Blizzard Entertainment has announced that the super-popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft will now be available for free, up to level 20. For the benefit of the old system where you coild test game in a 14-day period, Blizzard now introduces the World of Warcraft Starter Edition.

The Starter Edition has no limitations in terms of time, so you can explore Azeroth just as much as paying players. However, since the Starter Edition does not let you pass level 20, it has a number of content restrictions compared to the full version.

The following restrictions are placed on all Starter Edition Accounts:

  • A level cap of 20.
  • A maximum of 10 gold.
  • Trade skills 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 say, party, or whisper.
  • 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 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.
  • RealID features are disabled on all Starter Edition Accounts.

More details about the differences and limitations between the Starter Edition and full version can be found at the World of Warcraft Starter Edition Account FAQ.

(via Blizzard Support)