Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Recruit-A-Friend Revisited

Once upon a time I posted a short rant about Recruit-A-Friend. I was mostly in a bad mood that day, and it showed. However, now that I've actually participated in the Recruit-A-Friend program, I'm a bit more qualified to report upon the pros and cons of the program.

Shall we get started?

Ding! Ding! Dingdingdingding...
You gain triple experience from both mobs and quests. This causes levels to speed by, and you can have a level 60 in a couple days with little effort (level 60 is when triple experience ends). A red quest for SM can give around 17550 experience, catapulting a level 31 to level 32. Stocks runs can give two or three levels, both from mob experience and quest turn-ins, even when the run is lead by a level 70.

The great advantage of the triple experience requires that you be grouped with the linked account and be within a certain level range. This encourages group play. Besides enabling the buddy system on a PvP server (where you're less likely to be ganked unless they're ridiculously higher level than you), it also means less downtime in the form of looking for members for a group quest or dangers of high-level mobs catching you unawares. If you pick classes that compliment each other, you gain a lot of experience and can adapt to many different situations. Also, you can get higher level quests done at a lower level, increasing the xp gain you receive from turning them in.

New Class, No Hassle
If you've always wanted to play X class but never had time to seriously level an alt, the triple experience smooths the way for you. Even if you simply need an alt at high level so you can get them max rank of a beneficial profession, such as alchemy or inscription, that you just don't have room for on your main, this is an effective means of gaining it. As well, you can try out a role you've never filled before, such as tanking instead of healing or DPS.

Penniless and Friendless
If your friend is using an account, likely they have no money. Triple experience gains speed you through questing areas and levels like no other, but what comes with levels? Skills and spells that need to be trained. Training costs progressively more and more money, but you're not doing enough quests to make that money. Therefore, it's an intense monetary burden upon the person who recruited the friend to supply money for both rapidly-levelling characters so that they can train and improve. In addition, since less quests are needed for levelling, reputation gains falter behind. If you want a certain class and race but want another race's mount, this is a detriment.

That Look is SO Last Month
You're doing less quests, making less money, and blowing through zones. At some point, you're going to notice your greens from VC and WC just aren't cutting it, and you haven't been picking much up along the way. You're stuck; do you keep going as you have, do you rope a 70 into some instance runs, do you grab a group and hope what you want drops and no one else needs it, or do you buy yourself some equivalent level greens which you also may/may not outstrip in just a few hours? It's a difficult question.

What Does This Button Do?
When in a group, mobs often die fairly quickly, before you're even through a full rotation. Group settings against squishy mobs often favor burst damage moves rather than a damage-over-time or a debuff setup. You can settle into a pattern of what works and works quickly, especially if you notice your partner is killing the mob before your DoT gets two ticks. You're training skills, but you're never using them. Some don't get bound or even read. I cannot speak personally for everyone who uses this levelling system, but my lock is at level 32/33 at the moment, and I only have a basic grasp of how to play her. I do not know what all my buttons are for or how to use them in a real rotation. I barely even know how to spec, because if I take too long to make a decision, the points pile up. Though my partner does not have the same difficulty (he's played a paladin before), I'm looking at all the different curses and have only the barest grasp of what works in what situations.


There are pros and cons to every system, as is evident. Of course, there are the bonuses of the free month and the Zhevra Mount, and it's all going to amount to personal choice. I'm going to feel incredibly noob on my lock and every other character levelled this way for a while, but hopefully I can figure it out.

All comments and additions to the list welcome.

Also, opinions: are there any races that actually look good on the Zhevra?


Darksentinel said...

One thing I was curious was weapon/defense skills.
When I leveled as Feral I know that my defense skill was always about 5-10 lower than where it should have been, and thus might have caused some needless deaths.
So if you're leveling really fast (especially with 70-assisted instance runs, which I know a lot of people are doing) those stats would appear to be sadly lacking when you hit Outlands.

Also I feel people won't get the most out of their classes. E.g. you mentioned your lock, one of my favourite things on a lock is juggling 3 dots (corrption, COA and siphon life) on multiple mobs, and using fear, drain life and pet tanking to stay alive (and it gets really fun when there's adds), which might not be something you can really experience (or learn how to do) when grouped.

End of the day though, the game is about having fun. And I do wish my shaman was 15 levels higher so I could have fun with Windfury =D

Anonymous said...

I too am taking advantage of this. By the end I will probably have a new pally, warrior, and rogue. The rogue was only leveled up to 34, and I will "Grant" him the rest of the way up to level 59. I will have pretty much zero knowledge on how to play all three of these toons when I hit outlands. BUT, outlands greens fall like rain, so I'll be geared up quick even if I am soloing. Another thing to remember is this close to the expansion, we are all soon to be leveling again. All of us getting new spells, and changes to the fundamentals of the game. If you have an experienced lvl 70, you will have 10 levels in order to learn the new ways. If you have a brand new level 60, you have 20 levels to learn it. And that XP is at the regular pace.

Anonymous said...

I basically agree with copey, but wanted to make the point that experience isn't near as valuable as it used to be. I loved my 0/21/40 Shadow lock and they killed that on Tues. So whether u have 0 or 1 year experience with a lock, you are now forced to find some spec, rotation, style that is the least unpleasant to play. Might as well take the 300% xp.


Unknown said...

There's so much you can't learn until max level as well. 41 and now 51pt talents can completely change the way you need to play.

Levelling never teaches healing, tanking or threat management (unless you instance a LOT). What it does teach you is probably better learnt doing a little PvP.

Really the last 10 levels should be plenty to get the hang of it, total newbies will have a bit of a rough ride then but better that than such a long slog through old content.

Harl said...

nice pro/con list. we agree with you on the "what does this button do?" thing, but then again if you're always leveling as part of a group it doesn't really matter. come outlands, a quick glance over one of the many theorycrafting sites out there (or a chat with a friendly 70) and a bit of practice will likely set you on the right path.

@madcow, that's a great point to raise. weapon and defense skill always seems to lag behind when you level fast - even without triple XP. a quick solo trip through deadmines or some other lowbie instance can go a long way towards fixing the weapon skill side of things, though. just be sure to bring a fast weapon with you.

Jive said...

My Draenei female looks pretty awesome on her Zhevra! Caster, so there's robes.

Fab said...

Actually im playin with the recruit a friend program with a friend of mine that also plays wow, and under 1 week played (2 or 3 hours per day) our chars are now level 60 and since i send the recruit i have anocher char level 30 for free, we are starting another char today and maybe another one next week, but what u say is completely true, no money, gear lvl 14 at level 50 from vc, at least i know how to play the class, but i skipped too many zones, i actually only did quests for instances, vc, stocks, sm, zf, sunken temple, brd, scholomance.
Nice posting :D

Anonymous said...

As a lover of professions, the one thing that bothers me most about the insanely fast RAF leveling is that my profs have been neglected. I know I'm going to have to go back at 70 and power level them.

Also, my sister (the person I recruited) is going to be in for a shock when she hits 60 and loses the triple experience. She's used to leveling three times a day...I'm sure three times a week is going to feel soooo slow for her.

I've leveled several different toons, so this easy coasting with RAF is very nice. But when your first character gets such an easy ride, you miss out on learning basics of the game and will likely have a hell of a time trying to level your first alt without the triple experience.

As a random side note, you killed me and my sis in Arathi the other day. Came up to us and did the boomkin boom knock back thing, whatever that was. I had never seen it before...thanks for showing me! ;)

Bell said...

I did? OMG. You were probably BElves. I tend to stop and kill BElves. *shifty look*

Actually, I think I remember you. That's called Typhoon. It's my new toy. :D Glad to see you took it all in good fun, too.

Anonymous said...

Haha, guilty as charged. We are indeed Blood Elves. The Typhoon was totally unexpected and rather amusing...if I'm gonna die, that's a great way to be killed!

Unknown said...

I'm using RAF as well and its about to expire soon ... I dunno If I can suck it up to level 3 toons to lvl 30 so I can grant each of them to 60.

Like darkironhordie's concern. My wife is also worried she won't know how to fully utilize all the classes that we leveled up. I assured her 20 levels is more than enough for her. And for the time to level a toon w/o triple xp ... well I left that out haha.

Anonymous said...

A good write-up! This will be helpful in getting in the mindset for my RaF adventure :)