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Hi, remember me? I've been here since 2004

Hello. Let's do a brief math exercise, just for a moment. I've been playing World of Warcraft since some point in December of 2004, as illustrated by the screenshot above. This is March of 2012, which means I've been playing WoW for roughly 87 months. Actually, I'm going to subtract three months, because there was a point where I cancelled my subscription and took a three-month break from the game -- so 84 months of gameplay or thereabouts.

Each month of World of Warcraft is $14.95. Multiply that by 84, and I've paid Blizzard $1,255.80 over the past seven years of gameplay. That doesn't include the Collector's Editions I've purchased or the pets or the mounts I've nabbed via the Blizzard Store, and it also doesn't include my second account, which I've had since 2008. It also doesn't include the money I've thrown at Blizzard for pretty much every novel under the sun, the comics, and the other assorted merchandise I've picked up over the years. I like World of Warcraft. I like it a lot. I like it so much that even though I took a little break, I've never, ever quit.

So where's my mount?


You might think that's a little bold to ask, and honestly, I don't expect a mount, nor do I expect anything else. But Miri over at Guarded By the Light broached the subject while talking about the new Scroll of Resurrection service and the rewards within. The whole system rubs Miri the wrong way, largely because it seems that there's always some new program or another offering rewards and bonuses for new or returning players -- yet we don't really see much of anything for those of us who've stuck around since the very beginning.

On the one hand, I understand the complaint. After all, we've been playing and paying for years -- shouldn't we get something too? On the other, the analytical side of me, the side that has worked for numerous businesses over the years, knows that it isn't really something likely to be addressed. After all, my cable and internet service provider doesn't offer me goodies because I've been using its services for years. My cell phone company offers bonuses to me, but it's largely to keep me tied into a contract so I don't go anywhere -- sorta like that annual pass deal, except I get nice prices on new phones instead of sparkly steeds and free games.

And every now and again, when thoughts turn to customer loyalty and loyalty rewards, I do entertain the thought of a veteran program like the one Mat talked about last month. A veteran program is a cool idea, even if the rewards aren't hugely meaningful. We don't really need any game-changing things like super-powerful weapons or armor. A trinket that turned us into something interesting, a pretty set of armor with no stats, or something along those lines would be just dandy. For me, I don't know if it's a matter of wanting to be rewarded as much as it's a matter of wanting to be remembered as a loyal customer.

At the same time, when I think about it ... I've gotten seven years of engaging content out of that $1,200. I've gotten countless nights of awesome gameplay with random strangers. I've had the opportunity to run into and talk to countless people across the world -- both the fast friends I still talk to and the fond memories of friends that have since gone on their way. I've gotten a ton of amazing memories, from the moment I first got smushed by angry dragons in Stormwind's throne room to the day I finally got those stupid Fiery Warhorse's Reins after years of farming. Do I really need anything else, when I've gotten all of that?

Well ... maybe some new Void Storage tabs would be nice ...

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is the next expansion, raising the level cap to 90, introducing a brand new talent system, and bringing forth the long-lost pandaren race to both Horde and Alliance. Check out the trailer and follow us for all the latest MoP news!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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