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Blizzard Beefs up World of Warcraft's Recruit-a-Friend

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-can-quit-anytime-honest dept.

Role Playing (Games) 165

It appears that Blizzard has beefed up their World of Warcraft recruit-a-friend program rather substantially. There have been rumors that this was coming for a while now, but the details are still a little surprising. Benefits include triple experience, being able to summon your friend from anywhere in the world, free levels, free gametime, and even a free mount if your friend signs up for a two-month subscription. All of these are subject to several quid pro quos, but it looks like Blizzard is really trying to ramp up their player base for the expansion.

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165 comments

Multi-boxing (5, Interesting)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497453)

You know, honestly, I wanted to multi-box WoW (ie: play as two or more characters at once). And this is just the thing I needed to actually have an incentive to start doing so.

Re:Multi-boxing (1)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497537)

Dang, I could probably barely handle one av at a time. So what's your main motivation for multi-boxing? (And don't answer simply, "for fun" "more to play with". What makes multi-boxing fun?)

Re:Multi-boxing (5, Informative)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497749)

What makes multi-boxing fun?

Characters were designed to solo reasonably well, even healing classes. But in a group, you can often gain xp slightly more than twice as fast. With the group bonus, that means it'll be break-even at a minimum, so that encourages grouping.

However, when all the characters in the group are your own, you get ALL the xp. And with triple xp, plus the ability to actually PROMOTE your buddy an entire level, it's just a race to 70... it might be faster to multi-box outside of a party just to promote that last level or two.

The record to 60 was around 22 hours, and 26(?) hours from 60 to 70 (using an exploit where people would leave an instance to grant the remaing people full xp for mobs that were almost dead). I easily see people hitting 70 (with two characters at a time) in under 24 hours.

Re:Multi-boxing (1)

SBacks (1286786) | more than 5 years ago | (#24499005)

The exploit you refer to requires 2 people coordinating efforts to level up a 3rd person.

I fail to see how dual-boxing would give you any advantage over 3 people all on their own comps working together.

Re:Multi-boxing (4, Informative)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 5 years ago | (#24499747)

Three fire mages, all heavy-specced into fire. Pyroblast kills any enemy, the moment they're pulled. Take 4 and a priest, and just macro all 4 of the mages to a few keys, with the priest being directly controlled, and you've got a hard to beat army.

Also, 5 shaman with all their totems out can kill anyone if they work together. It won't win high-end tournaments (because you're not "quite" as good as 5 highly skilled people) but having 5 characters that work perfectly in sync, and are built to complement eachother, are hard to beat.

Re:Multi-boxing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24501367)

And at the end of the day it requires atleast a decent amount of knowledge and experience to pull off this build.
I mean it's like having a group of all mages or clerics in Final Fantasy I, you vary your tactics if you want to survive.
Personally I think WoW is like most modern games in that you create your own experience. Multi-boxing takes a solo experience (while grouping creates a grouped mentality, you are still primarily concerned with only one character) and turns it into squad based experience. While multi-boxing you are completely concerned with every character, as if anyone dies then you have failed to some extent.
I will agree that some things become alot easier with this method, but then collection quests take forever.

On a side not to shoot myself in the foot, I played with a trial account with the refer bonus and managed to hit level 9 before I reached the second major quest hub in Durotar without having done any collect x parts quests.
That said, I know the quests and most classes very well as I've been playing for a number of years now. (first char was a Huntard who knew how to control aggro and what strafing was)

I still don't get it (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#24499921)

Maybe it's just me, but I still don't get the "race to level 70" mentality.

1. Essentially the levels 1 to 69 are the actual game content. (Well, ok, plus a couple of things you do at level 70.) That's the actual quests, story, exploration, etc, to be done.

After that, the game is over and you're essentially stuck into an endless tarpit of an endgame grind. There's nothing more to do that repeat the same few things over and over and over again, just to keep you busy until the next expansion pack is released. Not even particularly smart or diverse things. Some classes can get through months of it without pressing more than one button, or maybe two.

And whatever you get from it, is fully useless in the rest of the game, since everything else was designed to be done (and any non-instance stuff: soloed) by someone with green gear. So any "OMG, EPIC STUFF!" you get in a grind instance, isn't needed for anything except more grinding.

But at any rate, that's what happens after you played and finished the actual game. And it's not even much fun. And it makes a whole lot of people depressed and unhappy, who were perfectly content before getting stuck in it. (Just listen the drama in any raiding guild, and then you tell me if that sounds happy.)

Yet some people are apparently in a hurry to skip the actual game levels, only to get stuck in that endgame grind? And some are even willing to pay for it or risk banishment? (By buing Glider, multiple accounts, buying power-levelling from some Chinese guy, etc.) WTH? It's on par with paying someone to watch a movie for you, just so you can come back and watch the last battle in a loop, for a year. As I was saying: WTH?

So, yay, now they can compress the actual game to 24 hours. Heh.

2. The game is already fast to level, even when soloing and not being particularly good at it. You can (and God knows enough people do) get to level 70 without having every had to function in a group, or do your job in an instance. You see "healers" who never fully understood that they aren't mages. You see warriors who still think that their e-penis size depends on attacking a different mob from the rest of the group, to show how tough they are. You see hunters who still think that when the going gets tough, they're supposed to set the fucking pet on aggressive, I quote, "so it can protect the other members of the group too." Etc.

More importantly, you see people who haven't yet figured out how the game really works, and are still operating on wild mis-understandings or basing decisions on strategies on their own "what kind of things would make sense" fantasies, instead of how the game actually works. You see people who haven't yet figured out what all those icons do, and how to combine them.

I swear to god, one hunter still thought that he can walk backwards to keep a mob at a range and use his ranged attack, like with the ultra-slow mobs at levels 1 to 9. _There_ it works to take a step backwards and shoot the mob again before he reaches you. At level 70, it doesn't work. So the retard would run backwards through two extra groups, and actually be proud of his "footwork". The idea of disengaging, feigning death and letting the tank do his job (or not ending up needing that in the first place) never occured to him.

I used to even think that such people must have been power-levelled, but in the meantime I know a couple who got to level 70 fair and square, without learning anything.

Do we really need more of those, and worse at that? Someone getting to level 70 in 24 hours, probably hasn't even had the time to assimilate what all those icons do, or wth is happening around them. Assimilate it all for 2-3 character? Heh.

So ok, let's even believe that they're eager to get into the group action at the end. (Yeah, right. Most people who were swearing that grinding MC is the meat of the game, went back to soloing instantly after BC got launched.) Ok, let's believe that. What do they hope to bring to a group at that level? How do they expect to fit in the tactics of a group, when the only grouping they had was with their own bot in some solo zones?

3. The only good thing that comes to mind is that, at least, they're grouping with their own bot instead of ruining the experience for the rest of us. Some of the most unpleasant people I've been grouped with in various MMOs were those who were caught in a level race mentality, and nothing and nobody else mattered. They'll walk over their team mates dead bodies towards that goal, or some of them create pointless drama if your group doesn't beat some ridiculous par for XP and loot.

I wished at times that the whole category would crawl somewhere and die, but I guess having them out of the loop as they play with their own bots is good enough too.

4. Just to be... not nice, let me tell you what it looks like to me: penis size. Some people act as if their penis size depends on their character's level, at, say, 1 inch every 5 levels. So God forbid that they're even seen below level 40, and even then they must mention that they do have 100 level 70 chars. Don't think that he _really_ is a level 40, ok?

I think that that's the (square) root of all evil in MMOs. People who just can't (1) enjoy the game for what it is, and (2) admit it. They imagine that reaching level 70 is some kind of mystical achievement, or worse yet, that being seen at any level below 70 is some public admission of being a complete failure.

More people need to realize that the game is the road, not the destination. Levels and loot are just props and occasionally a gentle reminder of in which order you're supposed to do it.

Re:I still don't get it (5, Interesting)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 5 years ago | (#24500227)

Thats the norm for all MMOs it seems. View the actual game content that you are *supposed to be enjoying* as "grind", then get to the "end game" and whine there is nothing to do. I have seen this in many people in pretty much every MMO.

Its a power thing for people I think. They don't want to compete at anything less than a level field (or preferably one that favours them) and they don't want a challenge. Its perhaps a reflection of the instant-gratification nature of our society on one hand, and the competitive nature of our society on the other. I read an article recently that was saying that pretty much every aspect of North American society is viewed as a competition these days. We have somehow concluded that we are losers if we don't compete at everything and don't win at it as well.

At the same time few players are willing to admit they have anything to learn when it comes to playing MMOs as well - so they fail to learn from their experiences and fail to learn from others. As a result the often suck very badly when playing in groups. I am sure it seems even more apparent in WOW given the number of players present.

I enjoy playing the game to play the game - leveling up a character to max means simply that I am likely to stop playing that character. The "End game" content of most games seems to be grinding to engage in PvP - and quite frankly I have no desire to associate with the typical PvP oriented player. The vast majority are complete fuckwit assholes, and they occlude the decent and competitive PvPers I wouldn't mind playing with. People also take PvP competition far far too seriously I think. PvP was fun in its earliest incarnation in DAOC for instance, until they introduced Realm Points and Realm Point Skills and suddenly we weren't fighting the enemy because they were the enemy, we were fighting them so we could personally gain more power and abilities. That ruined RvR in DAOC in the long run.

Re:I still don't get it (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#24501095)

Have to agree.

My son's all into WSG and BG for the cool trinkets and up spec, but I regard that as ultra boring.

Give me the quests - although I hate the ones that are really 2-3 player but are supposed to be "solo".

But it would be nice to be able to multi-box if only for some of the more difficult quests, or to get a decent dungeon run-thru.

Re:I still don't get it (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24501707)

I find the end-game PvE content far more interesting than the levelling content, I've spent over 7 days game-time at 70 and will be spending many more, it's no longer a grind but actually fun.

Re:I still don't get it (4, Insightful)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#24500623)

Experiencing the content from 1-70 once is nice.

On the second run through, you can visit some areas and do some quests you haven't done before.

On the third time, you might still find a few areas you haven't played, but you'll be doing a lot of repeat content.

By the 4th time, you've done it all, you're just trying to hit 70 to do end-game content and gearing (pvp, arenas, dungeons).

The distribution of content and leveling speed is also that of a triangle or pyramid. At low levels, there's a lot of content.

Eg. on horde there are 4 unique starting areas, and another 4 unique starting areas for alliance.

For levels 10-20 there are 3 unique areas per faction (so 6 total, down from 8 for 0-10).

For 20-30 there are maybe 3 areas, but by now many aren't unique to a single faction, so maybe 4-5 total.

From 30-40 and onwards there are only 2-3 areas you can choose from, and before the recent leveling buff, you had to do all content in several of the areas to get to the next level bracket.

So on my 2nd character I leveled, all content from lvl 40+ had already been done by my first character. The only real benefit on subsequent characters is that you know the areas better and can complete quests a little faster.

The grind to 70 is so painfully slow that a lot of people prefer to only level up to 19, 29, 39, etc. and then 'twink' that character with the best gear and enchants. Characters in any X0-X9 bracket (eg. 10-19) can play PVP with only players in that same level bracket.

Re:I still don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24500921)

I agree totally. I have a 70 mage, all epic gear and I feel like I've been there, done that. Only thing I do now is PVP in battlegrounds because other players are the only thing that isn't predictable in the game right now.

The only other thing I do is level up alts just to learn different classes. The end game race has driven my nuts for awhile. It's a pointless rush. **EMPHASIS** They ought to make the lower levels more interesting /**EMPHASIS**. How about some new low level dungeons? Maybe some new, challenging lower level quests (not the usual kill X number of things or gather X number of widgets). Maybe I'm just weird, but The Deamdines is still one of my favorite dungeons. But they dumb those down too now, make them easier. How about epic mode low level dungeons?

Otherwise, why not just start all new players at 70? For that matter, promote all existing players to 70. I had fun leveling from 1-60 in the old days. What they need is new lower level content and maybe some new classes. End-game content? *yawn*

Re:I still don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24501017)

TBH once your working on your 3rd or 4th 70, doing the same old quests gets old as HELL. For 1st toons level racing is silly, but past that the more efficiently I can level the better

Re:I still don't get it (1)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 5 years ago | (#24501083)

I just wanted to say kudos on your comment; as a former MMO junkie, I used to be one of those level grinders. You're absolutely right, it's all about competitiveness and it never made me a bit happier.

I liken it to Basketball... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#24502155)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and disagree with you. Shocking, I know, but hear me out:

I see the whole shebang as something similar to when I played Basketball in High School. (Another shocker - yes, yes I know.)

The first 20-30 levels are like Basketball Camp. You're learning the fundamentals, mostly through solo drills and small scrimmages.

Levels 30-60 (and questing through 70) are like Basketball practice.

The sub-Heroic content is like intramural or pre-season play.

Karazhan and beyond are the regular season, and whatever the peak dungeon of the day is relates to the playoffs/championships/whatever.

This isn't about penis size, personal ego, or anything related to individual gain for me. I see it as a team effort, and my character-building time is spent towards providing something that can help the team achieve that 'cup'.

I guess you don't get it (2, Interesting)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 5 years ago | (#24502207)

You have it a little backwards. Good gear (epic loot) is a requirement to run the end game content. Getting the gear is a way to see the content. End game raids are another part of the road.
There is a gear progression required in order to be able to do the end game raids. I know some people like to wave their epeen about and look down on non-raiders but I believe those are in the minority. You may notice them because they are vocal.
I don't run end game raids for loot - if I get a nice item it's gear that will allow me to move to the later stage raids. I enjoy the end game raid battles because they are a lot of fun.
I enjoyed the leveling game as well and pvp for that matter. I have one level 70 and two level 62s. I can certainly understand why someone may want to rush to 70. The complete class talent builds and the gear that make them viable aren't available until you hit max level.
People enjoy different things about the game. Some prefer the questing and leveling game, some prefer pvp and some prefer instances and end game raiding.

Re:I still don't get it (1)

fi1th (1090847) | more than 5 years ago | (#24502397)

I don't get why you have to write an epic novel about a game that steals your soul, has low quality childish animations and is a rip of many MMO's. The only reason this game is so damned popular is the way Blizzard have marketed it in every country and with the lure of getting your buddy in for free game time.

Blizzard are to MMO's as Stalin was to communism

Re:Multi-boxing (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#24499961)

So, if they haven't boosted the XP from 60-70 at all (Triple XP stops at 60), and it took 26 (I find that very hard to believe, 72 seems like it would be tough to break) hours to go from 60-70, how will you hit 70 from 1 in 24 hours again?

Re:Multi-boxing (2, Informative)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#24500675)

Just FYI, they ARE boosting leveling speed from 60-70 when the expansion comes out.

Having grown up on Wizardry (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498545)

and a multitude of other CRPGs I simply was trying create that feeling again. Let alone the challenge required. It requires an very in depth knowledge of how the macro language works, addons, and how each class plays.

However I did find out quickly that balanced groups are far less efficient than optimized groups. One of the best sites dedicated to dual boxing is http://www.dual-boxing.com/forums/index.php?page=Portal [dual-boxing.com] You can also choose read articles about it on WOWWIKI starting with http://www.wowwiki.com/Dual_box [wowwiki.com] // disclaimer is that I wrote the bulk of those wowwiki articles.

The primary use I have for dual boxing now is that it makes annoying classes bearable when you always have backup. Just tow a high level healer out of group for timely heals and even warriors (no healing ability and very few if any escape possibilities) become simple to do.

Redundant Array of Shaman (4, Interesting)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#24500383)

I play in the Shadowburn battle group. Occasionally there's this redundant array of shaman that show up in the AV games (from a different server - I forget which). They always appear in the same 5-man group and have the same initial letters in their names. I've seen them wreck havok. Immediate heals on each other, concentrated firepower, occasional res on a fallen component. Totems times five adds to the effect. All component shaman are decked out in near identical PvP gear.

I've been able to tell which component shaman has the player behind it by two ways. First, when addressed, the player will occasionally give simple responces in BG chat. Secondly, when moving, the player-controlled character will be out front followed by a group of 4 that move on top of each other.

I would imagine setting up a 5-box group like this would be kind of interesting from a technical angle. However, after watching this redundant array of shaman in action, I'm convinced the reward is being a considerable force on the battlefield.

Re:Redundant Array of Shaman (3, Interesting)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#24501957)

I remember seeing this guy.. wish I could remember his name. During the winter "super snow ball" season I hit his lead toon with a snowball off the AV bridge near the Alliance base... then laughed my ass off as the other 4 all walked off the bridge to their death. I didn't know what really happened until a guild mate explained it to me.

Re:Redundant Array of Shaman (1)

Nathanbp (599369) | more than 5 years ago | (#24502255)

I faced a similar team in the Arena on my mage and killed them at once with area effects.

Re:Multi-boxing (2, Interesting)

aikouka (932902) | more than 5 years ago | (#24500539)

I enjoy playing more than one character at a time in WoW. I don't do same class setups and I control everything manually, so it's a bit different than you've seen in those quad-boxing elemental shaman videos. It's also all done on the same PC with dual monitors. I have three high-level pairs right now... enhancement shaman + fire mage, protection paladin + affliction warlock and arms warrior + holy priest.

The idea of the shaman+mage combo is that they're two DPS trying to kill the mob as fast as possible, but what makes it nice is that enhancement shamans tend to have lulls in their DPS as they're very bursty with Windfury and crits. The mage helps make up for these bursts by simply throwing a couple spells into the mix. It's rarely anything more than maybe a scorch or two and if necessary, fire blast. Usually the shaman is good enough to get the mob down very far in the first few seconds.

The priest+warrior was started because of how much I disliked leveling my warrior to 60 in the early days of WoW. It's honestly not very fast unless I fight more than one thing at a time (go go sweeping strikes!) in which this combo simply can last quite a long time. So essentially, if I want to maximize time on this combo, I need to literally be fighting 4+ mobs at a time. Also, a priest helps negate one factor that hurts a warrior... the time between fights (which affects your left over rage).

The paladin+warlock was more or less setup to assist both characters. One could easily use a Voidwalker as a warlock or simply chain-fear a mob until it dies, but at times, this can be more mana intensive and the voidwalker isn't necessarily the best at holding aggro and is limited against multiple mobs. The Paladin is more like a second pet for my Warlock... an enhanced Void Walker in a sense. The real benefit is for my Paladin as the warlock definitely provides DPS which is what the protadin lacks.

Only negative aspect I can say about this is sometimes you simply don't learn everything about your class. Sometimes it's figuring out how to beat a difficult situation that shows the possible amazing abilities that your class has that may not be exactly obvious.

First hit is free... (4, Funny)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497505)

Second one is gonna cost ya.

Come on, all the cool kids are doing it...

Re:First hit is free... (5, Funny)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497611)

No! Friends don't let friends do WoW.

Re:First hit is free... (-1, Flamebait)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498323)

Indeed. WoW sucks. Play EvE.

Re:First hit is free... (1, Insightful)

Poltras (680608) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498591)

Indeed. EvE sucks. Play Everquest (the first one).

Re:First hit is free... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24499605)

EQ sucks. Play Ultima Online (but first get a time machine that will take you back eight years or so).

Re:First hit is free... (3, Interesting)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498951)

Tried EvE. It just got old after awhile because I had to use it more and more just to get high. Also, since their product was more complicated to use, EvE-fiends were pretty elitist and thought they were special and more intelligent than WoW-whores. I just had to quit.

So yeah, maybe it's good to hook a friend up with EvE. They are more likely to get out of the MMO scene before their addiction destroys their lives.

Re:First hit is free... (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#24500739)

WOW is very addictive. It's also very fun, but the farther you get into the game, the more of the experience is targeted at wasting your time and keeping you in-game. There are quite a few things in there that are total pointless time-sinks.

So while I'm playing (quit once, but started back up) I don't really recommend people start it, especially if you know you're the type to get addicted. Last time I quit, it was because I realized I was spending every night in Raids ignoring my wife.

This time around I've had to make a conscious effort to avoid in-game 'commitments', and have done an OK job at keeping it casual. The game *helps* in this by running out of things to do at lvl 70 if you don't join a guild and do weekly Raids :)

Re:First hit is free... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24500945)

Last time I quit, it was because I realized I was spending every night in Raids ignoring my wife.

Don't worry. She was being...taken care of.

Wishing... (5, Funny)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497535)

I just quit WoW like a month or so back. This almost makes me wish I had friends. Now I play the game of life! It sucks. Leveling is a huge grind, I'm sure there's a lot of people twinking out there, and don't get me started on the lewt and gear... One friggen blue short sleeved button up shirt I can buy at any store in the world, and it dropped off some dude I managed to down in a bar fight. He conned orange, so it was risky, and all I got was a damned blue shirt.

Least the mounts aren't so bad.

Re:Wishing... (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497645)

Unless they changed the qualification process recently, you'd have to have been gone another two months, and not have been successfully invited back in the past. They hide that last bit in the finer print, and don't explain it anywhere on the error page that non-eligible reinvite attempts throw.

Re:Wishing... (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498831)

So what you're saying is that some one would have had to re-invite him first, waited two months, and then got him to re sign up? Sounds like a lot of hoo-ha for a mount... wait. I remember that grind for cash and what not. That sucked! Not that I'd rejoin the Alliance or the Horde again, it's been almost a year and I don't really miss it.

I may pick it up again next summer when I move away from my family. The only reason I joined was to hang out with my brother over Ventrillo, who lived 800 miles away.

Re:Wishing... (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498071)

The one "mount" WoW is obviously missing, the opposite sex! (or same sex, whichever way you go) Though once you've gotten your elite mount for your level 70 character, vagina (or asshole) will never be enough to satisfy your need for leveling with people you'll never actually meet in real life.

*nawcom has only taken his character to level 58, then quit. Why? there were some events that "orally" distracted me for the moment; and it was more of a wake-up call than anything, that the real world is much much better than WoW.*

Re:Wishing... (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 5 years ago | (#24501057)

I'm sure there's a lot of people twinking out there

If Parish Hilton were twinked out any harder she'd pop.

-

Um... (2, Insightful)

Zekasu (1059298) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497605)

I'm sorry, but is this really that big of a piece of news?

A few of the features mentioned in the article, like the free game time, have been there for quite some time already.

Re:Um... (3, Insightful)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498819)

What's interesting is that this was announced around the same time EA Mythic announces their Warhammer Online launch [warhammeronline.com] . Also, reports of their open beta progrem is set to begin August 15.

I think what's going on here is that Acti-lizzard is trying to cork up any potential bleeding that they see in the coming months by grabbing as many remaining players that haven't started an MMO as they can before there is an exodus to Warhammer Online. With the November-December holiday shopping time-frame approaching, they want to make sure they not only retain the top spot, but also have the other MMOs buried to obscurity.

Re:Um... (2, Interesting)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#24500799)

It's pretty big news depending on how you look at it. Some feel that this is Blizzard giving a big middle finger to their loyal players who have been recruiting friends for 4 years, by now giving only newbies a 3X leveling bonus.

Others have pointed out that the result of this is Blizzard making players PAY to level faster. For instance I've got friends who already play WOW, but we can't play together because they're on another server, and on the opposite faction (so can't server transfer).

If they want to reroll and play with me, Blizzard is now making them choose between:

A) Playing on the same account, with normal (slow) leveling speed.

B) Buy a second copy of the game for $30, plus another $15 a month, to be able to level 3 times as fast.

Considering the amount of time it takes to level, B is a really attractive offer, especially if you have a limited amount of time on your hands.

What WoW really needs... (2, Funny)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497625)

...is a butt-load more players. They're hurting. Please help WoW out. Recruit the one friend you know who hasn't played this game yet.

Re:What WoW really needs... (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498291)

basically those who have played are getting tired of the same game over and over. I have achieved all my Roll Playing that I wanted and as of the 15th of this month, I will be exiting the game. I know they are adding many many features, but these features are bogging down the game and imho a little much for some gamers. But if you look at it, you will be able to RP your own style and experience it the way you want. Kinda like life.

Re:What WoW really needs... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 5 years ago | (#24499553)

I hear ya.

I am trying to switch to horde as my alliance players are already 70 and pvp sucks now for alliance with the little kids playing with them.

I am hoping it will be more exciting to see new things on the other faction but I am just doing it to kill time until Wrath of the lich king. I was disapointed when I found out that Blizzard only raised the cap to 80. People will go to 80 and now what? They should have made it to 100 and made Northrend as big as the Eastern Kingdoms.

I dunno as I do not know how big Northrend is but I am guessing its only as big as the outlands which took me a month to see it all.

I think a new rp game based on Starcraft is needed. Something new and different

Oh come on! (4, Funny)

ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497667)

Haven't enough noobs died in this senseless war...Why can't there be peace between the Orcs and Humans? Someone needs to establish a UN in Azeroth. That should help.

Re:Oh come on! (1)

loafula (1080631) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498593)

Check your history books. The UN was disbanded in February of this year. They are now known as The Mystic Angels of Death (at least in Nazjatar)

Re:Oh come on! (1)

Captain Segfault (686912) | more than 5 years ago | (#24499409)

If it weren't for the moneyed special interests such as the stormpike guard bribing adventurers to participate in their petty land grabs, there probably would be peace between the orcs and the humans.

Hmmmm (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497681)

This means that the zebra, which is one of the prizes for doing this, will become an anti-status symbol, because it will signal that its rider has levelled using triple-experience.

This also means that WoW is behaving more like real life. In real life, time is money, and so we permit moneyed people to spend their money in order to save time. WoW has so far resisted such an arrangement, because non-moneyed people screech so loud when it happens... but now that is changing.

It's not direct yet; you can't yet spend $x to start out at level y... but this refer-a-friend thing is a giant leap in that direction (ala triple experience).

Re:Hmmmm (1)

Joeyspecial (740731) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497845)

You can send the Zebra to any character, so most people would send it to their main, which likely did not level with triple xp.

Re:Hmmmm (3, Funny)

tulmad (25666) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497935)

Yes, because paying 5000g for that faster flying mount that essentially cuts down on the wasted travel time in the game doesn't equal "permitting moneyed people to spend their money in order to save time".

Re:Hmmmm (2, Informative)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498187)

The 1-60 game is essentially dead already, barring arena twinks. They've already amplified the amount of XP you get from 20-60, and drastically increased the amount of faction points you get per kill/turn in/blowjob for pre-BC factions so that people can get their trinkets and crap before rushing off to the Dark Portal. Even Death Knights are starting off at some ridiculously high level.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

DeadManCoding (961283) | more than 5 years ago | (#24499001)

The death knights are starting at level 55, but from my understanding of the beta testers, is that by the time you finish the starting area, you're basically in gear way overpowered for that level, and it's being handed to you. Great incentive to keep all those other classes... (/sarcasm)

Quid pro quo? (4, Funny)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497737)

Like in, Blizzard has the rights to your firstborn male, with a side dish of Fava beans?

Re:Quid pro quo? (3, Funny)

Bugs42 (788576) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498635)

Like in, Blizzard has the rights to your firstborn male, with a side dish of Fava beans?

They would ask for that, except that 90% of all WoW players are never going to get laid, so why bother?

WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24497795)

That's a pretty decent incentive for just $15 a month. I've been playing 2 years and have been trying to get my brothers to play.

multiboxing anyone? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24497901)

this would offer some real benefits to anyone thinking about running multiple accounts. The ninety day xp boost could get even the casual multiboxer to sixty in that time.

@work. Iphone. Anon.

Re:multiboxing anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24500517)

The ninety day xp boost could get even the casual multiboxer to sixty in that time.

I just checked, actually, and the definition for "casual" includes "does not have more than one account," so your statement is impossible.

More Incentive to Bot (1, Offtopic)

Tryle (1159503) | more than 5 years ago | (#24497997)

Awesome! Time to fire up MMOGlider again and bot me some well equipped characters even faster!

Active Accounts (3, Interesting)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498119)

it looks like Blizzard is really trying to ramp up their player base for the expansion.

I would love to see what the active number of players looks like these days. I stopped playing just after the first expansion. Partly because it didn't add enough for me. I won't be buying the new expansion and reactivating my account and I think there are probably a few people in my situation.

The programme sounds exciting but it seems to be just a bit to little too late.

Re:Active Accounts (4, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#24500067)

It seems like the number of people online at any given time has shot way up lately... And lots of people have re-activated their accounts to get ready for the expansion.

This program seems like a money grab to divert some of the cash that goes to power-leveling services back to blizzard.

Re:Active Accounts (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 5 years ago | (#24502447)

The server I play on has seen a serious increase in players over the past few months. I was surprised to see the damn login queue show up last weekend.

Its a great game (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24498137)

But I still won't buy the expansion. Playing though the last one burned me out. Perhaps if there was more new innovation, and not just the same thing in a new package I might.

I'd want a more in-depth crafting system, and a means to create my own content. And a more persuasive reason to participate in world PvP. The entire culture is based around grinding for the best gear. Why? Because its there, and for no other reason. Hardly a motivating reason after doing it for 3 years.

Re:Its a great game (3, Funny)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#24500613)

I'd want a more in-depth crafting system, and a means to create my own content.

Penis shaped swords, maces, helmets, ... towns.

Yeah, that would be fantastic.

Huh? (1, Troll)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498331)

WoW players have friends that aren't other WoW players? Who woulda thunk it?

Re:Huh? (4, Interesting)

halivar (535827) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498609)

WoW has completely broken down the barriers of stereotyping and social class systems. Nerd play it. Preppies play it. Girls play it. Grown-up professionals play it. High-school football players play it. Military service members play it.

I have a number of friends who, though addicted to WoW, somehow manage to keep up with otherwise completely no-stereotypical lives.

The stigma video games as a "nerd" activity is all but dead to my generation.

Re:Huh? (3, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#24499163)

WoW has completely broken down the barriers of stereotyping and social class systems.

The stigma video games as a "nerd" activity is all but dead to my generation.

No, you just think that yours is the first generation to overcome these stereotypes. Don't worry, ever generation thinks the same thing.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#24501493)

Considering that videogames have been around for about one generation, then yes, this is the first generation to overcome that stereotype. Or are you so young that for you, videogames have always existed? In which case, don't worry, every generation thinks the same thing.

Re:Huh? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#24502101)

Actually, I was talking about activities that are looked on as "nerd" activities.

But since you mention it, the fact is that video games have been around in the public for roughly 30 years, that makes it transgenerational. And being part of that early wave of gamers I can tell you that there were just as many jocks and preps feeding their quarters into gaming machines as there were nerds. Hell, my 70-something (at the time) neighbor get a real blast out of Atari bowling. Btw, she was a girl gamer too! How very stereotypical...

Re:Huh? (1)

kv9 (697238) | more than 5 years ago | (#24499853)

The stigma video games as a "nerd" activity is all but dead to my generation.

sadly, yes.

Re:Huh? (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498813)

I do, but then I'd feel like a crack dealer or something. Honestly - unless you are really into this, you can't get much out of it.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24499477)

Exactly like a crack dealer -you owe it to everyone you care about to never introduce them to WoW...

Your enemies on the other hand - get them hooked and watch them sabotage their own lives :)

Shameless (5, Insightful)

michaeltoe (651785) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498383)

Blizzard has been increasingly adding out-of-game rewards for people who spend more money (WoW TCG being an example) and this is the first time that those rewards have affected gameplay. You can level three times as fast if you can get a friend to sign up, or (and more likely to happen) you decide to multibox. This shows Blizzard has lost their scruples about abusing this business model. It's only a matter of time before they start charging money for in-game content that should otherwise have been covered by the subscription/price of the game.

Re:Shameless (2, Informative)

loafula (1080631) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498959)

It's only a matter of time before they start charging money for in-game content that should otherwise have been covered by the subscription/price of the game.

They already have with The Burning Crusade and are about to do it again with Wrath of the Lich King

Re:Shameless (1, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 5 years ago | (#24499475)

I heard someone in the trade channels in Shattrah jokingly said Blizzard should buy these gold farming companies. They could make a lot of money. ... I thought for a second that I would not put that under them since the merge with activision.

I bet you will be able to pay $$ for extra gold next. If that happens and the local economy inflates I may just switch to LOTR online or stop playing all together.

I do agree its a tempting slippery slope for a for-profit-shareholder owned company.

I am already mad that they made the horde and especially the turrens more powerful with the latest patch. PVP is 8-1 in favor of horde.

Re:Shameless (2, Insightful)

Botched (1314867) | more than 5 years ago | (#24500871)

"This shows Blizzard has lost their scruples about abusing this business model." Not really, though that was my gut reaction at first. Pretty much all the game has turned into 'things to do at the level cap'. And there is a lot of stuff to do. A new player joining a server is going to be pretty much ignored until they reach 70, no one does the old content anymore. And there's no harm in giving an old player a speed-leveling alt. Giving them end-game items would be unbalancing. But this is cosmetic.

Re:Shameless (2, Insightful)

melikamp (631205) | more than 5 years ago | (#24501045)

[...] or (and more likely to happen) you decide to multibox.

Give us a break, man. Multiboxing is not even a blip on the radar. I played WoW since open beta, and I've seen ONE 5-boxer so far. I see 2-boxers every now and then, at the average rate of once a month (just guessing though). To say that most people will use this promotion to x-box is to completely disregard the fact that x-boxing is difficult, expensive, time-consuming, and generally requires the kind of dedication to the cause a weekend gamer does not have. As others pointed out, many WoW players cannot even learn to utilize their class by the time they cap.

The reward is not that significant. Zebra mount and leveling help? Who cares. Leveling your main is actually done well in WoW. Props to folks at Blizzard for striking the iron while it is still hot.

I've got a better program (0, Offtopic)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#24498673)

I hear the players are planning a recruit a server program. If blizzard buys more servers then as a reward, players will actually log in during peak hours and keep playing. I think that one would be a lot more successful.

Re:I've got a better program (2, Insightful)

Lostlander (1219708) | more than 5 years ago | (#24499321)

In what way does playing more benefit blizzard if you still pay as much but only play a few hours at most a day or week blizzard loves you because you are using very little resources while still providing the same ammount of cash.

Re:Better Program - Sorority-linked servers (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#24499547)

Personally, I'm waiting until they create fraternity and sorority linked servers with Pink Unicorn mounts and School Symbol Reward tabards.

Go Alpha Betta Gamma Huskies!

Re:I've got a better program (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 5 years ago | (#24501489)

Hrm, I have never had a problem with Blizzard's servers, or lack thereof. A casual listing of the server list would indicate most are low to medium population. Its just that people keep trying to pile onto the high-pop servers until they melt down.

The game IS boring at 20-60 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24498933)

Actually I agree with fast 20-60.
After playing one faction then the other, if you want to raise another class at least you'll waste less time on content already know!

Zebras are my life (2, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#24499485)

And now my son and I can team up to rock WSG!

But I'm logging out when he starts singing songs in trade chat, no matter how many incentives you give me.

This makes me mad. (1)

vicious0000 (720122) | more than 5 years ago | (#24499897)

Seriously, all this does is tick me off. Iâ(TM)ve played WoW for a while, and Iâ(TM)ve invited friends into the game who have enjoyed it a lot. Now people get all this free crap for doing exactly what I did before? And now people are even getting free levels for someone else playing, and I had to work for the same thing? As someone who has played the game for a long time, I find this more than annoying. Itâ(TM)s downright offensive. Itâ(TM)s heaping special treatment on new players, and ignoring those of us who already invited our friends to come play.

Re:This makes me mad. (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 5 years ago | (#24500309)

You're one of those people that bitches that something costs less now than it did when you bought it last year aren't you?

Re:This makes me mad. (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#24500897)

Most price drops are relatively gradual. Having a video card drop in price by $120 over the course of a year (about $10 a month) is no big deal.

However, if your iPhone price decreases by $200 overnight, yes, it irritates a lot of people. Apple found this out the hard way, and decided to give rebates to people who had purchased recently, essentially 'faking' that gradual decline in price.

The issue here is that the new benefits Blizzard is offering are (perceived as) HUGE.

Also, Blizzard makes paying for in-game items and levels 'illegal'. So it's kind of crappy of them to start offering people faster leveling in exchange for more money.

If Blizzard is going to admit that leveling is too slow, why not help out ALL players, not just the ones bringing them more $$?

Re:This makes me mad. (1)

vicious0000 (720122) | more than 5 years ago | (#24502317)

No. I expect cost of things to go down. Routers, PCs, my car as I put mileage on, etc. But Blizzard has been so anti-bot and anti-cheat, it is shocking that now people can get free LEVELS in the game by basically pimping the game to someone else. It is completely contrary to everything they have done so far. Now I can get levels in a game by selling it to someone else, and then sit back and NOT playing? They might as well just allow bots. Or rename it World of Amway, and finish making a pyramid scheme out of it.

Re:This makes me mad. (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#24500867)

I'm some what in agreement with you. I've been playing since pre-BC (I was only 56 when BC came out). It seems like Blizzard is killing off huge portions of the game. I've never raided MC. I never did the Oxyania quest chains. I never did UBRS or LBRS. I never raided Scholomance. With each release of the game they seem to push the original content out of the way. At this point they might as well just start everyone at level 60 and drop them in Hellfire Pennisula. I know this probably sounds lame, but I really feel kind of sad over missing a huge portion of the game. I could have played beta but I didn't. There are huge portions of the story that I will never participate in. I actually read the quest descriptions. I kind of like the lore and the history and the plot lines that tie the quests together.

Who needs free XP (3, Interesting)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 5 years ago | (#24501719)

Using Glider you can get a character to 70 in a couple weeks (if your a "casual" botter), less if your more experienced and have the scripts setup already, etc.

What ends up happening is you chain your accounts together through the refer a "friend" program, so when you pay up your bot accounts each one in turn gets free time.

I had stopped playing WoW for quite awhile...Glider actually made the game fun and got me started playing it again. I never got banned.

Looks like with this new system Blizzard is trying to reinforce their "real" player base.

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