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Recruit-a-Friend Changes (Feedback): Jan 23

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The latest changes to the Recruit-a-Friend program went live yesterday. The XP boost is down to +50% and no longer stacks with the bonus from Heirlooms. Blizzard explained the rationale behind all changes on the official forums.

Purchasing a WoW expansion includes a free character boost to level 100. If you play World of Warcraft with friends, they can use the boost immediately to reach level 100. The boost eliminates the rush to reach max level in order to experience end-game content together. The pace of leveling alts is also taken into account. If leveling feels slow, they'd rather bring down the XP requirements and Recruit-a-Friend should not be a workaround to this issue.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

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 – leveling alongside their friend – 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 shouldn’t be “buy 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 you’re finished.” That’s messy, at best.

That said, we’re certainly taking the feedback about the rate of leveling alts into account as we move forward with the game’s development. We’ve been happy with the changes so far, but if leveling is too slow, we’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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6 hours ago, VictorVakaras said:

What's with this sudden concern for new players? Is there really a mad rush of new players to a 14 year old game? 

Might be a 14 year old game but it’s still very popular, relevant, and large in comparison to many other games..

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Well Idk if there's any rush but I have introduced new players to this world recently, either people from private servers to experience the epicness of Legion or just new people that I've hyped talking with friends and a beer. So I think there's still new people coming to the game, its a good game besides the nostalgia.

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Blizzard: "We're losing money because people are using RAF to level instead of spending $60 USD to boost to 100 so let's lower the XP gain from RAF but we won't tell them this is why we're doing it, we'll say it's because it's not being used as intended."

 

At least that's my take on it.

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1 hour ago, VictorVakaras said:

Doesn't really answer my question, but whatever.

Well there are always new people coming to the game, even if it's not a huge amount. Look at it this way, Blizzard is a business. They want to get more subscribers and players, but they also want the game to be enjoyable for all players. Some new players might enjoy it if they can speed through the leveling zones, but what I think Blizzard is trying to approach is an enjoyable experience that doesn't go too quickly. 

Blizzard applied scaling to old zones so that we could stay in a zone we might enjoy for a longer period of time if we wanted to experience and complete all the quests. Before, you couldn't stay in a zone, you had to move on because you had levelled out of it. I'm assuming it wouldn't feel great if somebody new to the game who really started to like a specific zone and has only done about half of it realizes it's no longer worth staying there. 

Even with the leveling changes, recruit-a-friend caused you to rush through zones. It was so incredibly fast to level up that new players really never got the chance to stay in a specific zone because they'd out-level it with just a few quests. And then there were dungeons too, which were close to the only thing most players would level with.

Blizzard's choice of reducing the xp gain isn't a bad one in my mind. It allows a potentially experienced or new player to enjoy leveling up with their friend. It allows new players to explore the uniqueness of Blizzard's questing zones in their entirety. There may not be a mad rush of new players right now, but seeing how Blizzard values the entertainment of those who are new is something that is very impressive and unmatched in the gaming world. These leveling changes have got to be one of the best changes ever added into the game in my opinion. 

Edited by Maxkitty

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25 minutes ago, DeathsDesign said:

Blizzard: "We're losing money because people are using RAF to level instead of spending $60 USD to boost to 100 so let's lower the XP gain from RAF but we won't tell them this is why we're doing it, we'll say it's because it's not being used as intended."

 

At least that's my take on it.

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.

There is a free boost. That's what Blizzard is getting at. Because new players can use that boost, the only logical reason they would use RAF would be to experience the content together with a friend. +300% xp caused you to out-level a zone with a few quests, even with the new changes. Blizzard wants to retain the bonus, but tone it down to a point where you can enjoy the zones, instead of spending minutes in one and moving to another.

Also, with the amount of subscribers WoW has, they earn dozens of millions monthly. They aren't losing money anytime soon.

Edited by Maxkitty

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31 minutes ago, Maxkitty said:

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.

There is a free boost. That's what Blizzard is getting at. Because new players can use that boost, the only logical reason they would use RAF would be to experience the content together with a friend. +300% xp caused you to out-level a zone with a few quests, even with the new changes. Blizzard wants to retain the bonus, but tone it down to a point where you can enjoy the zones, instead of spending minutes in one and moving to another.

Also, with the amount of subscribers WoW has, they earn dozens of millions monthly. They aren't losing money anytime soon.

The free boost comes with buying a new copy, what Deaths was pointing out, was the extra boosts are £49, which they are losing out on as it's quick and easy to RaF to yourself, and multibox two chars to lvl 90, then do the one you want from 90-100 in an hour or less (potions + bonus objectives + looms)

RaF is w.e a base copy of wow is these days, so £9.99 losing them almost £40 a time.

Edited by Bobbis

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Ah yes, as if the $15 a month from every player, close to $60 (not quite there yet) for each expansion, $10-$30 from the pet shop and over priced character services, and the $20 from the token wasn't enough. Also calling it now, at some point during BfA they are going to implement loot crates for transmogs.

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On 1/24/2018 at 11:17 AM, Maxkitty said:

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.

There is a free boost. That's what Blizzard is getting at. Because new players can use that boost, the only logical reason they would use RAF would be to experience the content together with a friend. +300% xp caused you to out-level a zone with a few quests, even with the new changes. Blizzard wants to retain the bonus, but tone it down to a point where you can enjoy the zones, instead of spending minutes in one and moving to another.

Also, with the amount of subscribers WoW has, they earn dozens of millions monthly. They aren't losing money anytime soon.

The free boost comes at the cost of purchasing another game copy.  This is fine and useful and used as intended if you are truly recruiting a friend.  The majority of players using RaF are purchasing a 2nd copy of the game, and using the RaF xp boost on their main account instead of having to spend $60 USD because they have already used the character boost they received with purchasing the new expansion, not to mention the RaF bonus lasts for 90 days and does not expire after one character is leveled.  This is why players will get a 2nd account RaF it and level multiple characters.  This impact doesn't prevent actual friends from experiencing the content together.  It impacts those players that are using it to "cheese" the system.  This is also forcing them to either level as normal or purchase a boost.

Additionally, 1 $60 boost = 4 $15 monthly subscriptions.  If one person buys 3 boosts within a 12 month period then Blizzard has made the same amount from that one person than they did 4 people that are only paying subscriptions.  

In economics if you are not making a profit then you are losing money.  If you have a product that you could push to sell in higher volumes and are not doing so, you are losing money.  If Blizzard never sold a single boost and instead let everyone use RaF to level then yes they would be losing money they could have made by diminishing RaF bonuses and redirecting to the character boosts.

Edited by DeathsDesign

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On 1/25/2018 at 10:44 AM, PatrickHenry said:

Nothing wrong with that.

Yes there is.

While we are at it lets tag on $25 instance fees for each time you run a raid, $10 for each dungeon. and another $10 to loot each boss, where exactly do you draw the line? This is what bothers me about the capitalistic mindset is that just about anything is justifiable as long as you are looking for ways to squeeze as much money out of people as humanly possible.

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23 hours ago, Granis said:

Yes there is.

While we are at it lets tag on $25 instance fees for each time you run a raid, $10 for each dungeon. and another $10 to loot each boss, where exactly do you draw the line? This is what bothers me about the capitalistic mindset is that just about anything is justifiable as long as you are looking for ways to squeeze as much money out of people as humanly possible.

Uh, no.  You're taking the point I made - TRANSMOG crates - and taken it to levels never before seen.  

Evil capitalism!  Charging me $5000 per keystroke to log in!  Oh wait - that literally never happens.  

You talk about squeezing as much money as you can out - well, in a way yes.  But you're taking it to extremes.  The reason your doomsday scenario won't occur is the same reason Hershey's candy isn't $100/bar.  Eventually nobody will pay what you want for it.

You offer a product at a price people might pay, if they do they do.  If they dont, and the company still wants their money, it will adjust its strategy.  Basic marketing and sales.  It's not the dark side.

I think you're confusing buying a transmog set, with PAY TO WIN.  Which is why I do not compete in Hearthstone or HotS the way I compete in WoW.

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23 hours ago, PatrickHenry said:

Uh, no.  You're taking the point I made - TRANSMOG crates - and taken it to levels never before seen.  

Evil capitalism!  Charging me $5000 per keystroke to log in!  Oh wait - that literally never happens.  

You talk about squeezing as much money as you can out - well, in a way yes.  But you're taking it to extremes.  The reason your doomsday scenario won't occur is the same reason Hershey's candy isn't $100/bar.  Eventually nobody will pay what you want for it.

You offer a product at a price people might pay, if they do they do.  If they dont, and the company still wants their money, it will adjust its strategy.  Basic marketing and sales.  It's not the dark side.

I think you're confusing buying a transmog set, with PAY TO WIN.  Which is why I do not compete in Hearthstone or HotS the way I compete in WoW.

I'll admit that example crossed over into the extreme however it could very well get to that point as people become more and more accepting. I at least could see the attunement fee actually happening.  Think of "give an inch take a mile" because that is exactly how the industry got to the point it has. If I told you 10 years ago that eventually you would have to pay $3 to use the "show blood" option in your game, you would probably laugh at me. However, it apparently has become an accepted practice for at least one company so who is to say it won't become an industry standard? Beware the slippery sloop is all I am saying. Anyways I do want to thank you for taking the time to converse with me even though we may not agree on the matter.

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13 minutes ago, Granis said:

Beware the slippery sloop is all I am saying. 

I'm all about avoiding slippery slopes, but like you said you took it to the extreme.  Would you pay for it?

No?

Then why is it an issue?  I dont play games I dont want to pay for.  Why would you?

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33 minutes ago, PatrickHenry said:

I'm all about avoiding slippery slopes, but like you said you took it to the extreme.  Would you pay for it?

No?

Then why is it an issue?  I dont play games I dont want to pay for.  Why would you?

Because if there is one thing I have learned in life, it is people cannot help themselves. And since business practices are decided on how people "vote" with their wallet it doesn't matter if you or I buy just as long as there a 100 other people that will.

It's just an aspect of our society that causes me some concern, nothing more.

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54 minutes ago, Granis said:

And since business practices are decided on how people "vote" with their wallet it doesn't matter if you or I buy just as long as there a 100 other people that will.

So if one person WANTS to pay for this service or some other service, they should not be able to, because you dont want to?  

I'm not understanding your position.  

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@PatrickHenry & @GranisBoth valid points, and valid arguments.  I think the thing about this is that IF a consumer is willing to pay for it then it should be optionally offered by the vendor, but not made mandatory to excel with the product.

My thoughts are that Blizzard may nerf this and that and reduce this and that to meet a better overall marketing and sales scheme, however, WoW is not built on micro-transactions and Blizzard knows that.  WoW is one of the very few subscription mandatory based games on the market and is still the most successful one and because of the sheer profits over the past 13-14 years I don't see P2W micro-transactions being a thing ever...

In regards to transmog loot boxes... I could get behind the idea as long as the ensemble sets for transmog are available through standard gameplay as well.  As in you may still have to farm the set pieces from old raids but as long as you can obtain them ingame without having to pay for the lootbox I'm ok with it.

Edited by DeathsDesign

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1 hour ago, DeathsDesign said:

As in you may still have to farm the set pieces from old raids but as long as you can obtain them ingame without having to pay for the lootbox I'm ok with it.

I dont even see why that might be necessary.  

If I dont want the set, I wont buy it.  Regardless of the price.  

But no, other than pay to win, I dont have any problem with them monetizing other ways.

What's the difference with that and paid mounts?  Paid plushies?  Licensed books and merch?  There isnt any.

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