Feb 12th 2010 11:20AM Sadly, Blizzard has done a pretty poor job in the past keeping their preview sites for upcoming products relevant. To give an example, this was the final state of the "Features" page for WotLK:
Most of the content on the site is from the initial launch of the website and announcement of the expansion, with very few updates in the year+ leading up to the release.
My guess is that the next content update will be in April, roughly around the same time I expect the beta to start
Feb 11th 2010 8:51PM http://www.projectlore.com/blog/one-more-content-patch-in-the-works/
Tom Chilton: "We do expect that there will be a new patch before the new expansion, although we don’t expect it to be like a typical numbered patch like 3.4 or 3.5. This could include balance changes, it could potentially include new features, depending on once the BattleNet-Features come online, maybe it could implement some of these. There’s even the possibility for a new raid boss, but it’s too early to say for sure."
Zarhym's comments line up with what we've already heard from Tom Chilton: We're looking at a 3.3.X patch that will most likely integrate BattleNet 2.0 features (as SC2 will be coming out before Cataclysm most likely), and maybe a raid boss ala Onyxia in 3.2.2 (who will most likely be on the easier side of difficulty compared to later bosses in ICC). I'd also venture to guess we'd see more pre-Cataclysm happenings in the world.
3.2.2 didn't delay the release of 3.3 at all, so them adding another minor patch 3.3 isn't indicative that Cataclysm isn't coming out until Dec 31 or something like that. We'll probably have a better sense of what's coming in the "coming weeks" (this is Blizzard talk for 4-6 weeks, typically)
Feb 4th 2010 1:43PM Developers have said that account achievements will probably be added with Battle.net 2.0. Until then, they are character-specific
Jan 30th 2010 9:52PM Yeah, that video will be probably on all the big WoW/game websites as soon as the patch itself is available for download, probably before the realms even come up. Expect Trade chat to be full of people trying to spoil it. But let's face it, we're all going to have watched it by then! :)
As of Tuesday, ICC and WotLK will be for all sakes and purposes old news, and all eyes looking forward will be only on Cataclysm. I'm hoping that 3.3.2 has some breadcrumb for Cataclysm in it somewhere. Maybe another random quest to learn about the motivation behind a new race-class combo, like Gnome priests or Troll druids. Maybe more shaker NPC's causing earthquakes, or other subtle changes to the environment.
Jan 29th 2010 7:48PM The unofficial word (via MMOC, WoWHead, green posters on the forums) is that Alpha hasn't started yet. Of course, Blizzard would never officially announce it has started. The rumor that it started a couple weeks ago was a nasty rumor that WoW.com bought into without doing their homework.
There are currently three schools of thought concerning the Alpha:
1) It hasn't started yet. This is the most obvious and simplest answer. But people are quick to jump to conclusions that the alpha is still far away just because it hasn't started yet. It could start next week for all we know. Going on the basis of 7 months from Alpha starting to release, it's still feasible under this school of thought that Cataclysm could come out in September.
2) It has started, but it's way more super-secret than ever before. It's possible that after all the leaks pre-Blizzcon and during WotLK's alpha they've gotten stricter about who they let in and/or the consequences of leaking info. I'd think even in this situation we'd get some unofficial confirmation that it has started, though.
3) There will be no F&F Alpha. Ultimately, the F&F Alpha that Blizzard does is a thank you to employees, this isn't a typical stage in a software/game's dev cycle. It's possible that after all the leaks, Blizzard has decided that F&F Alpha's are not worth the risk and hassle, and will just do all alpha testing in house (which ultimately is probably more effective for testing at this phase in development, Boub from MMOC says that WotLK's alpha servers were barren of players most of the time)
Jan 25th 2010 7:55PM The Ashen Verdict are currently trying to break down the door in the game. They say they'll have it down on February 2, next Tuesday. This comment implies that the content is being added to the game, but still requires time to be unlocked. Perhaps that means the patch is coming tomorrow, but we still have to wait a week for the final wing to be unlocked.
Jan 25th 2010 5:49PM Was never really sure where Boub was getting that the patch might get released before the week the Lich King encounter unlocks, this makes more sense that the patch isn't until next week
Jan 25th 2010 5:47PM It plays during the beginning of the Patch 3.3 trailer, if you go back and re-watch it
Jan 20th 2010 4:25PM I also commend WoW.com for removing the drama from this column and replacing it with more interesting stories about guilds. I badmouth WoW.com for a lot of things, but this is a step in the right direction, kudos.
Maybe one day they'll make a Gossip Girl MMO to appease all that want drama...
Jan 12th 2010 12:35PM Agreed. The fake leak leveraged off the fact that we're at a point in WotLK's cycle that Cataclysm alpha rumors would start to be believed. WotLK's alpha started roughly a month after 2.4 went live, which is right about the same time we're at now with 3.3. It's possible the alpha could be starting this week, but I'm not counting on it, given that not only aren't other sites corroborating, they're refuting WoW.com's claims.
Ultimately, the alpha starting doesn't really do much for us until somebody leaks info from it, which took over a month to do for WotLK's. At best all we'd get today is an unofficial confirmation from websites that people are getting alpha invites.