But it's likely not necessarily because of the oft-delayed 2.2.2-- the drop is probably just the difference between students out of school and in school. Over the summer, students were obviously able to play a lot more with all the freetime they had, but as school starts up again in September, there's more homework and less rep grinding to do. Still, 18 percent is a huge drop-- while school starting up is definitely a big part of it, I wouldn't be surprised if the slowdown in patch releases (even though it's since picked back up again) also had a hand in it.
Though it can't be that big a difference-- both Guild Wars and Silkroad Online (the other two big MMO titles on Xfire) saw similar drops. It'll be interesting to see what happens next month. I wonder if Brewfest (and soon, Hallow's End and 2.3) was able to convince students to take their homework breaks in Azeroth.
[ via Incgamers ]