“Cataclysm includes the best content we’ve ever created for World of Warcraft. It’s not just an expansion, but a re-creation of much of the original Azeroth, complete with epic new high-level adventures for current players and a redesigned leveling experience for those just starting out.”

So says Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime, who sent out a few words along with the release date. Most had come to expect a larger delay — say, into the year 2011 — as Blizzard has never been a company to rush their games, preferring to slowly and steadily build a strong product rather than rushing it to the production line. However, when Blizzard says a product is ready, you can bet I take their word for it.

Blizzard have set a suggested retail price at $39.99 for both PC and MAC, and as expected you can also digitally purchase the game from Blizzard’s online store.  There will also be an exclusive, limited edition bundle which comes with some decent goodies for the more hardcore World of Warcraft fans – of which there is no doubt a surplus.

Now that a release date is set, you can expect anticipation to build pretty quickly – the wait is certainly not long, especially for those of us who were lucky enough to get in on the beta. It’s a perfectly-timed release for a most of us gamers to put it up on our Christmas wishlists, or even get a solid amount of playtime in before Christmas pulls us away for a few days.

Cataclysm will be following the apocalyptic, world-splitting cataclysm that changes the face of the world – and introduces both the Worgen and the Goblins as playable races. From what we’ve all seen so far, Cataclysm is looking like a well-tuned, finely-oiled machine, and there will be a horde of gamers waiting to try it out (get it? horde? I’ll just stop talking now).

“With the help of our beta testers, we’re putting on the final polish, and we look forward to welcoming gamers around the world to enjoy it in just a couple of months.”

Well said, Mr. Morhaime. The feeling is mutual.

What do you think of the December 7th release date for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Ranters? Earlier than expected, or were you still hoping for November?

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