Tobold's Blog
Monday, March 02, 2015
WoW veteran edition

My subscription to World of Warcraft ran out this weekend. The last thing I did was set up a new character to test the new "veteran edition" of WoW. That is a minor tweak to the so-called "starter edition", the free trial that lets you play characters up to level 20 without a subscription. Up to last year, if you already had an account on which the subscription had lapsed, you needed to create a *new* starter edition trial account if you wanted to play low level characters for free. Now you can just log on your regular account, all the characters above level 20 are marked "inactive", but you can play the lower level characters.

Basically the new system has two advantages: If you really like the character you played up to level 20, you can subscribe again and continue playing without having to pay for a character transfer. And with the new heirloom tab you can also use all your heirlooms for the trial characters.

On the other hand you might not necessarily want to use those heirlooms. At the very low levels your heirlooms (especially if you went to the added effort of enchanting them) are rather overpowered. Not only are they better than the gear that you are likely to find, but the heirlooms also cover slots like head and shoulder where regular characters just won't have anything. Besides making an already trivial game even more trivial, and not giving you a good impression of how the character will play later, the heirlooms also have an added disadvantage: Many of them come with a bonus percentage to experience gain. Thus the already short path from level 1 to 20 is going to be even shorter. Which might not be what you want if at level 20 it's game over.

I did a short tour of all my still existing WoW characters (with the help of the AllPlayed addon) and counted that I have played 6500 hours of World of Warcraft. That is about 4 years worth of a full-time job. Playing a series of characters up to level 20 that cover every single class and race probably wouldn't even add another 100 hours to that score. So what makes sense for a free trial version of World of Warcraft isn't really all that useful for an actual veteran. Still, it is nice to have the option, and Blizzard is obviously hoping that once you start playing a veteran edition character, you're going to want to subscribe to keep playing. For myself I'm not so sure. If I actually try it, it will be later. Right now I've had enough with 2 months of subscription and would prefer to do something else.

> I have played 6500 hours of World of
> Warcraft. That is about 4 years
> worth of a full-time job.

I'll admit I don't have the guts to check my total WoW gameplay hours...
Have you tried the Free Trial version itself? I did a while back and once I'd left the Goblin starting area leveling speed slowed down to something I remember from early EQ. At level 13 I wasn't getting much more than 10% of a level per hour and I was dying a lot.

I wonder just how quick and easy leveling in WoW really is even nowadays for genuine, 100% new players, if any such are still to be found?
A 100% new player would take its time to properly level a character. Seasoned (veterans) players already know almost every aspect of this game.

This is like saying that WoW does not offer any challenge, it's easy, it's "tuned down for casuals". Well, I'd suggest to try heroic/mythic runs and challenges for example... Let's see who's the casual then :)
Rugus, I can tell you that winning a game of Fifa 15 at world class difficulty against an equally powerful team is harder than anything in World of Warcraft as far as actual gaming skill is concerned.

The hardest part of WoW is getting 5 to 20 people to all do it right at the same time. Spend a few fights memorizing the script and you are good to go. There's a reason people who only play WoW regress in ability in every other genre of game. It kills your creativity and fine motor control.

But yeah, it's a massive time sink. Tabooed put in the equivalent of a year of his life (assuming 8 hours of sleep) doing nothing but playing WoW. I wonder how many of those days he could remember a single good thing about.
If it's only for sub-20 characters, I'm not sure what the point is of 'veteran edition'.

Chatting with guildies, keeping an eye on... uh. Org? SW? It'll be interesting to see how locked-down the free version is, though.

The original free trial had heavy restrictions on chat, guilding, trading, money earned, and more.

Depending on how much of those restrictions turn up in 'vet ed', there may be absolutely zero point whatsoever.
The restrictions on trading, money earned and level are still there. There are slightly less restrictions on chat and guilding, that is you can join a guild your higher level characters are in and chat with them, but not with people outside the guild.
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