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Recruit friends, give them levels

File this firmly under "contained in the game files but may not be activated until Wrath if ever," but MMO-Champion has found something very interesting in some error messages contained in the 2.4.2 patch. Currently, the recruit-a-friend functionality (offered from the account management page) is fairly bare-bones. You get a free month if your friend signs up and ends up paying, and they get a free ten-day trial to give them some time to get into the game, but that's about it.

According to these data-mined error messages, that may be set for a change. See for yourself:
  • ERR_REFER_A_FRIEND_DIFFERENT_FACTION = "You cannot grant levels to a character of the opposite faction.";
  • ERR_REFER_A_FRIEND_INSUFFICIENT_GRANTABLE_LEVELS = "You have not earned enough levels to grant any more levels.";
  • ERR_REFER_A_FRIEND_SUMMON_COOLDOWN = "You can only summon your friend once per hour.";
  • FACTION_STANDING_INCREASED_BONUS = "Reputation with %s increased by %d. (+%.1f Refer-A-Friend bonus)";
This is just a sampling of the errors, but it raises some highly unexpected possibilities. If whatever functionality this is referring to goes live, it seems like we'd be able to award levels to friends we recruit and summon them to us, in addition to getting a bonus to reputation gains with (specific?) factions. My guess would be that this is to combat the problem of wanting a friend to play with you, but not wanting to wait for him to grind seventy levels so they can get to the "real" game. Obviously it's far too early to analyze this in detail, and again, we may well never see this in game, but it's eyebrow-raising nonetheless.

Filed under: Rumors

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