, the publisher of the upcoming Jaina Proudmoore book just pushed its release date back to August 28, 2012 (it was set at July 24, 2012 only a few days ago).
1-25-2012 @ 5:17PM
4.4 is unlikely to bring a new raid - didn't a CM or something say 4.3 was the last patch? If there's gonna be 4.4, it's probably solely the pre-expansion event, which probably will be about Theramore, and the war.
1-25-2012 @ 9:26PM
@byronius_prime: That's true, what I've read suggests that 4.4 will be a "world event", which is usually just a two-week thing. I was just hoping for more. What I really don't want to see is Blizz rushing to put out a new expansion so they can satisfy the people who complain about Cataclysm feeling rushed.
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