So let’s recap for people who have missed out on this. World of Warcraft’s next expansion, The War Within, is available for pre-order. This is not unusual. There are three tiers of expansion to pre-order, ranging from $50 to $90 with more costly versions offering bigger rewards. Also not unusual. This time, however, the $90 edition promises beta access and also promises a three-day headstart to playing the expansion, which is unusual for WoW and has prompted player outcry. Blizzard has now responded in a PC Gamer interview of director Ion Hazzikostas, who argues that headstart players will see no long-term advantage from the purchase.
Specifically, Hazzikostas stresses that players who pay more will not be able to run high-end endgame content during the three days of early access. Of course, what many fans are annoyed about is not the long-term advantage but the obvious short-term one in the form of being able to play three days early and level up three days early, both things that might provide rather tangible short-term advantages for players. Nevertheless, Hazzikostas insists that by the time season one starts no one should notice the difference.