World of Warcraft Refer-a-Friend experience boost gutted to match Heirloom leveling speed

    
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Dynamic!

So, were all of the experience boosts you had in World of Warcraft there to get your character to max level as quickly as possible, or were they there to ensure that you didn’t have to languish in zones where you were going to be leveling through awkwardly anyway? How you answer that question will make a lot of difference in how you see the changes made to the game’s Refer-A-Friend system, which has reduced the massive experience boost from the service from 300% to 50% and removed any stacking with heirlooms. In other words, at this point the biggest boost you can get to experience while leveling is 50% across the board, however you get it.

Considering that a referred character with heirlooms was often used as a quick way for a player to game the system with two accounts under the same person, this is obviously going to impact a portion of the player community. Some players are calling for a reduction in price for the level 100 boost token that also comes free with the Legion boxed expansion, claiming that this is just a way of forcing people to pay more to completely bypass the leveling process in short order. Others are pointing out that this plus the 7.3.5 patch changes means that you and your referred friend can both just enjoy the leveling experience together, moving faster but still being able to see a good chunk of the zone with players who may not be familiar with all of it.

In other and wholly unrelated news, there’s been a round of hotfixes to correct some bugs. Hey, we said it was unrelated.

Source: Refer-a-Friend Changes, Hotfixes, Reddit; thanks to Louis for the tip!
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Carebear

if their intention was to improve leveling experience, they should have done much more than just increase mob hp and general xp need for level…

1) no change to professions, mean low level mats are still useless and so mob drops are useless

2) They did not remove heirlooms… so all the low level gear, dungeons drops, blue/epic boe etc are still useless…

so no small goals during leveling… no valuable loot, no excitement of upgrade armor/weapon… still the only goal is to reach the endgame, but now its just take longer…

so… all it seems like a desperate move from blizz to milk more money from boosts… but I think it will have the opposite effect. Blizzard treat wow like a dying cow than need to be milked as much as possible before the end..

Mewmew
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Mewmew

What is wrong with me when I first get up… I swear I keep reading these titles wrong when I’m first waking up and scrolling through stuff. I wondered why World of Warcraft was doing something promoting marijuana, I briefly thought it said they were doing a “Reefer-a-Friend experience”.

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agemyth šŸ˜©

This is probably for the best. The 300% XP was ludicrous. Maybe it matters less now that continents scale with your level, but the 50% heirloom bonus alone is really fast. If you just want to skip content, maybe you should pay for that or get a “free” high level character with each expansion purchase going forward.

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Sally Bowls

My favorite comment from the thread:

“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for leveling new characters slower.”

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Zora

Blizzard can get away with things other companies would get their faces ripped off for by the press and fandom, nothing new there.

I wonder how long until the cash shop assumes its ultimate form tho, they seem to believe if they are sneaky enough they can train their audience not to notice… and they might be very right about that.

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Armsbend

Sally’s tongue in cheek reference (to the quote) is likely due to the fact Bungie said the same thing and got ripped to shreds.

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BDJ

The below is a dev response to the bitching… oops, complaining… oops, i meant feedback!!!!

https://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/1082701-changes-to-recruit-a-friend/

“Thanks for the feedback and thoughts so far.

The Refer-A-Friend system is intended as an option for players who want to invite a friend to play WoW with them and experience the game together. When it was first introduced, we gave it a hefty bonus to experience gain as a way for both players to reach endgame content as quickly as possible.

Nowadays, purchasing the latest WoW expansion includes a free character boost, so the need to rush your friend to max level is no longer there; you can jump into the latest content with your friend right away. This meant that the only players who were using the Refer-A-Friend system in its intended way ā€“ leveling alongside their friend ā€“ were those who had decided that they wanted to experience that content together. We realized that, for those players, the 300% XP bonus was a disservice; we were cutting that shared experience short by making them finish it far too quickly.

Now, we certainly recognize that the majority of people using the Refer-A-Friend system before these changes were doing so in order to level alts quickly. If anything, we take that as a strong indication that the system needed to change: the best method to level a character in WoW shouldnā€™t be ā€œbuy a new copy of the game, put it on a separate account, send it a Refer-A-Friend invite, level a new character, and then transfer that character to your primary account when youā€™re finished.ā€ Thatā€™s messy, at best.

That said, weā€™re certainly taking the feedback about the rate of leveling alts into account as we move forward with the gameā€™s development. Weā€™ve been happy with the changes so far, but if leveling is too slow, weā€™d rather address that in the game itself than have Refer-A-Friend be some kind of bizarre workaround to an outstanding issue.”

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Utakata

I suspect your bias to it all being “bitching” as opposed to constructive feedback though.

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BDJ

Please, go read reddit or the blizz forums. Its bitching , moaning, and complaining. Very few posts are constructive. I take those for what they are worth though. They are just in the vast minority so of course my bias is to it.

The bottom line,. is it was an outdated system that needed to be brought in line with the recent changes. For better or worse, they changed the way leveling works. You can’t have leveling a certain way then say “oh wait, lets leave this as the only FAST option available other than token / buying”.

They nerfed heirlooms. RAF needed the nerf bat too or there would be no point in any of it. Like the dev said. It wasn’t being used as intended anyways. When they put a free boost with every xpac, it essentially eliminated the need for the RAF to have the exp boost as it did.

I mean, why would you level from 0 when your friend gets a free boost for buying the expac? If your counter-argument is “well i want to experience the content with my friend and not use the boost” then their should be no complaining about the exp boost that trivializes said content being removed from the game.

People used it to power level alts. Period. If it werent for the allied races coming out, people wouldn’t be complaining at all about this.

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Utakata

So I take it you disagree with them then. o.O

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Daniel Reasor

Blizzard’s about to introduce four allied races, each of which come with their own incentive to level the old fashioned way instead of buying a boost. If you boost one, you don’t get that race’s special transmog outfit and you’ll never get it on that toon.

No, conspiracy theories aside, this is Blizzard restoring gameplay that had been lost over the course of the game’s expansions.

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Rumm

Leave slow leveling to the new Classic server. I don’t know a single person who was clamouring for a longer 1-110 leveling experience. If someone wants to level slower, the solution is simple: don’t wear heirloom gear. You already have a choice, don’t punish everyone else and remove theirs. You can even go turn off xp gain completely if you want to go through all of the zones.

This, along with the already active XP nerf, is the complete opposite direction that they need to be going whilst on the verge of releasing the new races. It’s a deterrent to the new zone scaling and new races, both primary features of the BFA announcement. For someone who’s already done the grind 10 times, the prospect of going back and leveling my last class was already daunting, but the new races and rewards at least provided some incentive. Making that process take even more time makes it much less likely that I’ll even bother. It seems clear that Blizzard is doing this to sell boosts and race changes.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

My understanding is that while there’s more effort involved (higher TTK, harder dungeons inherently worth less xp), the actual speed hasn’t been reduced unless you try to do the same old dungeons-only tactic. I guess Questing is King once more.

I’ve heard mixed opinions on this though. Some folks are still reporting a level every 30-45 mins, which isn’t terrible, and fairly close to the old speed for DPS. Then again others (tanks in dungeons) could get 3-4 levels in an hour, especially when they hit new dungeons w/quests to finish.

The bigger problem is the TTK. Many classes won’t have an actual, real rotation of more than a few buttons until they’re well into their 70s or so. There’s nothing fun about taking longer to kill mobs with less abilities to use.

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Knox Harrington

Hmmm spend the two days it takes to level in this game or buy a character token for $60… Hmmmm.. decisions decisions

boredlol
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boredlol

many are reporting 40+ hours for post-patch leveling, so… two days /played

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BDJ

The audacity right boredlol? You actually have to spend a week or two playing the game before you get to max levels, gear up in a week, then run circles around your order hall. The nerve!

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Sally Bowls

You actually have to spend a week or two playing the game before you get to max levels,

No, you can still spend $60 and get there in a second. Blizzard did not in any way preserve the sanctity and necessity of leveling. They merely removed the cheaper, in-game ways of doing it.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

Most of the people complaining have spent years playing. They’re not leveling in a new game, they’re leveling their umpteenth alt to play a new class, or the same class on one of the new races, or on a new server and/or faction with friends. They don’t want to spend more time playing the *same exact content they’ve already played* just for the sake of Blizzard’s push towards tokens.

That’s not audacity, that’s well-founded disgruntlement.

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Armsbend

It’s kind of a waste to use a token before you hit 60. If you hit 60 before you get maxed crafts.

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Sally Bowls

Except with catchup for profs these days, it is quicker and better GoldPerHour to just boost at 1. (Except for DK)

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Armsbend

Likely true.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

It’s clear that Blizzard’s view now is that the leveling game is for people who like to level, and the boost is the answer for people who don’t. And their plan is to make it so that the boost is the only and most cost-efficient method of power leveling, which they pretty well have done.

Obviously this probably is going to result in more people buying boosts who might have powerleveled through other means in the past. I’m sure this won’t hurt Blizzard’s feelings any. I’m also sure they have run the numbers and are confident it will be a net buff and not a nerf to their bottom line.

RAF now is for people who actually want to refer a friend, to play and enjoy the leveling game with them, while still getting a little bit of bonuses to go along (among other things, the main “benefit” of the nerf is that a vet with heirlooms will level at the same speed as their noob friend who has no looms but benefits from the RAF bonus). They put up with the use of it for dual box powerleveling back when there wasn’t any good alternative, but using it for that always was kludgy and dumb, and they have no real incentive to continue supporting it as a ghetto boost.

It’s a realignment of RAF as a product vs. the character boost, but given that old RAF accounts will continue with the old bonus until their 90 days are up, it’s fair enough since it only affects people who are making new purchases and know the new benefits up front. Nobody has lost anything that they thought they were paying for before now.

Overall, there’s nothing strictly wrong or even particularly obnoxious about the way things work now. If they had worked this way from the start, people probably wouldn’t comment at all. It’s just that Blizzard took a long time to make adjustments to the game to incorporate the idea of the boost, after the boost became a thing. So people are understandably grumpy about losing cheaper options they were used to having for a long time.

By the time 8.0 and the next expansion rolls out, nobody will even remember that anyone ever cared about any of this. And the leveling game overall will be better for the changes. Also, they undoubtedly will continue to tweak things like the mob health in dungeons to bring the time required to clear them in line (though dungeon spamming as a thing for power leveling certainly is gone for good at this point).

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Necromonger

The nerfs to all exp gains in a game this old where its mostly veterans left is nothing more and nothing less then a direction to their cashshop and their character sales.

And if the price was on par with such an old game it would still be fine but they charge 60 euro for 1 level 100 boost.

Nothing more then one hell of a greedy move.

Zone scaling is awesome

Dungeon scaling is awesome

But damn the nerfs to exp gains across the board are ridiculous for such an old mmo.

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Songs for Children

Perhaps it’s that, or perhaps Blizzard does not want to trivialize or undermine the experience that they just sunk time and resources into. My guess is that while the new scaling is for everyone ultimately, it’s mainly for new players who have found the leveling process too easy or disjointed before. If you assume that, then it makes sense to nerf RAF.

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Utakata

That’s the excuse they’re seem to be using though. o.O

mirricatwarrior
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mirricatwarrior

I think you are completely right. And tbh if there will be side effect – more boost sales then good for them. Shame only that this taken so long time and i hope Blizzard will not revert this over time due to forum whining etc…

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Sally Bowls

Except that this adds no new functionality. People who did not want RAF bonus did not have to RAF. So it removes options for some people and does not really add new options for others.

mirricatwarrior
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mirricatwarrior

Oh Give me a break.
First of all – leveling is still trivial and very fast also the changes to zone scaling and dungeon scaling are pointless without xp nerf.
They dont force you to do anything and if you think taht you must buy a token bacause you cant ‘endure’ (still easiest and least time consuming in genre) leveling maybe its time to change game.

And btw WoW being the old game is one of the reasons of changes – they want the new blood and new players. And its hard to impress new player when all you do is running one shotting 5 mobs packs and overleveling content after 10 quests in particular zone. Dont even start taking about old dungeons – aoe spam festst with 5-levels gain per run.

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Necromonger

So making leveling take +- 40% longer in an already outdated mmo with a outdated quest system is in you eyes an improvement ?

The massive nerf to dungeon exp and all other sources to exp is an improvement ?

So you take away the diffrent paths how people like to level and say thats an improvement ?

For who ?

For those few souls who like questing ?

Questing in WoW is the most brain dead activity one can do as from level 1 to 100 you dont even have a proper rotation and even if you ding 100 out of 110 you still only have 4 button rotations as Legion is the most braindead dps rotation of all expansions.

But they lets call taken away options a good change ye as thats what YOU seem to like.
I say this change is nothing more but a simple cashgrab to make people hit that 60 euro character boost or endure the outdated quest system where many of us have been going trough way way way to many times.

And like i said i love how the world scales, and i love that dungeons are much harder now but the exp one gets for that time investment is beyond a joke and it shows as queue times have increased by a extremely large margin as it aint worth doing anymore.

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Barachiel

I’m forced to agree with you.

I was originally excited for this update. But when I tried it out on the PTR (with 3 different classes), I noticed the same thing.

I had 2-3 buttons at most, at least one of those had a moderate cooldown, and thus half my attacks were auto-attacks. As such, enemies took quite a long time to die. But it wasn’t *engaging* because dying was only a worry if I was mobbed by a group of enemies. The gameplay itself was tedious as I had limited interaction with the combat beyond a quick DPS burst, then 10-20 seconds of just… waiting… on… CDs because I was too low level to have an engaging rotation.

Maybe I just picked the wrong 3 classes (Paladin, Warrior, Rogue), but I went from being excited to dreading 7.3.5.

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Utakata

It surprising they nerfed all experience gain with the exception of Lv 100 boosters…not. O.o