As the 9th anniversary of the game rolls around, and we open up our mail to yet another letter and set of XP and reputation-boosting fireworks, we're glad that the letter is at least accurate. Or not, as the references to Deathwing were simply removed, rather than replaced by something more relevant. It's a token, it's no bad thing, and the reputation and XP boost doesn't hurt either. And for new players, it's a nice token, something to indicate that they have joined something big, something long-lasting. A friend of mine I recruited last year couldn't believe how long the game had lasted, and that's pretty cool.
But what WoW's longevity should indicate is an issue suffered by a relatively small number of games. It's highly possible for someone to have played WoW throughout these nine years, and even before, prior to the official release, during the beta. Should that be rewarded? Should WoW reward players with what is approaching 10 years service? The open beta launched in early 2004, so the happy few who remain from those days are not far off their 10-year anniversary.
Rewarding Long Service
Blizzard employees get a shield after ten years, and it seems to me that rewarding long service would be a good idea for the players of their games too. Previous articles have focused on how much money players have ploughed into Blizzard's pockets over the years, but I'm not going to consider that. I mean, I could have started in Cata, multiboxing 10 accounts, and still paid more. It's the longevity that matters to me. It's the sticking with WoW through its ups and downs, through the ICCs and the Dragon Souls. Through the dailies and the grinding and all the great and terrible changes. That's what deserves a reward.
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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion