If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas! We’d have an even more wonderful holiday if we found a copy of Cataclysm under the tree, wouldn’t we? Well, maybe you would, but not I, sir or ma’am! No, Christmas means going home, and for me, that means playing on a woefully underpowered laptop, if anything at all. I imagine I won’t be the only one traveling, nor would I be the only one with less time to dedicate to all the content in a fresh, new expansion.
But if MMO-Champion is right, then we may be dealing with an early-mid December release date. That contradicts the previous rumor of November 2nd, presumably from the same unnamed, internal source. I opted to repeat myself in the title to hammer home the fact that this still doesn’t constitute official word — or perhaps to actively ignore the idea that it could be true. Just be glad I didn’t make any stupid puns this time (like “Rumore Hound”).
Do note that although it disagrees with the November 27th date that’s been floating around online retail sites lately as well, that number should be the least valid of any predictions (it’s normally just conjecture on the retailer’s part).
So, what could be holding it back? Well, there’s the obvious — it needs more development time. But they’ve been kicking out builds (both on the PTR and beta servers) like it’s nobody’s business, and the last time they released content around Christmas they intentionally gated it so it didn’t conflict with players’ holiday plans too much. And that was just a raid dungeon, let alone a whole expansion! I’m not sure what makes Blizzard think it’s a good idea this year.
But if you’d allow me, how about a little bit of conspiracy time here, featuring the game industry’s favorite punching bag: Activision-Blizzard showrunner, Bobby Kotick?
Not that the following would precisely be his idea, but hey, he’s proven himself a convenient donkey to pin the tail on. So, once again, the original rumor gave us a date of November 2nd. Do you know what comes out just a single week later? The company’s other juggernaut, Call of Duty: Black Ops. To paraphrase Ghostbusters, “You never cross the streams!” And if what my gut’s telling me is correct, Activision could be trying to space their two biggest titles out, opting to push Cataclysm back because, man, you just don’t mess with Call of Duty! Console gamers get all the fun…
There’s a small bright side to all of this, though, and it’s the possibility that the “world-changing” patch might still occur weeks before the rest of the expansion content is launched. That’s something that could still occur as early as November 2nd, and would arguably offer more than enough content for players to work through by the time the boxed version of Cataclysm is ready for primetime. Of course, if the rumor is true, and development issues are a real problem, well…. let’s just say I’m already having flashbacks of Burning Crusade, and that gives me the shivers.