Blizzard confirms WoW Cataclysm Classic launch date, speedy content pace through 2024

The next WoW Classic expansion is on its way, with Cataclysm Classic getting an official launch date confirmed by Blizzard Entertainment earlier today. 

WoW Cataclysm Classic will go live on May 20, and the pre-patch for the expansion will be shipped onto Classic realms on April 30. On that date, some of the expansion’s new features will be playable, and the game will begin its transition over from the Wrath of the Lich King era into Cataclysm. Some of the features coming in the pre-patch include the new Archaeology profession, the Reforging system, and the game’s two “newest” races: Goblins and Worgen. It’s on this date that the world will also be completely remade following Deathwing’s destruction of many leveling zones.

The Barrens in Azeroth after being torched by Deathwing in Cataclysm
The Cataclysm will bring countless changes across the surface of Azeroth. Image via Blizzard Entertainment

The Cataclysm pre-patch will also bring transmogrification with it right from the beginning. Transmog wasn’t originally introduced to WoW until the final patch of Cataclysm back in 2011, but for the re-release of the expansion, the feature will be available from the start. 

Additionally, Blizzard confirmed the exact pace at which the content patches for Cataclysm Classic would be released. Players should expect an extremely fast pace of updates for the new Classic expansion, with a new major patch being released roughly once every two to three months. 

The follow-up patches in Cataclysm Classic will be released at an incredibly fast pace, with the entire expansion’s full slate of content being released in a span that will last just over six months. Back when Cataclysm originally released in 2010, it took nearly a full year for all of the content patches, raids, and other new additions to be shipped onto live servers. For the re-release of the Classic version of the expansion, though, Cataclysm fans can expect to breeze through all of the content in a pace that sees it wrapped up shortly after the start of 2025. 

According to Blizzard’s announcement, the first content update for the next Classic expansion will go live just over one month after its launch, while the final patch of Cataclysm Classic, the Hour of Twilight, will go live in January of next year. This content schedule means players will go from leveling in the initial zones of the expansion to defeating Deathwing in the Dragon Soul raid in just over half a year. This expedited content pace is unprecedented for not just WoW Classic, but any WoW expansion or re-release in the game’s lengthy history. 

Cataclysm Classic will also introduce a few changes that differ from the original version of the expansion, including faster experience gains, account-wide appearance and gear collections, and improvements to Cataclysm’s infamously hard Heroic dungeon system. 

WoW Cataclysm Classic will go live on May 20, but the pre-patch will introduce a few new features in just over three weeks on April 30. 

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