Blizzard defend recruit-a-friend changes: “we were cutting that shared experience short”

World of Warcraft Classic

World of Warcraft’s patch 7.3.5 seriously overhauled the game’s level-up experience, introducing much-needed worldwide scaling as well as introducing Legion’s epilogue and other snazzy new features. However, due to the increase in pacing from these changes, the recruit-a-friend experience boost was decreased from 200 per cent to just 50 per cent “to ensure the experience boost doesn’t upset game balance and undermine the experience”.

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Not everyone’s happy about the new changes, with some players taking to the World of Warcraft forums to express their frustrations. However, Blizzard stands by their decision to adjust the recruit-a-friend experience, saying they’ve been “been happy with the changes 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,” wrote community manager Ornyx on World of Warcraft’s official forum. “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 per cent experience 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.”

World of Warcraft’s recruit-a-friend feature allows players to invite their friends to join the MMO. Once your friend joins, you both enjoy in-game bonuses, such as extra experience, for 90 days.