The Blizzard Wayback Machine

As I’m sure all of you know Patch 3.3 is currently on the PTR. Once again it seems that Blizzard is cranking out a steady stream of content and doing it faster than ever. After all Patch 3.2 only just arrived on August 4th.

I was curious to see if Blizzard is on a faster track for delivering content for this expansion than they were with the Burning Crusade, and if so just how fast?

Today I’m going crank up the Wayback Machine and compare Burning Crusade’s patch releases with Wrath of the Lich King’s.

I only focused on the major patch releases and not the minor ones.  I also know that patch 3.0 was released on the October 15, 2008, but decided not to include that.  As you can see, however, the length of time between patches for this expansion is not that dramatically different from what was done in Burning Crusade.

Now I don’t think there’s any argument that the amount of content Blizzard has been pushing out for the expansion pack is greater than what they did for TBC.  Every one of Wrath’s patches has been similar to what we saw in 2.4.  From that perspective Blizzard has certainly improved.
Major Patch Timeline

The big question now is what’s next after 3.3 and when will it happen?  While we can certainly expect a few 3.3.x patches, I’m pretty sure that Blizzard isn’t looking to do a 3.4.

It wouldn’t at all surprise me if patch 3.3 were to be released right around the holidays.  If the expansion were to be released in November 2010 (which fits in with the Blizzard time line), then we’d be at almost a whole year with just patch 3.3.  That just seems way to long an interval to go without a major content patch.

Let’s speculate with some arbitrary dates.  If patch 3.3 were to drop on December 15, 2009 and Cataclysm were released on November 9, 2010 (both Tuesdays of course) then that’s 329 days between major content patches which is about 98 days longer than patch 2.4 and the release of Wrath.  Now maybe Arthas will be that tough, but I doubt it.

So maybe Cataclysm beta in February 2010 with release sometime in June?  I’d be happy with that.

Happy Hunting!

P.S. – patch release dates were taken from wowwiki and not gathered through any official Blizzard source.