- A free upgrade to Cataclysm, regardless of the prior expansions purchased.
- One character immediately bossed to level 80.
- A free server and/or faction transfer to the inviting players server/faction.
- 7 days of free game time
What Is My Issue?
Don't get me wrong, this isn't a grumpy old man rant about how hard I had it back and my day. I think the Scroll of Resurrection is a good idea and that the rewards provided were intelligently chosen. When evaluated entirely on its own, I can't find fault with the SoR.
I'm annoyed because it's hard not to look at these rewards and ask "what about me?"
I started playing this game in December 2006 and I have maintained my subscription without a break for over 5 years. I've paid for the original game along with all three expansions. I've also paid for 14 server transfers, two faction transfers, and a name change. And this doesn't even include the things not tied to my account like the books and WoW branded peripherals I've purchased.
Needless to say, I have been a very loyal customer, yet I have not received one free minute of game time, a single free level, or any free account level services like server transfers. So, it is a little bit of a slap in the face when a player who has quit the game can come back and get rewards I as a loyal player have never had access to. That is why I am annoyed.
What about the Annual Pass?
Some of you may be thinking "what about the Annual Pass? Graylo, don't you think a free mount, a free copy of Diablo 3, and access to the MoP beta are nice rewards for your loyalty?" All of those things a great, and I gladly signed up for the annual pass to get them, but they in no way reward me for my loyalty for a couple of reasons.
- You have to sign up for the Annual Pass to get the rewards. Just paying for 12 months worth of a subscription isn't enough.
- It was open to everyone who had an active account when it was announced.
What Should Blizzard Offer and Why It's a Good Idea?
Loyalty rewards are not a new idea, but most suggestions I've seen center around cosmetic perks like unique mounts and non-combat pets. Pets and Mounts are fun and I know there are tons of players would be happy with cosmetic rewards. However, if Blizzard went with something as simple as pets and mounts I think Blizzard would be missing a golden opportunity to not only reward their loyal customers but also improve their business as well. That is why, I think a Loyalty reward program should be structured more like the SoR and Refer-a-Friend promotions.
My suggestion is that Blizzard should offer a free server and/or faction transfers to players who have maintained an active account for a year. A no-strings-attached transfer would be ideal from a players point of view, but I could understand why it might not be that attractive to Blizzard given the impact it could have on Blizzard's fee based transfer service. However, I think Blizzard could create a system that would not only provide some quality of life improvements for the player, but wouldn't hurt Blizzards existing services much by limiting the free transfers with a few acceptable conditions. Two possible limitations would be:
- Only allow the free transfers to be used only on toons level 80 or lower.
- Only allow transfers to a server where the player already had a level 80 toon.
I don't know about you guys but I have about 18 toons that have been leveled some degree across about 7 servers. In particular I have three level 80 toons and a level 85 on one server that I never play, because I haven't been active on that server in over a year. I would love to play those toons again, but it's hard since they aren't tied to my guild and don't get the perks and sense of community that comes from being in my guild. This could have multiple benefits for blizzard in that it could keep the player engaged in the game and it may encourage the player to transfer other toons using the fee service.
Of course, there are lots of other things Blizzard could offer players as a part of a loyalty program. Offering free level 80 toons could be nice as would free game time like they are offering in the SoR promotion. The point though, is that Blizzard needs to offer something. It just seems wrong that players who abandoned the game are getting offered cool perks, but players who have remained loyal are being left out in the cold.
I understand the point behind the Scroll of Resurrection, and I'm not against it on its own. However, it seems wrong to reward former players who have quit the game with perks like free level 80 toons and free transfers without offering similar perks to the loyal players. My suggestion is that Blizzard should offer a limited free transfer service that allows long term players to reconnect with some of their old toons and classes.