We’re at a fun point in the game right now, in terms of planning.
Let’s pretend, just for a minute, that this huge decision is actually in OUR hands.
The date for the release of the Cataclysm expansion is set, and it’s about two weeks away.
In the United States, one of the biggest family events of the year, Thanksgiving, is set for less than one week away.
You’ve been increasing the pressure in the prelude to Cataclysm every week up to this point.
You’ve got one BIG game change coming that you’ve said you will do before the actual expansion release date; the literal breaking of the world.
You are more than a group of brilliant game designers. You are also one of the biggest game companies in the world, and you have to take into account the realities of supporting massive patch releases with physical support to anticipate and correct any problems that may occur.
Historically, every big patch, no matter how well tested, has had some unforeseen problem crop up. You’re too smart to think this one would be different.
What would YOU do?
Regardless of what actually happens, how would you handle it?
Would you release the big world breaking event this week, giving you two weeks to work through problems and get things settled before the expansion… but knowing that if there ARE problems, it will cause a lot of grumpiness from the United States’ customers that will, most of them, have a four day weekend for playing nothing but WoW… err, I mean spend time with their families?
Or do you wait until next week? Do you give things a chance to build some more, maybe have one more ramp up to the final world breaking, and let the big crash come after Thanksgiving, trusting that any last minute problems will be corrected in that last week prior to the box expansion going out there into the world?
How do YOU play the timing?