A Tempting Offer

wow

Blizzard has a history of crafting great specials in order to attempt to draw back some of the customers that have fallen away from the World of Warcraft playerbase over the years, but the recent announcement of an expansion to the “Scroll of Resurrection” service has to be one of the most tempting they have ever come up with.

The new service allows current subscribers to invite their friends who played in the past, but whose accounts have been inactive since March 4, 2012 to return to the game, and to receive some exceptional gifts for doing so.

  1. Returning players will be given seven days of free game time as before, but will also receive a free upgrade to the Cataclysm expansion, which is a great incentive to players who have been gone for a very long time.
  2. In order to make it as easy as possible for your friends to join you they will also receive a character boost, allowing a character to jump straight to level 80.  The character will also be granted all of their class spells up to level 80, a flying mount and riding skill, and a set of green quality level appropriate gear.
  3. Returning players will be given a free, optional character transfer and faction change so that any of their old characters will be able to join you as easily as possible, no matter where you have moved since they have been gone.

While I find these offers very tempting, they bring a couple of thoughts to my mind.

First I see the instant boost to level 80 as a way of confirming that Blizzard understands that the old adage “the game begins at the level cap” is as true now as it ever was.  Players are simply not interested in leveling again through the same old content.  I may even argue that players are not interested in leveling anymore, period…but that is a post for another day.  If this is the case, and Blizzard understands that the leveling game is something that players go through so they can start having fun, then why have they not found a better way to allow players to bypass that portion of the game.  If returning players have the ability to instantly set their level to 80, placing them only five levels away from the level cap, it seems that this idea could be extended to existing players as well.

Secondly, it is obvious that Blizzard understands that server changes and faction changes have become a necessity to the longevity of their game, and they have abused that fact in order to milk huge sums of money from their players over the past years.  Now when their numbers are failing it seems they are prepared to start looking at other options.  Other companies, such as Trion, have allowed for players to transfer servers nearly as often as they like in order to continue playing with friends and to find new communities when the current server community is lacking.  Perhaps it is finally time for Blizzard to stop treating their players as cash cows and begin offering some of these same customer service features in their game.

While I am tempted by their offer to return to playing World of Warcraft, I just can’t see myself getting past some of Blizzards current shortcomings enough to be willing to stay with the game long once I have returned, not while there are so many other excellent alternatives to chose from.

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Author: AxiomXIII View all posts by