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World of Warcraft now Free-to-Play until level 20

Blizzard may have just opened the floodgates with the decision to allow players to play World of Warcraft up to Level 20 before the game starts asking for cash.

The so-called Endless Trial mode will allow you to play Wow as much as you want until you reach level 20, using as many characters as you like. At this point you can either ditch your capped character and begin anew, or pay $20 and get the full game along with the Burning Crusade expansion which ups your level cap to 70 and opens Outlands, and the Blood Elf and Draenei races.

If you’re worried that this will be exploited by Gold Farmers, it looks like there is a system in place that will prevent such abuses as indicated by the full set of restrictions released by Blizzard:

– 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

The Starter Account is quite limited no? Quite the opposite of how Valve’s move to make TF2 free to play is implemented in terms of features. Still, free is free right?

source PCGamer, Blizzard FAQ

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  1. Brogdan July 3, 2011 Reply

    I think you’ll find that may of the restrictions placed on the starter account have more to do with preventing hackers/gold sellers from being able to use these accounts, and preventing spamming rather than simply lack of interest/adoption of a F2P model.

    If it wasn’t for those groups ruining it for everyone else I think the notes might read more like:

    – A level cap of 20.
    – A maximum of 10 gold.
    – Trade skills are capped at 100 ranks.

    It *is* a trial after all, just a less time limited one.

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