Thursday, August 14, 2008

Recruit a friend programme

So, I was reading the post Recruitment at Too Many Annas, (If you thought you had a wall of text... check this! lol.) and it made me think...

As I read through the post - I realised that the effects on the "new-start" member will not be as grievious as many are imagining.

First-off - the benefits to the recruiters account are great. You get to level an alt with increased speed, and recieve free levels from your recruit, as well as a few other bonuses like the funky Zhevra mount.

Whilst its true that a lot of the players are going to use this ability to multibox and level up new alts, and probably sell off the new account once they have a lvl 70 or two, and quickly boost an alt to 70, or whatever, there are of course a number of people that will bring new-players to the fray.

The biggest piece of Neigh-saying I am reading about this, is that the new player will not get to experience the old world content, because they will level so fast they will miss most of the plotline. Also, there is talk that they will never group - because instances will be redundant - youll level so fast, and the gear you may get will be outdated so quickly, that you wont need to go - limiting your grouping skills at the same time.

Well, my priest is now level 48 - and thinking on this, I dont think the impact will be as huge as everyone is expecting. For the Recruiters account, there will be HUGE speed boosts (free levels, hello??) but all that the recruit gets is a triple xp bonus to kills and quests. This is a huge boost - but thinking about it, not so much so.

My priest has been levelled exclusively with rested bonus (double kill XP) and efficiently levelled through planned quest loops (thanks to experience of doing all zones twice so far, and the mod, Quest Helper.) and instance blitzing.

I have done a lot of instance questing, and runs with friends - and when I think on the new recruit a friend programme, I dont see a lot changing. Many people WILL lock themselves off into a 2-man speed grinding group, and that is their choice - most people end up doing runs with alts of friends, or that pug made from people that dont know anyone in the first place, so a slightly smaller pool, but no biggie. Instances will still be run. I took my priest through Uldaman at about 34, and again at 40, both times I had a huge batch of quests, and I leveled in the instance, and again cashing in quests from the run. This is a LOT faster than if I was out kill-grinding or trying to get a batch of quests out of the way. Nothing will change for the new recruit - everything just goes that bit faster when with your Recruiter.

If the rant above is not very clear, here are some of my main points that Im trying to reach:

Levelling will be boosted, but not to the extent most people think. The quest XP boost WILL make a difference, and thus will also give great benefit to those instance runs where you can knock a huge batch out at the same time. The kill xp wont be too huge as a lot of people will normally play with rested bonus if they can help it. Players still have to commute to their new quest zones, to do fedex quests, to go to the place they want to kill things or do their quests - this time is XPless and will remain so (excluding the trickle of xp for area discovery)

People will be doing the quest chains and instance runs still because the instances are a great source of kill xp, money, loot and the ability to knock out large chunks of quests, and the chain quests can be followed up on sooner, so your less likely to move to another zone and start doing seperate quests only to realise you missed out on finishing a chain off.

Imagine two scenarios.

1) You are running around wetlands doing your quests, you go get crocolisks, then you get murlocs, then you go round to the slimes, then help Green-whatever-his-face-is to kill gnolls, you come back and perhaps take on some raptors and return to Menethil to cash them all. Old levelling, you would get maybe 2 levels for this all. Currently you would get 1-2 levels from the killing (rested) , and maybe 2 levels for quest handins. With the scheme, you get 2 levels from kills and maybe 3 levels for handins. Note: not triple xp all around, because of deminishing returns. As you levelled more doing the quests - handing them in will lose a bit of xp (which by the law of multiplication being used here, means this drop in xp is a triple drop in the xp you would have gotten. clear? good!)

Originally: 2-3 levels for the loop
Currently: 4 levels
RAF: - 5 levels.

2) You go down Black Fathom Deeps. You take with you half a dozen quests, and a few friends that want to get some quests done. Old world, you get a level or two in there, and a half level for quest handin. Currently you get a couple of levels in there, and a couple for quest handins. With the scheme - 3 levels for kills, and 3 for handins.


Quest loop: 1.5 hours, 5 levels - and maybe a gold in loot and quest rewards.

Black Fathom Deeps: 1.5 hours, 6 levels, a blue or two from kills, a couple of cracking quest rewards, and maybe 5g for quests and trash. You enjoy it more working with friends, you get experience working in a party, you dont have "travel downtime" that you would have moving from place to place on the quest loop - although you have "preparation time" (visiting ironforge, darnassas and Auberdine to gather quests, and perhaps a chain quest or two in Darkshore.)

Take this context to Uldaman - some dozen or so quests you can go in with... or you can run around the mass that is Stranglethorn Vale (theoretically killing everything in your way for the xp.) I got 3-4 levels for quest handins for Uldaman - between 34 and 40... (first trip 34, second trip 40. was almost 42 by the time I handed in second batch of quests) that will probably be something like 6 levels for quest turnins. (at some point they gotta be worth next to no XP :p) and not to mention the fact the things your killing are worth a lot more xp, you get a group xp bonus, good loot and lots of money and group experience. In at 38, and then move to Zul' Farrak.

I hope thats clear, cos now my brain hurts. I take no responsibility in the accuracy of my calculations, its just a bit of cell-mashing and estimation, but the main point to bear in mind is instancing is still beneficial, and the xp gains only take effect when killing or handing in quests, the downtime is still XPless. In addition you need to work with your recruiter to get these gains, and they aint always gonna be there. The biggest pains are indeed going to be a) outlevelling your gear (but lets face it, some items like the Illusionary Rod last for a dozen levels or more anyway!) and having to go get training every hour (commuting time = no xp... you gotta fly to IF to get them skillz? that griffon may as well take 3x longer to fly there cos of the xp you could be getting...)

On the other hand, I do have to agree, going this route will mean you miss out on a lot of interesting regular quests as you will be much more likely to bypass them whenever you go to an instance. Theoretically you can go: Deadmines - BFD/Stockade - a few quest loops then Uldaman - Zul'Farrak - Maraudon/Sunken Temple - outland.

Moderation people. And optional. And Im going to get an ice pack for my head...

Arrgh! Brain melt!

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