Recruit-A-Friend Reprise: The Bear Essentials

Posted in Guide on Sep 03, 2008

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!




  • At 2008.09.03 10:39, Dirud said:

    My question is: What’s your played time on the char that you manually lvled to 60 with the triple XP ?

    And given that you took time to lvl professions and grind for money could you roughly tell me how much time you’d have saved without doing these?

    ty muchly,

    • At 2008.09.03 10:45, Runycat said:

      It was about 2 days /played on the character that I leveled manually. That also included a couple of hours doing various profession bullshit, so, if you take out all the time I was dicking around doing nothing/professions, it probably would have taken a day or so. We certainly could have been more efficient about it, but I kept you know…going to work, cooking, cleaning.

      • At 2008.09.03 11:54, TwinShammies said:

        My time was about the same. I also leveled professions up so I think you could easily do it in 1-1.5 days /played if you didn’t level professions/gathering skills. I have to say it is a ton of fun to turn in quests and see each quest worth 20-30k xp. It is especially fun when you grind some kill quests and get a few bars of xp and then turn them in and level 2 or 3 times just from 5 or 6 quests :)

    • At 2008.09.03 10:53, TwinShammies said:

      I was curious. I have 2 shamans sitting at level 59 because I wanted to be able to grant levels to an alt on my veteran account. From reading the FAQ it looked like the benefits of RAF ended at 60 so I didn’t want to level to 60 and lose all those levels to grant. In other words it sounded like you could still do things when you were 59 but once you hit 60 it was over. It sounds like from what you said above that you can still grant levels when you are level 60. Is that true?

      • At 2008.09.03 10:59, Runycat said:

        Once you are level 60, all triple XP bonuses and summoning privileges are over. You can, however, still grant your 29 levels to a lower level character on a linked account.

        I do, however, think I remember something about the “link” between the accounts only lasting for something like a 90 day period. You might want to look into that.

        • At 2008.09.03 11:12, Dirud said:

          Yes, that’s correct, the link is gone in 90days whether or not you keep going with the accounts.

      • At 2008.09.03 20:48, Phaelia said:

        Don’t you feel that long-term players — like both of us — should be entitled to these sort of bonuses without having to invest more money in the game we’ve been paying for the past 3 years?

        • At 2008.09.03 23:07, Dirud said:

          I definitely agree with you on this Phae and I agreed the first time I read it on your own blog too. :) Although, If you look at it from a beginner’s POV it’s finally a way to catch with all your friends of have already 4-5 70s and don’t actually have much use of new chars. Also, since one of those friend will most likely be willing to send the recruit-a-friend invite, forces the experience player to help out the noob in his lvl in a game that’s so huge it’s easy to get lost. I think it’s a great policy for new players.

          Having said that, I do believe that the experienced players such has ourselves should have tons of incentives to reward our years of loyal and devoted membership. Maybe just not this one but something that couldn’t be bought. i.e. special skins for your tree, a unique pet for hunters, tabards and titles since they’re so fond of that, access to the arena gear with lower ratings, etc

          • At 2008.09.04 04:45, Runycat said:

            Sure, but Blizzard clearly doesn’t give a shit about the people who invest a lot of time and money into their game already. Why reward those people when they’re already going to keep playing and they’re looking to expand their revenues?

            From a business standpoint, it makes the most sense to offer a few vanity rewards (i.e. Zhevra) to the old players and then give some bonuses to new ones to keep them interested. I mean, in an ideal world, you’re supposed to be referring your friends, not purchasing multiple accounts. It’s just how it’s worked out (and I’m sure is “working as intended”).

            Is it fair? No. But if you’re going to make the most of the situation, you might as well milk every last inch of benefit from it.

          • At 2008.09.04 03:15, Elvolas said:

            Hi Runycat!

            first of all – thanks for your very, very interesting post! But I’ve got one question to you.
            Did you level the first character from 1 to 60 without having the 2nd character by your side? If yes… then you didn’t get the tripple XP bonus, right? How did you then managed to level up from 1 to 60 within 2 days played?? Or did you talk in the comments about your 2nd and 3rd (both new) accounts which get both 29 extra levels. Because the 1st account doesn’t receive any extra levels! I’m a bit confused about that – I’d be very thankful for your help&answer :)

            • At 2008.09.04 04:42, Runycat said:

              Hi there!

              I probably should have made some sort of diagram, because it always comes out confusing in words.

              Account 1 (old): Lycentia’s
              Account 2 (new): Mine
              Account 3 (new): Lycentia’s

              I leveled my druid to 60 manually (Account 2) with Lycentia’s warlock (Account 3). Because Account 2 sent the RAF notice to Account 3, those characters had the triple XP bonus and summons available.

              Because Account 1 had sent the RAF notice to Account 2, my level 60 could then grant levels to Lycentia’s 31.9 rogue on Account 1. Because Account 2 had RAF’d Account 3, Lycentia’s warlock could grant levels to my 31.9 paladin on Account 2. This also means that my (new) 60 paladin (Account 2) could turn around and grant levels to Lycentia’s mage (Account 1). Does that make sense?

              Account 1 is linked to Account 2
              Account 2 is linked to Account 3

              Thus, Account 1 can receive levels and Account 2 can receive levels.

              • At 2008.09.04 07:30, Elvolas said:

                Ah ok I see :)
                Thanks, now I finally understand it *gg*
                So you leveled two characters at your new account, right? Hmm wow – thats very smart! But also kinda expensive if you got two accounts :))

            • At 2008.09.06 09:54, Andurial (Kylnor) said:

              Runy! I miss you… while this has nothing to do with Recruit-a-friend (though I was originally highly tempted to take advantage of the idea), I wanted to say that my guild FINALLY downed Illy-beans and it made my heart all warm and fuzzy for you (no in the fuzzy way of the bear butt). Miss you!

              • At 2008.09.08 13:35, Runycat said:

                Hey, congratulations!!!! =D

                I’ve been a little tired of WoW lately, probably because I’ve leveled eight million alts in a very short period of time, but I do miss raiding. Did you get anything off him?

                • At 2008.09.08 18:42, Andurial (Kylnor) said:

                  Nah, he dropped Cursed Vision of Sargeras, Cowl of the Illidari High Lord, 1 Protector Token and 2 Conqueror Tokens. Of course this wasn’t surprising since my guild is having horrible luck getting Mage, Druid, Rogue tokens to drop for all forms of T6 (not that I would have taken the chest anyway since mine is better). Oh well, maybe someday I’ll get a pretty trinket or shiny mace and all will be well =). Try not to tire yourself out on WoW too much. Look forward to things like Force Unleashed to help take a break =)

              • At 2008.09.10 13:07, More Recruit-a-Friend advice said:

                [...] on using Recruit-a-Friend without screwing yourself over in the end. Runyarusco of Unbearably HoT has some more advice for you, including a few very practical tips I missed. Power-leveling (quite literally, in fact) multiple [...]

                • At 2008.10.02 10:38, T Bear said:

                  ME and a friend are trying the recruit a friend thing, but we’re hitting some problems. We have 2 level 8 chars and are in RFC with a level 70 priests, when the priest kills things we only get about 63 xp. We think we are getting the friend bonus (says so in the combat log) so are we doing something wrong? or is 63 xp an accurate amount? doesn’t seem like it to us.

                  • At 2008.10.02 10:52, Runycat said:

                    Well, I haven’t been using the R-A-F deal in over a month at this point in time, so I can’t exactly log in and see what the problem is. You’ll have to look at it like this:

                    If the combat log says that you’re receiving the R-A-F bonus, then you probably are. You may not, however, be receiving the group bonus by having an unlinked 70 with you (which might be something Blizzard hotfixed).

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