Now the big question is when will 4.01 be released. Many people are guessing this Oct 5th or Oct 12th based upon this post from MMO champion. I don't have any inside info on the patches release date, but I would be very surprised if it is released in the next two weeks and I don't expect it until November. Here's why.
- I don't trust the Oct 5th and 12th dates. You may remember that MMO champion announced that the target release date for Cataclysm was Nov 2nd. In my opinion, Oct 5th and 12th are likely legacy dates tied to the original targeted release date of Nov 2nd. Since release was bumped a month the patch dates are likely bumped as well, if my guess is correct. Not only that the October dates have been removed from the web site. If they were correct, why remove them? The cat is already out of the bag.
- They released a new PTR build of patch 4.0.1 over the weekend. This pretty much guarantees that it won't be on the 5th and in my opinion makes it unlikely that it will be on the 12th. I haven't been on the PTR but the Beta still feels a bit imbalanced. I think there is still quite a bit of work to do before they want the player base as a whole messing around with it.
- Prerelease patches put the game into a state of purgatory where nothing really matters. Therefore, Blizzard is unlikely to want that to extend to long. Patch 2.0 was released just over a month before TBCs release. Patch 3.0 was released just under a month before WotLK release. If Patch 4.0 came out in the next two weeks it would be almost 2 months before Cataclysm's release. I think that is highly unlikely to happen.
- The WotLK release date was announced on September 15th. At the time everyone thought patch 3.0 would come out before Sept or possibly early October. However, Patch 3.0 came out on Oct 14th almost a month after the release date announcement.
I could be wrong, and Blizzard has done unpredictable things in the past. However, at this point I don't see anything really credible that points to an early October patch date for 4.0.1. If I had to guess we will see patch 4.0.1 on Nov 2nd and patch 4.0.3 on Nov 9th or 16th.