This might be old news or something that I just missed, but someone on #tweetfleet mentioned that World of Warcraft has instituted a limited F2P system. This seems to replace their previous experiments with 10-day trial accounts, given the F2P accounts -- "starter accounts", Blizzard calls them coyly -- have no time limit. Just a level limit (20), a gold limit (10), a conversation limit, a guild limit, and four or five other limits, too.
But of course, if you want to upgrade your starter account to a full account, Blizzard will be happy to help you with that.
As I've mentioned on this blog several times, I've never played WoW. I don't think I've even seen WoW being played, now that I think about it. When it came out, I was opposed to the MMO genre itself. I've obviously gotten over that. ;-) But even when I became open to signing up for an MMO, World of Warcraft didn't appeal to me. And that in itself is very strange. I'm a spaceships guy as I mentioned yesterday. But even more than a spaceships guy, I'm a high fantasy guy. I grew up on Lord of the Rings and the Belgariad and Dungeons and Dragons. I was into swords and sorcery long before it was cool to be into them.
I know a big portion of my reluctance about WoW is the Skinner box nature of the WoW existence. At the micro level, you're not playing WoW. You're looking for those last two spiders so the little "8/10" becomes a "10/10" so you can turn in the quest. At the macro level, you're not playing WoW either. You're looking for something that will move your gear score from 775 to 800 so that you can be a credible threat on the higher-level raids that will get you something that will move your gear score from 800 to 850. It's process-oriented, not fun-oriented.
I said I hadn't played WoW. I didn't say I wasn't familiar with the underlying concepts. ;-)
But maybe that's just a WoW-hater's misconception. I cheerfully admit that it's not based on any facts or experience. Hell, I've probably gotten most of my opinion about WoW from listening to other people's opinions about WoW. And as my wife told me last night, that isn't like me.
So, it might be interesting to take Blizzard up on this. I'm told that level 20 is something that an experienced WoW-player could grind out in a couple of hours, but as a complete WoW-newbie, it might take me four or five. That isn't a huge time investment.
Or am I just tempting fate? Or worse, wasting my time?