So, I've been playing World of Warcraft (WoW) using a free 10-day trial that I got from Fileplanet and it's pretty darned good if ask me; in fact, it pretty well is the electronic crack that people make it out to be. Blizzard, however, is not the best crack dealer out there and made the mistake of making the trial a bit of a WoW-lite, which falls a little shy of the addictive power it could stand to harness. The trial version is crippled in a number of ways, some worse than others: (there may be more, this is just what I've noticed)
- You can't use the public chat channels - not a big issue, you can always respond to people with personal messages
- You're capped at 5 gold - not a big issue for me, I was usually spending fast enough to stay below 1 gold most of the time
- You can't trade with other players - this annoyed me a little at first but then when I got my brother playing on a trial account and wanted to get him up to speed with me, I got really annoyed; since cooperation is one of the key selling points of the game, this is a real buzz-kill
- There's a level cap of 20 - this is the real killer; I'm only just barely into the game; I can't get a mount and I can't reasonably do any PvP stuff. If they had made the level cap 40, I'd get a taste of all of those things and then probably be aching to be able to play for 20 more levels and max my character but instead they've just pissed me off a whole bunch.
So Blizzard, take note, if you overly cripple a trial version, it'll turn people off, not attract them. At this point, I'm pretty much on the edge as far as WoW is concerned, the level cap was a real buzz-kill. Hmm, we could probably reverse the metaphor and draw conclusions about how to best sell crack: give out free samples that are just below your best crack in quality, then when they come to buy crack the first time, sell them your best stuff at a lower price than normal and every time thereafter sell them lower grade stuff at an inflated price.
And while we're on the topic of highly addictive drugs and video games, hey technology people, where the heck are BTL-chips already? (Shadowrun reference)