WoW goes F2P

And you thought patch 4.2 with the ‘Firelands’ raid instance would be the big WoW news today.. ;)

First, Blizz announces a new ‘battle chess’ package that includes the original WoW and The Burning Crusade for $19.99. As part of that, if you already own just ‘vanilla’ WoW, you auto-magically get The Burning Crusade expac, for free. Bet there’s some surprised level 60 Twinks who started getting XP tonight.

Here’s the release on that:

Haven’t yet ventured beyond the Dark Portal? Beginning today, June 28, players will be able to get both the original World of Warcraft and the game’s first expansion set, The Burning Crusade, for only $19.99 as part of the new digital Battle Chest now available in the online Blizzard Store. In addition, anyone who owns the original World of Warcraft, regardless of when they purchased the game, will automatically be able to access all of the content and features from The Burning Crusade expansion at no additional cost. It’s time to set forth from Azeroth, adventurer — Outland awaits!

Then, Blizzard has essentially gone F2P for the first 20 Levels.  They’ve removed the level restrictions on trial accounts, and added the TBC races to what you can play on a trial.  The 10/14 day trial deals have been removed and replaced with the ‘starter’ edition.  Snippet from the FAQ:


What is the World of Warcraft Starter Edition?

The World of Warcraft Starter Edition allows players to access World of Warcraft for free — all you need is a account and an Internet connection. Starter Edition players can play up to a maximum character level of 20 and are able to upgrade to a full, paid account at any time, allowing them to continue their adventures where they left off. The Starter Kit gives gamers who are interested in trying out World of Warcraft a chance to experience the game before purchasing a copy..

Go nuts now all you F2P’rs ;)