I don’t normally do more than one post a week… let alone two in the same day, but some BIG news just broke through the wire. There’s no sense in creating too much dramatic buildup, so lets get right to the big announcement.
World of Warcraft is going Free to Play
Sort of… Here’s how it breaks down.
Any new WoW accounts are free, unlimited play, up to a level cap of 20
These new “Starter Edition” accounts, are able to play any of the races that were available in Vanilla AND Burning Crusade.
The original Battle Chest is now available in a new, revamped Digital Battle Chest in the Blizzard Store for $19.99 US. It includes World of Warcraft, and the first expansion The Burning Crusade.
This is *huge* news. In a day and age where other MMOs are going F2P on a weekly basis (it seems), the fact that Blizzard is changing their trial account policy this radically is enormous. Is World of Warcraft in trouble? I sincerely doubt it. They are simply trying to get their product out to a wider range of people, and sometimes 10 or 14 days just isn’t enough for someone to decide. I think this is an absolutely brilliant move by the MMO leviathan. Letting people play unlimited time, and make unlimited characters (as far as I can tell, anyway, up to the normal account’s character maximum of 50) will let them try every aspect of the game, on their own terms. Sure, level 20 isn’t very far when you consider the cap is at level 85, but think back to when you first started playing. Even if you started in Vanilla or BC, when the caps were 60 and 70 respectively. What would it have done for your desire to play if you were allowed to do as much as you wanted for the first 1/4th of the game? What about people who quit the game long ago, and are considering a return? Doesn’t this seem like it makes a lot of sense, to test out the new talent trees, and the new questing scheme? I think you’ll find this new “Starter Edition” to be extremely popular, and a great way to bring in new accounts to the world’s most popular MMO.