Blizzard recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of World of Warcraft. It came in the midst of the latest expansion release, Warlords of Draenor, and featured the usual fanfare of in-game fireworks, NPCs, buffs and goodies. There was even talk of something known as a “Veteran Edition” of the game that data-miners over at places like WowHead and MMO-Champion unearthed in their usual search for new nuggets of info.
Then users started receiving emails directly from Blizzard customer service stating that they would be receiving a gift in the mail as a way of saying “Thank you!” for being a supporter from the very beginning. The stipulation for this gift? The player must have started their account within 60 days of World of Warcraft‘s release in America or Europe. The other catch? Your subscription cannot have lapsed at any point during that ten-year period. So, basically, this is a physical reward for the “lifers” at this point. Yours truly, Jeff Pannell, is one of those.
The physical gift mentioned earlier is a miniature version of the Orc statue that sits in the courtyard of Blizzard Entertainment’s home office. It has the look of cast bronze but is made more of the same resin material that is reserved for the more deluxe figurines. It measures about 9″ from base to the tip of the tallest axe. The base includes a message from Blizzard’s development team:
“The orc statue is a constant presence in our life at Blizzard Entertainment. It’s where we meet to talk, to eat, to celebrate. As we celebrate ten years of World of Warcraft, we present this token of appreciation to you, stalwart adventurer. Thank you for being a constant presence in our lives as we adventure together.”
If you have not received an email regarding this physical reward for your account by now then, chances are, you do not meet eligibility requirements. Those REALLY interested in acquiring it, though, can easily find them for sale on eBay though it will cost you a pretty penny.
I’m one of those people who qualifies for this reward and, I have to say, I’m glad to get something like this from Blizzard. There are those who’ve stuck with World of Warcraft across the entirety of its evolution as a game and, more importantly, as a community. It reminded me of the Veteran Rewards that Ultima Online players got as a way of saying “Thanks!” for being a subscriber for so long. I’ve met a lot of really wonderful people in my time with the game be it online only or at places like Blizzcon. I know trolls out there would say that the money spent on subscription fees alone would pay for this statue at least ten times over but it’s not about that is it?
Before I turn this into an article reflecting on a decade of playing a single game I’ll close with a thank you of my own. Thank you, Blizzard, for providing me with entertainment not just for ten years not but over twenty. Diablo, Starcraft and Warcraft (RTS and MMO) make up a huge part of my identity as a video game enthusiast and I don’t regret a single minute of my time spent in the universes that company has crafted. It is nice to get a little something, even if it’s essentially a trinket, for being a long-time supporter of that.
Anyone else a long-time subscriber like myself? Feel that you’ve been left out in the cold regarding this reward as you didn’t quite qualify for it? Let us know in the comments below or, better yet, follow us on Twitter, @APGNation, for more gaming news and reviews. Want to yell at me specifically about it or, ask what server I play on? @ScrivenerJeff