Yes, Blizzard are again showing their love and appreciation to their active player base, this time by giving a free level 100 boost to players who haven’t had an active subscription since the launch of Legion. Whereas, all those players who are currently subscribed and actively supporting the game are being given the option to buy a special anniversary mount bundle for £19. How sweet, Blizzard, you shouldn’t have… really. So, all those players who have done nothing to support the game in the last three years are being given a £40 character boost for free, whereas all those who have been paying monthly subscriptions for those three years, that’s £359.64 for three years of monthly rolling subscription, gets the honour of paying another £19 to get their anniversary gift.
While it is true that other events and rewards are planned, with a new time walking raid announced which when completed will award the player with a new mount, the Obsidian Worldbreaker. According Blizzard, the 25 man raid will pit players against some of World of Warcraft’s most iconic bosses. However, many players have raised concerns that time walking raids are normally not compatible with raid finder, which may leave many players unable to get a 25 strong team together to complete the raid. It is also true, that for those players for which raiding is not their cup of tea, the main reward for the celebration is out of their reach. There will also be a new pet up for grabs.In any case, all the above rewards will be available for loyal players and re-subscribers alike and does not reward loyal players, in any way, for their continued support for the game.
Considering the state of the current expansion and the rumoured drop off in active players, you would think that Blizzard would take a leaf out of many of its competitor’s books and offer loyalty incentives. Elder Scrolls Online for example rewards players just for logging in each day, whereas Final Fantasy 14 show their appreciation through the veteran system which gives players rewards after they hit certain subscription period goals, like subscribing for 60 or 150 days. The continued lack of any sort of active player or subscriber rewards, and the instead rewarding of non-active, disinterested players, seems mindboggling when many of the WoW community already feel like cash cows instead of appreciated, loyal subscribers. Still, the World of Warcraft 15th Anniversary isn’t due to kick off until October, so there is time yet for some new loyalty based rewards to be announced. Let’s just hope it isn’t a £5 discount on those anniversary mounts.