WoW’s excellent Plunderstorm mode needs to be a permanent free-to-play fixture

James Lynch
The Key Art from WoW Plunderstorm

Few players would have expected World of Warcraft‘s Patch 10.2.6. Plunderstorm to be a fully-fledged Battle Royale, but here we are. Now that it’s in the wild, it may be a good idea to keep it around for a lot longer than the previously billed six weeks.

Plunderstorm takes away a lot of the complicated elements of WoW. Classes and gear are gone, while abilities can be picked up and dropped out in the world during a game. There’s little pressure, no ranked mode and a relatively relaxed progression through renown levels.

These renown levels provide appropriately themed rewards for both Modern and Classic WoW. Whether it be a parrot mount or piratical garments, there are tangible reasons for players to log on and try Plunderstorm.

Having said all of that, there is an overriding reason to keep Plunderstorm around indefinitely – it’s a totally different form of fun for WoW players.

Plunderstorm is totally different to any existing WoW offering

As someone who plays Modern and Classic WoW, as well as experiences like Season of Discovery, there’s a lot to do already. This might make Plunderstorm seem like an unnecessary distraction, but it really doesn’t feel that way.

In traditional WoW, I rotate between Mythic dungeons, raiding, farming for mounts, and a bunch of other activities that take up considerable amounts of time. Plunderstorm allows many players like myself to jump into Azeroth quickly and enthrallingly.

The rewards on offer put pay to any potential guilt for not actively grinding towards progression in mainline WoW and the whole thing manifests as something of a relief to play.

That’s not to mention the potential pulling power of the new mode. Battle Royale games, though perhaps no longer at their zenith, remain immensely popular. There is a very likely scenario where Plunderstorm is enough to act as a bridge for new players to eventually get into WoW proper.

Calls to extend Plunderstorm’s expected duration are growing. On social media, many have praised its fresh approach and think it could be just the thing to jump-start increased subscriber numbers heading into the release of The War Within.

Many are now suggesting how it could be further integrated into WoW’s pipeline. One said: “Agreed. However, some of the rewards in the Renown track for free-to-play players should be adjusted to encourage people to try retail. Milestone levels could give a leveling boost from quests so new players aren’t put out by the slow grind leveling.”

Another added: “A neat idea in that same vein would be raising the F2P level cap at max Renown by 10 or 20 levels. Not really any reason it couldn’t be Level 30 or 40 over 20.”

It’s clear that, for the most part, the existing community is having fun trying out Plunderstorm for the first time. It would be a shame if it simply went away when the arbitrary time limit expires.