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WoW WotLK Classic Phase 4 & ICC Release Date and Last Time

8/9/2023 5:37:32 PM

In WoW Classic WotLK, Phase 3 is well underway and we are sure you're hard at work. But everybody keeps asking when will Phase 4 and ICC released. It really is important we have a good idea of when the Phase 4 and ICC raid is coming out to plan profession swap,  like leather working for investment profit and so we don't miss out on Shadowmour, and since that first week is so crucial. So in this guide, we talk about the release date of WotLK Classic Phase 4 and Icecrown Citadel Raid. 

Blizzard's been going off a pretty creative Playbook, they've been going through every major patch from Vanilla through Wrath and just giving us things exactly in the order they were planned out. Knowing that does allow us to look back at the timeline from the original game to understand when each new phase will be coming out. So here we will first predict the time of WoW Classic Phase 4, ICC, Hardcore. Then review the timeline of Blizzard's expansion, phases, and raid content releases to give you an idea of the reasoning behind your predictions. 

WotLK Classic Phase 4 Release Date

The most likely release date for WotLK Phase 4 would be October 3rd, 2023 since it's a Tuesday. This would also mean we're getting Joyous Journeys in early September for a month of accelerated leveling

The reason this timeline makes the most sense is based primarily on how long the phases have been so far and also based on our knowledge of the release date of the upcoming Hardcore servers.

WotLK Classic ICC Release Date

Icecrown Citadel Raid has been confirmed to be released as part of Phase 4, so we think the release date of ICC would be in the week of October 3rd, 2023, almost in sync with the Phase 4 release, just like Trial of the Crusador was released in the week of 20 June 2023 (The release date of Phase 3)

So now let's run through the current phase timeline of Wrath of the Lich Classic so far with our expected phase 4 release date.

WoW Classic Expansion Release Timeline - How Long Will WotLK Classic Expansion Last? 

Original 2004 Vanilla WoW lasted 785 Days to TBC Classic, by comparison, Classic WoW launched on August 26, 2019, and TBC Classic launched on June 1st, 2021 was 600 and 145 days later, which means we had an 18 reduction in expansion duration from Classic to TBC compared to the original releases. Then TBC originally lasted 668 days before Wrath came out while classic TBC only lasted 482 days. It's also worth noting that Vanilla Wrath lasted a really long time - it lasted a whopping 755 days which puts it much closer to the duration of Vanilla WoW. Knowing all of this, we can finally create three possible timelines for the duration of Wrath and the launch of Cataclysm timeline:

1. The speed run strategy which would entail wrath lasting until mid-January and Cataclysm watching soon, after this timeline just doesn't fit whatsoever with the current Cadence of the expansion and it's not really worth exploring further 

2. The second timeline is based on the motto which predicts Cataclysm coming out at nearly the exact time that the TBC classic came out in June the third though still realistic timeline would be Cataclysm coming out significantly later we're talking August or maybe even September.

3. All three of, these timelines do have historical precedence since we've had expansion launches in January, June, and August all before. However, the second timeline is the most realistic with Cataclysm launching approximately the first week of June 2024 that timeline would entail Wrath lasting approximately 610 days with Phase 4 launching in early October.

WoW WotLK Classic Phase Timeline

When Phases 4-5 and Cataclysm and the Hardcore servers come out we have to go back to the original route timeline:

Phase 1 Vanilla WotLK - 152 Days

Phase 1 Classic WotLK (Released on October 6th, 2023) - 113 Days

In 2008, Phase 1 lasted 152 days while Phase 1 lasted 113 days in today's version. We do know from Dev interviews and foremost that Phase 1 did last too long at the original Wrath. It would make sense that the phase would be intentionally shortened slightly. 

Phase 2 Vanilla WotLK - 112 Days (14.8% of Expansions)

Phase 2 Classic WotLK (Released on January 19th, 2023)  - 154 Days (25.2% of Expansions)

This is definitely very intentional since the current Blizzard Devs wanted to give all of our time to breathe, further evidence of that as the jacked-up item levels across the board gave the raid way more relevance.

Phase 3 Vanilla WotLK - 126 Days (16.7% of Expansions)

Phase 3 Classic WotLK (Released on June 20th, 2023)  - 105 Days (17.2% of Expansions)

You might at this point wonder why a 30-minute raid with no trash is predicted to take even longer in the 2023 version of the game, but it all comes down to intent. Phase 3 is designed to bring players back to the game.

How Long Will ICC Last in WotLK Classic?

Speaking of ICC, this was the biggest phase in the original version of the game lasting 196 days or 26%  of the expansion, however, the phase will only last 147 days. A question that might come up is why ICC lasted such a long time in the original version of the game. Even though ICC originally came out on December 14, 2009, it took all the way until Patch 3.3.2 on February 2nd. For Frostwing Halls in the final Lich King battle to unlock the wings were doled out over the span of nearly two months, which made the raid more accessible while artificially delegating progress of course we can't logically expect Blizzard to gate the raid in such a win in 2023. Without the artificial gating players will max out much more quickly and begin to fall off the game. Because of that, it seems very logical, that the phase would end up being a little bit shorter.

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