Blizzard, as an apology, for the many queue times, world server is down mesages, and lag issues we had on release of warlords of draenor has announced that they will be giving all players that had an active account on the date of release for the game five free days of game time.
I wonder what you think about that. I'll, or course, share my opinions on the matter.
At face value five free days is an exceptional gift. If I had to guess I lost maybe a total of, at absolute most, 3 hours game time due to not being able to get into the game at all at one point or another. Be it world server issues, queue issues, or what have you, there were only, at most, a total of 3 hours of gaming I lost. But that is just me. I am not everyone. Some lost nothing, others lost more.
A few guild mates of mine lost over 24 hours because they just so happened to be unlucky enough to try to open the garrison at the wrong moment and they got themselves caught in a constant state of being both in their garrison and not in their garrison at the same time. If they tried to leave their garrison the world was there, but completely empty, and they would get rubber band snapped back to their garrison. When in their garrison they sat there with hundreds of other people trapped there in that one spot but all together and not in their own garrisons. So they could not do anything in their garrison or outside of it. They really did lose all that game time, even if they did manage to get in game, they could not do anything while in it.
When it comes to lost time I would be hard pressed to believe that anyone even came remotely close to losing 5 days of play time. So 5 days is more than ample for a gift to say they are sorry for the inconvenience. Or is it?
Lets take another guild mate of mine who logged in on release day when he got home from work with a two hours queue looking him in the face. He sat there while listening to us on voice chat talking about what we are doing in game while he saw a counter counting down. Sometimes it actually counted up. He logged on to an 800 queue and as he waited he saw himself move to 1000 in queue, 1200 in queue, 1400 in queue, he was moving backwards, not forwards.
Needless to say he was infuriated. He paid, just like the rest of us, for this expansion. He had as much right to be in there as I did. I took off that day from work so I was already in, some others like himself where not able to do so, so he was sitting on the outside.
He waited in queue for three hours, all three hours he had for that evening, and never made it into the game. His case, and many like it, are ones that I believe 5 days free play time do not make up for what he was forced to experience. Sure you can say he only lost 1 day play time, that 1 day he could not log in when he got home from work. But there is the frustration, anger, and feelings of being left behind to not enjoy what everyone else is enjoying that you can not put a price tag on.
What exactly is 5 days free play time to blizzard? Nothing. That is because for most of us we will never even notice that 5 days. If and when it is added to my account I will never know it is there. It will make no difference to me. I will not "feel" the gift, I will not "feel" the apology, and most defiantly my friend that never got in even if he spent the same exact amount of money I did for the game will not "feel" that apology.
Five free days more than amply covers any lost time. It more than covers any lost time. But this is not about lost time. Do you really think someone cares about lost time? No. The only people that are crying about lost time are misplacing their anger or just flat out trolling. It is not an issue of the lost time, it is an issue of not being able to log in on release day for something you have been waiting 14 months for.
It is the feeling of not being able to experience something that your friends are all talking about. It is about the feeling of being on the outside looking in. Every single person in the world has something inside of them that just hates to feel left out. Even if they will not admit it. And it is that person waiting in queue. That person stuck in their garrison not being able to do anything. That person that can't get to their garrison when they need to go there. That person that wants to do what others are doing. That feeling of not being able to do what others are doing sucks.
It sucks a hell of a lot more than 5 days that you would never even notice being added to your account ever could or would make up for it.
How exactly does 5 free days make up for coming home from work excited to play a new game you paid for a year ago and being told you have to wait and never getting to play?
How exactly does 5 free days make up for being suck in game but not being able to do anything and just feeling the frustration of running in one place for hours on end?
From a standpoint of time and time alone, 5 free days of play time is an exceptional compensation for lost time because none of us lost even close to 5 days of time. But this is not about a pure standpoint of time. It is about so much more. It is about people feeling let down, people getting frustrated, people not being able to play something that they paid for a year ago. The feeling that many of these errors were known on beta and should have been fixed before release. 5 days is not an acceptable apology for that. Even if blizzard offered a year free time to everyone, while that would be well above and beyond anything even the wildest dreams could lead to, it is still just time.
Blizzard could have given people something tangible in game. That, in my opinion, would have been a much more suitable apology if you want my opinion. Something people could see, use, have, instead of 5 days that will just blend in with the days we already have to the point were we never even notice we have them.
My idea would have been this.
Blizzard revised the refer a friend system a while back where if you refereed a friend to the game you got a token which you could then turn in for a mount or a pet. Blizzard should have given everyone that had an active account on the date of release one free token that they could exchange for one of the refer a friend rewards of their choice. Don't you think that riding around on an Emerald Hippogryph or pet battling with your brand new Golden Pig would have been a much better way for them to say "I'm sorry" than giving you 5 days you will never even notice they gave you?
Maybe I am asking too much. But then again maybe I am not. The mounts and pets from the refer a friend system are already in game. They are already something most people are not taking advantage of. It would cost them nothing and at the same time advertise all these great mounts and pets you can get from referring a friend. They could have turned a bad occurrence into an amazing act of generosity by giving a free pet or mount to everyone and advertising the refer a friend system at the same time. They could have turned a disaster of a release day into a possible business boost by offering a free mount or pet and showing people that if they refer some friends they could get even more.
Would that make up for the guy that could not play on release day when he got home from work? Absolutely not. Nothing can ever make up for how that person felt when he could not long in. But it would be way better that 5 free days. At least this way whenever he sees that emerald hippogryph in his mount book he will know that he got that because blizzard felt sorry for the inconvenience. Five free days will never, could never, give the feeling that blizzard actually felt sorry for the inconvenience.
So in my opinion, no, 5 free days is not an appropriate response. Blizzard can take my five free days and shove it where the sun does not shine. Keep those five free days, hang them on your wall as a reminder, and remember it so the next release never happens like this one again.