World of Warcraft Starter Edition is a digital download replacement for the 10-day Free Trial. The Starter Edition allows anyone to play for free up to level 20 without the time restrictions placed on trial accounts -- all you need is a Battle.net account and moderately fast internet connection.
As of mid-July 2011, all existing trial accounts, including expired ones, have been reactivated.
Recruit-a-Friend program has been upgraded as a result of the changes introduced with the Starter Edition.
New features over the old trial:
- Players with the Starter Edition can create draenei and blood elf characters (but not goblin or worgen), which were previously unavailable with trial accounts.
- The two starting zones associated with draenei/blood elf races are also available to people wishing to try out the game.
- The gold limit has been raised to 10 gold, allowing Starter Edition players to purchase mounts when they reach the appropriate level.
Most limitations are shown in the FAQ.
- At level 20 you will stop gaining experience until you activate a paid account, but you can play and explore or even start a new character.
- Gold capped at 10.
- Professions are capped at 100 ranks.
- Unable to trade via the Auction House, mailbox, or player-to-player.
- In-game access to public chat channels unavailable. Players are limited to communicating using only
- Characters will be unable to create or join guilds.
- Characters are not able to send whispers to other characters unless they have been added to the characters' friends lists or have received a whisper from a character first.
- Characters will not be able to invite other players into a party.
- Characters will be unable to disable experience gains.
Characters will not be able to join parties with other characters above level 20.
- Voice chat disabled on Starter Edition accounts.
- Realms experiencing login queues will prioritize players who have full, paid accounts.
- Starter Edition accounts are not eligible for character transfers
- Real ID features are disabled on all Starter Edition Accounts.
Notes about upgrading to paid account
From the FAQ.
- Your account name and password will remain the same.
- Your characters and items will remain on that account and will be available upon your return.
- The Starter Edition limitations and restrictions will be removed.
- When you upgrade to the full version of World of Warcraft, you will receive 30 days of access to the game for free.
- With the introduction of the Starter Edition, all Guest Pass Keys are effectively worthless.
- It is strange that Blizzard would include 2 of these in the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition, since they would have known they would be worthless for many months before release.