Patch 3.0 Hits the PTR
As I predicted previously, the patch 3.0 PTR is now up and running, just in time to beat the start of Warhammer's CE headstart tomorrow. For Blizzard employees to come in on a Saturday night to make sure this thing beat Warhammer's Sunday launch tells you just how seriously they're taking this.
PVE to PVP transfers
Blizzard also reversed the long-standing and long-disputed policy on paid character transfers from PVE to PVP servers. By some accounts, the old policy was hampering recruitment by elite raiding guilds on PVE servers, since applicants from PVP servers were not willing to permanently foreswear transferring back to PVP servers. (It boggles my mind that you would pay to move your character off a server for a TRIAL with some guild, but people apparently do it.)
I'm not convinced that either decision is going to have much of any effect. With the PTR's, you're looking at hours of client downloads, a lengthy wait for character copies, and probably an enormous queue to actually log onto the server, only to have all your progress wiped when the PTR ends. As to the transfers, it certainly makes life easier for some players, but I doubt that a large portion of the population will be affected. If patch 3.0 had actually been ready to go to the LIVE servers, that might have actually affected people's decisions regarding Warhammer, but I don't think the PTR's are going to do anything beyond reminding people that there's an expansion coming.
I suppose the X-factor is word of mouth. Warhammer is going to get good reviews, but there WILL be some problems (especially in Europe, from the looks of things), and there also will be people who don't like the game. If the buzz on Warhammer is mixed and the buzz on WoW is generally positive, well, I guess that's what Blizzard thinks is worth working through the weekend for.