Your First Hit of World of Warcraft is Now Free-To-Play Until Level 20S

Players of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the most recent expansion to Blizzard's still rather popular online role-playing game, are now in the throes of the game's latest content update, "Rage of the Firelands" (AKA patch 4.2). But if you're a new, WoW-curious gamer, Blizzard has something new for you too.

"Rage of the Firelands" is now running wild in World of Warcraft, touting new quest and raid content, UI enhancements and "much more," Blizzard says. If you want to maybe see some of that some day, you can sign on for a World of Warcraft trial that might better suit your leisurely gaming habits. Gone are the 10- and 14-day trial restrictions, swapped in favor of a chance to play World of Warcraft until you hit level 20.

You could even play as a Blood Elf or Draenei in this friendlier trial version, which Blizzard is calling the World of Warcraft Starter Edition.

That's an offer tempting enough for me to give it another shot on my Battle.net account, which is thankfully down for maintenance. I can't get sucked into that right now!

If WoW does grab you this time, you can grab the original game and its first expansion, The Burning Crusade, for twenty bucks American as part of the new digital Battle Chest. And if you're a lapsed player who never got past the vanilla game, you can access Burning Crusade content with your original purchase. Just make sure you leave a note for your loved ones letting them know you're never seeing them again.