If you’re one of the last holdouts who haven’t tried out World of Warcraft, you’ll have a hard time saying no to the vastly improved trial program. The WoW Starter Edition allows you to play until level 20 and test-drive two expansion races – the draenei and blood elf – without paying a single cent.
The Starter Edition was made available for digital download starting with Patch 4.2, and boasts four main upgrades compared to the previous two-week trial:
- Removal of the two-week trial expiry. Before, players can only play for 14 days before their trial account was frozen. Now you will have unlimited access to all the Starter Edition characters you create.
- Players with the WoW Starter Edition can create draenei and blood elf characters, which were previously unavailable with trial accounts.
- The draenei and blood elf starting zones are also available to people wishing to try out the game.
- The WoW Gold limit has been raised to 10 gold, allowing Starter Edition players to purchase mounts when they reach the appropriate level.
Of course, settling for the Starter Edition won’t satisfy all your gaming urges. You won’t get to roll those feisty Worgen or Goblin characters, explore the Wrath of the Lich King and latest Cataclysm expansion content, or participate in any endgame raids. For these advanced features, you’ll need to upgrade to a full subscription account.
In fact there are a bunch of restrictions tagged on to the Starter Edition that, at a glance, might seem too harsh. But we think that these are justified to prevent trial abuse. Gold spammers, for example, might create an army of annoying town criers if they were given access to public chat channels.
Make no mistake: The WoW Starter Edition is a vast improvement from its previous iteration. It lets new players explore the world and take their time getting acclimated to the systems – the talent trees, spell rotations, gear progression, questing, dungeon running – which over the past years have only become more complex.
They finally realized that two weeks simply isn’t enough time to test out all that this sprawling, seven-year-old game has to offer. And now all you need to do is download and see why millions have made this their favorite online pastime.