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WoW: Blizzard Testing Paid Level 90 Upgrade for Expansion

Come Warlords of Draenor, you may be able to directly purchase a level 90 character.

One of the problems with World of Warcraft, since it's been running for ten years, is that leveling up an alt from the beginning is an absolute pain. Blizzard has tried to deal with the problem as they've added each new expansion. They've lowered the experience needed to level, raised the experience given for quests, added experience for gathering professions, and offered experience-boosting heirloom items for purchase in various ways. But with 90 levels to get through to prepare for Warlords, it might not be enough.

Now the company is taking a new step to directly alleviate the problem. Today, Blizzard announced that it may allow players to directly purchase a level 90 character upgrade. The feature will be tested "in the near future" and bits of Blizzard's planned fix will be launching on the Public Test Realms soon.

While those plans are still in flux, Blizzard's announcement also confirmed another way to get a level 90 upgrade for a single character. When the digital pre-order for Warlords of Draenor goes live, players who pre-purchase the expansion can boost one character to level 90 immediately. Those who pre-purchase the Digital Deluxe edition will also get their special Warlords of Draenor mount and pet at the time of purchase.

"That's a little different from the plan we laid out at BlizzCon, but based on the feedback, it's obvious that many of you would like the chance to get acquainted with a new class before heading into the expansion," stated Blizzard in its announcement post. "This will also give more players the opportunity to experience the current end-game content and the events leading up to Garrosh's exodus to Draenor."

The special mount will probably be the Iron Skyreaver, which was announced as available in the in-game mount shop today.

I can already tell that the paid character upgrades will be a contentious addition for Blizzard. Some players will love it, some will call it 'pay-to-win'. Right now, I'm personally taking a wait-and-see approach, since we're not currently in possession of all of the details. We'll keep you posted as more information become available.

Warlords of Draenor does not currently have a firm release date.

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