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WoWJun 18, 2019 12:00 pm CT

Patch 8.2 is officially a release candidate on the PTR, and it’s launching on June 25!

Update: Patch 8.2 now has an official release date! Look for it next week, on June 25.

The folks at Wowhead have noted that the most recent PTR for patch 8.2 is listed as a release candidate. If you’re like me, you may have wondered what that means. Well, it means more or less what it sounds like — a release candidate in software development terms is a version that is considered ready to release in the absence of any specific bugs or issues that would force it to be held back. It is a candidate for release — if testing of this build reveals no major problems, the final release version may be very similar to or the same as this version being tested.

So with the version of 8.2 on the PTR being a release candidate, it means that they’ve moved to the stage where they’re considering putting this version out, as long as it doesn’t crash like crazy or have any game breaking issues that would make that impossible. And that means… well, what does it mean?

Soon? Likely soon, yes.

First off, it means that the next week or two of testing are crucial — we are nearly at the end of the PTR for patch 8.2, and if no significant bugs or issues are discovered, there will be no reason for patch 8.2 to be held back. It also means that we are near release for the patch — while we can’t predict exactly when yet, we know that Blizzard has shifted its focus from “Is this ready to release?” to “Make sure this is ready to release” and the next step would be “Release this” — meaning that if all goes well, we could be looking at a release within a month. That would mean a July release for patch 8.2.

However, this is not a guarantee, yet. There’s a reason software development has release candidates — while they have a version they believe is ready for release, they’re very deliberately going to test that candidate to make sure it is, meaning they’ll want to check for bugs and issues that specifically are game breaking — while it is likely there will be some bugs that survive this process and occasionally those bugs are extremely serious, the hope and focus is on weeding out those bugs that would make a game release untenable. This is a standard across software development, and it means there’s still more testing to be done before we can call patch 8.2 ready to ship.

Still, the fact that we now have a release candidate means we’re going from “We have no idea when it will launch” to “We know it will launch soon unless some major problems are found,” and that’s pretty crucial. A July release would sync up with other MMOs releasing their newest expansion, after all, and that’s a Blizzard tradition of old. So I definitely think you can look for a July release here, barring major complications.

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