Warlords Beta Predictions

In a previous post I talked about expansion dates and I mentioned I started off by looking at beta release dates for Warlords.

With only four expansions of betas to work with we don’t have a large amount of data, but we can see one or two bits of interesting data. First off I’ll be ignoring dates for the original game – mostly because the 2+ years between announcement and the start of its beta would somewhat skew the results!

Let’s have some actual date; the source of the dates is the same as with the previous post. The beta start dates are for the public beta and not closed betas or alphas.

Expansion Announced Beta started Released
The Burning Crusade 2005/10/28 2006/10/01 2007/01/16
Wrath of the Lich King 2007/08/03 2008/07/17 2008/11/13
Cataclysm 2009/08/21 2010/06/30 2010/12/07
Mists of Pandaria 2011/10/21 2012/03/21 2012/09/25

As before if I include anything with Warlords in it the beta start date is defined as TODAY() so comparisons with how far we’ve gotten so far can be made.

announce-beta-release

This is an interesting graph. The yellow line show the total time it took from the announcement of an expansion until it was released. In the main there has been a long time from when an expansion was announced and when its beta came out, although over time the betas have been running longer.

However what is clear is that whilst Mists of Pandaria had the longest beta of any expansion so far at just over 6 months, the gap between its announcement and the beta was shorter than before – Blizzard cut around 4 months from the time taken from announcement to release.

Curiously, the time since Warlord’s announcement and today is rather close to the time between Mists of Pandaria was announced and when its beta came out – in a week it’ll be the same.

Let’s get out the crystal ball for a moment – it’ll be somewhat cloudy with the small sample size and the change in Mists mind! Say Warlords tracks what Mists of Pandaria did exactly.

If that happens then we’d see Warlords have its beta start on the 9th of April and it would be released on the 14th September.

Mid-September is roughly in line with the start of the “Fall 2014” we had on the pre-orders.

That said, I’d be quite surprised if it tracked Mists exactly – after all, the time spent in beta has been going up in a fairly linear fashion. Going from that we’d have a 7 month beta – putting the release mid-October. I’d hope that 6 months is the extent of the beta required.

This is partly as another 7 months in Seige would be painful. But mostly as I guessed for a release date of 23rd Sept on the Godmother’s “Guess the release” post!

What could be interesting is how I came up with the 23rd September guess – I looked at previous expansions and took an educated guess based on the announcement date. I was somewhat optimistic with the data I have to admit – the really pessimistic predictions had Warlords being released in March 2015!

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