Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
04 January 2006
Demos and World of Warcraft
Saw an ad on mapquest.com today asking me to take a trial run through World of Warcraft, obviously not realizing how much gold, ur, simoleons, um, US dollars I've already plunked into their coffers. I was interested to see if there weren't some sorts of limitations to make the download a little smaller, as the retail version is several gigs and takes quite a while to update/patch after installation.

Here's what I was able to find about limitations on gameplay in the WoW trial:

from a messageboard post retrieved via Google Cache:
'During the trial period, characters on the promotional accounts will be able to advance up to level 20 and accumulate up to 10 gold. Use of the auction house and mailbox, player-to-player trade, and access to the in-game chat channels will be unavailable for the duration of the 14-day trial period.'

Definitely some heavy restrictions on the two week trial.


Pretty hefty, yet not nearly so bad as, say, the limitations on basketball game demos that come with NCAA for PS2, where you can only play as one of two teams or so -- though in the case of basketball, a game yet to be adequately represented on any system, admittedly that's enough I won't be padding their accounts' linings. Which brings me to my point: Demos walk a fine line. How do you hold back enough that people still feel like shelling out when they're done, yet give enough to hook them?

In any event, and I believe the trial is Windows only, if you have a Windows box and haven't given WoW a shot, get a free weekend and give the trial a try. It's not quite as open to "subversive gameplay" as Ultima Online was/is so you'll have to like pretty plain jane fantasy fare, but for free, well, definitely worth trying if only to see what captivates those who are playing. The FAQ for the trial mentions that your character is permanently saved, so even if you don't decide to pay to play today, it'll be around in case the bug ever does bite.

Okay, I hate it when game sites have love-fests for games. Not sure I can review WoW impartially, somewhat like my problem with Sandra Bullock movies (Practical Magic was still horrible, but now I'm shamefully digressing), but it is, by all accounts, a pretty interesting game. For today, I just wanted to document trial limitations, which, in my opinion, is a pretty facinating topic. How do you let people play enough to get hooked, without making a demo that eliminates the desire to buy the game?
--ruffin at 13:18
Comment [ 5 ]

Comments on this post:

I think id Software did a pretty ok job with its shooters, Wolf3D and DooM and Quake. While I didn't care one way or the other on Wolf3D, I know )a friend's) suitemates who did. On the other hand, I was ready for lots more DooM after the first episode. Given that there never was a DooM ][ demo, you might even consider DooM to be the demo that sold copies of DooM ][, especially once network play became more common.

Speaking of, I'd say that the networking was key to selling the Quake series. Certainly that was key to my interest, and judging from the number of servers that were running exclusively shareware maps, it was important to a lot of other people. Presumably, that turned into some proportion of sales.

By Blogger jvm, at 04 January, 2006 21:17  

Speaking of, I'd say that the networking was key to selling the Quake series. Certainly that was key to my interest, and judging from the number of servers that were running exclusively shareware maps, it was important to a lot of other people. Presumably, that turned into some proportion of sales.

Yet at the same time, that's precisely why I didn't buy Return to Castle Wolf. Network play was free, so why bother? Q3T almost did the same trick, though I eventually sprung for the full version. I wouldn't've put out for Doom 3, I don't believe, and was waiting to see if anyone I knew thought Quake 4 was worth a rip before 'upgrading' to the new engine.

That said, I am eager to see how Doom 3 plays now that it's installed (was a gift) and I've got my sound 'card' running again. Unfortunately no sounds from the internal speaker with this version, and there is just enough story at the beginning that I'd prefer to hear.

Interestingly, and on another note entirely, I've noticed WoW doesn't suffer more than the least bit from the lack of sound. Surprisingly a *very* textual game, as everyone who attended my presentation at UC Riverside's conference knows. ;^)

By Blogger rufbo, at 05 January, 2006 15:13  

I think for someone who is truly brand new to World of Warcraft (like I was when I started the trial) the trial is just fine. I had enough to figure out and learn even as an experience RPGer that I didn't bother worrying about the Auction house or anything like that. I did miss not being able to trade nor being able to use the post office, but I still only have 1 gold, since I keep upgrading my equipment to better stuff ;)

Valdesta
Zul'jin - Troll Hunter

By Blogger Valdesta, at 05 January, 2006 23:04  

I ungraded from a trial account, but I was very disappointed by several of the limitations. Level 20 and 10 gold is fine with me, but I thought the lack of being able to trade with other players hindered my enjoyment of the game, almost to the point where I decided not to upgrade. Ultimately I did upgrade, but I can see the limitations being enough to chase some people away out of anger.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 February, 2006 23:06  

Just a quick note to those that think the no trading thing is stupid; it's done to discourage botting... After all, what's the point in botting a free trial account when you can't transfer any of your loot?

By Blogger Alex, at 04 July, 2007 09:02  

Contact Us

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

 Feedburner

Playing

Warm bile sold separately:

Browse Curmudgeon Gamer Memorial Library

Blogroll:

Internet game search:


Archives:
Classic: 02/2002 to 10/2005
Google
 
Web curmudgeongamer.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?