Checking In: Scroll of Resurrection

We’re catching up with some of the current blogosphere discussions today, with the first one being the Scroll of Resurrection. Last week saw the revamped Scroll hit the Internet, and discussion has raged about its many features ever since.

Today, we’ve had two more fascinating additions to the discussion. Firstly, Green Armadillo of Player vs Developer jumps in with a really interesting point – that the Scroll highlights the growing tension between MMO as game and MMO as world

“For the players who primarily see the MMO as a world, all of these answers are the entire reason to play the game. What is the point of playing a game where everything you have worked so hard for will be given away for free as the next promotion? For the players who want to play with their friends, all of theeeese answers are what’s keeping them from playing the game. If there is fault in the new system, it’s that it’s still too limited – current players need not apply, while even the fortunate former subscribers must grind out five levels and whatever gear they need to join their friends at endgame.”

This one goes straight into my “I never thought of that!” file. In hindsight, it’s an obvious point, but I’d not even considered it until GA brought it squarely to my attention. As WoW ages, and particularly as Blizzard struggle to maintain subscriptions, they continually shift the balance of WoW from “world” to “game”. LFD, the Scroll of Resurrection, and more all flow into this change – and I wonder if the rebalancing also reflects the change in mentality between the “Team A” that designed Vanilla and TBC, and “Team B”, which was responsible for WoTLK, Cataclysm and now Mists.

Meanwhile, Beruthiel of Falling Leaves and Wings writes a personal post, as she describes how the Scroll of Resurrection brought her back to wanting to spend all day and all night playing WoW

“I was really looking forward to the alliance experience and seeing where things differed in the quest chains. But I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do Hyjal or Vashj’ir. I knew that picking the right zone was going to be important to my follow through of this project, so I had to get it right. I started asking around to some of my alliance friends for their opinions, and ultimately ended up going to Vashj’ir. Largely because the music and scenery there is just so beautiful and tranquil, that is just felt right.

And it was.

By the end of Friday night I was 13 of the way through level 82 before I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. I woke up Saturday ready to go – I got a cup of tea, found some breakfast and hunkered back down at the computer. Starting my weekend morning at the computer is something that I haven’t done in many months. I started the morning running a LFR with Brade, and then swapped over to my SoR project. I was half way to 83 by the time we stopped and went out for dinner and to run errands. As soon as we got home I ran through my hand exercises, tossed on my magic gloves, and was going “83 or bust!” before bed. I made it, but only just.”

This post has made me curious about firing up the Scroll of Resurrection, more than anything else I’ve heard. It just sounds so fun – even if I know that many people will be twitching at the very mention of Vash’jir.

So, what do you think of the Scroll? Have you Resurrected anyone yet?

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Bloggers respond to the Scroll of Resurrection, Part 2 – business, value, and what you’re skipping

The Scroll of Resurrection is still one of the hottest topics on the blogosphere, as bloggers both react to how it affects them personally, and also try to figure out just what Blizzard’s doing this time…

  • Cynwise is bringing the analysis hard, with a very sensible and knowledgable post discussing just what Blizzard’s business strategy here is“. There is a huge stress on the Blizzard’s high margins in the earnings call, and that means costs will be slashed across the board. Blizzcon was an inevitable tragedy in hindsight – too much money without direct ROI. “
  • Fulgaralis at Killing ‘em Slowly is an ex-WoW player, but the Scroll of Resurrection isn’t tempting him back – as he explains, it doesn’t offer what he wants from WoW“I really don’t have a lot of complaints. It’s just that, lack of complaints, lack of changes, makes for lack of blogging. Makes for lack of challenge. Lack of interest. Tweaks, love ‘em or hate ‘em, are interesting. You know what’s not so interesting? Old content rehashed. “
  • And Azuriel of In An Age tots up the value offered by the Scroll of Resurrection, and finds that in total it’s pretty huge“Even if I simply accept the Scroll on my main in order to just get the free server/faction transfer, maybe that’s enough. Log in, move the one toon, screw around for a week, let it expire. Then wait for the next promotion. “

Finding the discussion of the Scroll of Resurrection interesting? Let other people know about it with the social media buttons to the left!

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Bloggers React to the Scroll of Resurrection

Blizzard haven’t been shy of making big changes this year – and their rework of the Scroll of Resurrection is no exception. Free server and faction transfers, free boost to level 80, and Spectral Gryphon and Wind Rider for the resurrector – it’s almost as big a gift bag as the Annual Pass was.

The offer’s attracting a lot of comment on the blogosphere, and as yet the consensus isn’t coming down on one side or the other, probably because there’s so much to it. So, here are the highlights so far –

  • The Godmother at ALT:ernative was one of the very first people to take the plunge and get resurrected, and she goes through in detail just what’s included for the resurrectee“Having completed the process I logged in and saw the resurrected character still showing as L1 until I’d cleared the Loading Screen: then I was teleported to Stormwind and appeared in a complete set of L232 Green Gear, appropriate to my new level… plus I had a full set of Frostweave Bags, 20 bandages, some DPS food and 75g”
  • Syp at Bio Break feels that the addition of a “straight to 80” bump (one of the most noticable features of the Scroll) cheapens the WoW experience as a whole“no, Syp doesn’t like it when a game decides that it’s going to ignore one of the rules it set up for itself in the name of a cheap player grab. I don’t like it in WoW or anywhere else, for that matter.”
  • And Miri thinks the rewards from the Scroll are pretty great – and wonders why Blizzard rewards new players, returning players, but not the players who have just subscribed, consistently, for years“Blizzard rewards players for coming back to WoW via the Scroll of Resurrection. Blizzard entices you with two-seater mounts to bring a friend to the game via Recruit a Friend. But there is nothing for the WoW Veterans.”

What do you think of the Scroll of Resurrection?

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Spectral Gryphon and Spectral Wyvern / Wind Rider mounts, how to get them, and other WoW 4.3 Scroll of Resurrection tricks and tips

There is good news on the horizon – Blizzard have released another two mounts from the virtual WoW stables. But the bad news is that the Spectral Gryphon (for Alliance) and the Spectral Wyvern, aka the Spectral Wind Rider (for Horde) aren’t available for in-game achievements, or even in the Blizzard store. Instead, you can only get them by using the Scroll of Resurrection special offer to bring an ex-Warcraft player back into the game.

So, how does this work exactly? And can you get your hands on a Spectral Critter without having to find someone to drag back into WoW? Read on…

Updated 7th March 2012.

Gotchas in the Scroll of Resurrection offer

Spectral Gryphon aka Spectral Wind Rider from the Scroll of ResurrectionIn short, Blizzard want ex-Warcraft players to stop playing their darned Skyrims and SWTORs and come back to the old, familiar confines of Azeroth. And rather than getting in everyone’s face with a massive marketing campaign, they’re planning to get their players to do all the marketing for them – by dangling a shiny, shiny mount in front of them.

Given how enthusiastic the WoW community tends to be about mounts – and the fact that these mounts do indeed look pretty darn cool – it’ll probably work, too. And it’s not the only incentive the Scroll of Resurrection offers – in fact, there’s a lot of cool things in the latest incarnation of this old Blizzard favourite.

Actually using the Scroll is trivally easy – you can either do it directly from your Friends List, which will show accounts that are elegible to be Resurrected, or you can enter a name and email address from within “Referrals Rewards” in your Battle.net account.

However, the way this offer is designed and structured is anything but simple. There are all sorts of little gotchas hidden in the fine print, both good and bad:

  • Resurrecting someone gets you one mount for one character only. This isn’t an account-wide mount – if you have 8 characters you want the mount for, you’ll need to get 8 people back into WoW.
  • Using the Scroll of Resurrection doesn’t cost you any money, but you’ll only get the shiny mount when your friend actually plonks down more cash to play WoW.
  • You can only send out two Scroll of Resurrection invites per day, one from in-game and one from Battle.net. That’s PER DAY, though, so you could keep spamming until someone accepted!
  • Only accounts that became inactive before March 4th 2012 can have the Scroll used on them. No, you can’t start an account, leave it inactive, and resurrect it to get the shiny mount.
  • The Scroll of Resurrection comes with 7 days of free game time, so if you want to get someone back for a special event or similar, you can use it for that.
  • It also comes with a free upgrade to Cataclysm, one free faction and server change too.
  • The offer text notes that this offer’s only going to be available for a “limited time”. That might mean it’ll only be around for a month or so – but urgency messages are a pretty common part of marketing, so it could equally simply be attempting to hurry us up, whilst the offer will actually be around for months…

How to get the mounts if you don’t have a friend who wants to come back

Spectral Gryphon from the Scroll of ResurrectionGetting these mounts isn’t going to be terribly easy if you don’t have a friend who’s interested in coming back to WoW, but it’s doable.

The easiest way to get your mount will be if you have a second inactive account yourself. Blizzard don’t care if you Resurrect another one of you – they just want the resurrections.

However, thanks to the free server move and so on, this offer’s limited to accounts which expired before it was introduced. So, as mentioned above, you can’t start an account now, let it go inactive, then resurrect it in a month.

Personally, if I develop a desire for one of these mounts, and can’t find a friend who really wants to come back to Azeroth, I’ll get it the following way:

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  1. Buy giftable WoW game time ($14.99 or EU12.99) from the Blizzard store. That’s about the same price as a regular purchasable mount.
  2. Ask one of my ex-WoW-playing friends to start up their account again.
  3. Scroll of Resurrection said friend, gift them the gametime, and have them apply it to their account.
  4. Fly around on a semi-visible gryphon.

(Does this work? Yes, it definitely does! See comments.)

Why the game time? The biggest reluctance most people will have about resubscribing to WoW will be entering their (recurring) payment details – it’s too easy to forget to cancel a recurring payment. Hence, a lot of people won’t resubsribe even if you offer to pay for a month.

However, if you buy giftable gametime, there’s no risk to them, and they’re much more likely to go through with it.

Other uses for the Scroll of Resurrection – filling up raid teams, special events, and more

This is by far the most generous offer Blizzard have ever made – they’re clearly trying very hard to get people back into WoW. That means a bunch of not-so-obvious ways you can use the Scroll:

  • There’s a free server and faction transfer included, meaning that any ex-WoW player can come and join your raid. If you’re down a member or several in your raiding guild, it’s actually arguably easier to recruit an ex-player, if you know one, than someone who’s currently playing, and will have to pay for the transfer.
  • If you haven’t played WoW for a couple of years, or know someone who hasn’t and wants to, the automatic upgrade to Cataclysm makes this a cheaper way to get back in than just resubscribing.
  • The seven days of free play time mean that if you want to organise a reunion of ex-guild members, or any kind of special in-game event (even an in-game wedding), it’s possible to get ex-players back into the game for free. You can only do it once, though!
  • Not only that, but with the Resurrection you also get an auto-level up to level 80, and a set of Cataclysm-appropriate gear. Want to organise a raid on the Lich King with your ex-WoW-playing buddies? Or a nostalgia week of playing through old raids? It’s doable!

The “auto-level to 80” feature is particularly interesting. Blizzard have resisted offering deals which automatically level a character for a very long while. Could this be the precursor to an official “level to max for $x” feature? We shall see…

  • The Godmother over at ALT:ernative has just gotten herself resurrected – head over there to get more details on exactly what items the jump to 80 gives you (like a fast flying mount!).

Got any other Scroll of Resurrection tips? Share ‘em below!

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