When it comes to massively multiplayer online role playing games, World of Warcraft tends to be the first one people think of. But there’s another major player out there that’s been chugging along called Guild Wars 2, and unlike WoW, it never charged a monthly subscription to play. Instead, it opted to charge players for the game one time and then letting them go. That’s changing too, however, as the base game is now free, so users can jump in, download the client, and play without spending a dime.
With reports of the WoW player-base dropping to the 5.6 million range, now seems like a perfect time for ArenaNet, the developers of the game, to pick up some of those lapsed WoW players and give them a new MMO to play with no financial commitment.
Of course, there are some restrictions on free accounts such as fewer character and bag slots, where players can go until they reach certain levels, and some communication restrictions designed to prevent free users from bothering/spamming paid players. There’s a risk of spammers making free accounts and mass-messaging, so this limitation should prevent that.
Players who already purchased the base game will not have these restrictions applied, and they’ll also get a Royal Guard outfit that will let everyone know that they’re a Guild Wars 2 veteran.
This news comes hot on the heels of the team announcing that a major expansion, called Heart of Thorns, would be available on Oct. 23. Users with the $50 expansion will have all restrictions removed from their accounts, and that’ll have the ability to get access to all of that new content, including the new raids. A full breakdown of the different Guild Wars 2 account types can be found here.
New players interested in checking out Guild Wars 2 can simply head to the game’s website, sign up for an account, and download the client for free. From there, players who get hooked can pick up the expansion and get access to the new content when it launches on Oct. 23.