Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

filed under Roleplay
comment 6 Written by on August 13, 2008 – 10:31 am

fordringwants2 So I read two posts today about the new Recruit-a-Friend thing that I found quite interesting.  Both Dechion and Bellwether have interesting takes on some of the weaknesses of this new program.  (Apologies in advance if this is a bit wall-of-text-ish.)

For old players?  The seasoned veterans who’ve done it all before, have a couple of level capped characters and are using the new system either as an intro to multi-boxing or a way to finally level up that rogue alt that they’d left in the dust?  It’s fantastic.  I have *no* problems with it for those people, and I think that it’s a fantastic way to give people more options when leveling and reduce the “grind” of doing it all again and again with alts.

Anyone that needs to reroll for class balance in a raid is in the best position to do so right now, and can even donate some spiffy extra levels to another alt they might have bumming around.  It’s a fantastic system for existing endgame players.

(I realize that MY love of playing the same zones over and over again with different characters is unusual.  I love leveling.  But not everyone does, and that’s perfectly fine with me.)

The problem for me is what this implies for actual new players.  Triple XP sounds great, until you read the stories about people who are reaching level 60 in record times.  But,  you say, getting to 60 faster is *great!*  Well, maybe for some.  Making leveling fun isn’t about making leveling faster – and making leveling faster only emphasizes the fact that leveling isn’t fun, and that end game is “where the fun is” – which I don’t think is necessarily the case.

But what about all the new players who use this system to speed through Azeroth so fast that everything is a blur?  They’re now level 60 and have never played in a group bigger than two.  They’ve never been in an instance.  They’ve never learned how their class functions outside of the quest/leveling blur, they complained of never finding a group.  Sure that was a problem before the new friend-XP business, but I can’t see how it will make that better, only worse.

Are you really going to group up and do Scarlet Monastery at level 35 if you can get to level 40 in two hours (the time it’d take to clear out the place) and not have to worry about it anyway?

Of course not.

Adding in the bonus friend-XP is going to create a lot of 2 man, insulated groups that don’t bother interacting with other groups.  Nobody wants to run early instances when they’ll outlevel the gear in less time than it takes to run it – why bother with the leveling process at all?

Plus, leveling a second, solo character becomes painfully slow and more likely to cause a player to drop out after having the speed of the XP boost, especially if their newly, freshly minted 60 has to grind through outland (with its increased XP) and then finds out that their friend (who is level 70 and raiding) has no time to go and run shadow labyrinth, and his guild has no interest in bringing an undergeared character on Karazhan badge runs because he doesn’t have a clue how to play – leaving him to grind rep and daily quests by himself.

Frustrating, yes?

And then, what remains of Azeroth?  What remains of the depth of world, the story lines, the good guys and bad guys that you learned about by doing quests?  Without a foundation, Northrend becomes just another XP grind and search for newer and shinier loot that will get replaced in the next expansion with another grind anyway.

You effectively get rid of game “depth” in an attempt to speed up new players getting to the “height” of the game.

Speeding through Azeroth in small, isolated groups in favor of newer content isn’t going to make the game a friendly, welcoming place for new players.  People that want depth of content will go elsewhere, and Warcraft will become even more top-heavy than it already is.   Its hard enough to find your place in established roleplaying communities, but glossing over what – for a new player – is the first source of lore that people can dig into doesn’t seem prudent.  I got started roleplaying because I wanted to know more about the quests I was doing.  Take away 2/3 to 3/4 of the quests and then what?

The new bonus friend XP is Blizzards (questionably effective) way of “patching over” the problem of new players feeling like they’ll never catch up to their friends and never find groups – because, apparently, the end game is the only thing that matters.

Without the beginning game, what do you build the end game on?

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6 Responses to “Recruitment”

  1. Players are already blasting through Azeroth. Leveling guides for optimizing your time are frequently used. Finding groups for *any* instance in Azeroth is virtually impossible (one could say the same thing about Outland instances for levels below seventy). Raiding guilds seldom run or rerun old raid zones. Some players in my guild have tried several times to run AQ40 (which my guild never saw) and there’s almost no interest.

    People respond to incentives. It seems obvious that having the best loot is the primary incentive for many players. Let’s do a thought experiment, remove the epics from end-game instances and see how many players do the end-game.

    If your primary motivation is gear and not role-playing or lore, then clearing SFK only has value if it going to speed up the leveling process.

    I’m clueless as to how Blizzard could redesign the game to provide another motivation other than loot or gear. Until then, racing through Azeroth and the Outlands will just be part of the process.

    By kevin on Aug 13, 2008 | Reply
  2. Whilst I agree with your post in principal, bear in mind that it is all OPTIONAL.

    You only get the xp boost if levelling a character with the new player, the free levels to your alts as they levels means YOU dont have to do the old world content again – they still need to at least see a good percentage of it.

    On another note – I have a 48 priest I have been working on, and I find that the majority of my XP comes in waves from:

    a) Quest looping new zones
    b) Ploughing through the massess of quests for instance runs.

    I went down Uldaman twice. Once at about 34, and again at 40 – first time I got 5 quests done, second time, 7 – both times I dinged in the instance, and dinged from quests. A run isnt too long – it is feasible with enough quests you will ding twice in the instance and a couple of times from cashing in quests because of the quest reward – this is a lot faster than kill-grinding, and also – your kill and quest xp gains may be triple – but you still have to do the travelling involved for quests, or going to new quest areas, so the whole thing is not a literal translation of 3x levelling speed, maybe closer to a 50% boost (about the same as patch 3.2? where they boosted xp gains and lowered level req’s)

    Apologies for the wall of text back at ya 😉 Just having a brain flush on the subject and your topic is very thorough and well thought out, these points only came to mind as I typed… :p


  3. The argument that leveling too fast prevents you from learning how to group, etc is a false one.

    The simple fact is the way classes play as you level up is so drastically different from early levels to level cap that you have to re-learn. So whether you started playing your character at 1, 20, 50, 70 it does not matter…you can learn enough to be competent in a trivial amount of time.

    By David on Aug 14, 2008 | Reply
  4. Our guild was in need of a Mage so my wife and I opened a 3rd account using the RAF. She wanted the mount and an Elemental Shaman and I wanted a Mage to fill our raid gap. We reached 61 in about 4 real-time days which was quick and painless BUT we were broke. I sent myself 150g to start off with and reached 61 with 155g. At first I couldn’t afford to even train my spells because we were blowing through levels in 2 or 3 quests which don’t even pay enough to learn Fireblast.

    I think this is going to pose a HUGE problem to new players unless their friend that recruited them gives them a nice chuck of gold to get started. Without having a few other 70’s and being financially stable, there is NO way I could have afforded training or my epic mount in any way, shape or form.

    My wife is also feeling the burden because I used the free levels to boost her Druid from 13 to 43 so she’s still wearing level 13 gear. I’ll either have to run her through instances or she’ll have to drop down a hefty chunk of change for gear in the AH.. not to mention having to train everything from 13+ AND buy her mount.

    I guess the moral of the story is that if you plan on doing this for yourself, be prepared to drop a decent amount of gold on it it.

    Oh, and don’t be dissapointed like we were when you hit 60 and realize the triple XP bonus stops there. Boo hiss.

  5. I think you are missing the point of this program. It isn’t Blizzard’s intention to get people to 70 fast. It is giving a reason for you to pull new people into the game so they can make money. It is a money thing.

    By Tensas on Aug 16, 2008 | Reply

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