Saturday, November 19

World of Warcraft celebrates seventh birthday next week

It feels like just yesterday that I tore World of Warcraft from its’ Christmas wrappings. It was the winter of 2004, and Blizzard’s newest MMORPG definitely made my Christmas list after I finished playing the beta. After spending some time with the character creator, I sent my newly made Night Elf hunter into the wilds of Teldrassil for the first time. Hard to believe it’s been nearly 7 years since then. As a reward for players who are still playing after all this time, Blizzard is giving players an in-game reward package, as well as a virtual tabard that will offer 7% extra experience/reputation gain. However, that’s nothing compared to the “main event” that Blizzard has in mind.

The company will be launching a new “What’s Your Game” commercial during the Bears and Chargers game this Sunday. What have made these previous commercials so great are the special guests that promote the classes within World of Warcraft. From William Shatner’s portrayal of a mystical shaman to Mr. T’s legendary introduction to the Night Elf “Mohawk,” Blizzard always seems to impress with its unique style of humor. So even if you don’t appreciate American football, be sure to glance at your local CBS channel here and there to see just who Blizzard got to humiliate themselves this time.

On Blizzard’s official website, the company put up a small message on the time and place where you can check out the commercial:

“This Sunday, an all-new World of Warcraft television commercial will debut on CBS during the Chargers-Bears NFL game (kickoff time: 1:15 p.m. PST/4:15 p.m. EST). The ad is set to air sometime during the first half… and when the star of this spot asks, “what’s your game?” you’d best have an answer ready.”

Shifting the focus back to the in-game reward again, it seems there’s a little more to it than you’d think. In the past, players have generally gotten a unique, little pet with every anniversary, but it seems like Blizzard wants to change it up this year. The tabard that you get with your package isn’t a tangible one, but a virtual “buff” that will give your player experience and reputation bonuses. Considering the amount of grinding you have to do in the game, that’s certainly one of the best rewards I can think of. In addition to the tabard, players will also receive a “Feat of Strength” achievement, which will only be available from November 20 to December 3.

Considering all the talk recently of how World of Warcraft is “dying,” and that the upcoming Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic are going to make a big dent in the player base, it’s nice to see Blizzard still doing stuff like this. They’ve always really cared for the community and that’s something that a lot of companies don’t really do these days. Blizzard wants to show that despite losing nearly a million subscribers over the last year and a half, they still have what it takes to sustain a quality product.

As a player who’s been around from the very beginning, I can only wish them the best of luck.

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