When I first started playing WoW, The Burning Crusades was already live so my first experience with an expansion launching was Wrath of the Lich King. By the time Wrath was ready to be launched, I had already fallen in love with the game and recognized that a new expansion was a big deal. I took the night off work and stood in line at a local Game Stop to purchase a copy of Wrath at midnight. Because I was one of the first 100 through the door (number 12, to be exact) I got a free poster of Arthas. Regrettably, I did not purchase the Collector’s Edition because I had not reserved one 8 months in advance and they had no extra copies available at that store at midnight. I blame this on my noobness. As soon as I realized how cool the Collector’s Editions are, how much this game means to me and how (at least it seemed at the time) uncommon the CE’s are, I vowed to never make that mistake again. I have the Collector’s Editions of both Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria because I was smart enough to put my name on a list well in advance for both of those launches, though it does seem now they are easier to come by.
Over the years, I have always stared longingly at Amazon and Ebay as Collector’s Editions of World of Warcraft (vanilla), The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King were listed for hundreds and hundreds of dollars each. Even though I could technically afford them, I just couldn’t allow myself to pay such large amounts of money for a game. Especially a copy of a game I already own a version of. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to never getting a chance to own the original game (vanilla) Collector’s Edition because of it’s extreme rarity, but I did decide to do a quick search for TBC and Wrath every few months just in case I found someone who didn’t realize what they had. Over the past year I had even allowed myself to consider buying a used copy with an already used game code as long as the box contained all of the other items that were originally included. But those would have to cost even less to justify purchasing them.
Cut to two weeks ago when I happened to think about doing a quick eBay search at work and found a deal that seemed too good to be true. A mint, unopened, factory sealed version of The Burning Crusade Collector’s Edition for a buy it now price of $165 and free shipping. Oh the agony. It’s a bit much to spend but it was an amazing price for that product IF the product was actually as described. To make matters even scarier, the seller had only 2 reviews… he was basically a noob seller, an unknown. Both of his reviews were positive, but still that’s a big risk. After a quick question posed to Twitter and a few hours of agonizing over it, I decided to take the risk. It’s tax return season so I had more extra money than usual and I knew PayPal offered a buyer’s protection for purchases that weren’t shipped or advertised correctly. I clicked the button and bought it.
I didn’t receive any type of confirmation from the seller himself, just the email from eBay letting me know my purchase was successful. It was several stressful days before I got an update the item had shipped and then a week of waiting for it to arrive. But finally, last Friday, The Burning Crusades Collector’s Edition was in my hands. Unfortunately, I was rushing out of town for 3 days and while I could have taken it with me, I decided to wait until I was back home to break it open and see if it was truly an unused game code.
I’m happy to report it was exactly as advertised. I am now the very proud owner of all the items included in the box (all still completely wrapped and unopened, as was the box itself) and I have a new Netherwhelp pet in my collection. I still don’t know that I’ll ever get this lucky with a copy of the vanilla CE, but after a few months have passed I will start watching again for a copy of Wrath. I just hope I get as lucky as I did this time around.
After attaching the code to my account last night, I knew that as soon as I opened the pet in the mail I would get the achievement. I positioned myself to capture the perfect screenshot but as you can see, at the moment I grabbed the pet from the mail, Elfi turned around and put her back to the camera. Grrr. Oh well, it’s not like I can get a redo, so it is what it is. I’m still super excited. And yes, the seller got excellent feedback from me.