World of Warcraft invites lapsed players back with a 'Welcome Back Weekend'

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You may have thought you were out, but World of Warcraft is ready to pull you back in with a Welcome Back Weekend. That's a catchy way of saying that lapsed players can jump back into the Azeroth action with full access and accounts upgraded to Warlords of Draenor or, if it's newer, your most recently-purchased expansion. 

The WoWWBW is good until June 24, and you can play as much as you want, to as high a level as you want. (The free World of Warcraft Starter Edition caps players at level 20—that's where to go if you're new to the game.) During that time, Blizzard is also offering 25 percent off a number of game services, including character transfers, and race, appearance, and faction changes. 

As for why Blizzard has chosen to do this solid for its former players at this particular time, my guess is that it's related to the forthcoming launch of the next WoW expansion, Battle for Azeroth, which picks up the action following the defeat of the Burning Legion. You will no doubt be shocked—shocked!—to hear that their defeat did not bring about a new era of peace and harmony between the Alliance and the Horde. It's now just a couple of months away, set to come out on August 14. 

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.