A lot of people are pointing to the Mists trailer being shown at Gamescom (August 16th) as a signal that the expansion will be released in late August.
I don’t buy that. Why? Couple reasons.
- DS nerf needs more time. The Dragon Soul nerf won’t hit 30% until early August. If we look at Cataclysm, ICC hit 30% in July, but the expansion didn’t release until December. Yes, if you’re reading this you’re sick of DS already, but there’s hundreds of guilds still progressing who might get over the hump at 30%.
- Trend of betas being longer. Adam had a great post on this back in April. BC beta was 95 days, Wrath was 128, Cata was 159. This beta started on March 20th, so a 190-200 day beta would see Mists land in late September/early October.
- Jade Forest still isn’t done. That seems rather…major.
- Guild Wars 2 releases August 28. This is the biggest reason people are predicting August…but the fact is, Blizzard generally doesn’t program expansion releases against competition. Patches, though? Sure. I could definitely see the 5.0 mechanics hitting on that date.
- Datamined Brewfest items are Mists-caliber. Brewfest starts on September 20th. While I don’t think that’ll hold things up significantly if it went longer (they’d just move Brewfest back a week, most likely), it’s a good indicator.
- First wave of Annual Passes ends in late October. Assuming they announce a new Annual Pass (likely) that won’t contain Mists (very likely), then they’ll want to make it available very close to the Mists release date. The WoW AP came out on October 21st, so a new one needs to be out or announced a week or two before then.
Back in January, I said “D3 in April, Mists in October.” Even though D3 slipped to May, I still think I’m pretty close. My guess:
Late July: 5.0 patch date announced.
16 August: Gamescom trailer, Mists release date announced.
28 August: 5.0 patch released.
4 September: 5.0.1 patch released to fix all the stuff 5.0 broke, Mists world event starts.
11 September: Not going to happen. Too many negative connotations still.
18 September: Possible release date.
25 September: More likely release date, with Brewfest being moved back a week and shinied up some.
Mid-October: Annual Pass 2 announced, reward is free HotS when it releases (plus free SCII if you don’t have it yet). No beta access this time, or at least restricted better.
(Yes, this is all part of my “prove me wrong, release it in August” ploy.) What do you think?