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Posts with tag trial-accounts

WoW goes free-to-play through level 20

Welcome! It's a good day to be one of the few remaining human beings who isn't playing World of Warcraft. While previously players who set up a new trial account were limited by 14 days of playtime and a level cap, Blizzard announced today that players on any trial account are able to play the game forever for free. The catch, of course, is that players are capped at level 20 until they upgrade. You can try out any of the races and classes available up through The Burning Crusade expansion, including the blood elves and draenei, with no time limit and no limit on characters created.

If you do get the hankering for more WoW thanks to the trial, you can get the digital Battle Chest, which includes classic WoW and The Burning Crusade, for $19.99 (as soon as the Blizzard site works again, anyway).

Trying out WoW for the first time with one of these trials? Have a friend who's just starting out and needs a push in the right direction? Check out WoW Rookie, our resource for new or casual players, with topics like: For a full list of the restrictions placed on endless trial accounts, check after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Trial account restrictions and the 30 percent problem

A few days ago, we posted on a very interesting statistic: Only 30% of all WoW trial accounts make it past level 10. On some level, it's been assumed that this number explains why Blizzard's taking such care to smooth out the beginning game a bit, to make it easier and more fun to stick with the game past level 10 or so. In a large way, this makes sense. But there may be other reasons beyond game play in play as well.

If you're picking up a trial account, chances are that you heard about it from a friend or a blog or a news report. But chances are, you were shown or described a massively armored warrior engaged in fierce hand to hand combat on the back of a dragon flying through the air, or a finely robed mage flinging a fireball at the face of the lord of all magic, or something similarly epic. With that in mind, it might justifably get discouraging to show up in game to find yourself dressed in rags, wielding a toothpick, and being sent to collect wolf pelts that inexplicably only drop off about half the wolves you kill.

With that in mind, it's easy to see how a trial account user could get bored pretty fast. But for me, there's one other angle that very few people seem to be bringing up: The social angle.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

70% of trial players quit WoW before level 10

When Blizzard put all characters below level 10 on easy-mode and added the tutorials in patch 3.3, I thought that was because they were expecting a huge influx of new players for the holidays. But I was wrong. CEO Mike Morhaime stated in the quarterly conference call for investors yesterday that only 30% of all Trial Accounts make it past level 10. This would account for the priority of making the beginning of the game new player friendly, over other development we veteran players would like to have seen. He goes on to say that the changes to the leveling game in Cataclysm will be good for retaining new players while giving better replay value for the rest of us.

Now, I know what you're thinking. How many of those trial accounts are scammers, so of course they don't make it to level 10? Good point. I don't know the numbers, though I'm sure Blizzard could just look at how many of those accounts made character names by facerolling. However, the account thieves aren't strapped for cash and have been known to not only purchase full accounts to do their evil bidding; but will also reactivate lapsed accounts, slap an Authenticator on and farm/scam away. So the 70% may very well include a large percentage of potential subscribers by process of elimination, since the scammers can afford multiple accounts.

As I've said before, the pre-level 10 changes we already have help us introduce our loved ones to the game. And I think we're all looking forward to the new starting zones and leveling experiences we'll find in Cataclysm. Particularly now that we've had a taste of the new quest mechanics in the Love is in the Air quests, such as PIlfering Perfume and Hot on the Trail.

Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

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