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WoW Archivist: Expansion gaps

Gap in the bridge on the Timeless Isle
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Expansion gaps are the most reviled of all content gaps. It's not just because they are the longest -- it's because at the other end of the gap lies so much to look forward to. Expansions change WoW from top to bottom. They usher in brand new worlds to explore and bring us new ways to play the game. That's part of why it takes Blizzard so long to release them.

In the meantime, we wait, mired in the old, but excited about the new.

We are experiencing what is likely to be the longest expansion gap so far in WoW's 10-year history. But what about the expansion gaps of the past? How do they stack up? What did Blizzard offer and what were players' reactions to them? Read on to find out!

Classic WoW to The Burning Crusade

Dates: August 22, 2006 to January 16, 2007
Duration: 4 months, 25 days
Subscriptions: Rising
Mood: Excited

The first expansion gap was also the shortest. It felt like a long time to players back then, since classic WoW offered patches and content at a blistering pace for the first two years of the game. Players were impatient, yes. That never changes. But we knew WoW was a hit and we were thrilled that the success of the game had made an expansion possible. We couldn't wait to roll a blood elf or a draenei, or take to the skies and fly for the first time. Plus, most raiding guilds hadn't conquered every boss (or even close), so they had plenty to keep them busy.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Online retailers point towards a November 4 release for Wrath


We'll begin this post with the usual: this is Blizzard we're talking about, and Blizzard doesn't release games or the dates they'll start selling those games until they're good and ready. So any speculation about Blizzard's release dates, is, by its nature, pretty useless -- if Blizzard wants to announce at BlizzCon that Wrath isn't coming out until January, they will.

However, as many readers have noticed, there's been an interesting development in the rumored release date lately. Before now, all the online stores have had all kinds of different dates: some were saying October, some were saying early November, and some were saying late November. But over the past week or so, almost all of the online stores have settled on a single date: November 4. The sign above, sent in by reader Daniel A., is from a JB HiFi store in Australia, and beckons toward a midnight release on November 3rd.

So. We'll stress again: retailers often set their own release dates way in advance of an official announcement, just so they can sell preorders of a game. It's very likely this means nothing, and Blizzard will release their game whenever they want -- don't start filling out your vacation form yet, because this is not an official date. But something has pointed all of these online retailers toward Election Day of this year, so if you want to guess at a release date, that's as good as any.

Thanks to Ollie, Daniel A., and everyone else who sent this in.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

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