If you’re a regular of the World of Warcraft forums then you’re probably well aware of Blizzard’s latest program to get new players into the game. Previously you could refer a friend to the game and earn yourself a free month of gameplay. All you had to do was invite them with a free trail and if they upgraded to the full game and paid for their first month’s subscription you’d earn your rewards. The rewards would change every now and then but it was generally the same. Now they’ve changed things and give actual in-game rewards for getting your friends into the game.

You not only get a free month of game time now but also a new Zhevra (just think Zebra) mount (but you’ll need two months of gametime purchased on the referred account). That’s not the real problem here. The problem for many is that you and your friend can also earn triple experience if they’re grouped with you (including on quests and mobs) and you can summon them and they can summon you until one of you is level sixty. Every two levels they reach they can also give you one free level for one of your lower level characters!

Many players find that the “sanctity of leveling” is compromised by this. We’ve already got double experience going for the first sixty levels and if you throw in triple experience then you’ll have something along the lines of six times the original experience players first had to work through a year ago. Not only that, but the ability to summon one another is amazing and can cut down leveling times by leaps and bounds.

So many players feel hurt and betrayed by Blizzard that they had to contend with the original rates to hit level seventy and new players will be able to “powerlevel” through it making most of the content trivial. Not only are the two friends going to get content trivialized for them but they’ll also get a free sweet mount.

Let’s not even get into the complications. Dual-boxing (people who run two accounts at once) can start with one account, refer another, and level up two accounts at triple exp. Think about someone who makes a chain of accounts (especially for people who run 5 characters at once) with five characters all running around at 5 times the experience!

Then again, let’s just stop for a second and read the rules. Triple experience only works for non-trivial quests for both players. Wait a minute, hold on, if you’re level seventy and your friend is level twenty then all of their quests will be trivial. They’re not going to get any benefit to it and you’re just going to get a free month of game time and ONE mount. That’s right. You only get one mount for one character on your account.

So if we need to be within their level range to get the triple exp and if they’re playing a new account… it looks like both players would need to make new characters. That means that both people participating would need to level up together to get the most of it. The means that… well this deal isn’t anywhere near as good as it first sounded. If you’re both interesting in starting at level one then by all means this is fantastic but at the same time you’ll have to level up together.

Leveling up together is a pretty difficult task. You’d have to play together at the same times so that one player doesn’t get past the other and you’d need to be grouped to get the bonus exp. Group hurts exp rates pretty badly in the first place so you’d be getting a little above normal exp on regular mobs along with triple exp on quests. So it’s a pretty sweet deal if you’re leveling up with a friend.

Of course, you don’t HAVE to keep up with them too much. You both could get to level 15-20 in one day easily. If you’re below their level then they can give you one free level for every 2 they get which would help keep you close to them. You both could do the quests then wait for each other to be online to turn them in as well.

On the other hand, many people don’t have the time or patience to make a new character for their friends and they only have one or two level seventies that they’re enthralled with. If they have a character below the invitee’s level then they’ll get some free levels for an alt but that’s not exactly game breaking.

So, in reality, this isn’t a big deal. Read the fine print on the FAQ and you’ll see that anything trivial (gray quests/gray mobs) to either character won’t get the bonuses. At level sixty most of the bonuses go away anyway and to utilize them you’ll have to play together. A reward for people playing together is something that is well welcomed by me.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.