Over the weekend there has been a lot of confusion going around the World of Warcraft player base. Early in the weekend, MMO Champion posted a message stating that the expansion will launch on November 2nd. Immediately after that, Amazon.com began to email everyone who had the expansion pre-ordered and informed them that the game would ship on November 23rd, although most would not receive their copy until Black Friday on the 26th due to Thanksgiving shipping delays. If that didn’t make your head spin, MMO Champion has sort of responded to Amazon.com’s date by one-upping them by claiming that the expansion would be delayed until December, but Blizzard will patch in all the Cataclysm content and let people play it for free for a couple weeks prior to the launch.
The Cataclysm by itself will happen earlier and will let you play in the “new” zone for a couple of days/weeks before you can buy the expansion and access the level 85 content.
So who do you want to believe? Amazon.com, who has no reason at all to provide false information, or a MMO fansite who is changing their story to make no sense at all. There’s absolutely no way you’re going to be able to level up to 85 for free prior to the expansion’s launch. The good money is on Amazon.