Today marks the first major content update to Cataclysm since its launch. World of Warcraft Patch 4.2, Rage in the Firelands, continues the questlines in Mt. Hyjal regarding the elemental lord Ragnaros. You might have thought that trouncing him with Cenarius put him in his place, but you were wrong.
More exciting perhaps for those who don't play WoW but have considered it, Blizzard today announced that they are changing the nature of their WoW Trial Accounts. As of this moment, all trial accounts are transitioned to the WoW Starter Edition, a version of the game that will let you play unfettered up until level 20 -- and includes The Burning Crusade races Draenei and Blood Elf. Additionally the Battle.net Store will now sell the WoW Digital Battle Chest, where you can get both the core version of World of Warcraft and the first expansion, The Burning Crusade, together for the low, low price of $19.99. This will be perfect for those Starter Edition players that want to continue leveling their characters but only have limited funds.
While there is a certain "stay of my lawn" reaction that boils up inside me at the possibility of thousands of new gold farmers trolling the WoW Trade Chat for easy marks, I see this as ultimately a positive solution to a growing problem. WoW is simply too big right now, and will only get larger as we push toward the level 100 cap. At some point spending upwards of $150.00 to start playing the game will be a little rediculous. Let's hope that Blizzard also institutes a mentoring system so that we can play with our friends and still play the characters we enjoy.