The primary reason for this, it seemed, was the impact that production had taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. With everyone being forced to work from home or in other safe ways, it was difficult to keep production going as it was.
With the expansion delayed, there was quite a bit of kickback. Many were expecting it, as it was only a bit more than four weeks out with no word on when prepatch was set to begin – which is never less than four weeks long.
In response to the kickback, Blizzard saw fit to issue out an offer of refunds. The offer came via email to anyone who had preordered the expansion as of yet, regardless of what level they had preordered the expansion in.
The issue with this, many wondered, was what would happen with the rewards that had been granted by preordering? Preordering came with many incentives, depending on the level, so were they meant to disappear if one refunded?
— Icy Veins (@icyveins) October 3, 2020
The answer, as it turns out, is yes – you will immediately lose access to the rewards for preordering if you refund your preorder. And, really, why wouldn’t you?
With the preorder, there were several rewards available, depending on the tier that the player ordered. The basic edition granted no bonuses other than to allow Shadowlands to be playable at release, so returning that won’t affect much.
If one preorders the Heroic edition, they’ll be given a character boost to 120, and it’s unclear if a character that had this boost used will be available. Players also unlock the Ensorcelled Everwyrm Mount and the Vestments of the Eternal Traveler questline.
At the third tier, Epic, players get all of the above as well as 30 days of game time. One also unlocks the Anima Wyrmling pet, the Eternal Traveler’s hearthstone, and the Wraithchill weapon effect.
If you’ve preordered at the Heroic or Epic level, be aware that a refund will take away the rewards listed above. There is some confusion, however, with the 30 days of game time and whether one would need to immediately purchase a month to make up for the 30 days spent.
In addition, the preorders will allow you to create Pandaren and Allied Race Death Knights. Know that a refund will also make these Death Knights unavailable until the expansion is released or preordered.