World of Warcraft free cap staying at 20

Blizzard producer says studio has "looked at it lots" and has decided to keep free-to-play level cap where it is.

Blizzard has no plans to raise the free version of World of Warcraft's level cap above 20, producer John Lagrave told CVG in an interview published today. He explained that Blizzard has examined the possibility and has chosen to keep the free level cap where it is.

Blizzard is not beefing up World of Warcraft's free-to-play version.

"You know, we looked at it lots, we looked at whether level 20 would give you a good sense of what our game is, and we think it does," he said. "There's also a lot of things in the game that are special that we want to reserve for our paying customers."

Blizzard introduced the free and unlimited, but level-capped World of Warcraft Starter Edition last June. Players eager to progress further in the game need to pay the game's $15-per-month subscription fee.

Earlier this month, Activision reported that World of Warcraft's subscriber base had slipped to 9.1 million from the 10.2 million reported in February, a significantly more precipitous drop than from the 10.3 million figure published in September 2011. Activision is hoping for a subscription boost next month with the release of the Mists of Pandaria expansion.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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106 comments
elancion
elancion

pretty soon people will be to busy playing  GW2 to even care. and the dam pandas wont be able to a dam thing about it.

ScouseLemon
ScouseLemon

How tight are Blizzard lol. New level cap up to 90 yet new potential subscribers are given the finger and told they are only allowed to sample the game to level 20 which can be gotten to in about an hour. Yeah I can see players being wooed over by level 20..../Sigh.

 

With SWTOR going F2P or P2W whichever you prefer, Rift lite allowing players to sample the game up to level 20 out of 50, and GW2 being FT2 off the bat, Blizzard have once again put themselves in a tight spot.

DEagle267
DEagle267

I haven't been on my account since about 2-3 months after cata & being a panda is definitely not going to make me want to get back on. Besides, guess I got hacked or something because I just got an email a few days ago saying my account was closed because of exploitative activity XD.

shanthjibu
shanthjibu

WoW will die when Blizz rolls out Titan

Techn1c4l
Techn1c4l

The new expansion gonna ruin the game even more. What a shame.

 

By the way, those who like to said "Pandaren were around a long time before". Well, that's true. But they sucked back then. I remember them as most ill-fitting characters I've ever seen.

King-gamer
King-gamer

It's 20 because you don't learn any cool abilities until after 20. They're just trying to tease you into buying the game.

masterdrat
masterdrat

How much did gamespot get to write this article? the short version of this article: nothing happened, same old, ohh look, pandas!

Seifer24
Seifer24

well we have gw 2 why bother playing wow.

When you have a game behind Mike o brien the talent in pc gaming who  cares about the current fail  blizzard team

KamuiFei
KamuiFei

Or you can play a Blizz-like private server for free and progress like in the normal game. 

 

Only problem is you have to have the game beforehand.

mrnghttime
mrnghttime

Good for them, but NOTHING lasts forever. I enjoyed WoW longer than other MMO, but less and less with each expansion (Cata held my attention for only about a month). The thing is that I honestly think that a fair number of  people (not all, of course) have so much invested into WoW time wise that they can't bring themselves to stop.

 

That said I doubt any game will topple WoW anytime soon, not because WoW is great (don't get me wrong it's good but for me at least no longer great) but because people seem not to be able to adapt to new ideas in MMO's. For instance, I have seen games that have tried to get away from the Trinity (Tank, Heals, DPS) and yet even in these games people fall into old patterns and try to shoehorn classes ("well this class make's the best tank..etc").

 

Also because WoW is the biggest everyone compares every MMO to WoW, which sometimes is comparing apple to oranges, Yes every MMO will have things in common with WOW just as WoW has things in common with Everquest and DAOC which both came before. People just need to learn to enjoy games on their own merits and avoid the WoW comparisons, but I just don't see that happening.

 

No, at this point only WoW/Blizzard can kill WoW. Frankly I'm liking what the parts of GW2 I have played so far and I could care less if it affects WoW in any way just so long as it is popular enough to stick around, and if GW1 is any indication I doubt that will be an issue.

Zignoff
Zignoff

Bad idea in my thoughts, in general, you can reach level 20 in like less then 4 hours, that's not alot of time to really know if you like the game, considering most of the games action is in it's end game content, raids, and dungeons.There is literally no reason NOT to allow players access to level 60 and all of the vanille wow content, it allows them to really find a character they like,  see more what the game has to offer, without allowing them get alot of major games content.They are losing subs for a reason. The 10 million + they used to spam everyone has gone below it and lowering more and more for a reason. 

sortajan
sortajan

I wouldn't play the game even if it did for F2P. Great game, terrible community, cold and unfriendly developers.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

Kudos to Blizzard. Just as copying WoW is bad, WoW shouldn't follow other games. It's a trend setter in its domain. The pretender SWTOR now lies broken and waiting to be dragged in shame to a more accomodating (as if) arena. TSW tried a new move but instead of knocking out WoW, the move was ruled illegal and TSW has received a yellow card. GW2 says, "Compete with WoW? What are you talking about?" It's good to see people in charge of WoW see through the hot air at what their game and what their competitors actually are.

Shawn45
Shawn45

I wouldn't raise it either, especially if I still had 9~ million people still paying the subscription.

jader_vere
jader_vere

For all the people complaining about the graphics on wow, do any of you play Minecraft? Yes the Game is aging but it doesn't mean it's dead an should be buried. I still play most days and love playing it with my Partner and Kids, we have 4 active accounts in my house with those accounts being used daily.

Polaris-dono
Polaris-dono

I think comments in general should have a thing where it reads what people write back to them.

 

Maybe then said people would realize just how freakin' stupid they sound...

Oxtrom
Oxtrom

yeah,yeah the trailers look nice and all but when you go play the game it looks like trash the game isn't like that the in game game play is crap. one game that looks like the trailers is guild wars 2 with awesome game play and graphics and if people are going to say that im a guild wars 2 fan no im not, i am a wow fan but we have to admit it that game is aging and this game  isn't good enough for the softwares and the hardwares  that we have now.

ChillingSky
ChillingSky

 @ScouseLemon

 I would say lvl 40 would be a good one to set the starter edition to. I think you are wrong about SWToR and Rift, they could pay me and I still wouldn't play them lol. Who knows about GW2 yet.

BigAl519
BigAl519

 @shanthjibu They may stop putting out xpacs for WoW when Titan is released, but it will never die until the day its subscripts runs dry.

killman961
killman961

 @mrnghttime lol. wow is like the cod mmo. most of the people look at other mmos and say "this is an mmo? psh, its prolly copying wow then." some people are honestly idiots who know nothing about video games and they think they know everything about it. idiots.....

dre256x
dre256x

 @mrnghttime Well said..  Top B2P game will be Guild Wars 2, Top Sub game (although that payment model is slowly dying) is WoW..

 

But you said it best.. 

drsw36
drsw36

 @sortajan err the community is actually great. I enjoy playing WoW with people.

sammoth
sammoth

 @Unfallen_Satan

 Wow did not start it all fan boy. Wow copied other games before it's time. That what developers tend to do is copy sucess. Get Over It

sammoth
sammoth

@jader_vere

Minecraft success is because it is ORIGINAL not because of graphics. WOW in it's time was good. Not anymore.

 

Shawn45
Shawn45

 @Oxtrom When I was in elementary school, my teachers hammered it into my head to spell correctly, or else no one would take me seriously. I am very thankful to have gone through that, because it gives people the impression that I'm not an idiot when I type.

faisaltm
faisaltm

 @Oxtrom I keep telling everyone the same thing all the time...I agree with you 100%

ScouseLemon
ScouseLemon

 @ChillingSky Then your missing out. Rift is a great MMO as is SWTOR. But yeah, level 30-40 would be a good target. Unlikely they'll ever do that though because with Bli$$ard it's all about the money to fuel whatever Titan is going to be. Targeting kids though to make that cash is wrong Bli$$ard! WRONG.....

 

"Mummy look that game lets me be a panda"

 

"Oooh how cute, go get it then Timmy and mummy will pay for the subscription"

 

mrnghttime
mrnghttime

 @killman961  The real issue is that for some reason American society  has gotten the notion in its head that everything must be a "Killer". "Will this be the iPhone Killer? Will this be the WoW Killer. " Years ago things could happily coexist, when was the last time you hear someone say  "Oh this soft drink is gonna destroy Coke or that new burger place is gonna be the McDonald's killer. "  Things can and always have existed that are similar to other products that without having to destroy other products, compete yes--kill no. I mean sure &up may not be as big as Coke or Pepsi but you don't see them saying "we we could not destroy Coke , we'd best give up." People need to learn that things can coexist in the same market without a ton of trash talk--but I may as well wish for world peace while I'm at it, eh.

mrnghttime
mrnghttime

 @drsw36  @sortajan With 9 million people you're bound to get a bit of both. In my time playing WoW I encountered both some of the best people I have ever played MMO's with, but also some of the worst.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

 @sammoth Who said anything about WoW's starting anything? WoW is the trend setter today because no other game like even comes close to its success; no other reason. And what am I supposed to get over? 

bernardoneves
bernardoneves

 @sammoth Thats your opinion, very different from the almost 10 million people that still pay to play.

Oxtrom
Oxtrom

 @Shawn45 well the idiot is you because i am  Portuguese

syafiqjabar
syafiqjabar

 @ScouseLemon  @BigAl519  @shanthjibu People are still playing Everquest 1 and Ultima Online. Those are not even half as popular as WoW, but the servers are still running right now as you are reading this.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

 @sammoth I called SWTOR pretender, saying nothing about Rift. I stand by that. I saw too much similarity between SWTOR and WoW from leveling and subclass differentiation to raid (I mean ops) and loot system to think otherwise. I believe an EA exec even specifically said in an interview that SWTOR was aimed in part at WoW players who wanted to be in the Star Wars universe. This can be taken as an insult, but I don't apologize for it. I would have meant it as an insult if I didn't think the reality is more painful than anything I can say. The result right now is that SWTOR has gone F2P (with sub option) less than a year after launch.

 

Although I feel perfectly entitled to insult a game, it is not the same as insulting BioWare. I have stood by it even during the ME3 controversy, and SWTOR is not a game by which I judge the core development team in Edmonton. I thank you for clearing up that point.

 

As for Rift, I have not played so I am not qualified to comment.

sammoth
sammoth

 @Unfallen_Satan

You did however call other games pretenders and that is a bit insulting to them. Considering they didn't do a bad job. TOR and RIFT needed a little help but, didn't esp. in this economy etc. Both developers are not pretenders they are developer who made 2 great games but, fall short of what Blizzard has achieve. Neither one of them where designed to be WOW killers.

 

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

 @sammoth I am sorry if I twisted your comment. I don't know which oneI twisted, so if you point it out, I'll be more careful in the future. My original comment indeed applauded WoW for not following in SWTOR's footstep of offering full level F2P option. And I believe WoW remains to this day the single most important trend setter among subscription based MMORPG. You did say WoW was "maybe in its day" a trend setter, but not anymore. I was disagreeing with you. I apologize if I didn't sufficiently acknowledge what you said in my last comment.

 

As for other games copying WoW, or games before WoW, I have already explained my statements. Other than disagreeing with you, I have done my best not to antagonize on a personal level.

sammoth
sammoth

 @drsw36

Mad really? Grow Up with stupid comments like that. Sorry if someone says something bad/dislikes your precious WOW for whatever reason. If anyone is mad it has to be you.

sammoth
sammoth

 @Unfallen_SatanDid I not give the game credit ? Or can you not read my whole comment ? As I said WOW was a trend setter not so much anymore. You are the one who acted upon Developers copying games not me. Stop trying to twist my comments.

 

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

 @sammoth I don't have problems with developers copying games. What I said about SWTOR and TSW were based on what has happened to these games. They were not intended to criticize.

 

Trend need not be set today for WoW to be called trend setter. WoW's mechanics were not entirely original even in its day, but because it largely overshadowed Ultima and EQ that came before, posterity keeps its eyes on WoW instead of those earlier games. If another game copies WoW and becomes more successful, or even similarly successful, it may become the trend setter in the future. You can't argue with numbers because business decisions are based on them much more often than not.

 

I don't want to comment on WoW players because I don't play WoW, and I would just be attacking them instead of making an inside joke. You try all sort of things; they don't become trends because of it. Concepts like raiding, "control," and "holy trinity" are trends. Whether they were started by WoW is entirely irrelevant. WoW is the current icon by which all three concepts are judged in any game that uses them.

sammoth
sammoth

@Unfallen_Satan

You need to get over developers copying games. That’s what they do. Trend setter hardly maybe in it's time but, no longer today. Wow just has addicts that are afraid to try anything different.

 

mrnghttime
mrnghttime

 @bernardoneves  @sammoth No offence but, as opposed to the other what 6 billion who don't pay to play play WoW? Sure 10 or even 9 million is a achievement but let's not make it anymore than it is.

sammoth
sammoth

 @bernardoneves

 Also how many of those are gold farmers and inactive accounts. Most people don't leave WOW beacuse they are afraid of change or are noobs to the MMO market. Something WOW was very good at drawing in. Kets not even get into the numbers about the people who don;t have the PC hardware to run todays MMO's. WOW is an old game so is Engine making it very hardware friendly to lower end PC's.

CoricidinDXM
CoricidinDXM

 @bernardoneves  @sammoth  9.1 million people play it according to the article.  I do not know where you learned to round up, but 9.1 gets rounded down to 9.... not 10.