And while we were on the topic of insta levels…
Blizzard has finally opened up pre-orders for the Warlords of Draenor expansion. The price falls between my expectations and my fears. WoW expansions have been $40 items up until this point, while the EuroGamer article two weeks back said the expansion would be $60. (Though they deleted that without reference when Blizzard objected.)
The actual price, according to Blizzard’s announcement, is somewhere in between. The standard edition will be $50, with the usual $20 bump to get the Digital Deluxe edition. Presumably the physical Collector’s Edition will be an additional $20 on top of that, making it potentially a $90 purchase. So there is your buy-in price for the next two years of WoW content… once it ships.
There were a couple of items of note in the announcement, starting with that potential ship date.
You probably cannot read it in the thumbnail, but if you expand it by clicking on it, you can see that they have tacked on a line about the expected release being in the Fall of 2014. My September 9th guess seems even more optimistic at this point. And, as somebody pointed out, Fall technically goes all the way out to December 20, 2014, though I would imagine that Blizzard would do all it could to get the expansion in the pipe at least a month before Christmas. Like, maybe at the 10 year anniversary? We shall see. (Elsewhere Blizzard says, “Game is expected to release on or before 12/20/2014.” If this were SOE, that would mean February. And even with Blizzard, “expected” is a hedge and not a promise.)
Then there are the in-game items you get with the Digital Deluxe and Collector’s Edition. A mount and a pet are the key items, and you get them as soon as you pre-order.
The other items, StarCraft II portraits and Diablo III banners don’t really thrill me. Blizzard does insist on these cross-game items though. Occasionally they are good.
And then there are some details about how the insta-90 process will work, including a 2 minute tutorial on YouTube, and what you will get with your character after you wave the magic level-up wand over it.
- 150 gold
- 4 Embersilk (22-slot) bags
- A stack of 20 food items
- Full set of spec-appropriate Item Level 483 (blue-quality) gear
- If a boosted character was already level 60 or above, their existing Primary Professions and First Aid are bumped up to level 600
- A faction-specific flying mount—a traditional Wind Rider for Horde or Gryphon for Alliance
- Artisan flying—that’s one rank below max flight speed
- Northrend, Kalimdor/Eastern Kingdoms, and Pandaria regional flying skills trained
That isn’t a bad list of items. I’ll happily take one with the expansion, though I am not sure I will fork over $60 for any more after that.
Four 22 slot bags are more than any but my main have on them. The gear is a decent start on things in Pandaria. The flight boost, including opening up all the areas that require specific skills, certainly saves you some gold. And then there is the boost to your primary professions and first aid. No cooking, no fishing, and no archaeology I guess. Have to level those up the old fashioned way. But that is still enough to keep my Death Knight in the running as I try to decide which class to boost to 90.
So there we go. This will have to keep us all busy… or not… in Azeroth through the summer.
Will Blizzard be able to keep the subscriptions from ebbing between now and then?