Blizzard kicks off the World of Warcraft tenth year anniversary celebration in the cutest way possible: Corgi pets, but not before letting everyone know the game currently has over ten million subscribers once again.
So, while everyone's busy talking about how Blizzard is boasting that World of Warcraft currently has over ten million subscribers once again with Warlords of Draenor, let's talk about what's really important here: Corgis. Now, I'm not saying that Warlords of Draenor selling more units than most games will see in a lifetime is no big, because obviously it's a pretty damn big deal. Me stating right now that Warlords of Draenor is pretty much a completely new World of Warcraft won't be the first (or last) time I say it. It really is a new game, and I love garrisons so much that I'm sorry for anyone who doesn't have access to a level 90 character. The other day, while waiting for a conference call to start, I realized I had a little less than fifteen minutes to blow. Sure, I could sit there and play some ragey solitaire until my meeting, instead, I just did some garrison management and then logged out and hopped into my call. Games that give players the option to advance with very little playtime allotted will go a long way to keep the playerbase full. While others will disagree with me, I also like that Blizzard is kind of holding out on content. Raids won't be in game until the beginning of next month, giving us plenty of time to gear up for it. Flying won't be in until mid next month, which means we actually have to stop and smell the roses. I can't wait to swoop down on silver names everywhere, though!
This article isn't about how many units Warlords of Draenor has sold, though, but before we get to the Corgis, there is one more point to bring up about this ten million number. What does this mean for other games? Yes, it continues to legitimize MMOGs due to the sheer number. Hell, you could say this even legitimizes the subscription model (although next month will be more telling about that, when we see who sticks around past the free 30 days anyone getting into World of Warcraft with Warlords of Draenor got). However, what will this do for innovation and continually pushing the genre forward? Now that Blizzard is swimming in an absurdly large pool of cash once again, will every studio out there feel that they must continue to push out WoW clones? We're just now seeing some games in development that are trying new things (Skyforge and Trials of Ascension for example), not to mention the resurgence of new old school games. Companies that aren't afraid to try new things aren't really looking at World of Warcraft's numbers; they know they are creating niche games for a smaller playerbase, therefore measuring their successes on a different metric than “massive shitton of subscribers”.
Blah, blah, blah...numbers and things and boring stuff. Guys, all I care about are Corgis, so let's talk about Corgis, okay? Today, the ten year anniversary celebrations begin in World of Warcraft, which means, CORGIS FOR EVERYONE!! It's kind of like sitting in the audience at an Oprah show, but instead of you, you, and you getting cars, you get Corgis. It's far better, because Corgis. Who doesn't want a new friend? People who don't like fun, that's who. Starting today, you can log in, get some achievement, and most importantly, claim your super cute, loyal, and all-around awesome fiery Molten Corgi pet to love you forever and ever. I'm hoping for the fifteenth year anniversary, we'll get a Molten Goat. Make it so, Blizzard!
In addition to the best pet ever, Blizzard has a lot of activities for players to participate in for the celebration. If you're worried you won't have time to get to 100, gear up through heroics and get your minimum silver in trials, don't worry – the anniversary celebrations will continue through “early 2015” which should give you plenty of time to do business while partying. It's kind of like Blizzard now has a sweet mullet, where it's business in front and party in the back, but far more party and a sweet ass Corgi.
Speaking of level 100 and item level requirements, Molten Core is available all over again for maximum level players. This classic 40-man raid is now open and available for level 100s with an item level of 615, and beating it will give you a shiny new Core Hound mount. I'm level 98 sitting at around 575ish ilvl, so I don't know what gives me a fit of nervous laughter more, the item level requirement or the 40 people. I think it's probably the 40 people. I love my guild and we raid well together, but I don't think we even have 40 people total in it. Oh, and you'll also get a free hat for beating Ragnaros, too. Blizzard says it will be “a Warlords of Draenor Raid Finder–quality helm” which I guess is good. The mount sounds pretty cool, though. Just need to find about 25 more people to hang out with when I get two more levels.
If PvP is more your jam, don't worry. Blizz didn't leave you out of this party. A new deathmatch style battleground is available that will let us reminisce on the days of World of Warcraft's early days, reliving the great battle of Tarren Mill versus Southshore. Two brackets are available, one for players levels 90-99 and another for level 100 players. Because it's a battleground, you can't just call in favors to have your lowbie alt rescued. No, you'll have to work as a team to complete goals and net a win. Winning will also get you a sweet title: “A win will gain you a shiny new title: either Tarren Mill Terror for the Alliance or Southshore Slayer for the Horde.” Not as sweet as a Corgi, but then again, few things are. Good thing PvP players can get that Corgi, too!
Okay, so maybe you're not as excited about Corgis as I am. Plenty of things are happening in World of Warcraft (small example, a recent hotfix includes a change to group loot where Personal Loot is now an option, in addition to the old need/greed system). Do any of these changes get you excited? Are you enjoying Warlords of Draenor? Should I take Boomjack's advice and use my boost on a Paladin? I'm so tempted to use it on a Monk, but that's because I loved my Monk in both EverQuest and EverQuest II. I might be insane. Whether or not I actually am insane, you should totally say something in the comments. I'll MS Paint your WoW character if you add in a picture.
Addendum: Here are some screenshots of Vendolyn and her new friend. Because this is Blizzard, and Blizzard loves poop jokes, the Molten Corgi will rub its butt on the ground, leaving a fiery trail, and then sniff what it left behind. It's gross, but the kid in me giggles non stop.
For your Molten Corgi, all you have to do is log in and check your mail!
Addendum #2: Even lootcraftier. So, it seems Blizzard is changing how loot works, once again for World of Warcraft, in an upcoming hotfix. While you can certainly read this blue post by Rygarius, here's the gist: premades you queue up with that are just you and your friends, you have options to use personal loot or need/greed. Randoms you queue through the raid/group finder will be defaulted to personal loot. In order to make sure that everyone gets something, Blizzard now ensures that
welfare epics loot is dropped by the final boss of whatever you're doing.