Technically, 1.17 is special. You have to have played the game before 1.17 came out to get paw.
No, it's not special. It's not as if ND just was like, "Oh, it's patch 17 now. I guess it's pretty obvious that now we should give everyone a paw on their symbol." No, it was absolutely not a coincidence that the paw was released at the same time U3 went F2P. The reasoning behind the paw was that there should be something to distinguish between F2Per's and owners of the game (or I assume). Just, like I said before, it is not retroactive.
It's pretty obvious that this distinction is over the definition of "special." I'm saying that the number 17, and subsequently the patch 17, are not special in and of themselves. If there was any reason for them to be "special" it would be that UC3 went F2P in that same patch (F2Per's do not get the paw). In other words, if UC3 had gone F2P in patch 1.18 then no one would have gotten a paw until patch 1.18 debuted. What you are saying is the direct consequence of what I am saying. But it just doesn't making any sense to say that patch 17 was special. You had to play UC3 before it went F2P to get the paw. In other words, you had to own it to get the paw. However, the paw is not retroactive.
I feel like arguing and making that distinction. There's not really anything wrong with what you said it is just misleading (not that it could lead you to anything of any consequence though ).