Recently, after a break of about two years, I started playing World of Warcraft again. A lot has changed, so I’ve also spent time on WoW-related sites trying to catch up. I can’t remember what I was looking for when I saw the changes to the Recruit a Friend program, but whatever it was led to a three month long distraction.
Back when Blizzard first introduced the RaF program, I had switched my main servers to play with some real-life friends. I didn’t move characters with me (because they were the other faction and I still played on the old server part-time). I didn’t have as many characters there yet, and hadn’t rolled either of the classes that I’d played for years.
I level slowly. I feel bad for my poor friends whenever they’re stuck waiting for me to catch up. The thought of levelling another priest and warlock wasn’t enticing, given how long I knew it would take me. The bonus experience from the RaF program was appealing. Not only would I be able to level two characters at the same time, but they’d level faster than usual. All I had to do was learn to dual-box.
I loved it. I’m not the greatest, but I enjoy running my characters in pairs more than running them alone. I have a number of established teams, including that original RaF team, and I occasionally pull others together for different quests or areas. It has its frustrating elements (Horde cities have a serious obsession with spiral staircases), but it became my preferred play style.
To figure out how it worked, I spent a lot of time on multi-box forums. Since dual-boxing was working for me, I started considering running a 5 box team. I even picked up cheap keys for Vanilla during a Black Friday sale. At the time, though, it would have meant buying expansion packs for all the accounts and I wasn’t certain my computer could run five instances of the game. I never got around to getting the other three accounts.
On coming back, however, I learned those keys I bought would open up all content to Wrath of the Lich King, and the RaF program bonus experience now lasted to level 80. I’ve also upgrade my computer in the last few years, so I decided to give 5 boxing a try.
I discovered it was not as difficult as I’d thought it would be. The mixed teams were trickier than the handful on teams I ran that were all the same class, but it made gear drops better and let me use the heirlooms I’d already collected.
The first time I used the RaF program, I think I only levelled the one team, so my expectations for this round were low. In the end, though, I managed to level five groups on four servers, getting one or two of my existing characters to 80 for each one.
Of course, three characters from each team were going to be left behind, as I didn’t plan to keep more than the original two accounts after the three months was up. Another bonus of the RaF program, however, is the ability to gift levels: one to the veteran account for every two earned on the recruit account. In the end, I managed to boost enough characters on the original account to make up for the ones I left.
I enjoyed being able to run dungeons on my own. It’s not as good as having someone else to react to things, though. After all, if I miss something, I’m all there is. While I’m glad I’ve finished the RaF time (playing on a time limit isn’t fun), I’m going to miss my teams.