Please Please Please Play Our Game!
So, the biggest news yesterday and today was about the new "Limited Time Offer" Scroll of Resurrection.
I haven't played WOW in a couple years now, so this doesn't affect me. But I can see how this is really going to piss off a lot of current players.
Basically, a player can send a Scroll of Resurrection to a friend. When they accept the scroll, they're given 7 days of free game time. If they have the original WoW, TBC, or WOTLK they are immediately upgraded to the full digital Cataclysm (and all previous expansions) for free.
This is permanent; you get all of the expansion packs including Cataclysm for free.
With the past issues surrounding the various Christmas deals in NA vs EU, I can see this really upsetting a lot of players. This was something that Blizzard has obviously been planning for a long time and during the time when they were offering each expansion pack for a reduced price, they knew that if players were to just wait another couple months they could have gotten it all for free instead. Many players took advantage of the Christmas savings, and will now realize their huge mistake.
It doesn't end there, though.
The recipient also gets a free level 80. They can make use of their free 7 days, create a new level 1 Cataclysm character, and then Claim Rewards from their Battle.net Account. The character is immediately leveled to 80 and they are allowed the option of a free server transfer.
The level 80 also gets the following:
- Full Level 80 gear (All iLvl 232 Greens).
- Level 80 bags (4 Frostweave 20-slots).
- 75 Gold.
- Reagents, Food, Water (20 Baked Manta Ray, 20 Heavy Frostweave Bandages).
- 280% flight speed skill (if not yet learned).
- 280% Fast Mount (e.g. Horde gets Swift Purple Wind Rider Mount.)
- Flight paths for a level 80 character.
- 450/450 First Aid, all other Profession slots open.
- All spells and abilities purchased and learned up to Level 80.
- All talent builds completed for you in advance, however you have no glyphs.
- All old items are unequipped and mailed to you.
This is where it's really clever though. They get all of this cool stuff, but they can only play for 7 days. Once the 7 days expire, they already have the full Cataclysm expansion pack and a Level 80 with great gear and all spells.. they might as well just pay the $15 to continue playing.
Basically, players are paying the subscription fee to get a new Level 80 and a ton of gold while also avoiding a lot of work. The sender of the Scroll, as a reward, will receive an uninspired (but cool looking "must have") mount. I wonder what other pets/mounts they'll just "make spectral" and try to sell? They obviously can't put these up on the Blizzard Store, because it's too obvious as being greedy.. but they can come up with a lot of clever marketing strategies, like what they just did now, to offload these re-skinned virtual items for profit.
This just screams desperation (that's the perception which isn't necessarily a good thing from an investment standpoint) and it's quite obvious to their existing customers what's going on. To mitigate the fan rage, now might be a really good time to finally announce something that has been long anticipated to millions of fans.
Upcoming MOP Press Event
I follow Diablo a lot more closely, and I haven't read anything about MOP since last October (and even then, it was very limited), so forgive me if this has already been covered before in other articles.
With the upcoming Press Event though, I figured I would talk briefly about what I'm generally expecting of the game and at the event.
- During the event they will be discussing, in great detail, the new zones, raids, dungeons, and PVP Battlegrounds. (This doesn't really interest me though.)
- They'll talk about the number (and new types) of quests being added. They'll show off some vanity figures like total number of new quests or creatures created for MOP.
- I'm not expecting any big Guild changes or announcements, but I am hoping that they'll fix Archaeology and discuss major changes to it (to make it more fun or "needed".) They should make dungeons (or other forms of instances), quests, and quest chains that make use Archaeology for example.
- I don't think they'll be cutting anything big out of the game like what they announced during the last Cataclysm Press Event (Path of Titans).
- They'll talk about the major Talent changes. It's going to have a domino effect on many glyphs, too, so they'll be touching on those.
- I think the Item Squish is going to happen, so they'll definitely be talking about this. I think everyone already knows what to expect, but I don't think many players believe it's actually going to happen. It needs to happen though (the issue of content consumption).
- Finally, I don't know if this will be announced during the Press Event or not, but I'm predicting that Blizzard will be removing the 10 player realm limitation. Instead of 50 per account with 10 per realm, it will just be 50 per account. Depending on the outcome of their various marketing schemes over the next year, if subscriptions continue to drop, expect realm merging (possibly disguised as something else.)
This is the one I'm most interested in. And, I'm predicting that you'll see a lot of the same ideas from this old post. Basically, cross-faction quests and dungeons (instances) using all old assets.
Content consumption is a really big problem in World of Warcraft, and it's easier on their developers and creative minds to simply recycle and reuse old dungeons, locations, and assets. The problem is encouraging players to reuse these old assets.
I think PVE Scenarios will either be small instances (or phased areas) that have just been copied and pasted from existing locations. Basically, it's a "dungeon" but some of them will be outdoors. These will also be cross-faction quests and parties (in some scenarios Horde and Alliance will work or party together for a common goal) to reduce queue time and so that Blizzard can get factions to finally visit unvisited territory. So, you can expect a lot of the PVE Scenarios to take place in dungeons or zones that the opposite faction typically don't visit (like early level opposite faction areas, Ragefire, Stockades, etc.) PVE Scenario queuing will also highly likely be cross-realm too.
This might also expand into "larger PVE Scenarios" while will actually just be cross-faction dungeons, but with a really good explanation. This gives WOW Devs the excuse to re-use older dungeons, but having an explanation for their lore (why are mortal enemies working together?) There's also "PVE Battlegrounds", where they're working against each other by doing quests, but they don't actually engage in PVP combat.
The other explanation for the factions suddenly working together has do with the "peace of body and mind" bullcrap brought by the spiritual Pandaren. Metzen kept saying that Mists of Pandaria will be all about "chilling out" and "getting along" with everyone after all..
In the end, though, this is just a LFG for both Alliance/Horde. They all get teleported cross-realm to an instanced area, you do something, you're not allowed to leave the area (or you fail the quest if it's phased), and then you get teleported back to your original location when the PVE Scenario is completed. They've learned a lot of lessons about cross-faction trading, so I don't think players will be able to easily exploit this new feature like how they used to be able to in Battlegrounds.