It’s official, sports fans. Relic has all but confirmed the timeframe for the balance beta to end so that a final build of the beta can replace the retail game. The bottom line, according to an official Rifles Ready! analysis: final beta patch after New Year’s, then beta goes retail probably in late February, just before COH: Tales of Valor comes out.
Thunder, Relic’s community manager, says that 2.507 will “very likely” be the final patch to hit the beta, with a changelist coming soon.
“The next steps will be to give you all some time to play with the new beta patch to shake out any new/major issues. Then we’ll be doing a final round of bug fixes for issues that the new code and balance changes introduced to other areas of the game, such as the campaign, and the big final QA pass.”
How long will all this take? Well, it won’t be till after the holidays, Thunder says: “I’m sure there were players out there hoping for a final retail patch for the holidays but there’s still quite a bit of work that needs to happen. We also don’t want to release a patch just before everyone leaves for the holidays, just in case something goes wrong.”
That tells me the beta patch won’t hit till after “the holidays,” which probably includes both Christmas and New Year’s. Assuming the final patch is out in the first week of January, Relic will probably give it at least a month or more for players to play it and offer feedback. Hopefully the fact that it’s the last patch will improve player participation. Then there’s all that final bug-fixing and QA-passing, and finally the beta ends and goes retail.
If you are counting the months on this, you’ll realize this timeframe bumps up very near to the estimated release date for COH: TOV, which is supposed to ship on March 9, according to Amazon.com. It would make very little sense for the beta to still be ongoing when Tales of Valor comes out, so it’s probably safe to use that March 9 date as a drop-dead deadline for the beta to hit retail.
SITE UPDATE: In other news, my video card has been received by the manufacturer, and they’re preparing to ship out a replacement. I probably won’t get it till the middle of next week, or the end of next week. So that means no new Battle Reports for at least a week and a half. However, we’ll all continue to post and that means Surprise‘s highly popular WCG series will keep running. Hang tough, troops!