World Of Warcraft Cataclysm Classic Deathwing Key Art
Image: Blizzard Entertainment

When does World of Warcraft (WoW) Cataclysm Classic launch?

It's the end of the World of Warcraft. Again!

WoW Classic players anxiously await Deathwing to awaken from his nap, tearing Azeroth asunder once again in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Classic. But when will Cata Classic be released, and how long will you have left before the end of WoTLK Classic? Read on to find out.

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World of Warcraft Cataclysm Classic release date and schedule

According to the official WoW roadmap, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Classic is set to be released in Summer 2024. While there’s no concrete release date yet, the Battle.net listings for optional upgrades state that “Cataclysm Classic will launch on or before August 31, 2024.”

Wow Classic 2024 Roadmap
Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Players will have a few months to explore the new world before Patch 4.1: Rise of the Zandalari releases towards the end of Summer/beginning of Autumn. The iconic Firelands raid will return in Patch 4.2: Rage of the Firelands in mid-Autumn.

When is the Cataclysm Classic pre-patch launching?

In the lead-up to Cata Classic’s launch, WoW Classic will receive a pre-patch toward the end of Spring. This introduces Worgen and Goblin as playable races and iconic quality-of-life features from the original Cataclysm, such as account-wide mounts and pets, the improved guild system, and my favorite, transmog.

The pre-patch will also likely include the invasion events from Cataclysm’s original pre-patch, giving players a chance to catch up on gear by defending Stormwind or Orgrimmar from elementals stirred up by Deathwing’s return.

Will Cataclysm Classic replace Wrath of the Lich King Classic?

Unfortunately for WoTLK fans, Cataclysm Classic will completely replace Wrath of the Lich King Classic at launch. You have until Summer to finish any unfinished business in Northrend, such as slaying the big man himself.

Of course, the Summer’s heat won’t melt away all of Wrath’s content. Almost all WoTLK content will be available to revisit in Cataclysm Classic, just as it is in modern WoW today. My first Lich King kill was admittedly at the beginning of Cataclysm over thirteen years ago when I was eleven. Apologies to those of you whose bones I just heard creak.

Will Cataclysm Classic be free?

Wow Cataclysm Classic Shop Upgrade
Image: Blizzard Entertainment

A World of Warcraft subscription is all you need to play World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Classic. You don’t need to purchase the expansion separately like back in the day, but two optional upgrade packs are available through Battle.net if you feel like riding on the back of Ragnaros.

The Blazing Heroic Pack includes:

  • Avatar of Flame flying mount (Classic)
  • Runebound Firelord flying mount (Retail)
  • Lil’ Wrathion Pet (Classic & Retail)
  • Twilight’s Hammer Regalia Transmog set
  • Town-in-a-Box Starter Set Toy

The Blazing Epic Upgrade Pack includes:

  • Everything in the Blazing Heroic Pack
  • 30 days of game time
  • Level 80 character boost

Remember that a WoW subscription also grants you access to modern World of Warcraft, Season of Discovery, and Plunderstorm — a limited-time standalone battle royale mode. While Plunderstorm will likely be gone by the time Cata Classic launches, you can dive in now to earn rewards in Wrath Classic, ready for account-wide collections this Summer.


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Thomas has been a writer in the games industry since 2021 and considers himself a connoisseur of all things Nintendo, Blizzard, and Marvel. Since amassing 152,000+ followers on a Facebook page about Diddy Kong with a backward hat, Thomas has become a trusted voice in the gaming community across publications such as PC Invasion, AOTF, and Gfinity. His greatest achievements include catching every Pokémon, completing (almost) every quest in World of Warcraft, and naming his dog 'Mass Effect 3.' Thomas is extraordinarily passionate about the video game industry and its community. He enjoys writing about a wide variety topics, including popular games like Destiny 2, Fortnite, and WoW, as well as the latest Indie titles.