The reason that this has come up is that there is a new expansion coming, Mists of Pandaria, and I think it looks really great. I've played around on the beta server a little bit on a lower level character, and that starting zone is beautiful. I haven't taken my higher level characters to the new zones because I'm waiting to explore them for the first time once it goes into the actual game. Here is a zone preview for Pandaria that I saw linked to today. It's so pretty.
When the pre-expansion patch (5.04) comes on Aug 28th they are making a pretty nice change to the game. It used to be that if you wanted to try out any of the new races then you had to have the expansion pack that brought them into being. If you wanted to be a
I think that's really cool. Not that it matters for me, but I could see how it would suck to be someone new coming to the game and you really want to try out one of the races that weren't packed in the original game but you have to financially commit first. Now I know I should have mentioned a couple of weeks ago when you get current up with the game (minus the coming expansion) for only $20. I'm really sorry that I didn't, because that was a pretty awesome deal. (See above re: shyness over my gaming and there you have why it didn't come up.) You can still look around and find some decent deals, but nothing that approaches that level. However you can still dip your toes into World of Warcraft for free. You can only level to 20, out of the current max of 85, but it gives you a chance to experience the game with zero monetary commitment. It will let you see if you like the game at all. It will let you know if your machine can handle the graphics.
I play on both a PC box upstairs as well as my MacBook Air. I use slightly lower graphical settings on the laptop but it still looks pretty. My biggest hinderance to playing on the laptop is lack of ergonomics. I usually end up with a hurt wrist or back if I try to play for any length of time on the laptop. If I took it to my desk I'd have zero problems with it. I played on it exclusively when my desktop machine was out of commission for a while.
So maybe I'm a big ol' dork, but I really like this game, and if you were ever considering it then I'd say go for it. I know it's annoying to pay for software and then also pay a monthly fee to continue playing the game, but for me it's been worth it. There are times when an expansion has been around for a while that I've run out of things to do, or things that I care to do at any rate, and then I just cancel my subscription for a while. All the characters and items are still there when I come back to it, so it's really not a big deal.
If you do want to begin playing with a paid account here are a few bits of information that you might find useful.
- If you let me (or someone else who plays) know we can "Recruit a Friend" and you will get a leveling bonus for 90 days. There are added perks for the recruiter, so if I recruit you then you might want to recruit someone else. :)
- You don't need to buy all the expansions at once. The Battle Chest contains the original game as well as the first expansion Burning Crusade and will allow you to level to 70. You can wait to get the other expacs once you approach the level caps.
- If you did have an account and just haven't played in a long while you may want to go the route of the Scroll of Resurrection. You get a free character boosted up to level 80 and a free upgrade to the latest expansion Cataclysm. You will also be able to move a character on your account to the realm of the person who resurrected your account. Jeff and I have Alliance characters on Kilrogg, though he isn't actively playing at the moment.
- There are lots of great websites out there for information on the game in general. I think WoW Insider is one of the most beginner friendly. Their 101 series tend to make it easy to pick up and play a new class. This seems like a great place to start for a new player.
- Finally once you have money invested in playing please make sure you set up an authenticator. It is a second stage of protection, beyond password, for your account. There is a free app you can run on your phone or you can pay for a keychain that does the same thing.
So now you know my dirty little secret. I play World of Warcraft. (Yes I know it wasn't a well kept secret.) It's funny how I would never look down on anyone else for playing the game, but I still feel self conscious about my own playing. I'll work on that.