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 World of Warcraft  Offers Unlimited Trials
World of Warcraft Offers Unlimited Trials
June 28, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi

Major MMO World of Warcraft has changed its free trial system, switching from a traditionally timed trial to one that offers unlimited play with a level cap.

Those signing up for a free trial can now play the game infinitely, though players cap out at level 20. For reference, those playing with all available expansions currently cap out at 85.

According to a forums post, in-game restrictions put on free trial players will still apply, with community manager Jonathan Brown explaining that "trial accounts simply no longer expire."

The game's trial sign-up page still offers the traditional 10-day free trial, though Blizzard server issues occurring at press time may explain this, as the actual sign-up page is down for maintenance.

World of Warcraft apparently lost subscribers following the release of its latest substantial expansion, Cataclysm.

According to Blizzard president Michael Morhaime, the churn came because the company's dedicated players are able to consume content much faster than they used to: the company is seeing a trend where veteran players renew their subscriptions temporarily, play the new expansion, then cancel again immediately.

In response, Blizzard has been "looking to decrease the amount of time in-between expansions" and "speed up the development process."

The trial period's change appears to be another approach to helping stop the company's subscription bleed. Next month's release of Cataclysm in China should help, as well.

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Glenn Sturgeon
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I expct WOW will be a F2P game with optional sub by the time the new blizz MMO is released.

sean lindskog
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Doubt it, they're making way too much money off it.

Smart move on the free to play up until level 20 though.

Mike Griffin
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Virtual gold sellers are going to have a blast with unlimited trial accounts.

A spam blast.

Hopefully those trial accounts are handicapped in terms of available chat channels, or frequency of using said channels.

Gav Verma
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They will indeed be handicapped in terms of access chat channels and ability to send a private message (whisper) to other players. More here:

Joshua Sterns
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I am very tempted to level up a character to 20 for shits and giggles. Very doubtful that I'd buy the full package, but it be fun to kill boars for a bit.

Daniel Hagerty
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They lost subscribers after Cata (myself included) and they are going to lose MILLIONS when SW: TOR comes out.

Yuliya Chernenko
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Haha, exactlly what I need, because 20 lvl is my maximum, I am too lazy. I think it is a nice marketing, at least it will attract more players,though do not think that the numbers of subscribers will rapidly increase. At least it will help Blizzard to save the number of players. Of course, it happens as a lot of players would leave wow

due to releases of new mmorpg's. Still I doubt that in next few years WoW would be closed. But Blizzards should think about another game or mmo, that would replace WoW.

Curtis Turner - IceIYIaN
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Can I log in any account and play a char under level 20 or am I forced to create a new account?

Joe McGinn
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Good idea, maybe not I can download the maga-client before my trial expires.

Tim Johnston
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Agree with Glenn. It will go F2P. Frankly, I think unless they roll out some sort substantial, ground breaking feature to the game, its days are numbered. Raising the level cap, adding a bunch of new instances and zones, no matter how frickin cool, is just not gonna do it anymore. The epic grind cycle has just gotten too repetitive and uninteresting. People are tired of having to find a tank just to go into an instance. There's no real reward for world exploration, other than to discover new quests while leveling. I could go on and on.

Its a great game, but its run its course. I think its natural. I hope their next gen MMO is a marked departure from this game, because if its "World of Warcraft in _____________" its dead in the water.