Warlords of Draenor expansion release date

90 Human Death Knight
10480
Of course this isn't THE release date, but a list of all other relevant dates, to give a much better idea of when we might be able to expect the release.

There are several dates (that we care about, anyway) involved in a wow expansion release:
  • date the expansion is first announced, at BlizzCon the year before the release.
  • date the Blizz friends and family alpha test starts
  • press tour
  • date the closed beta test starts
  • date the major x.0 patch hits the ptr
  • date the press-release is issued announcing the actual release date (this is NOT the same as the press tour)
  • date the major x.0 patch goes live
  • date xpac is actually released
  • This gives a very rough general idea of the length of time each phase of the process might take.

    original vanilla WoW release Nov 23, 2004 (Tuesday)

    Burning Crusade
    announced at BlizzCon Oct 28, 2005
    BC frnds/fam alpha Aug 23, 2006
    BC beta start Oct 13, 2006
    patch 2.0 ptr Nov 14, 2006 (Tuesday)
    press-release Nov 10, 2006
    patch 2.0 live Dec 5, 2006 (Tuesday)
    BC release Jan 16, 2007 (Tuesday)

    Wrath of the Lich King
    announced at BlizzCon Aug 3, 2007
    Wrath frnds/fam alpha May 20, 2008
    Wrath beta start Jul 17, 2008
    patch 3.0 ptr Sep 13, 2008 (Saturday)
    press-release Sep 15, 2008
    patch 3.0 live Oct 15, 2008 (Wednesday)
    Wrath release Nov 13, 2008 (Thursday)

    Cataclysm
    announced at BlizzCon Aug 21, 2009
    Cata frnds/fam alpha May 3, 2010
    Cata press tour Jun 13, 2010
    Cata beta start Jun 30, 2010
    patch 4.0 ptr Sep 12, 2010 (Sunday)
    press-release Oct 4, 2010
    patch 4.0 live Oct 12, 2010 (Tuesday)
    Cata release Dec 7, 2010 (Tuesday)

    Mists of Pandaria
    announced at BlizzCon Oct 21, 2011
    MoP frnds/fam alpha skipped?
    MoP press tour Mar 13, 2012
    MoP beta start Mar 21, 2012
    patch 5.0 ptr Jul 20, 2012 (Friday)
    press-release Jul 25, 2012
    patch 5.0 live Aug 28, 2012 (Tuesday)
    MoP release Sep 25, 2012 (Tuesday)

    Warlords of Draenor
    announced at BlizzCon Nov 8, 2013
    WoD frnds/fam alpha xxx xx, 2014
    WoD press tour xxx xx, 2014
    WoD beta start xxx xx, 2014
    patch 6.0 ptr xxx xx, 2014 (xxx)
    press-release xxx xx, 2014
    patch 6.0 live xxx xx, 2014 (xxx)
    WoD release xxx xx, 2014 (xxx)


    .

    And before anyone mentions their favorite retailer's posted release date: (we go thru this every. single. solitary. expansion.)
    Lots of retailers post a release date that is just their guess at what it might be, and being far enough out that they hope to have a better idea before that date actually arrives.
    But they also make it close enough to make people think it really is "coming soon", in order to get more people to order it from them, increasing their own sales.
    That's all it is: JUST A GUESS!!!
    Everybody, from the general public to fan sites to retailers, will find out the official release date on the SAME day, because Blizz issues a VERY big press release and posts it all over the front page of this site and Blizzard.com. Every WoW fan site and video game site around picks it up and posts it the same day, too.
    There is never any secret spilled or anybody knowing before anybody else.
    NOBODY knows early, including retailers.

    .

    Now on to the guessing game:

    My guess is release July 2014, or even sooner.
    I would think they have less work to do than previous expansions;
    they're not making completely new maps/zones, just remaking the Outland map and zones.
    they're not reworking the talent tree.
    they're not adding a new race .
    they're not adding a new class.
    Reply Quote
    90 Pandaren Monk
    9310
    Not a bad way to address the millions of threads that are incoming asking "when WoD will be released", in my opinion. Knowing past history is a great way to make reasonable inferences about the future.

    Your July 2014 date might be a little overzealous, but I don't entirely disagree with it. 6 months of beta testing for MoP with only 5 levels of questing compared to 10 levels of questing here means that the beta will probably last longer for this one. How quickly they push the beta out remains to be seen, but I suspect February to March would be a good estimation.

    They seem to have a much better idea of the direction they want to go with the content of WoD than they did with MoP, which will cut months off of the process; also worth mentioning is the fact that MoP had a TON of new artwork to incorporate, whereas much of the artwork on Draenor will be familiar to us. Building layouts, textures, and art, for example, were entirely new in MoP, but we can expect relative similarity to the orcish and draenei structures we already know and love in WoD. Knowing how to effectively "level" those zones (not like character leveling...it's a design term) can cut substantial time off the development, design, and integration of such things.

    In all, I can see an 8 month beta being released in late February, putting the launch of WoD at just before WoW's 10th anniversary in November 2014. October 28, 2014 is my best estimate at this point, but I look forward to finding out!
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    90 Blood Elf Paladin
    11330
    They released MoP a month after GW2 was released. So I predict the WoD to be released a month after Wildstar gets released. Wildstar gets released in spring 2014 so... should be end of spring. So like in half a year.
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    90 Human Death Knight
    9465
    I wouldn't expect a Summer release. Too many ppl NOT in front of a computer. Also based on your history they have released all of them in Fall or Winter.
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    90 Undead Rogue
    6170
    6-8 months from now would be my best guess.
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    90 Human Warlock
    5815
    mists was a bad expac I want this to come as soon as possible is all I want
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    90 Pandaren Monk
    8365
    EQNext is also starting up their testing (they haven't started alpha yet, tho) and getting ready to release in the coming year, so their release date will probably be prior to or similar, imo
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    90 Orc Warrior
    12005
    mists was a bad expac I want this to come as soon as possible is all I want


    this is said about every expansion.
    Reply Quote
    I have a little info to add...

    The DTV people (including Chris Metzen's wife) said the WoD demo looks much further along than the MoP demo was at the previous Blizzcon.
    Reply Quote
    90 Blood Elf Paladin
    8735
    11/11/2013 08:38 AMPosted by Tonyshalhoub
    6 months of beta testing for MoP with only 5 levels of questing compared to 10 levels of questing here means that the beta will probably last longer for this one.


    I don't think the number of levels we'll be getting will matter all that much. We got seven new zones in MoP, and there will be seven new zones in WoD. It all depends on how they distribute XP.

    The DTV people (including Chris Metzen's wife) said the WoD demo looks much further along than the MoP demo was at the previous Blizzcon.


    I certainly hope that means they're moving along quickly on this one. With the effective dissolution of the Titan team, work on WoW might be going along more quickly.
    Reply Quote
    90 Undead Warlock
    13160
    My guess is Beta will begin late Jan, and MoP will go live May
    Reply Quote
    90 Blood Elf Paladin
    12905
    they're not making completely new maps/zones, just remaking the Outland map and zones.


    Thats actually not accurate. They are, in fact, designing Dreanor from the ground up. it will be nothing like Outlands at all.
    Reply Quote
    47 Worgen Hunter
    10745
    12/28/2013 08:55 PMPosted by Timotay
    they're not making completely new maps/zones, just remaking the Outland map and zones.


    Thats actually not accurate. They are, in fact, designing Dreanor from the ground up. it will be nothing like Outlands at all.
    But it's loosely based on Outland and the maps from WC2, ergo it's exactly the same!
    Reply Quote
    Your July 2014 date might be a little overzealous, but I don't entirely disagree with it. 6 months of beta testing for MoP with only 5 levels of questing compared to 10 levels of questing here means that the beta will probably last longer for this one. How quickly they push the beta out remains to be seen, but I suspect February to March would be a good estimation.

    the expansion was delayed as they had to redo parts of jade forest. And do a total revamp of their intro zones. Along with new cinematics and voice acting.

    In all, I can see an 8 month beta being released in late February, putting the launch of WoD at just before WoW's 10th anniversary in November 2014. October 28, 2014 is my best estimate at this point, but I look forward to finding out!

    That would make 5.4 be 12 months. That would be stupid. Also, they are releasing Warcrimes on may 6th. History has shown the book comes out 1-1.5 months before release.
    Reply Quote
    90 Human Death Knight
    9295
    History has shown the book comes out 1-1.5 months before release.


    Yeah....about that theory.....

    WotLK: 11/13/08
    Rise of the Lich King: 4/21/09

    That's five months AFTER the release of Wrath. Granted that one to two month window fits regarding The Shattering/Cata and Tides of War/Mists. Even so to use the release date for a novel as the proof that a particular expansion is coming out at a certain time is a bit foolish.
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    90 Blood Elf Priest
    12995
    May or June 2014...The End!
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    24 Troll Hunter
    220
    Probably fall/2014. Summer months are junk for video game releases and your little map shows that with everything being between Sept-Jan.
    Reply Quote
    90 Human Priest
    6305
    Notice that none of these dates are anywhere near summer - the slowest time of year.

    WoD won't come out before Labor Day.
    Reply Quote
    90 Undead Hunter
    18850
    Notice that none of these dates are anywhere near summer - the slowest time of year.

    WoD won't come out before Labor Day.


    ^

    Besides they have Reaper of Soul coming up for Q1/2. Why would they want to overlap both? Come to think of it its almost exactly the same setup as for MoP, minus the Annual Pass, and MoP came out in September.

    August 19th or 26th would be the very earliest dates i'd bet on and thats probably stretching it.

    Besides for the "they're not releasing new races or classes". You don't know how much work they put in rebalancing and reworking current ones and they're rebuilding every Classic/BC races from the ground up (some are done as we've seen in Blizzcon but most weren't remotely ready). I'd say they have much more work there.
    Edited by Vaelys on 12/28/2013 11:35 PM PST
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    90 Human Mage
    13215
    I wouldn't expect a Summer release. Too many ppl NOT in front of a computer. Also based on your history they have released all of them in Fall or Winter.


    We're not going to sit on SoO as the last raid for 12+ months.

    Second Tuesday of July 2014 is my guess.
    Edited by Fairadey on 12/28/2013 11:36 PM PST
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