The best demos are the ones that give you a slice of everything a game has to offer so that you can decide to go all-in. But World of Warcraft's free trial is all vegetables and no dessert. It actively discourages enthusiastic players like me from evangelizing it to my friends. Take a look at any of the comments on my WoW Classic Items articles and you'll see that it obviously has an image problem. People are way too eager to write it off as a dead game when, in fact, World of Warcraft has never been more accessible and more fun. Has it seen more popular days? Absolutely. If it wants to see those days again, Blizzard should stop expecting players like me to convince my friends to play by leveraging their trust through promises that, eventually, it gets better. Build a better free trial and let World of Warcraft speak for itself.
I can vividly remember that day in 2004 when I built myself a new computer after months of saving, just so I could play World of Warcraft. I had waited all damn evening for it to install, swapping out CDs the moment the prompt appeared. But it took too long. I only had about half an hour to play. I wandered the frigid tundra of Dun Morogh as a dwarf hunter I named Durian (I didn't know it was a fruit at the time) before my mom forced me to bed. Despite her best attempts to ruin it, this was still a defining moment for me. In those short minutes, I glimpsed a virtual world beyond anything I could imagine.
World of Warcraft Classic didn't give me that same magical feeling. From the 60 minutes I played, the one thing I can definitely say is that I was pretty bored. When I first spawned into Westfall, it was overwhelming having to remember esoteric concepts patched out eons ago. Auto-attacking? Skill trees? Having to actually read quest text?
This is World of Warcraft almost exactly as it existed back in the day, before a decade of quality of life updates slowly transformed it into the Warcraft of modern times. What Buy Gold in WoW Classic most certainly is not is a portal that leads back to a time when killing 15 boars felt exciting. Just like all those times I dusted off old game disks and installed them hoping for that wonderful hit of nostalgia, Classic didn't deliver—but that doesn't mean I don't like it. In fact, I feel just the opposite.
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