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Pre-Installation of PoF


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Parts of it have probably already been patched in to the game. For instance, everyone that logged in during the Preview Weekends/stress tests downloaded at least the 1st map, plus some extra code that blocked off about half of it, creating the demo area we got to play. After each of those weekends/events ended, Anet probably just disabled the map instead of removing it from everyone's .dat file. The elite specializations were also available to play, and while Anet said that those versions aren't the final versions that will be available at launch (since they've taken feedback from those preview events into account), I would image that not every skill or trait is going to be adjusted so those ones that aren't wouldn't need to be downloaded again.

My memory of this is fuzzy, but I thought that with the week or two leading up to Heart of Thorns' release that there were multiple sizeable downloads that took place that added chunks of the expansion into the .dat file, so that the day of release all that was needed was whatever final stuff had been held back from being patched in early and then activating the stuff that had been already downloaded. Now, I haven't paid enough attention while logging in the last two weeks, so I don't know if there were any similar large downloads or not, so maybe they're holding more back to prevent data miners finding and posting story/plot info, boss/NPC names, etc. to preserve some surprises.

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