November 23, 2010 is the sixth anniversary of World of Warcraft. For the fourth and fifth anniversaries, players received a pet and a Feat of Strength. The three years before that I don’t believe we were given anything.
This year on the anniversary we will see the debut of two continents worth of overhauled zones, new quests, and new class/race combinations. I’m speaking, of course, of patch 4.03a or The Shattering of Azeroth. To my mind, that’s a pretty good anniversary present, even without an additional special pet. Others apparently disagree.
In fact, I cannot believe the amount of hysteria that this lack of pet has caused. I’m not talking about feeling a little disappointed. I can see how one might expect a new pet this year and be momentarily sad that there isn’t one. I am, however, talking about the full wailing and gnashing of teeth going on on assorted forums right now. The lack of a sixth anniversary pet is a slap in the face, it’s inspiring swearing fits, and it’s just another sign that Blizzard hates you and everything you love.
I would feel a lot differently about this if the potential pet was for a player’s sixth anniversary with the game. That would be something that was actually earned. But next week is the game’s anniversary, not necessarily ours, and judging by previous years all players would have to do to get the pet is log on. Someone could log on for their very first day of WoW and get the achievement. It’s not actually much of an accomplishment.
I have also seen a lot of posts accusing Blizzard of withholding a pet to “force” people to buy the new baby moonkin and Lil’ Ragnaros pets. Complaining that a business is attempting to take your money seems silly at best, and I don’t think it even applies to this situation. Dedicated WoW players are, generally, collectors and completionists. We are hardly likely to get a free pet and decide that we never need another one ever again. Instead, I suspect most of us want ALL the pets. More pets! And mounts! And tabards!
If you want a case of, in my opinion, Blizzard really dropping the ball and treating the players poorly look at this year’s Brewfest Stein. It was the same stein as last year, and there was no 2010 Feat of Strength associated with it unlike the previous three years.
In this case though demanding a Cataclysmic event and a new pet in the same week seems a little excessive. We’re going to get a Feat of Strength to mark that we were here, and otherwise let’s all take a deep breath and remember that in just six more days it’s a whole new ballgame.