World of Warcraft goes free to play well sort of
The worlds most popular MMORPG is now free to play but certain restrictions DO apply which make the "Free to play" a bit pointless
World of Warcraft is one of the oldest names in MMORPG gaming, one of the first games to introduce the concept in fact, but now the MMORPG has gone free to play but don't expect to reach Level 60 or anything, think of it as an endless Trial Mode i.e you no longer need those guest passes which come in WoW boxes.
The following limitations apply on what is now called "World of Warcraft: Starter Edition"
The following restrictions are placed on all Starter Edition Accounts:
- A level cap of 20.
- A maximum of 10 gold.
- Trade skills are capped at 100 ranks.
- Unable to trade via the Auction House, mailbox, or player-to-player.
- In-game access to public chat channels unavailable. Players are limited to communicating using only say, party, or whisper.
- Characters will be unable to create or join guilds.
- Characters are not able to send whispers to other characters unless they have been added to the characters' friends lists or have received a whisper from a character first.
- Characters will not be able to invite other players into a party.
- Characters will not be able to join parties with other characters above level 20.
- Voice chat disabled on Starter Edition accounts.
- Realms experiencing login queues will prioritize players who have full, paid accounts.
- Starter Edition accounts are not eligible for character transfers
- RealID features are disabled on all Starter Edition Accounts.
and some other answers to some FAQs including how to download and where to download the client from for PC and MAC:
What is the World of Warcraft Starter Edition?
The World of Warcraft Starter Edition allows players to access World of Warcraft for free -- all you need is a Battle.net account and an Internet connection. Starter Edition players can play up to a maximum character level of 20 and are able to upgrade to a full, paid account at any time, allowing them to continue their adventures where they left off. The Starter Kit gives gamers who are interested in trying out World of Warcraft a chance to experience the game before purchasing a copy..
How do I get the World of Warcraft Starter Edition?
There are multiple ways to begin playing with the World of Warcraft Starter Edition:
- Visit www.warcraft.com.
- Receive an invitation from a friend through the Recruit-A-Friend program.
- Use a trial key included in other Blizzard games and products.
What happens when a character on a Starter Edition account reaches level 20?
Once a character reaches level 20, you're free to keep playing -- however, the character will stop earning experience points and will no longer be able to level up. Players who are interested in trying out another class or race can create a new character and level it to 20. Players who would like to level beyond 20 and experience more of the game will have the option to upgrade the World of Warcraft Starter Edition to a full, paid account, and continue their adventures where they left off.
Do I have to cancel a World of Warcraft Starter Edition Account?
No, your Starter Edition account will remain active even if you decide to stop playing the Starter Edition. If you were required to submit payment information while creating the account, you will not be billed -- however, that information will be kept on file should you choose to upgrade the account in the future.
How can I download the World of Warcraft Starter Edition client?
After you create a World of Warcraft Starter Edition account, you will be prompted to download the game. If your Internet connection speed meets the minimum requirements, you will automatically download the "streaming" World of Warcraft game client. If your connection speed is below the minimum requirement, you will be prompted to download the full game in order to play the Starter Edition. The streaming client loads data in the background while you play, and requires a certain connection speed in order to provide a good play experience. Please keep in mind that, with the streaming client, you will occasionally experience brief pauses in the gameplay due to this background loading. If you decide you want to download the full version of the game client, even if your connection speeds are high enough for the streaming version, you may do so here: [ PC ] [ MAC ]
I love this game and want to continue playing!
You can upgrade to the full version of the game at any time. There are two ways to go about it:
Option 1: Upgrade Online
Go to Battle.net Account Management <https://www.battle.net/account/management/upgrade-wow.html> and upgrade to the full version of World of Warcraft online. This method is quick and easy, and you'll be back to playing in minutes.
Option 2: In Stores
Head to your favorite retailer or the online Blizzard Store <http://www.blizzard.com/store> to purchase a boxed copy of World of Warcraft. Use the authentication key included to upgrade to the full version of the game.
A few important things to know about upgrading from a World of Warcraft Starter Edition account to a full account:
- Your account name and password will remain the same -- no need to make a new account!
- Your characters and items will remain on that account and will be available upon your return.
- The Starter Edition restrictions will be removed.
- When you upgrade to the full version of World of Warcraft, you will receive 30 days of access to the game for free.
What happens to existing World of Warcraft trial accounts created before the Starter Edition was launched?
With the launch of the new World of Warcraft Starter Edition, we've removed time limitations from existing trial accounts that were created before the release of the Rage of the Firelands content update (patch 4.2), even if the trial accounts had previously expired. Existing active or expired trial accounts have been reactivated with no time limitation, allowing players to level characters they created to level 20. Please note that if a World of Warcraft trial account was previously upgraded to a paid account, it will not revert back to a trial account, even if the paid time is expired.
Well at least now people can finally get a taste of what the game is really like without having to ask their friends for a guest pass or asking for one on the local forums. But in my opinion this is pretty pointless to do, I was hoping Blizzard would be generous enough to throw in the first WoW for free i.e limit players to level 60 and so instead of Level 20, I mean what exactly CAN a person do at level 20?.
Blizzard should learn to be as generous as Valve I mean they are both huge supporters of PC gaming, but Valve has taken more initiative than Blizzard so far in helping increase the level of PC gamers by making Team Fortress 2 free to play and adding other MMO's to their Free to Play List allowing steam friends to play with one another. I hope Blizzard really makes a more improved free to play in the future but for now who can complain about this version of theirs?