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9-04-2008 @ 7:47PM
The negative effects from Recruit-a-Friend are minimal. Your concern that players will not be familiar with their abilities at 70 is legitimate at first blush; however, you forget that the first-time users to WoW are not the users leveling at lightspeed. These users are the ones that are still snail speeding, learning at a moderately decent rate. Besides, everyone I know constantly claims they learned more about their class's abilities (specifically from a more advanced angle) at level 60 or 70 while raiding. Your average leveler, before Recruit-a-Friend or now, doesn't have a clue about half the abilities they have (Divine Intervention is one that most Paladins, for example, really did not understand until 60+).Are quests being skipped? Entire zones? Instances galore? You bet they are... but that's okay. From a completely new user's perspective, Blizzard is trying to provide a window to a game these users missed out on for years, while not forcing them to dedicate months upon months of work in the process (meanwhile their friends, if they have any in-game, are already 70).Most of the people using the Recruit-a-Friend program, at least the ones I know, are all using it to powerlevel alts (either by dualboxing or by doing it with a friend for fun). In this case, the program is working as intended as well.Thus, I feel that Blizzard has not only achieved what they wanted from a business perspective, but also from a game design perspective (this coming, by the way, from a professional game designer/programmer).
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