Thousand Needles before the Cataclysm in World of Warcraft Classic. Spires can be seen throughout the foreground.
Screenshot by Dot Esports

When does the WoW Cataclysm Classic pre-patch launch?

The world will change forever after Deathwing's arrival.

World of Warcraft Cataclysm Classic will launch on May 20, but players will have the opportunity to dive into some of the game’s features a bit earlier when the pre-patch drops. 

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With the start of the pre-patch, many preliminary features for the expansion will go live, including the Goblin and Worgen races, new race/class combinations (Human Hunter, finally), and the new Archaeology profession. 

While the dungeons, raids, and new questing zones introduced in Cataclysm won’t be available until the actual launch of the expansion, the pre-patch will bring with it plenty of content to get you situated with Cataclysm before it goes live in full.

Here’s when you can expect the WoW Cataclysm Classic pre-patch to go live

WoW Cataclysm Classic pre-patch launch date

The Cataclysm Classic pre-patch will go live on April 30, meaning there will be roughly three weeks in between the launch of the pre-patch and the official release of the expansion on May 20. That should give you plenty of time to level up any new characters, get accustomed to the changes coming to the world, and dabble in all of the changes coming to each of the game’s classes. 

Uldum zone in Cataclysm
Cataclysm brings with it a new era of WoW. Image via Blizzard Entertainment

If you want to level a new Goblin or Worgen, you’ll have three weeks to get them to level 80. The level cap won’t increase to 85 until the expansion actually launches, but you can still level through the world during the pre-patch. 

The pre-patch will also mark the changing of Azeroth altogether as Deathwing’s arrival will completely overhaul the world as you know it. The old layout of Azeroth will disappear forever, and all of the pre-existing zones will be reworked following the dragon’s destruction. If you have any quests that you’re attached to, you’ll want to complete them one last time before the world changes on April 30. 


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Michael Kelly
Staff Writer covering World of Warcraft and League of Legends, among others. Mike's been with Dot since 2020, and has been covering esports since 2018.