I primarily use a Mac without a optical drive. I found a good offer for the physical retail copy and I would like to buy this copy. Will it allow me to download the game since I can’t use the physical copy with my Mac?
Apologies if it seems daft, I don’t often buy physical copies of games for Mac/PC.
When you buy a “physical” copy of a Blizzard game, you will still register it with your Battle.net account with a CD key and this will allow you to download the game via the Battle.net. In the instance of World of Warcraft, you’re still going to be downloading updates that have occurred since the discs were made after installing from a physical copy anyway. A Battle.net account is required for all recent Blizzard games (basically everything except for their legacy games) although many of their legacy games can now be registered on Battle.net and downloaded.
With “physical” copies of SteamWorks games, installing and registering with Steam is required anyway in order to install the game. This will allow you to download the game through Steam.
In addition to SteamWorks games, there is also a list of non-SteamWorks titles which you can buy as physical copies and then activate the CD key via Steam. A full list of applicable games can be found here, on Steam’s knowledgebase.
Other titles will not necessarily require Steam or similar, nor provide a way to add these purchases to these services.