Welcome to another installment of WTFaid?, a semi-regular column in which I discuss things that might not directly impact gold making, but that I want to talk about nonetheless. If you're looking for gold-specific tips, check out my archive and blog roll! If you're looking to get some insight into the mind of Faid, God help you. Also, read on!
Mists of Pandaria beta invites are being dispensed now. Eluniar's received one and he launched the beta for the first time tonight; he seems to be enjoying it though I've not talked to him much about it. While it interests me I've decided I'd rather experience it first-hand when I, some day, receive an invite.
Now, don't worry, I'm not going to complain about how I've been been playing WoW non-stop since launch day so I'm more deserving of an invite than others. I can't imagine what's happening in the minds of those with the audacity to say they are more important to Blizzard than another fan.
I think, though, you have to admit Blizzard's not going about this invite/beta process very well.
First off, like it or not they did give the impression that annual pass players would be given instant access when the beta went live. Mike Morhaime said "in addition to getting Diablo III free you will also get guaranteed access into the next World of Warcraft expansion beta when it goes live."
I'm not sure if it was in the fine print that what he said wasn't actually true but they certainly worded it to give the impression that players will get access to the beta when it goes live, also known as instant access.
So there's a point to the upset fans. Still, fine print and semantics abound here so I try to push this aside. (Plus the multiple times Blizzard have been inconsistent and fickle in other statements has lead me to take anything Blue with a grain of salt.)
Here's my issue, and where I think Blizzard really screwed up on this.
Many people don't even want the beta but are taking spots from those that do.
The majority of invites going out right now are going out to Annual Pass holders. The problem is that the Annual Pass had three perks: MoP Beta, an in-game mount, and free Diablo III.
In other words if you knew you were going to be playing WoW for a year there was no reason not to get a pass. It was essentially saying "I'll do the same thing I was already doing but now I get a free new game, yay!" It was just a smart decision for WoW players interested in D3. That's not even taking into account folks who were most interested in the mount.
I have no statistics, I'm sorry to say, but I will dare to say that many, if not the majority, of players who signed up for the Annual Pass did it for free D3, not beta access. And there's nothing wrong with that at all.
The problem is that Blizzard assumed that anyone who has the Annual Pass wants and will use beta access when that's flat out not true. I have two guild members who have beta access who have said plainly that they don't intend to install or use it at all since they want to avoid spoilers.
Then you've got people like many of us in the gold community who are chomping at the bit to get in but still haven't received an invite.
I'm not going to say anyone is more deserving of a beta invite than anyone else. I am going to say that it sucks that beta invites are being sent to people who don't even want them.
Blizzard could have fixed this easily. They've already got the system in place and it could give them better testing data. Put annual pass holders at the front of the invite queue but require anyone who is interested in the beta to fill out a beta profile. This way those not interested in the beta could have avoided opting-in and those who really wish to try out the new content could have those wasted invite spots.
At the end of the day I'm excited to get guaranteed access to the beta at all. It will be my first time in a beta and I look forward to testing a lot of stuff out. So all in all I'm pleased, I just wish there'd been more thought put into the Annual Pass/Beta combination.