With both its fifth expansion pack and its tenth anniversary on the way this fall (and a movie coming next year), World of Warcraft should be getting ready for a lot of celebrating. Despite all that excitement, the Blizzard buzz took a bit of a hit this week when it was revealed that the aging MMO has lost close to a million subscribers over the summer months. It's likely that Warlords of Draenor and the tenth anniversary celebrations will bring some fans back around, so Blizzard isn't sweating the loses (at least not publicly) just yet.
Directly following the bad news, the company has decided to turn the focus towards the upcoming anniversary celebrations. In addition to gathering around and telling stories about the old days when players had to grind for months to save up for a mount or stand around in Orgrimmar spamming general chat to find a raid group; nostalgic players will also receive a few gifts from the developers to help commemorate their time in Azeroth.
The ten-year anniversary event will take place this November (the game launched on November 23, 2004) and players who login during the special in-game event will receive a new pet to add to their collections. The adorable Molten Corgi will remind players of the game's classic Molten Core raid and, of course, will also remind them how cute corgis are... Even when they're on fire.
A preview of the in-game event's celebrations was posted on Battle.net and also includes the opportunity to revisit the classic Molten Core raid. During the party, max-level players will be able to throw down in a 40-player Raid Finder version of the dungeon. Successfully defeating the Firelord will earn heroes an Achievement and a special Core Hound mount reward.
If corpse camping was more your thing back in 2004, then you might prefer to spend the anniversary at the special PvP event, rather than the raid. A special Tarren Mill vs Southshore Team Deathmatch-style Battleground will be available for a limited time during the event. If you would like to relive the scarring experience that was the never-ending battle between those two zones, then November will be a dream come true.
The events are definitely geared towards the veteran WoW audience, so it will be interesting to see how many players revisit the game come November. With dropping subscription totals, it may seem like a good opportunity to reach out to potential new players, but it seems like Blizzard is trusting Warlords of Dreanor to appeal to that audience.
Do you think the anniversary events are exciting enough to bring some old players out of the woodwork? Let us know in the comments.
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor launches this fall for PC. The anniversary events take place this November.
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