Once the initial rush of new players began to slow down, Blizzard in their infinite wisdom allowed new players the chance to experience World of Warcraft for 14 days, free of charge. Though Blizzard hadn’t released the actual number of players who ended up becoming full subscribers, they stuck to this method for a number of years.
Now, with players at the 11,000,000 range, Blizzard has decided to switch things up a bit in a further effort to bring new players in to the World of Warcraft machine. Under this new structure, players will be given an unlimited amount of free play time on their account until their character reaches level 20.
Part of the reason behind this new strategy may lie in the fact that things come up out of no where in people’s lives unexpectedly and such a freak occurrence happening during a limited 14 day time frame may completely shut out the chance for this new player to experience what World of Warcraft has to offer. Instead, players are given the chance to experience Azeroth at their leisure, much like they are allowed to in a full version of the game.
There is no pressure to try and experience as much as you can in a short time span with this new system. There are, as expected, some restrictions to this Free-to-Play system though.
- 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.
Players will soon be able to find the World of Warcraft Starter Edition on www.Warcraft.com where they will be able to download this trial version of the game. They can also receive a download code from other Blizzard products or through the game’s Recruit-a-Friend program.