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Starym

When Is the Shadowlands Pre-patch Release Date?

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Update: some new factors have come up related to the below discussion, as the reputation buff might affect the dates, as you can read here.

Now that we know the exact time that Shadowlands will become available to all the ravenous players waiting for it, and also found out the Season 1 raid, M+ and PvP release timings, there's only one question remaining concerning the new expansion and time. When exactly will we see the pre-patch drop? We even already know everything that's coming in the pre-patch, including the level squish, class changes, new character customization, leveling experience, etc.

Blizzard have already talked about the Shadowlands pre-patch coming "a few weeks" before the expansion in one of the many interviews after the most recent stream event, but that's a little too vague for our liking. As we now know that Shadowlands will arrive on October 26th/27th, we can use that in addition to some other information we have available such as:

  • The pre-expansion event on the PTR has multiple weeks' worth of content, with 2 having been tested so far, but it's very likely there's more.
  • The BfA legendary cloak corruption resistance cap arrives on September 8th. As it would be somewhat crazy to get the maximum resistance on the cloak and then not be able to use it for any significant amount of time (since Corruptions are going away with the pre-patch), we can assume that we'll most likely get 2 weeks or more with the maximum resistance.
  • The Shadowlands Afterlives shorts end on September 17th with the Revendreth one.
  • Previous expansions have fluctuated in terms of pre-patch to expansion release, as we've had ones that last around 2 weeks or even less, but the majority and all of the more recent ones have been around the one month mark.

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All of this combined puts the pre-patch at one of two dates:

  • September 22nd or September 29th (for the US, and a day after those two for the EU)

Both dates seem likely, with the 22nd coming out 35 days ahead of Shadowlands, and the 29th then taking us down to to 28 days. For comparison, Battle for Azeroth took 28 days to go from pre-patch to expansion launch, Legion took quite a bit longer at 42 and Warlords of Draenor came in at exactly 30 days.

Both dates seem likely, but if we had to pick one it'd be the earlier, September 22nd date. This would come directly after the final Afterlives short with the maximum amount of hype and excitement ready to flow into the pre-patch and then carry over into Shadowlands. This would also give Blizzard more time with the leveling and class changes in particular on a grander scale than the beta and PTR, so they might iron out a few more issues before launch. We should know more this Tuesday, as we generally get a 2 week warning for events like this, and if the pre-pach comes early, on the 15th as some think, we should find out about it next week.

Hopefully both the pre-patch and Shadowlands release dates don't end up being too early, and the opening experience of WoW's latest expansion will be a great one for everyone!

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10 hours ago, Starym said:

with the 22nd coming out 32 days ahead of Shadowlands, and the 29th then taking us to 39 days.

Your numbers are off here. The 22nd would be 35 days before, and the 29th would be 28 days before, October 27.

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1 hour ago, Trest said:

Your numbers are off here. The 22nd would be 35 days before, and the 29th would be 28 days before, October 27.

Yep, edited. Not sure where I went wrong, but fixed now. Doesn't really impact the the overall assessment though, but thanks for pointing it out!

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