Blizzard is starting to gear up for the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm beta test, with members of the press asked to opt in no later than the 15th of April.
This may be StarCraft week here at The Escapist - and that's certainly the Blizzard game that's been taking up most of my time lately - but we can't forget that the third expansion for its mega-MMOG is right around the corner. And when I say right around the corner, I do mean right around the corner, because Blizzard is gearing up for the Cataclysm beta as we speak.
Earlier today, certain members of the press were asked to send in their Battle.net information to Blizzard no later than April 15th to be flagged for access as soon as the PC developer began admitting media into the beta. I'm not saying I was one of the people who got one of the emails, but I'm also not going to say that I wasn't. Just leaving that out there on the table, guys.
Now, this doesn't mean that April 15th is the start date for the Cataclysm beta - in the email, Blizzard itself notes that the developer does "not currently have a date to announce for the start of the beta test." However, if preparations are being made to invite press into said beta, it's a fairly safe bet that the actual event won't be far behind.
So what does this mean about Cataclysm? Well, it could either mean that Blizzard is expecting this beta to be much longer than normal, or that Cataclysm is going to ship significantly before the autumn release date many were predicting. The Burning Crusade beta was three months long (October 2006 to January 2007), whereas the Wrath of the Lich King beta lasted four months (July to November 2008). Could Cataclysm be dropping in August - if not sooner?
I guess that's why Blizzard is previewing the class changes this week, huh?