Blizzard Reactivates, Grants 'Full Access' To All Old World Of Warcraft Accounts For The Weekend

Image: Blizzard

The next World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth, is a couple of months away and it's no surprise Blizzard is looking for ways to lure old players back. It appears the company has gone with the brute-force approach of temporarily reactivating all lapsed accounts and granting "full access to the game", even if you don't have a subscription.

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So, what's "temporarily" mean? The accounts will stay active "though June 24", which I'm going to assume is Pacific Time.

That means they'll be live until around 5am on June 25 AEST.

In addition, Blizzard is offering 25 per cent off its various game services — race and appearance changes, server transfers and the like — for the duration of the "Welcome Back Weekend".

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For more details, hit up Blizzard's dedicated page.

Welcome Back Weekend [Blizzard]


    If I could even remotely remember what it was I might have given it a crack...

      Lol me too. Password ... er. Use name ... um. Might dig through some old emails to see if there is a clue.

    Just renewed my subscription.

    On another note, Kotaku, fix your damn site. I can't even listen to music on my phone while browsing because your stupid autoplaying ads stop my music.

      Man thought it was just me. Keeps killing my music

        Nah, it's Kotaku cramming a million ads into their website without a thought of how it is going to affect their users.

        I can't even get to the comments without scrolling past 50 ads

          Dude, for real. Tried using adblock, but it just started screeching and begging to be put to death.

      my VPN kill all their ads on my phone. its great. normally i whitelist sites that i frequent but Kotaku has gone so fuckin over the top with it that ive stopped caring and just blocked them completely.

    Thought I'd see what I had left on my account before Cata, when I quit. Seems I had a level 80 Belf pally and a 60 undead warrior. Played for a few hours but with all the changes since Cata, I couldn't get my head around it. I'd just like to be able to go back and play each expansion without the changes and do it gradually, that would probably bring me back....

    Pity they didn't give us a bit more warning and/or make it a bit longer. I've got two friends who stopped playing a couple xpacs ago who'd probably have given it a whirl. But it's too late now. By the time I got around to both their houses with updated game files (or even worse they tried to re-download the whole game again) we'd be lucky to get more than a couple hours playtime together :(

    Personally, I have a second account I might fire up tomorrow to have a look at and see what I have left on it :P

    I logged in last night and it was a pretty depressing experience.

    First up my character had been forced to rename because it had been so long since I was last online. Fair? I suppose, but still disheartening.

    Secondly... Cata-Azeroth sucks. It links the whole world to a single expansion. (As an aside: I believe flying mounts were possibly the worst thing to happen to WoW. Sure you can go on a sightseeing tour of a virtual land, but it totally broke the feeling of moving through a potentially dangerous area)

    Finally, the welcome back is only two days long. What am I possibly going to do in two days to convince me to resubscribe? If they had say "Free July" or something, I might have gotten back into the swing of things to pay for a few more months.

      I remember when you wouldn't dare run to certain areas because you were too low level and you wanted to actually grind to become high level. You'd run through instances multiple times to become good enough.

      So now flying mounts remove that, what's the point???

        You misunderstand how flying mounts work. You can't fly in Azeroth until you've reached the Burning Crusade expansion, you're land locked until then.

        When Burning crusade came out it was extremely expensive to buy flying and you had to be max level...meaning you'd already done the content.

        In Wrath you again had to be max level and fork out a bunch of gold...meaning you'd done all the content.

        In Cata..I don't actually remember, I played it for a month until I quit.

        Pandaria and Draenor I never played, however I know in Warlords of Draenor they introduced the pathfinder system...meaning you're about half way through all the expansion pack content before you can fly.

        Legion carried the pathfinder system over, meaning again you were halfway through the content before being able to fly. In the final end game zone of legion there's no flying and it will remain that way.

        So yes, at a casual glance flying means you skip the hard spots....but you only get flying once you've gotten through those spots already. The leveling changes through the years has made flying more attainable for old areas now but WoW has always been centered on current end game, the older stuff becomes filler.

          I know in Warlords of Draenor they introduced the pathfinder system...meaning you're about half way through all the expansion pack content before you can fly

          "You know nothing Xenoun". Pathfinder means doing a bunch of achievements which usually cant be finished until the LAST (or next to last) PATCH in the expansion. The old system just meant you just bought flying at max level.

          Last edited 02/08/18 3:32 pm

            Thanks for being overly aggressive.

            Based on my experience in Legion, Pathfinder part 2 and hence flying was achievable at about the halfway point of the expansion. WoD was likely large part due to the mass of content that they cut to work on Legion instead of chasing a dead expansion.

      Strongly disagree on your third paragraph. Post-Cataclysm Azeroth has vastly better storytelling and questing experiences. It's a much more cohesive narrative than it was before.

        They're right about flying mounts, though. Adding flying mounts to Azeroth was a mistake.

        Actually, adding flying mounts at all was a mistake.

          I don't have a problem with flying mounts, the current solution of unlocking them as a meta-achievement works well. But I get that some people don't like them at all.

            I'm happy enough with the meta achievement idea to unlock flying. I still have a gripe with it though. The last two xpacs (and I assume BFA) don't allow it "out of the box". So it's not like you can make it your focus and smash it out in a week or two. You're stuck waiting until they release a patch that says "ok NOW you can fly".

            So you could have done all the content in the xpac and just be stuck riding a ground mount back and forth doing dailies while you wait for that patch to unlock it. To me the "fun" or "excitement" of a "dangerous world" is long gone by the time we're doing dailies.

              It'd be nice for it to be available from the start, or at least a few weeks in. If people want to rush it that's their choice I suppose, same as people who don't like flying can choose not to fly.

                Yeah exactly. Personally, I like flying so I'd be keen to get it as quickly as possible. But even then I still wouldn't kill myself to do it. I skipped Legion for a long time so when I finally caved in and gave it a whirl the meta for flying was unlocked. I still wandered around doing the quests on ground mounts and generally playing like the developers wanted for about a month before I unlocked flying. Even though I could have smashed myself to get it done.

                I think the reality is most players are like that, they'll play if it's fun and when they earn flight it's a nice bonus. There are probably less people who'd go hardcore to get flight than Blizzard think.

        MoP probably had the best storytelling, closely followed by Legion.

      I disagree with your sentiments on flying. It's a godsend when you're actually having to bounce back and forth across long distances. Some of the current quests have sent me from Broken Isles to Kalimdor to Eastern Kingdoms and also Northrend. If we didn't have flying there's no way I'd have done them. And @Xenoun explains how flying actually works in the current xpacs very well.

      I do however, agree that the free weekend is a joke. It's far too short to actually get in and do anything meaningful unless you already owned and played the current xpac but let it lapse. I don't know whether it needed to be as long as a month (though that would have been nice) but it should have been at least a week.

    I'll be back for classic.

    Had more fun playing on Nostalrius than I did in Pandaria/WoD/Legion combined.

    The problem with the game now is that there are two distinct types of players. Those who love flying mounts, homogenised classes, easy leveling, transmogrification, LFR, being a "commander", daily quests....

    ...and then there are those who really hate all these things.

    Retail can no longer be all things to all people. And those left playing WoW like it the way it is. That's why Blizzard actually listening and bringing out true classic servers is such a great thing.

    It's almost incomprehensible that no other MMO has been able to recreate something approaching vanilla WoW.

      Put me in a third group then because I don't love all the things you listed but I don't hate them either. I just accept it's part of the game and move on playing what I enjoy - mainly Mythic + with my regular group and leading my guild into raids, striving to do better each time.

    I almost went back to Azeroth, but the launcher said the version of the game on my machine was too old and I'd need to reinstall. This gave me more than enough time to remember they were making changes to Discipline Priests and they were enough to make me quit.

    The signs of the end of times is near! Mark my prophecy young ones. Next comes the mark of free to play!

    The one weekend I'm travelling on business! Now I need to rely on dodgey hotel WIFI...

    Sigh... maybe it wasn't meant to be.

    Last edited 23/06/18 3:16 pm

    In addition, Blizzard is offering 25 per cent off its various game services
    They are also "re-adjusting" the Australian WoW Store prices for those game services and cash store items such as character changes, mounts, pets, level boosts etc. on 26 June AEST.

    Subscriptions and WoW Tokens are unaffected.
    NZ Dollar is unaffected.

    I recently deactivated again after reactivating a month or two ago. I still like the game and for the most part, enjoyed playing, but all the challenge is gone. The thing that really got me, was when I was cruising through one area and saw a massive dragon looking beast (one of the rarer named ones with the silver badge) and a few years I would have been "oh crap, better get out of here!" but this time, no. Thanks to the level scaling I could kill it in a few hits. No threat. No fear. It might have well been a murloc. And I found the levelling a bit more of a grind too because you can't go to a new area that is slightly harder than your level to get a bit of extra XP for killing stuff, because its all the same level no matter where you go. Boring.

      Silver dragon = rare spawn. Unless it also had a wing on its portrait, it wasn't elite, so it's not surprising you were able to easily kill it.

      The challenge isn't in leveling though, it's in end game. Yes there are world bosses in end game, and I'd like to see you do the Mage Tower for your class at the appropriate gear level and not call it a challenge.

        I couldn't finish the tank one as brewmaster at target ilevel. Some tanks had an easy time with it but I found BrM was a nightmare.

          DK was pretty hard when it came out (before tomb). I spent something like 6 hours on it before I finished it...Blood DK then got dps buffs when tomb released.

      Lets be fair if you're now a level 110 and it's say a level 50 you absolutely should be able to smash it in a couple hits. That's part of the fun of the game. Imagine if the shitty starting area mobs were still a challenge when you were decked out in top tier raiding gear at max level 0_o

      It's also worth noting that they HAVE added scaling in a lot of zones. So in some places that low level mob isn't actually as low level as you'd think.

      I'm glad they didn't have this back in the day because I enjoyed running the different dungeons solo working my way up trying to see how far I could get without needing a party. That'd be impossible now.

    Ah, my old hunter friend. So good to see you again! It has been quite the while.

    Well played, Blizzard. Well played.

    Logged in.

    Discovered fire mages are still trash after all these years.

    Logged out.

      Fire mages are only about 3% below average across damage dealers (measured synthetically at 960 ilevel). Every class and spec is viable, even Beastmaster.

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