Cataclysm is going to be available for download before the release date, and become available to play at Midnight, PST on December 7th.This makes me a very happy Ang for two reasons.
Firstly, it is unlikely that Aussie game stores would be actually selling their copies of Cata before or at midnight on the 7th (that's unconfirmed, by the way - I haven't ordered a copy at all yet). At Wrath release, the European store I was lined up at midnight did actually release them at midnight, but the much smaller Aussie/Kiwi/SEA market tends to get shafted when it comes to release dates.
The other reason is that, in buying and downloading the expansion directly from the Blizzard store, it sounds like we will be able to pay the American price for it. Hooray for the strong Aussie dollar, and for not having to pay whatever ridiculously inflated price it will be here!
So if all goes to plan, and Mr Morhaime is good on his word, and if the Aussie game distributors don't kick up a fuss and somehow force us to pay full price to download the game, we can come home from work on the 7th and start playing our pre-installed Cataclysm at 6pm AEST (that's 7 for you DST types).
Roll on December!! /excitement