Updated Wed, Apr 25, 2012 by Messiah
Many Blizzard fans are really excited right now for several differnt reasons. First up Diablo III (D3) is just around the corner and secondly we all know that the World of Warcraft expansion: Mists of Pandaria can not be far behind since it is in Beta right now. That means that even with Blizzard's normal shipping delays it will likely be live before Christmas (Yeah, I am that sarcastic).
So, while it may seem a little counter intuitive to re-subscribe right now to World of Warcraft with so many other things going on, there are a few very good reasons to do just that. In fact when you look at them closely means there really has never been a better time to jump back into the game.
Now you may be wondering why WoW matters with Diablo III launching in just a short time, May 15th to be exact. And while the Mists of Pandaria release is still several months away there are other MMO games being released soon such as Guild Wars 2 that has many players (especially PVP players) excited.
The problem with D3 and GW2 is that historically is doesn’t seem to matter at all what else is released or when. What does matter is that players always seem to come back to WoW, even if just to make plans for those other games. A great case in point for me at least was Rift where pretty much my whole guild went to it for several months, but any time we were not there to raid or PVP we were back in WoW playing and chatting away. Over time I have seen this with too many games to count (LotR, Conan, Rift, Warhammer, just to name a few) and have no reason to doubt that it will happen with D3 and GW2. This is due in large part to the critical mass that the WoW community has. Any time you log on you are able to find something to do and someone to do it with. This is not always the case with other games.
Suspecting that this will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future, I believe it is a good idea to either remain in WoW all the time, or if you have left it to sign up for WoW any time there is a deal to be had.
With that in mind let’s get to all the perks that are there to be had by returning to WoW between now and April 30th.
The first and probably the biggest reason to sign up for a re-subscription to WoW right now is the WoW Annual Pass. By signing up for a subscription to WoW for one year you get a free digital copy of Diablo III. If you were going to re-subsubscribe anyway when MOP comes out, and if you were going to get D3 when it is released next month, this is a good option. You can find out all about the annual pass here: WoW Annual Pass - Last Chance.
In addition to your digital copy of Diablo III you also get an in game mount, that while not very exclusive due to the number of players that have subscribed, is still very cool looking. You also get access to the WoW MOP beta, so you have more to do even before Diablo III is released.
While at first glance you might ask why you should pay for the next few months in WoW before MOP is released if you are going to be playing D3 during that time. Good question, but stay tuned and all will be made clear.
For more information on the whole Annual Pass plan check out our article on it from when it was first announced at BlizzCon last year: How the Annual Pass could Save WoW or Doom it.
Remember the Annual Pass option ends on April 30th, so signing up for it now is important. While getting Diablo III might be a good enough reason to keep your subscription going, it's an even better reason to come back to WoW if you were at all considering it anyway.
The next big reason to come back to WoW, and this is really important for all the players out there that took a break before Cataclysm was released and are looking to come back for Mists of Pandaria. The Scroll of Resurrection has been updated so that when you come back to the game there are some really big benefits, and they get even bigger for those away for a long while.
The biggest item that it provides is a free digital upgrade to Cataclysm. Which means that if you left after the Burning Crusade you will end up getting WotLK and Cataclysm, if you left after WotLK you will get Cataclysm. This could mean some free upgrades that you would otherwise have to pay for if you came back later on for MoP.
Next up you also get an instant level up scroll that can take any character you have to level 80 so that you can instantly start playing in Cataclysm. This could be an existing character or a brand new character that is level 1. You can also get a free realm transfer and a free faction transfer so that you can move to the realm and faction that the player that invited you back to the game is on. On top of that you even end up with epic flying (which costs a whole log of gold), some gold, leveled first aid, all the flight points already learned, and more.
All you need to get all these benefits is a friend to invite you back. If you don’t know someone that is still playing there are many players out there on the forums willing to invite players back so that they get the cool mount reward and free game time for people that invite players back.
Lastly, depending on when you left World of Warcraft, the game may not even be remotely the same game you left. There have been numerous refreshes over the years, but none as big as Cataclysm. The whole world is shiny and new, well ok burning and destroyed, but you get what I mean, it is completely changed from the original release.
Each and every zone from the original game has been redone layout wise and quest wise. The flow of the game is far smoother. The classes have been balanced, tuned, and made a lot more forgiving than they were way back in vanilla WoW. Pretty much everything about the game has become better over time, and the longer you have been away the more will have changed. While we all complain about the changes at time, there is almost never any arguement that as a whole, the game is far superior than it used to be for most of the players out there.
The other huger change has been the barrier of getting into much of the fantastic high level content has been removed through the addition of the wildly successful Raid Finder. Which is a surprisingly easy and fun way to explore all the end game content that used to be reserved for the elite raiding guilds exclusive use. This means that even once you reach the level cap there is still a whole lot to do in the game before Mists of Pandaria is released.
As you can see this is pretty obviously the best time to come back to WoW in a very long time. If done correctly you would potentially get a few expansions for free, a week of free play time, two free specialty mounts, a faction and realm change, an instant level 80 character, the Diablo 3 game, and a year of WoW which will allow you to explore all the current content and all of the MOP content when it is released and you purchase it.