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Posts with tag trial

What you need to start playing WoW

So your friends have been talking about World of Warcraft, and you've finally decided to jump in and give the game a try. But when we're talking about a massively multiplayer game with five expansion packs to date, just where does a new player get started? Trust us, it's not as difficult as it seems: we'll walk you through everything you need to get going with World of Warcraft.

System requirements
World of Warcraft will run on both Mac and Windows PCs, and before you buy the game you should definitely make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements. They're fairly modest, so there's a good chance you're fine unless you're using an older computer.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

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

Cataclysm 10-day trial edition announced

If somehow you managed to avoid buying Cataclysm (perhaps you were shielded behind thick lead plates in a secret bunker), then know that nowhere is safe, for Blizzard has announced a 10-day trial edition of the fastest-selling World of Warcraft expansion to date. You somehow believed that you were impervious from your Cone of Ultimate Seclusion, but know you now that nowhere, no matter how remote, can save you from the Cataclysm. Seriously, though, how have you managed to not buy this expansion yet?

This trial edition requires Wrath of the Lich King be installed to play, and you have a current subscription or ever have had one to Wrath of the Lich King. This 10-day trial has access to all the content but can't level past 80 (the FAQ specifically states "any characters you play during the trial can only advance up to one experience point below level 81," so if you want to go to Deepholm, Uldum or Twilight Highlands, you'll either need to buy the retail release or, in the case of zones that can be flown to, accept dying a lot.

Seems like an interesting way for the six people in the whole known universe who are on the fence to make up their minds, right? Go read the FAQ and decide if it's for you.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

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

WoW Insider Show Episode 102: Stupid big-tongues

We had a terrific time (as always) on the live podcast last Saturday afternoon, as Zach Yonzon, Mike "Belfaire" Sacco, and Turpster and I sat down to talk about the most popular stories in the World of Warcraft. Of course patch 3.2 was at the forefront of our minds, and we chatted about what each of us was most interested in, from the new BG to the 5-man Trial instance. And we got a little bit of discussion in about the various classes and roles they play in instances.

Of course we answered your emails as well -- we talked with Michael Sacco about the "Additional instances can't be launched" issue that's going around (that I got hit with for the first time yesterday, actually), and a reader emailed us about BRK's gun -- so awesome to see our friend get recognized, and deservedly so. It was an excellent show, in my humble opinion, and a great way to squeeze a week's worth of WoW news into just one hour.

This week, the podcast will be at a special time -- we'll be going live on Thursday at 1pm Eastern. That's a little earlier than we usually do it, but it should give our friends overseas a chance to tune in when they might not have been able to before (and if you can't make it live, don't worry, the recording will be in iTunes soon after). See you then!

Get the podcast:
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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Podcasting, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Instances, Humor, Classes, NPCs, WoW Insider Show

WoW Insider Show today at 3:30pm Eastern


Gonna be a great podcast this afternoon -- we'll welcome two familiar voices to the show, including the great Zach Yonzon (have you seen his new Battlemasters comic yet?) and the talbuk Mike "Belfaire" Sacco, as well as Turpster and I as usual. We'll be talking about (what else?) patch 3.2 and what we think so far, including the new 5-man instance, bugs that have appeared so far, and everything else we like and hate about it. And if we have time, we'll also talk about classes and what they get invited to groups as (you know Turpster will love seeing that big slice of Warriors on the tanking chart).

And of course we'll answer your email as well -- you can send us whatever you'd like us to read or talk about at theshow@wow.com. It all kicks off at August 8, 2009 3:30 PM EDT over on our Ustream page, or, as always, you can find the embedded stream below. Be sure to stop by this afternoon and give us a listen live -- you'll enjoy it, or your money back*!

Note: As the podcast is free to listen to, you will not be receiving any money back. But you will enjoy the show. If not, you can blame the Ret Monkey. That's what we do.

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Filed under: Patches, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Instances, Humor, Bosses, Classes, WoW Insider Show

Returning to Azeroth the long way around

Ethic at Kill Ten Rats has a post up about something that a lot of you have probably been through: more and more I'm hearing about people returning to the game. I've been playing ever since I signed up a few years ago, but that's really only because I'm writing about it -- I'm pretty ADD when it comes to games, so left on my own, I probably would have walked away from WoW a long time ago. But Blizzard is really good at bringing players back by tweaking the game in exactly the way they woud like. I feel like if I had left, I would have definitely come back in for a while, if not with Burning Crusade than definitely with Wrath.

Of course, Ethic's issues aren't really with deciding to return or not: he's having more issues actually trying to get his old accounts back. There's a laundry list of rules and limits to contend with, between dealing with having or not having the expansions, the limits on the Scroll of Resurrection program and the trial accounts, and dodging all of Blizzard's various limits on how to start and use new accounts to the game. Man -- if I had left and was planning on coming back, and I read Ethic's post, I might not even bother.

But quite a few people have come back, and I'd guess that even though there are confusing things about trying to find your way back into the game, a good number of you have done it. I'd like to know, so here's a poll: how many of you have left and come back, and how many times?

Have you returned to the game?
Nope, been here since the beginning.3191 (37.5%)
Left and never looked back!302 (3.6%)
Left once, back for now.2205 (25.9%)
I've quit twice so far.1382 (16.3%)
I've quit more than twice and keep coming back for more!1424 (16.7%)

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW bundled with WildTangent software on new PCs

WildTangent is a company that started up around ten years ago (they originally made game plugins for Winamp, if you remember that) that's recently gotten a reputation for "bloatware." They've made deals with PC manufacturers like Dell, HP, and Acer to bundle in their software on the harddrive when you buy it. (Most users familiar with PCs find these software bundles more of a nuisance than anything else.) But nevertheless, WildTangent claims up to 20 million users worldwide, and they continue to make deals, the most recent one being with none other than Blizzard. According to a press release on their website [PDF], World of Warcraft's trial downloader will now be included with all installs of WildTangent's ORB software, which means that whenever you buy a new computer from a dealer WildTangent has hooked up with, there'll be a program already installed on your PC that will let you download and play World of Warcraft, among the many other games WildTangent has already included.

This likely isn't targeted at you, dear audience -- odds are that you've already got the discs for WoW, and if you do buy a new PC, you'll probably still delete WildTangent's app and install WoW yourself. Instead, it's a stab at picking up new subscribers -- people who might not already know about World of Warcraft or PCs may see the icon on their new desktop, double click it, and find Azeroth for the first time. The press release even notes that WoW subscribers still in their trial month are counted as subscribers, so odds are this is a random attempt to pick up a few more subscribers from people who aren't willing to go get the game themselves.

There's one more thing to note here: Activision isn't mentioned at all.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Hardware

Invites disabled for trial accounts


"Hey, want to learn how to level the fastest way possible?" If you've played a character below level 30 any time recently, that probably looks infuriatingly familiar. Ever since the new spam protection features in patch 2.1, party chat has been one of the few ways spam has actually been getting through to many of us. You get an invite from a random level 1 character somewhere on a trial account, and then the fun starts in /p. I usually respond with "hey, want to get reported for spamming the fastest way possible?", but it still happens at least every fifteen minutes or so on some servers. A few hours ago, Blizzard went ahead and made the obvious and frequently suggested change: players on trial accounts can no longer send invites (Drysc).

They can still be invited to groups by subscribers, so people who are using trial accounts because they're legitimately curious about the game will continue to have a chance to experience group play. I'm optimistic that this change will greatly reduce the amount of spam I get, although I'm also sure the spammers will not take too long to find yet another way to share with us the opportunities of buying gold and powerleveling.

Filed under: News items

Free Trials: Wonderful, or source of annoyance?

Let me preface this by saying that I'm absolutely notorious for giving out free trial codes. You want to check out WoW and see if you like it? Sure! Let me get you a code -- and get myself 30 days free in the process if you sign up. You think your cousin might dig the game since he plays EverQuest, but you're not sure? Here, let me email you a code to forward to them. For you see, I am every inch the devoted WoW fangirl, and I say that without any shame. As such, it is my mission to share the fun!

Now, with that said, I think I've easily managed to score four or five months of free time from people converting trial accounts to paid accounts. And as WoW gains even more ground, even hardcore devotees to other MMOs are starting to be curious about what all the noise is about. (Well, okay, maybe that's just my older brother who has been staunchly refusing all my free codes and continuing to play City of Heroes/Villains... But I sense his will starting to falter now that he's hit endgame there. Mwahaha!)

Of course, if you listen to Terrorantula on the (European) WoW General forums, trial accounts are everything that is bad with the game. They bring in gold spam mails! They let those advertisers come on and harass us! Now personally, while I'm all for Blizzard writing in some kind of process that immediately bans any account who sends certain gold-selling domain names in chat or mail (and they know who they are) I don't know that I would back the total removal of all free trial accounts.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Finding your way into a good guild

There's no question-- if you want to be successful in WoW (arguably for the whole game, but especially in the endgame), you need a guild, and you need a good one. I've gotten three of my 60s into great guilds (on three different servers-- don't ask), and I've /gquit a few times as well (although I've never been /gkicked-- maybe you guys have some good stories about that). My experience is your gain. Here's five tips on how to get into a guild that will get you where you want to be.

1. Don't be a jerk. Obvious? Don't ninja, ever. Don't play in a way that routinely gets you put on ignore lists. Don't beg. Don't make the game all about the gear-- either bragging about all the stuff you got, or whining about all the stuff you don't have. In short, to get into a good guild, you have to first be a good player. That said, it'll help you to...

2. Have the level and the gear, or at least know what you're aiming for.
If you're trying to join a guild that's raiding MC, it'll help a lot if you've already got tons of fire resist. If you're wearing greens and trying to join a guild that's doing Naxx, you're barking up the wrong tree. Guilds are around to help-- the best gear in the game can't be gotten without them, and any good guild will help their members hit 60 and move beyond. But if you can't handle the heat (or frost), don't be surprised when they don't let you into the big kitchen.

3. No LFGs. I bet there's all kinds of evidence (and guildmasters) that will prove me wrong on this, but I'm standing by it: a guild you want to join won't be broadcasting a recruit in the LFG channel, or even in the GuildRecruiting channel. Your best bet is to know someone-- a rl friend or someone you've grouped with. Short of that, watch the players on your server (and guilds on GuildWatch, ahem), see who's good, and look them up on the web. If they've got a website and forums, they probably have an application form. The more hoops you can jump through to join, chances are the better off you'll be in the long run.

4. Take a trial run.
Lots of guilds invite people on a trial basis-- either with recruiting runs or inviting them with a rank of "Initiate" or "Recruit." But feel free to join the guild on a trial basis as well, and see if they're compatible with you. Are there people of your level on when you are? Is the guild doing what you want to do-- if all you want to do is PVP, it won't help you much to join a guild that only runs PVE. Don't be afraid to /gquit if you don't think things are working out-- but see #1, too, and don't be a jerk about it. If you part ways amicably, there's a good chance they'll invite you back anyway when they are doing what you want to do.

5. Participate!
Staying in a good guild means being a part of the group. When you sign up for raids, show up on time, repaired and ready to go. When guildies ask for help, help them. When they need items farmed from whereever you're headed, get it for them. Even if someone in the guild offers to pay me for something I'd put up on the AH for a few gold, I give it to them for free. The more you invest in a guild you like, especially when you're starting out with them, the more you'll get in return.

The one thing I've never done (in WoW anyway) is run my own guild. Any guild officers or GMs out there with more advice for players looking to join a good guild?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Virtual selves, Guilds

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