Blizzard has tweaked the charging structure for World of Warcraft, meaning there are effectively no upfront fees to start playing the long-running MMO. Users were formerly required to purchase a Battle Chest for a flat, upfront fee in order to start the game, with this charge excluding ongoing monthly subscription prices.
But that's apparently a thing of the past. Battle Chests are no longer available on Battle.net, and the revised subscription page advises that users are now able to jump straight in with only their monthly fees to worry about.
"Get access to World of Warcraft and every expansion through Legion with your subscription—no additional purchase required. Begin your journey today and play up to level 110 through six expansions of adventure!"
In other words, you'll still have to pay for the forthcoming Battle of Azeroth expansion if you want to play it. But if you don't, you'll get access to all expansions for the monthly fee.
In the past, Blizzard has made previous expansions free upon the release of its newest one, so it likely won't make much difference to longterm players. But if you're yet to jump into the MMO, it's never been cheaper or bigger than it is now.
As for Battle of Azeroth, that launches on August 14. The pre-patch is now live, and Steven outlines all the changes it will usher in over here.