World of Warcraft fans have been waiting for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands for quite some time, but the wait is finally almost over. Tomorrow, the prepatch leading into the expansion will be hitting the live servers, bringing 9.0 to fruition.

The prepatch serves as a solid way to lead into an expansion, with each expansion having had one since Burning Crusade. More or less, the prepatch serves as the end of the previous expansion and the start of the next, working to bridge the two together.

More than anything, it provides a steady adjustment period for players – and this time around, there’s a lot to adjust to! With class changes, a level squish, the removal of core mechanics, and new customization changes, players have plenty to meet them.

The Shadowlands expansion itself, originally set to release late this month, was unfortunately pushed away as a result of there still being too much work needing to be done for the developers. While the title itself is delayed, prepatch’s arrival tomorrow is still set.

That said, the prepatch itself will have a bit of a delay as well. Blizzard announced that they would be needing to do a much longer weekly maintenance than usual to bring about the changes for the patch.

Tuesday serves as a weekly reset for the MMORPG, and gives the developers time to do a weekly maintenance as well. Normally a rather brief down period, this maintenance will be comparatively massive.

The servers will be going down at 7:00 AM (PDT) as they usually do. Players should expect the title to be unavailable for eight full hours, all the way until 3:00 PM (PDT).

Blizzard doesn’t give much of a reason for the longer maintenance, but it’s a bit of a no-brainer. This isn’t a simple weekly maintenance – Blizzard is implementing the patch that paves the way for a new expansion.

This prepatch is going to be radically changing the title, and it isn’t as simple as dragging and dropping a few hotfixes onto a server. Countless changes are coming with this prepatch, so Blizzard is going to be taking their time.

In fact, those that are familiar with Blizzard maintenance are already quite certain that 3:00 PM (PDT) is an optimistic approximation. Many are expecting the game to be down longer than this, so if you see delays, don’t be too shocked. This patch is going to be a pretty massive undertaking from start to finish, delays or not.