In an effort to hold on to players whose interest in their seven-year-old MMO might finally be waning, Blizzard’s promising a free digital copy of Diablo III to anyone who signs up for the World of Warcraft Annual Pass.

Announced yesterday at BlizzCon, the Annual Pass is a twelfth-month subscription payable in monthly installments of $14.99 or by another billing plan of your choosing. Annual Pass subscribers will also get a fancy new flying mount when the next patch drops and access to the Beta for the next WoW expansion. That next expansion? The Mists of Pandaria, an April Fools’ joke-turned-actual thing that will bring panda monks to Azeroth.

Blizzard’s doing everything they can to keep WoW fresh and interesting in the face of lagging subscription numbers. It’s clear that this is another act of retention, as the promotion only applies to current WoW players. Accounts opened after October 18, 2011 are not eligible to receive the benefits of the Annual Pass. Subscribers will also not be able to cancel their account until the twelfth months are up.

More information on how to sign up and what exactly you’ll get can be found at the link below.

Source: Blizzard

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  • Wetworkz - Sunday, October 23, 2011 - link

    Not one, but two posts on a topic from an uninfluenced outsider looking in. I wish I had the time and drive to read articles and post my expert opinions about topics that I have no vested interest in, just for the sheer monotony of it all.
  • frozentundra123456 - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    I dont mean to offend MMO players, but this is why I dont play MMOs. I want a game with a definte ending to the story, a climatic final battle if you will, so you can say you "beat" the game.
    I just dont see the point of playing a game that goes on and on and on without a final resolution to the story. That is too much like real life. I just cant see how you would not become bored with it eventually.
    Anyway, I suppose if you like meeting up with people on line or have friends to play with
    (neither of which I have) it can be fun, but its not my style. So again, please dont be offended if you like MMOs. Obviously many people do.
  • daniel142005 - Sunday, October 23, 2011 - link

    I think MMO's are more about being the best than beating the game. Some people like it, some don't. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, including you, so no reason to be concerned about offending people.

    WoW is much better with friends (RL or Online) though, but personally having Online only friends kinda lost it's appeal to me. Especially knowing that if you ever quit you likely wont talk to them again... kinda made me stop trying to make actual friends in WoW.
  • Sind - Sunday, October 23, 2011 - link

    Haven't had the chance to play since middle of August due to a move. That said I've been well moved in for the past month almost and have no inclination to resub, I was already doing 5-6 month stretches since expansions started rolling out. That said I certainly see nothing mind blowing or game changing. They are re-doing talents yet again as another selling point, hilarious.

    In any case my biggest disappointment after reading all the information from BlizzCon regarding MoP is a playable Panda race. If this is what the developers envision and the direction the game is going it certainly does not increase my chances to purchase 5.0 and try it out. Of all the interesting humanoid forms that exist in lore/legend and in the WoW universe to introduce a Panda race of bears that are monks no less is pitiful. I certainly do not believe this will lower declining subs, sure it will sell well initially but after everyone has tried out whatever is new it really is the same WoW Expansion Re-Hash that adds a new race, class maybe and overhauls the talent point system. Meh.
  • Sind - Sunday, October 23, 2011 - link

    and of course it's geared towards China.
  • blwest - Sunday, October 23, 2011 - link

    Now you can ride around your mount and everyone will know you signed up for a 1 year contract.

    We saw this in the cell phone industry. Carrier A has horrible service so people ditch to carrier B. Carrier B degrades service and people go to C. Instead of making service better, we now get contracts. Same thing with WoW. Let's not make our service better, let's keep our subscribers locked into contracts.

    If you want to show people how dedicated you are to the game, pull out your vanilla Collector's Edition Panda Cub, Zergling or Mini Diablo don't sign a 1 year contract to save a few bucks on a game you'll never play because you'll be spending all your time playing WoW anyway.
  • ErinL - Sunday, October 23, 2011 - link

    I admit when WoW first started, I was tempted, but never did buy into it. Thank god...

    I simply can't see any value to this. Why would I pay so much in subscription fees, plus upgrades plus the cost of the game?
  • piroroadkill - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    I know, right?

    It's sleazy of Blizzard to charge high monthly fees AND expansion costs. Also makes it crazy expensive to start actually playing the game.

    The expansions should be free, and digital download only (or in a box for a small cost).
  • lizardking7112 - Sunday, October 23, 2011 - link

    I watched the opening ceremony at BlizzCon. I have always enjoy Blizzard Games and played WoW the first two years. I even thought about getting back into when they had Cataclysm but seriously Panda’s. I thought it was just a joke when I was watching it. These characters and this realm have no place in this game. It is a sad attempt to appease the Asian market, kinda like when they added the Koreans into AOE2. While I will remain fan of the company for the high quality product they consistently supply and will play Diablo III. WoW is finished in my mind and had become a joke.
  • Aikouka - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    "These characters and this realm have no place in this game"

    What was that game that featured the Pandaren Brewmaster Chen Stormstout? Oh yeah, WarCraft III.

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