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Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

Blizzard Beefs up World of Warcraft's Recruit-a-Friend 165

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the you-can-quit-anytime-honest dept.
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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Blizzard Beefs up World of Warcraft's Recruit-a-Friend

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  • Multi-boxing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CogDissident (951207) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @11:34AM (#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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by aikouka (932902)
      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 possib
  • by Taibhsear (1286214) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @11:36AM (#24497505)

    Second one is gonna cost ya.

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

    • by Cornflake917 (515940) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @11:41AM (#24497611) Homepage

      No! Friends don't let friends do WoW.

      • by ukyoCE (106879)

        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'

  • Wishing... (Score:5, Funny)

    by AioKits (1235070) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @11:37AM (#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.
    • by nawcom (941663)

      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 b

    • by Alsee (515537)

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

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

      -

    • 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.

      The worst

  • Um... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Zekasu (1059298)

    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.

    • by KevinKnSC (744603)
      ScuttleMonkey is the new Zonk.
    • Re:Um... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Achoi77 (669484) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @12:41PM (#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.

      • by brkello (642429)
        I think you are being fairly optimistic about how many players WAR will draw. A lot of MMOs have come and gone and WoW's numbers have still gone up. I don't think they even care about WAR. I think they figured this was a good way to get even more people...though I think it will cause a lot of people to dual box rather than add that many more legitimately new subscribers.
        • by Achoi77 (669484)

          while I don't believe myself that WAR will not be reaching the kind of numbers that WoW has achieved, to say that they don't even care about WAR would mean to me as a business that their marketing team is extremely lazy and short-sighted. Which they are not.

          After all, a lot of Warcraft's thematic elements were initially inspired from Warhammer (likewise Starcraft to 40k), so if anyone was to actually take notice, it would definately be the original members of Blizzard, like Metzen and Pardo who now hold ex

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ukyoCE (106879)

      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

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmai l . com> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @11:41AM (#24497625) Homepage Journal

    ...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.

  • Oh come on! (Score:3, Funny)

    by ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @11:43AM (#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.
  • 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 ye

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by tulmad (25666)

      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: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Bieeanda (961632)
      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.
  • by GroeFaZ (850443) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @11:47AM (#24497737)
    Like in, Blizzard has the rights to your firstborn male, with a side dish of Fava beans?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Bugs42 (788576)

      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?

  • Active Accounts (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dintech (998802) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @12:07PM (#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.

  • Its a great game (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    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.

  • Huh? (Score:2, Troll)

    by east coast (590680)
    WoW players have friends that aren't other WoW players? Who woulda thunk it?
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by halivar (535827) <bfelgerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @12:31PM (#24498609) Homepage

      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? (Score:4, Funny)

        by east coast (590680) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @12:59PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by NeutronCowboy (896098)

          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.

          • 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
      • by kv9 (697238)

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

        sadly, yes.

    • 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.

  • Shameless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by michaeltoe (651785) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @12:19PM (#24498383) Journal
    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: (Score:2, Informative)

      by loafula (1080631)

      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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Billly Gates (198444)

      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 t

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Botched (1314867)
      "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.
      • I agree that speeding up the early levels is something that needed to be done (and had already been done) since it's now very very old. But it's also clear that they're testing the water here, and have been for a while. If they can charge people for major player enhancements in endgame, without causing an uproar, then I have no doubt they will.
      • 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.

        This is the typical "arse-backwards" solution blizzard further breaks their game with every patch, forcing them to backpedal even harder the patch after.

        For example: In early bc, people were still using thunderfury because it was better for tanking than what bc had to offer. Instead of fixing the BC tanking weapons, they nerfed thunderfury. Half a year later, they buff prot warrior base threat because of that lacking gear.

        In this case, rather than offer properly balanced loot tables and tweak instances to

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by melikamp (631205)

      [...] 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

  • Tag it 'free mount'.

    That way we can have a 'free fsck' next year.

  • 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.

  • Who needs free XP (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kcbanner (929309) * on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @03:47PM (#24501719) Homepage Journal
    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.

  • is my wife signed up two weeks ago. I'm going to contact Bliz and see if they'll retroactively count her as it's obvious we're logging in from the same IP address when we run.

    But that being said, I go to bed and she's up all night, running both our laptops. Sort of hot boxing.

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