WoW players are still trying to revert Blizzard’s War Within pre-order early access bonus

Easily the most controversial feature coming to World of Warcraft’s next expansion, The War Within, is its pre-order bonus that promises early access to the game. 

The early access bonus was first revealed at BlizzCon 2023 and immediately met with disappointment from fans who accused Blizzard of selling a “contrived privilege” and promoting exclusionary tactics towards players who didn’t have the $90 to spend on what’s practically a FOMO tax.

Today, WoW players revisited The War Within‘s early access controversy in a thread posted to the subreddit, begging Blizzard to stop “normalizing” the idea of letting people in early. 

“Don’t let them fool you, this isn’t paying for early access,” the original poster of the thread, a user named Praetor192 said. “This is when the game releases, this is launch. You’re paying to not play the game late, and this is an inexcusable business practice that should not be condoned. The only way to stop this from getting worse and worse in the future is to vote with your wallet.” 

For decades, WoW expansion launches have been a sacred, community-driven event. It’s one of the only times every WoW player, regardless of how active you are and your experience with the game, can come together and experience a fresh new slice of the world. Seeing countless people flood a server and explore all that a new expansion has to offer is one of the most unironically beautiful parts of being a WoW player, and players are, frankly, right to feel tense about what could be viewed as an obligation to give Blizzard more money to play early. 

Nerubian architecture in Azj'kahet in WoW War Within
The War Within‘s endgame content won’t be available during early access, but it still feels like people are being left out of the majority of the fun. Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Players who pre-order the epic edition of The War Within will get up to three days of early access to the expansion’s content before anyone else. This could split guilds and friend groups down the middle because players will feel left out of the experience when the expansion soft-launches early for those who want to spend a bit more money. 

“Stop feeding the company greed,” another commenter named Dwiggins91 said on Reddit. “We already pay monthly and bought the expansion. [Three] days now for $90, [three] months for $180 in the future. Don’t let it snowball.”

Blizzard has been adamant the early access period for the expansion will only include the new expansion’s leveling experience and not the endgame dungeons and raids. But it’s still reasonable to assume that anyone who actually wants to get ahead of the curve and be competitive at the very start of the expansion (such as world first raiders and high item-level chasers) will need to bite the bullet and purchase the epic edition for the extra three days of in-game time. 

The War Within’s early access period will likely begin on a Friday, with the first server reset (and the launch of Mythic-plus and other endgame features) coming on a Tuesday, just in time for the three-day early access period to end and the floodgates to open.

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