World of Warcraft is Totally Going More Free-to-Play

By David Piner -
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First of all, if you want to talk, or even if you want your name in my column, tweet me at @orangekun. I give shoutouts like they were free samples of orange chicken at the mall, so don’t hesitate. If you hate me, this column, and wish I would quit existing, please share those comments as well and I’ll quickly address your concerns.

World of Warcraft will announce, this year, at BlizzCon that it will be going more free-to-play and I have nothing to prove I’m right on this point, but I feel it in the eternal winds that this is happening. Here’s why: I’m smart enough to see that special trend. So far we’ve had yet another horrendous wait for an expansion, an almost comical laugh in your face wait. A wait that is so funny, it’s not.

Let’s look at this, aight, let’s look at this like real Human beings. In this universe, of infinite future possibilities, I personally believe that there is only one when it comes to WoW. It’s going to go F2P, because they’re ramping up to make expansions faster. They’re already working on the next one (lols), and the one after that. So that means, aight, let’s all calm down, that means that heh, it’s going F2P.

Okay, why? Well, it’s not fact - microtransactions, the thing the community fought so hard and so often, are what makes WoW more profitable than ever even though people are leaving the sinking ship in droves. So, comically, it would make sense to just increase reach, while drawing more money from people through expansions, subscription service, and the Blizzard in-game store.

How, oh how, could they make money you say. What if you could get up to the Panda Express in free expansions, which includes level 90, and from there to continue onward in your epic journey you need to pay the $39.99 or whatever for Warlords of Lamzors. If you want more than one bag slot and the ability to I don’t know, have epic mounts and use the raid finder, you need to pay up the $14.99.

This is how this works, aight, everyone who is paying right now continues to do so - because they’re all hardcore WoW players who are going to want the raid finder, extra inventory space, more characters, whatever. Now, the new F2P players, are all going to either:

  • Buy an expansion (at every 8 to 12 months)
  • Buy a mount.
  • Buy a subscription.

Most of the time, anyone who plays any amount of time, is obviously going to put out the cash for all three. So now they get more players, the same amount of subscriptions, and more money from people who are now going to throw even more money at them for the privilege of playing something that’s free-to-play.

CLARIFICATION: I believe WoW will charge you a box copy fee to get past level 20 still, holding two seperate groups of F2P players, those who own a copy of WoW and those on an unlimited trail.

Nuance alert: I'm not suggesting that WoW goes fully F2P, I am suggesting the current program expands to 90 or 95 at the cost of the box sets. The subscription is required to continue playing "real wow." So you could, in theory, play all the way up to 90 or 95, but would be limited in the dungeons / raids you could go into (or maybe not) and the things you could do, but you could play and level and PvP all you wanted. You'd have to pay up to go any further or do anything beyond say the first raid of the "f2p" expansion.

That’s some hard logic there to come up with, I’ll take my applause now. Let me take a sip of my coffee here and we’ll try to come up with some more fun stuff to talk about. Ahh, that’s good.

Barrens chat will return, so I’m game for this idea. I’m sure the WoW 1-20 zones will be filled at any time of the day, since there is a reason to actually play as a F2P, that isn’t going into the BG and getting owned by twinks.

Want a lol lore reason for this? Well, obviously, they're going to be visiting Shattrath and open up some portals to take everyone to other worlds. Each expansion will just be a new world to explore on this eternal conquest of space. This will lead up to the launch of World of Warcraft II or Warcraft IV.

Oh and yeah XP scrolls probably will be a thing or subscribers will get more XP. Right now free level 90s on a preorder means they care nothing about the sancitity of leveling.

The level 90 battlegrounds will be a bit more fair, to, because they will literally only be level 90s. Level 90 twinks will be a thing for those with expansions, which makes the free level up even more attractive, because you can have a spare level 90 to be a twink with. So you’d obviously want to pre-order as soon as the announcement is made.

If Blizzard doesn’t make WoW F2P then there is some big issue with someone there who just doesn’t seem the magical advantage of letting the gates open for people to play a “full game” that requires money to finish.

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About The Author

David "Xerin" Piner
Get in the bush with Xerin every week for his column, Respawn, as he analyzes the hottest trends, buzz topics, and absurdities in MMO gaming. In addition to his ongoing war against early access titles.

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