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World of Warcraft Starter Edition - Free-to-Play Until 20 LVL
Free-to-play business model for online games, also known as F2P, finally reached World of Warcraft in some extent — players now will have access to World of Warcraft Starter Edition, a special free account type with unlimited play time and maximum character level limited to 20. Previously there was a Trial version of WoW, which allowed to play for free only by 14 days.
Rumors about World of Warcraft goes F2P was around here for a long time. However, up until now it remains unclear if Blizzard actually have some plans about it or it's just pure speculations, and if it is real — in which form F2P will come to world of Azeroth. Accordingly to appearance of this new Starter Edition, this can be interpreted no other than like a touchstone for adopting Free-to-play model for WoW, an experiment in a limited scale that will allow not only to attract new army of players into game, but also see how perspective can be implementation of full-scale F2P system in World of Warcraft..
At the same time there must not be high hopes for WoW to go F2P completely anytime soon — it's will be hard for developers to transform and adopt game for Free-to-play model and create enough monetization possibilities, while not to destroy hardly aligned game balance which was carefully tuned for a years now, because game originally wasn't developed for this. It's highly probable that Starter Edition will remain an only one step towards F2P model for a while.
World of Warcraft Starter Edition Limitations
So, what are limitations of free World of Warcraft Starter Edition?
- Maximum character level capped at 20
- 10 gold maximum
- Trade skills limited to 100 level
- Trade by Auction, Mail or player-to-player unavailable
- No access to public chat channels — only /say, /party and /whisper chat commands available
- Players can't create or join Guilds
- /whisper can be used only if target character is in Friend list or sent a message to a player first
- Can't invite other players into Party
- Can't join Parties with players over 20 LVL
- Voice Chat unavailable
- When realm has logging queue — paid account holders have priority
- Can't transfer characters between accounts
- RealID function unavailable
After reaching 20 LVL character grow stops and player won't receive experience, while he/she still can play ( time is unlimited ). Starter account can be converted into paid account at any time. Also all Trial accounts that was created before automatically converted into Starter ones, and all expired Trial account become active.
To get your way into World of Warcraft and receive Starter Edition account, you can visit account creation page and register there, after you will be prompted to download game client. Additionally you can grab it manually and download World of Warcraft Starter Edition from WorldOfWarcraft website ( you need to create account first to access download page ).