Guild Wars 2 Core Game Can Now be Played for Free, First Major Expansion, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns Coming Very Soon
IGN has "revealed exclusively" some days ago that ArenaNet recently dropped the purchase requirement for Guild Wars 2. The Guild Wars 2 core game is now available for everyone to play for free. All one has to do is to hit up the website, sign up for a free account and download it. This official announcement was made during the Guild Wars 2 panel at PAX Prime. The developer likewise revealed the release date for the game's first major expansion, Heart of Thorns, and the inclusion of raid content in it, slated on October 23. And since the launch of the first major expansion, Heart of Thorns, will come just a few months away, there is no better time to introduce the games to friends, or even loved ones, than now.
However, the question on whether Guild Wars 2 will switch business models to become free-to-play has been posed by many. This has been negated as it has been clarified that Guild Wars 2 will remain to be the same game it has always been. The core game experience is just being made free in the company's belief that anyone who loves Guild Wars 2, will also love and buy Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.
The new accounts, however, are with some restrictions that are not applicable to its existing players. For one, free players will have fewer characters and bag slots compared to their paid counterparts. They will also be restricted to certain zones until level goals are released (level 10 to exit starter zones, level 60 for World Vs. World player versus player content).Second, free players will have limited ways of communicating to prevent them from bothering paying customers. Instead, free accounts can use local chats and whispers, but not the map chat. With whispers, new conversations can be started and reply be made to existing conversations, but the new conversations should not be more than 30 seconds. Free players can buy and sell common goods on the trading post, but can't mail gold or items directly to other players, access guild vaults or trade gold for gems lastly, free accounts cannot skip ahead to places where they could be used to disrupt the game.
Since its launch three years ago, more than 5 million copies of the game have been sold. Likewise, more than 40 major content releases have been delivered, with Living world episodes, world-changing events and feature packs all free of charge.