World of Warcraft adds Cataclysm to basic edition

Feeling a need to buy oodles of expansions can be off-putting when you're looking into starting an MMORPG, so Blizzard has regularly upgraded World of Warcraft's basic 'Battle Chest' edition with old expansions. It's now rolled 2010's Cataclysm into the package, and is taking the extra step of giving all expansions except Mists of Pandaria to every player, no matter when they bought WoW.

$19.99 now gets new players the original WoW plus a month of game time and its expansions The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm, in the new starter edition now titled simply World of Warcraft. The digital version's out now, with a retail release to follow "soon."

Cataclysm was down to only $9.99 before this change, but still, that's an extra sawbuck in your pocket and one less purchase to put new players off. Every subscriber gets access to these expansions now too, so if you stopped playing a while ago, you can come back to new things.

"With these changes, we're making it easier than ever for new players to begin their epic adventures in Azeroth and join in on the fun," Blizzard said in the announcement.

As player numbers continue to drop, it's a sensible change to make. Blizzard has said that "it makes sense" for WoW to go free-to-play "at some point," but the game still had a remarkable 7.7 million players as of the last count earlier this year so that may not be any time soon.