Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

WoW’s Free Trial is now Endless. Woohoo.

When Warhammer Online introduced the endless free trial, I was all over that. You could continue playing the most interesting aspect of the game forever without paying, basically introducing a casual PvP minigame you could play for free. Awesome. Now World of Warcraft has an endless free trial as well, except it is awful. Now you can play your free trial as much as you want and get up to level 20, except there is not much to do when you get there, really.

In WAR you’d have access to a variety of Battlegrounds at close to maximum level for that particular PvP bracket. In WoW, all you get is Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin and you’ll be at the bottom of your bracket. Sure, you could freeze XP gain at 19 (if you manage to make that kind of money on a free account, which used to be hard), but then you’d have to compete with all the incredible twinks running around in that bracket.

Everything aside from PvP is just worse. You will very quickly run out of PvE content to do, you can’t advance, dungeons will get boring, and you can’t even really interact with other players while on a free account. Frankly, I doubt that there are many people who start playing the 10 or 14 day trial, do not stop early because they stopped caring but still don’t manage to hit 20 in that time.

Realistically, this move changes nothing. It doesn’t even allow me to try out the Goblin and Worgen starting areas which I might have been interested in. Why do I even post about this?


  • I agree, this changes little. But I still think it’s a good choice. Makes more sense if someone wants to try the game at their own pace, maybe return to the trial after a few weeks.

    Also keep in mind that this is a free triel, not a f2p switch. Don’t exspect Blizzard to give away the fun for free. If they did that they would need to add (even more) micro-transactions eventually. I prefer the free trial 😉

    Finally, the problem that the leveling game in WoW is not fun for anybody who dislikes one-hitting grey mobs or jumping storylines is a problem all on its own …
    Nils´s last blog post ..Dear Developers: Please Ignore Forums

  • Even PvP would be terrible. Leveling battlegrounds are now filled with characters wearing tons of heirloom gear, which is so ridiculously powerful compared to questing gear that you’re basically a lamb heading to the slaughter without it. And there’s nothing a trial player could do about it.

  • Oh it is absolutely the correct choice Nils, it just doesn’t matter very much. As for giving away the fun for free, I really liked how WAR did its endless free trial. You couldn’t access the whole game but you could jump in for some fun whenever you wanted and through that might be interested in buying the full game at some point.

  • PvP has been broken at low levels for a long time. If they really wanted it to work they would normalize it. So yeah, that’s not really a long-term draw.

    I think it’s a smart move, but too little too late. It will benefit those who like to play here and there without committing to a sub, but still maintain their characters just in case. The game’s hook simply works better when they don’t have to keep resetting it.

    …of course, once you do sub up or use a time card, there’s no going back. That strikes me as a bit annoying, but not a surprise.
    Tesh´s last blog post ..WoW F2P… Sorta

  • the whole not being able to make a party on the free trial thing makes it not worth my while…my husband and I could play together but we can’t party :S Stupid.