World Of Warcraft wants you back...again. Blizzard is offering free trials to players who previously escaped its clutches.
"The Iron Horde invasion has begun! Rush to the defence of Azeroth today with 7 days of FREE game time, and prepare for the arrival of Warlords of Draenor on November 13, 2014," reads the promotional email from Blizzard. "Act fast, this offer expires on Nov 5th!"
Current players were also given the free week because, hey, why not. You can find it in your Battle.net Account under Your Game Accounts > Referrals and Rewards. The extra time will be applied at the end of your current subscription cycle, according to players who have redeemed it thus far.
Blizzard is also offering a semi-related discount: 25% off the normal price of server transfers and faction transfers. Their reasoning, I guess, is that former players will come back and want to find a new home for their characters. I'm disappointed that Blizzard's not giving a steeper discount on these services, as they're not exactly cheap to begin with ($30 for faction change, $25 for server change), though. At any rate, this sale will end on October 29th.
The promotion comes just two weeks after the release of Patch 6.0, a major update to WoW that lays the groundwork for the Warlords of Draenor expansion pack. A new questline takes players to the Blasted Lands to stem an invasion from the Iron Horde, a mysterious army that players will then confront on their home turf in the expansion. This chain of quests is also the introductory experience for characters that were boosted to level 90.
Patch 6.0 also lets players try out a level 90 remake of Upper Blackrock Spire, one of the first dungeons in WoW. They'll be able to fight three bosses in the revamped dungeon and get some item level 540 gear in the process. Upper Blackrock Spire will then return as a level 100 dungeon in Warlords of Draenor with two other bosses.
Like other pre-expansion updates, Patch 6.0 changes a bunch of basic features in the game. Every character class underwent major revisions that players will now have to adjust to. Blizzard tried to make the game more user-friendly through the patch as well. Here's my run-down of the best changes.
When Warlords of Draenor launches, players will have access to several new zones filled with level 90-100 quests. As they level up, they'll acquire their own personal garrison complete with helpful buildings and NPCs. This garrison can then be changed and upgraded over time.
If you're coming back to WoW after a long absence, I'd recommend checking out Wowhead's guide to gearing up in Patch 6.0. Also, if you need help learning to play your characters again, read up on Icy Veins' class guides.