$20 gets you the game and ALL the expansions.
If you want to start out on World of Warcraft now, in 2014, it can get a bit daunting and overwhelming, not to mention the costs can cascade and escalate. Consider this- to play World of Warcraft today, you need to be (or ideally should be) on the latest expansion. But each new expansion needs the previous one to run. Considering that there have been four expansions- The Burning Crusades, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, and Mists of Pandaria (with a fifth one coming up!), and that they all cost additional money, in addition to the money you pay to buy the game, plus the subscription fee… see what I am saying?
Well, Blizzard obviously wants you to play the game, and they are going to help out. If you are a new World of Warcraft player, you can get the vanilla game and all its expansions up to Mists of Pandaria for just $20. Yep, that’s right, pay $20, and you’re good to play World of Warcraft (subscription fees aside). That’s a good deal, and you can avail it right now on Battle.net.
But what if you already are a player? Well then, you get upgraded to Mists of Pandaria for free. No money. This is in addition to the free Iron Tide content update that they just released in the lead up to the release of Warlords of Draenor, a new expansion for the game that launches in November.
This is a turnaround for Blizzard from their earlier strategy, where they largely refused to budge on the required payments. Still, with the failure of Titan to even materialize, and the MMO market moving to a largely F2P environment, it makes sense why Blizzard would want to do all that it can to keep World of Warcraft relevant for as long as possible.