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This page follows the in-game timeline from the release of World of Warcraft through present day as it applies to the players.
Early in the year - World of Warcraft Beta testing
November 23 - World of Warcraft launches in North America, Australia and New Zealand.
- Starting level cap is 60
- Only Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor available at launch.
- Starting races:
December 18 - Patch 1.2.0
- Maraudon added
February 11 - World of Warcraft launches in Europe
March 7 - Patch 1.3.0
- Dire Maul added
March 23 - The first legendary item ever to appear to players in the game drops, . It is immediately hotfixed out of the game.
April 8 - Patch 1.4.0
- PvP Honor System
June 7 - Patch 1.5.0
July 12 - Patch 1.6.0
September 13 - Patch 1.7.0
- Zul'Gurub added
- Arathi Basin battleground added
- Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza
- Corrupted Blood begins as the result of a glitch in Zul'Gurub
October 28–29 - BlizzCon
- Burning Crusade announced
October 10 - Patch 1.8.0
- Corrupted Blood fixed
November 16 - World of Warcraft is featured in a question on the game show Jeopardy!
January 3 - Patch 1.9.0
- The Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj added
- The Temple of Ahn'Qiraj added
- Gates of Ahn'Qiraj event begins
- Faction-Linked Auction Houses
March 28 - Patch 1.10.0
- High-Level Armor Set Upgrade Questlines
- Quest Experience to Gold Conversion at Level 60
- Weather Effects
- Linked Flight paths
April - The "-50 DKP/More dots" Onyxia Wipe Animation becomes popular.
June 20 - Patch 1.11.0
July 7 - Wowhead website launched
August 22 - Patch 1.12.0
September 11 - Burning Crusade announced to be released on January 16, 2007
October 4 - The TV show South Park features a Warcraft-themed episode, Make Love, not Warcraft.
December 5 - Patch 2.0.1
December 14 - Burning Crusade cinematic trailer released
January 9 - Patch 2.0.3
January 16 - The Burning Crusade expansion released
- Level cap raised to 70
- Outland added
- Draenei and Blood Elf races added
- Eye of the Storm battleground added
- Jewelcrafting profession added
May 22 - Patch 2.1.0
- The Black Temple added
August 3–4 BlizzCon
- Wrath of the Lich King expansion announced
September 27 - Patch 2.2.0
- Voice chat introduced.
October - Toyota's Four Wheels of Fury commercial airs, featuring a fictional truck mount ingame.
November 13 - Patch 2.3.0
November 20 - Blizzard advertises World of Warcraft on television with ads featuring William Shatner and most notably Mr. T talking about his Night Elf Mohawk.
January - World of Warcraft gets to 10 million subscribers globally
March 25 - Patch 2.4.0
- Isle of Quel'Danas added
- Magister's Terrace added
- Sunwell Plateau added
- The Shattered Sun Offensive begins.
July - Beta begins for Wrath of the Lich King
August 21 - Wrath of the Lich King cinematic released.
September 15 - Wrath of the Lich King release date announced to be November 13, 2008
October 14 - Patch 3.0.2
- Several changes were made to the gameworld to prepare for Wrath of the Lich King:
November 13 - Wrath of the Lich King expansion released
- Level cap raised to 80
- Northrend added
- Death knight class added
- Strand of the Ancients battleground added
November 23 - All players logging in are awarded Baby Blizzard Bear and
April 14 - Patch 3.1.0
May 15 - The Mountain Dew Game Fuel Choose Your Side promotion begins.
August 4 - Patch 3.2.0
August 20 - The Mountain Dew Choose Your Side promotion ends.
August 21–22 - BlizzCon 2009
- Cataclysm expansion announced
September 2 - Faction Change service offered.
September 22 - Patch 3.2.2
- Onyxia's Lair revamped to level 80
October 27 - Race Change service offered
November 11, 12 - The deadline passes for account mergers with Battle.net for US, EU players.
November 22 - All players logging in are awarded Onyxian Whelpling and
December 8 - Patch 3.3.0
- Frozen Halls added
- Icecrown Citadel raid added
- The Lower Spire is open at release.
- Cross-Server Instance grouping
- Improved Dungeon Finder
January 5 - The Plagueworks of Icecrown Citadel opens.
January 19 - The Crimson Hall of Icecrown Citadel opens.
February 2 - Patch 3.3.2
- The Frostwing Halls, the final wing of Icecrown Citadel, opens.
- The Lich King encounter is implemented.
February 12 - The People's Republic of China approves Burning Crusade for release.
May 3 - The Friends & Family phase of the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm alpha begins.
June 22 - Patch 3.3.5 in North America.
- Real ID is implemented.
- The Ruby Sanctum opens.
July 6 - Blizzard announces their intention to have Real ID names visible when posting on the official forums. This resulted in a massive outcry against the idea, based primarily on concerns about privacy issues and potential harassment.
July 9 - Due the overwhelming flood of criticism, Blizzard rescinds their plan to put Real ID names on the official forums.
August 10 - The People's Republic of China approves a heavily edited Wrath of the Lich King for release.
October 4 - Cataclysm release date announced to be December 7, 2010
October 7 - World of Warcraft reaches 12 million players
October 12 - Patch 4.0.1
- Cataclysm Launcher Update
- Complete talent and ability overhaul for all classes
- Removed from game: Emblems, Badges, Marks of honor
October 17 - World of Warcraft Cataclysm cinematic trailer released.
- Parts of the trailer were aired on television in the second quarter of the Dallas Cowboys/Minnesota Vikings football game on the same day. The commercial asked "Where will you be when the Cataclysm begins"
October 22-23 - BlizzCon 2010
November 16 - Patch 4.0.3
- Preparation for the Shattering
- Few visible changes
- Hundreds of achievements, items, NPCs, and quests added or updated
- Most Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor zones changed
- New class and race combinations made available
December 7 - Cataclysm expansion released
- Level cap raised to 85
- Goblin and Worgen races added
- New level 80+ zones added
- Tol Barad World PvP zone added
- Archaeology secondary profession added
January 27 - Blizzard files complaints with the online service PayPal in an effort to make payment difficult for gold sellers. 
February 8 - Patch 4.0.6
- Class balance changes
April 26 - Patch 4.1.0
- Re-opening of Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub as level 85 heroics
- Class design changes
- Profession trainers filled out in capitals
June 28 - Patch 4.2.0
- Firelands is added
- New Molten Front daily quest zone
- New Avengers of Hyjal faction
- Dungeon Journal
- The 10-day Free Trial is replaced by the new World of Warcraft Starter Edition
October 21-22 - BlizzCon 2011
- Mists of Pandaria announced
November 20 - WoW's 7th Anniversary
- Players receive a in-game mail with Celebration Package attached
November 29 - Patch 4.3.0
- New and improved Raid Finder
- Introduction of Transmogrifiers
- New and improved Darkmoon Faire plus new zone: Darkmoon Island
- End Time is added
- Well of Eternity is added
- Hour of Twilight is added
- Dragon Soul is added
March 21 - Mists of Pandaria closed beta opens.
- ^ Web Archive - Fusion NET: Blizzard Entertainment Announces World of Warcraft.
- ^ Wikipedia: WoWWiki.
- ^ Wikipedia: Leeroy Jenkins.
- ^ Wikipedia: Corrupted Blood Incident.
- ^ WoW.com: The Queue: A trip down memory lane.
- ^ Error Macro: Gay Rights Within World of Warcraft.
- ^ About.com: Gates of Ahn'Qiraj Opened.
- ^ Blizzard Press Release World of Warcraft Reaches New Milestone: 10 Million Subscribers.
- ^ WoW.com: Proudmoore server hits Phase 4 first.
- ^ Examiner.com: The WoW Martin Fury scandal.
- ^ WoW.com: Battle.net accounts required by November 11th.
- ^ Cataclysm Alpha has begun!. MMO-Champion. Retrieved on 2010-07-01.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment Begins Closed Beta Test for World of Warcraft®: Cataclysm™. Activision Blizzard. Retrieved on 2010-06-30.
- ^ http://forums.battle.net/thread.html?topicId=25626109041
- ^ http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25968987278&sid=1
- ^ China is finally getting Wrath of the Lich King. WoW.com.
- ^ WORLD OF WARCRAFT®: CATACLYSM™ IN STORES STARTING DECEMBER 7. Blizzard Press Release.
- ^ World of Warcraft subscriber base reaches 12 million. Blizzard Press Release.
- ^ Blizzard Puts A Stop To Gold Sellers Using PayPal For Payments. Curse.