Recruit-A-Friend Reprise: The Bear Essentials

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Since I wrote about Blizzard’s Recruit-Yourself! Program a few weeks ago, I’ve had a number of questions about the entire process that ran the gamut from what the absolute minimum was to pay to take advantage of it to whether or not a linked Level 1 could grant bonus XP to a linked level 30. As a follow up, I’d like to point out a few tips and tricks I’ve discovered through the whole process.

Start it out right. Mmm, yeah.

Blizzard isn’t picky about their money. While Lycentia and I initially thought that we could only exploit the Refer-A-Friend bonus by using alternate e-mail addresses, the reality is that we ended up opening second accounts on our primary e-mail addresses. This is better in the long run if you plan on merging accounts. Generally speaking, Blizzard wants you to have the same e-mail address or the same last name on your credit card to merge accounts—otherwise they have to assume you may have eBay’d. A fellow WoW blogger warned me that if I change my name when I get married, I may have to fax Blizzard a copy of my marriage license to make any major account changes. 

Money isn’t everything—right?

Maybe in-game gold is easy to come by, but in the current economic landscape, the reality is that many of you, including myself, probably operate under a tight budget (unless you’re in the business of hookers and blow). Although my previous equations illustrate exactly how much money it costs for two people to create two new accounts, end up with a minimum of two 60s, and a Zhevra mount each, we can further streamline those numbers.

  1. If you don’t mind waiting, you can save $20.00 each. Although buying the Battle Chest saves you a few bucks, upgrading your RAF accounts to Burning Crusade capabilities is not necessary. You can purchase a vanilla WoW upgrade for each account at $19.99 and then let your characters sit at 60 until you’re ready to transfer them back to your main account. 
  2. If you don’t care about a striped mount, you can save an additional $14.95. No, you can’t get out of paying the initial $14.95 per month fee if you want to get to level 60; however, you can forgot the 60 day Gamecard for the mount and only pay for the triple XP gains.
  3. If you don’t care about reaching level 60 with triple XP bonuses OR the mount, you can save $34.94. A main account linked to a trial account may still receive the triple XP bonuses—but only until level 20. Remember: you may only Grant a Level to a character lower than yourself, and you can only gain the triple XP bonus if the linked accounts are within four levels of each other.

Power-leveling (quite literally, in fact) multiple toons to level 60 also requires an enormous sum of in-game gold, if only to train Class skills (nevermind professions). For many, this will be a non-issue if you’re rolling alts on the same realm as your main. In the case of Lycentia and I, we completely rerolled on another realm, as another faction, with essentially no one we knew to bum a few silver off of. As a result, our speed grinding required a few pit-stops along the way, and even at 60, we need to farm excessively to support both characters. To make fast-cash, you can:

  1. Destroy all humans. In just about every starting zone, there’s an area with humanoids who will drop muchly needed cloth and copper. Grind for a level or two on those (although questing grants faster XP) for enough silver to train your basic Class and Trade skills. 
  2. Pick up gathering professions. Herbalism, Mining, and Skinning are all ideal tradeskills to level along with your first 60, but you will need to take some time out and work them up in level every once in awhile. Everything sells. No, seriously. Peacebloom, Copper Ore, Light Leather? Gold. On every realm, there’s some d-bag looking to level a crafting profession or stocking up for WotLK. Take advantage of it. Oh, and make a bank alt while you’re at it. 
  3. Sell EVERYTHING. Anything that you can’t immediately wear or use, vendor. If it’s a green item you don’t think will hold up on the AH? Vendor. Crappy mana and health pots that you’ll outgrow in about 45 minutes? Vendor. If you think that some item holds some AH worth, mail it on over to your bank alt, put it up, and keep moving. 
  4. Buy bags as soon as possible. If you already have a main on your realm (or a friend), a few Netherweave Bags shouldn’t be an issue. But even outfitting your intrepid toon with 8 slotters can help considerably in the long run. More storage equals more stuff and more stuff equals more gold. 

Dude, I’m level 60 and I can barely hit that guy! He destroyed me!

Well, obviously. The usual process of leveling a character allows for the gradual increase in both Weapon and Defense skills. For casters this is less of an issue (since in an ideal world, you’re not getting the shit kicked out of you or hitting a mob with your weapon) than melee, but even as a caster, if you get to Outland with less than 300 Defense, relatively innocuous mobs will casually rip you apart and then go back to grazing (yes, the Helboar did surprise me). How can you circumvent this issue?

  1. If you’re going to want a melee based level 60 character, use that as the character you’ll manually level to 60. Even though you’re still moving through content at three times the normal speed, your melee toon will still end up with close to 300 defense and weapon skill by the time he or she dings 60. 
  2. Learn how to take a beating. If you’re retarded and leveled a caster manually (like me) and then granted 29.5 levels to a melee class, you have a little work to do. Dungeons like RFC, SFK, or the Deadmines are great to tear through as a level 60 in level 20 gear. You can (usually) sit there and autoattack and win, simultaneously leveling weapon and defense skills. Additionally, you can pick up cloth for the AH or for First Aid along with various items to sell (or, much to my embarrassment, use). 


There are a few other tricks that I didn’t know about when I waded into this whole ordeal, and if you have the opportunity to take advantage of them ahead of time, it can seriously shorten your leveling experience. 

  1. Clear instances with an unlinked 70. You still party with your linked buddy for the triple XP gains, but adding the unlinked 70 gives you the group bonus (for more XP) and, of course, allows you to pull half an instance at a time. You can level almost solely from doing this, and as long as you’re careful, you can bring level 20 characters through Scarlet Monastery. 
  2. A level 60 character, already granted the 29 levels from the linked account, can simultaneously gift another 29 levels to another linked account. A little confusing? Let’s take my original scenario. Assume 3 accounts: 1 → 2 → 3. Account 3 can grant levels to Account 2. Account 2 can grant levels to Account 1. 
    • Account 3 →Grants 29 Levels to Character on Account 2.
    • Account 2’s New 60 →Grants 29 Levels to a Character on Account 1. 
    • Essentially, you can keep leveling 60’s and keep granting levels to more characters, so long as the accounts are appropriately linked.

    Makeouts Grants Gelid 29 Levels

  3. You can almost hit level 61 if you time your level granting correctly. This means that you need to level your toons to 31.9 (you cannot go over) and then grant them levels. This puts those toons at about 60.9 percent, making the stretch to 61 very easy indeed.

That’s about it! Unless you have a pocketful of gold, there’s a lot of auction house whoring and galavanting on cheap-o mounts to be had. If you have any other questions, let me know!