Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Scroll of Resurrection Thoughts

No cool MSPaint or screencap picture today, just straight to the point posting.

Blizzard recently changed the Scroll of Resurrection program and it has changed a lot of talking among the playerbase just like all major changes do. If you don't remember the SoR (as I'll refer to it from here out) program it meant you could send an email referral to someone to reactivate their account. They got some free time to play and if they ended up paying for a full month you also got a month free. The program went offline some time ago with no announcement why - until now.

Read the F.A.Q I linked above for full details, but the basic changes are as follows:
  • The sender no longer receives a free month. They instead receive a one-time use mount once the resurrected has paid for a full month. 
  • The resurrected account still gets some free play time. As an incentive there is a 90 day promotion where they will also receive a free upgrade to the Cataclysm expansion and one character that is instantly leveled to 80 with appropraite resources to start playing in Cataclysm zones and can be faction/realm transferred.
  • The process has been streamlined and detailed. It is much easier to facilitate the resurrection. 
The level 80 promotion includes speccing your character fully (talent points spent), giving them a full set of gear appropriate to that spec, riding skill up through flying and a mount, and reports are in you also get First Aid to skill 450 and a small care package with some gold and presumably items in it.

Now, to give my opinion on some of the things being said about this promotion.

"Blizzard is catering to people that left their game! I've played since Vanilla and never lapsed my subscription I should be getting free level80s and gold and such" 

Ok, I hear this at my job from time to time too (I work in the wireless telecommunications industry). Why do new and returning customers get better promotions than those that are loyal - because you have to stop thinking about these things as free. You never get anything "just because" from a business; every decision is formulated to either improve products/services, increase profit, or improve reputation which are all major factors businesses look at. The promotion is a carrot on a stick to get people back into the game by removing roadblocks. They don't owe you anything except the level of service you expect from them.  If they don't meet that level of service you can choose not to do business with them. Don't get me wrong - They are overjoyed you have been a long time customer just like I might be overjoyed my power is on anytime I need to heat or cool my house - Doesn't mean I send them extra money each month because they've been so good to me.

"Incoming - Hundreds of Fails into your dungeon/raids that don't know how to play their class because level 80 was handed to them! Thanks Blizzard!"

This argument is old. The horse corpse rotted years ago stop beating it. Leveling has nothing to do with skill of the player because leveling is nothing like end game activities. The Ironman Challenge shows you how little you actually need to crawl through the levels in WoW. The auto-spec with talents spent and full set of proper stat gear should actually help if its going to do anything. If you have ever grouped with an Enhance Shaman in cloth Int gear and missing all the critical talents you'll see why they made that choice. This argument is then..mostly just the "I walked 15 miles in both directions in the snow to go to school. These kids now are spoiled with their buses" rehashed.

"Blizzard is selling leveling! Slippery Slope! Tomorrow full lvl85 in top Tier raid gear $35 bucks on the Blizzard store. Want that achieve? $5 each achieves on the Blizzard Store!" 

My answer what if Blizzard sold leveling packs? I'd probably buy one to get my little Mage up. The other part about buying achieves and such is classic Slippery Slope (Wikipedia it if you have too). We live in a micro-transaction ecosystem in the gaming world now and get used to it. This is where they are picking up their profits. I think I will refer to the The Instance podcast because I think one of their hosts said it best on a recent podcast..I would have a problem if Blizzard started segmenting the game out and said "Oh, want to raid? that is $5 extra a month!" or "Like this boss? Buy the Heroic encounter with better loot for $10!" because that isn't their model and I don't think they would ever go to the full F2P setup. As long as what is sold is of a convenience nature or outside the realm of the game (like the sub to Remote AH) I see this as a revenue stream that will keep my favorite game going.

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