What path should I go when purchasing?

So I have played the starter edition for a solid amount of time, I have a few characters level 20 and have been enjoying the game quite a bit so wanted to purchase some game time and wanted the opinion of the community on how I should approach it (based on how long content takes, etc). My 3 main options I’m considering is just getting a normal subscription, purchasing Battle for Azeroth (not sure if it comes with a subscription, if not then its out of the picture), or purchasing the heroic or epic edition of Shadowlands as I know it comes with 30 or 60 days of game time. I plan on using the WoW tokens after as my main way to maintain the subscription but am unsure how much time is needed to get enough gold etc (due to Covid 19, for the foreseeable future I can play for a solid amount of time each day) as well as how long it takes to get through content without the most recent expansions. Sorry that this is a long post, I just want to be sure with my decision and Thank you all in advance, cant wait to be fully in the community.

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Alrighty, so this all comes with the caveat that it’s your money, so ultimately just take what we say with a grain of salt.

BFA does not come with game time included. In order to get Shadowlands, your account must first be upgraded to BFA (starting from $50.) Shadowlands also does not come with game time unless you opt for the “epic edition” for 80 bucks. You could also just get the base edition for 40, and then apply game time for another 15. So your total to get started here is $105-$130 (plus applicable tax in your state or province).

So the most cost effective way to play right now is just to apply a subscription to your account. This will allow you access to (almost) all content up to Legion and level 110, as well as WoW Classic. Almost is included there because even though you can work toward unlocking some allied races at lvl 110, BFA is required to actually complete the unlock for them.

That being said, if you want the best deal at the moment, the “complete edition” is where you should be looking. It’s on sale at the moment for $90, and includes BFA, Shadowlands, 110 and 120 boost, 30 days game time, as well as a couple other goodies like mounts.

It’s worth noting that if you decide to wait until Shadowlands officially releases, BFA will then be included into the base game (available with your monthly subscription at no extra cost), so you would only have to purchase Shadowlands at that point.


I’d be wary of having the goal of using gold to pay for your subscription. In my experience, it’s hard to get the needed gold to keep up just by playing the game. (You could probably pay for every 2nd or 3rd month without doing anything special besides not blowing gold on cosmetics.)

Getting enough gold for each month is going to require either a fair amount of farming or learning to play the auction house. (Which takes a lot of research and experience to get good at.) The farming route really requires a higher level character (max being ideal). The AH method can be done with level 1 characters, but having max level characters with professions can open up some opportunities to flip mats into goods.

If you are set on going the wow token route after your initial purchase, then going with one of the options with a 120 character boost will be your fastest way to start making gold. (It will also let you start BfA with world quests unlocked, which will get you right into things.) Of course, the downside to this is that you’re skipping a whole bunch of game by doing this, and at least for me, that initial exploration of the world when I was new was one of my best WoW experiences.


If I go with just subscription, do you think there is enough content for a new player to hold them up until Shadowlands comes out so I would just need to get Shadowlands and get BFA for free? (Its the same person who made the post, just switched characters accidentally)

There is 14 years worth of content to explore from level 1-110 as far as lore, quests, dungeons, and raids go. As well as Holidays, Micro Holidays, PvP, pet battles, and more for you to explore and discover.

Also as I mentioned, you’ll have access to the entirety of WoW classic (which is wow as it was in 2006), if you chose to dabble there. Keep in mind however that Classic is counted as an entirely separate game and will not contribute to your progression in the modern equivalent.

The problem you’ll run into is if you want to do actual Legion end game content. Mythic+ dungeons and raids will be barren wastelands as far as groups go. However, regular dungeons will be populated due to people leveling through the areas.

It’s possible you’ll find some raid groups if you search the group finder long enough, but for the most part, 99% of the player base is playing in BFA content at the moment.

To directly answer your question with an indirect answer, if you’re into lore and exploration, then the answer is a tenative but strong “yes”. But that being said we don’t have an actual release date for Shadowlands yet. All we know at this point is “On or before December 31st, 2020.” I suspect it will be somewhere in the late Q3 to early Q4 time frame though.

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I’d test the waters in a limited way.

Subscribe. Level a few characters to 110. Azeroth is huge, immersive, and a little addictive. Which should help gobble up some of this quarantine time. After you hit 110 and tool around a little, try a few different paths and see what you like.

Do you like farming old content? If so, you can possibly make enough to support your sub through tokens. It’s hard and grindy work, but if you enjoy it and the side-benefits it can bring (like rare mounts/pets to encourage players to keep running said content), knock yourself out. You can pay for subs and even other expansions through earned gold.

Did you like leveling your character? You can fill a bunch more time by leveling up alts. You’ll hit some limits on what was max level content for Legion (since everybody is on to BFA for now), but you can still enjoy that for what it is.

Are you super into your character and want to keep going? By all means shell out for BFA by that point, to catch up to where everybody else is.

Basically there are like a gajillion ways to play WoW. Instead of trying to make plans ahead of time, poke around and find the ones that work for you. Then you can decide how much you want to invest in other areas to make those options work best.

Regarding getting time via purchasing tokens. Tokens are averaging about 134k gold for a month. That’s a lot of gold. It generally takes multiple max level characters or getting really lucky with prized transmog drops to make that much in a month. Most players don’t make enough to support buying a token monthly. If you really want to do that grind, good for you. But it is a grind. You’ll have to weigh what your time is worth and if that is worth more than $15 a month (or $12 a month if you buy a year at a time). If it takes you 30 hours a month to get enough gold for a token, you’re valuing your time at about $0.50 an hour.

My recommendation would be to get a subscription, level up to 110 on a character or two then decide if you want to pickup BFA at that point.


Just to weigh in on this part, I’ve never been a big fan of viewing any aspect of entertainment from this perspective. To me, the value of your escape from the every day grind has to be measured on merits of entertainment. Otherwise it’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing your time as a negative value when you could otherwise just be making more money… if that makes sense.

To be clear I’m not saying you’re wrong to view it that way, everyone’s perspective is their own and it’s good to see things from all angles. I do agree with your sentiment though, just from an entertainment standpoint. :slight_smile:

Basically my point Vencance, building off of Chirona’s points, is don’t grind gold because you feel like you have to. Do it because you enjoy doing it. If you find you don’t enjoy the grind or learning to work the AH, then stick with the regular sub fee and do the things in game that do make you happy.

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To be less cynical about my point…grinding is not fun for me. It feels like a job, which is why I assign it a value. Things that I actually WANT to do, I don’t care, that’s for fun. If I wanted to play 30 hours a week leveling alts, doing transmog/achievement runs/raiding/RPing/whatever just for fun, awesome. Hell, I met my husband back in WotLK raiding Naxx. But grinding for gold and playing the auction house that heavily is not fun for me. Sometimes I do like just flying around herbing on my druid, but I’m not in it for huge gains. As soon as it starts to feel like work, nope, done. I’m cool paying my sub fee so I can do the things I want to do, not the things I need to do to make the gold to pay for a sub.


I get what you are saying, I personally enjoy grinding in games but I will definitely see if this grinding is entertaining to me, but I get your point.