Blizzard, Master of Illusions

There are news that, for those who spend a lot of money on World of Warcraft, there is a free copy of Diablo III waiting for you and you also get a free mount!

The trick is: You need to buy a full year of World of Warcraft. Yes, full year.

Just to check the prices I logged on my old Battle.Net account. The only options I found were monthly ($14.99), 3 months ($41.97, $13.99 per month) or 6 months ($77.94, $12.99 per month). At first I thought they would add a new model, but it’s not there yet. But let’s imagine they will keep the trend and do it $11.99 per month, or $143.88 total. With this you can buy 2 copies of Diablo III. Or you could get one copy and have some cash as cushion for the lost sales in the real money AH.

Also, let’s be honest: If you have both, would you actually play both? I have the slight impression that you would be safer cancelling your World of Warcraft for about 3 months, play Diablo III till you reached some comfortable level, saw everything you could and then return to World of Warcraft (or, basically, you’d be paying for one game and playing the other a lot more). And then there is the catch: You must do this before 2011-11-18. I pretty much doubt Blizzard will release Diablo III before that — and I think it would be a real dick move releasing exactly on that day, so you start paying your World of Warcraft exactly when you are going to spend a lot of time actually exploring Diablo III.

That was the first illusion they were planting today.

The second appeared on “My Games” in the Battle.Net while I was faking a “resubscription” to check the prices. There, I saw this:

No, dear sirs, I did not get a beta key of Diablo III. This is just Blizzard way of trying to entice Battle.Net users to think they already got a Diablo III key (or something).

(Also, I bet the “Tyrael Horse” is as annoying as the “Celestial Stead”.)

Edit: TillEulenspiegel, on RockPaperShotgun post nailed it:

1) They don’t want people leaving WoW to play D3.

2) The marginal cost of each player playing D3 online (ie, the only way possible) for a few hours is negligible. So this costs them a few lost sales, but that’s about it.

3) People who have less time to play D3 (because they’re also playing WoW) are more likely to buy stuff on the RMT auction house, thus fueling the economy.

It’s a cunning plan.