|Source information needed!
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 3 - WoWWiki first archived at Web.Archive.org (Internet Archive)
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 with Patch 5.0.1.
May 24 - Non-Annual Pass players who expressed interest in Mists of Pandaria beta on their Battle.net account start getting beta invites.
July 25 - Mists of Pandaria release date announced to be September 25, 2012.
August 28 - Patch 5.0.4 on live servers. Systems pre-release patch and most of the expansion all in one.
- Account-wide achievements, mounts, and pets
- All races available to all players
- Area of Effect looting
- BattleTag support
- Massive class changes
- Specialization and talent revamp
- Tons of new items
- Some profession updates
- New battlegrounds and revamped dungeons
- Cross-realm zones
September 13 - Patch 5.0.5 on live servers.
- Technically the patch that will be running when the expansion is enabled, but mostly bug fixes.
September 17 - World Event: Attack on Theramore Isle
- Available to level 85 characters for 1 week before expansion release
September 25 - Mists of Pandaria expansion released in North America and Europe.
- Level cap raised to 90.
- Continent of Pandaria added.
- Pandaren race added.
- Monk class added.
- Pet Battle System
September 27 - Mists of Pandaria expansion released in Korean and Taiwan.
November 27 - Patch 5.1.0
- New world PvP conflict and factions
- Brawler's Guild
- Item Level Upgrades
- Battle pet upgrade system
- New scenarios
March 5 - Patch 5.2.0
- New Daily Quest Hub: The Isle of Thunder
- New Raid: Throne of Thunder
- Legendary Quest continues
- New World Bosses:
- New scenarios
- Sunsong Ranch farming improvements
May 21 - Patch 5.3.0
- New Battleground: Deepwind Gorge
- New Arena: The Tiger's Peak
- New Scenarios:
- Heroic Scenarios
- Quest Campaign: Escalation
- XP needed for level 85 - 90 reduced by 33%.
August 14 - Blizzard trademarks "The Dark Below".
- The concept of "The Dark Below" is not new to WoW, previously mentioned here: http://www.wowwiki.com/Dark_Below. With speculation over the past few months about the possibility of a Burning Legion expansion, players are convinced we will soon be descending into the dark depths of Azeroth!
- ^ 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.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2012-08-16. All Races Available in Patch 5.0.4. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US).
Qoennon 2012-08-16. All Races Available in Patch 5.0.4. Official Gameplay > General forum (EU).
- ^ Kaivax 2012-08-28. #1 - Theramore's Fall: One Week at Level 85. Official Community > General Discussion forum (US). Vaneras 2012-08-28. #1 - Battle of Theramore: One Week at Level 85. Official Gameplay > General forum (EU).
- ^ Quintessence 2012-08-24. Patch 5.0.4 Reminders. Perks N Peeves. “Pet Battles. We'll have to wait until the MoP release date to access this new ability and minigame. The upside is that players do NOT have to upgrade to MoP to participate.”