One of my friends is considering playing this game. She may buy it from Amazon but it won't arrive before after this weekend when we plan on playing...can she play this weekend before the hard copy arrives or does she have to buy a digital version as well? Her connection is not super fast so she cannot sit through a 12 gig download. :)
I don't think there's any way she can avoid a big download. I'm sure the physical disks contain very little other than the downloader software itself. Not to mention all the patches that have come since release that can't possibly be on the CD.
Unless she can find a friend with higher speed internet that she can get her computer to, she will probably have to wait regardless.
I managed WoW over dialup for a couple of years, and I survived. :)
I would think she would need they key off the box to register her account. Unless Amazon emails the product key when ordering. If that is the case, I should think the box is totally unnecessary. Since I bought a digital copy direct from ANet, I'm hardly the expert.
if your friend lives close, you can just copy your version of the game, and install it on her computer, than she can buy the key code to make her own charater. I run the game on a desk top and lap top, and i just copied it to a usb drive and just drag it over to the right place. Didn't have any problems. Just don't save your name and password before copying it, doubt it would matter though, and after which she will have all the updates you already have, so no long downloads