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Reader Comments (14)

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 8:16AM Matix said

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I tend to think that this defeats the spirit of the concept of a referral system.

I would also point out that developers looking the other way isn't necessarily a sign that this is an acceptable practice: More account activity makes the numbers look good. For an indie developer where the devs and company owners are one in the same, that's one thing. Where the devs work for the shareholders of a company, that's a slippery slope to lying to their bosses.

Either way, it inevitably hurts other players two-fold: The multi-accounter gets bonuses other players following the spirit of the referral system don't. And devs get to tell their bosses that "everything's great"--when the best thing for the players might be for the bosses to know what's really going on numbers-wise and apply pressure to the devs to make more content or changes that the players want.

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 8:23AM Chambers said

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It is lame and i think following blogs like this announcing such things this will go the way of the dinosaur pretty fast.

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 8:34AM Dryus said

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I'm not sure about the referral system in LOL but I love playing LOTRO and I have definitely utilized the fact that I can create a character, level to around 16, grind out Turbine points and then delete the character. Is this wrong?
I sure hope not, its how I got my third and four character slots :)
The other side of this though is that there have been a few times where I get tired of grinding out points even though the option is there and simply throw down some money and get them quicker. So in the end LOTRO is still getting my money, I think they have just created a great way for people to feel like they don't have to pay to win.
Personally I love the way Turbine has set up the f2p model for LOTRO (not sure if it is the same for D&D as I have never played it). I appreciate the sense of freedom I have as to whether or not I spend money. If I want the next chunk of content I can throw down some cash or I can create a character and grind some TP.
Ultimately I think it comes down to the guide lines a company sets down for its players. If it is clearly stated that exploiting a specific feature (e.g. LoL's referral system) is against policy (key word here is if. I have no idea if it is or not in LOL) then I would agree that in doing so you are breaching contract with the company in question. However, in the case of LOTRO, where we are given the freedom to literally create as many characters as we can handle/afford, I fail to see a problem.
That's my rather lengthy two cents worth.

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 8:49AM Snichy said

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I did multi-box 3 different accounts/characters once up to level 60 in WoW, just to see if I could. As a result of this I got 60 free levels to apply to any character I wanted through their refer a friend policy and bonus xp scheme (up to level 60). As a result I got 4 characters up to level 60 without really knowing anything about them or how to play them properly. It was good to do it at the time but I wouldn't do anything like that again as I never played those characters ever again as I had no attachment to them and it felt cheap to bypass the levelling process.

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 8:52AM DarkWalker said

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For referral systems, only if I really want to be playing both accounts at the same time. I did this with WoW when I wanted to start dual-boxing.

For things where I'm supposed to find another (already playing) willing player to get some in-game reward that isn't available any other way (being emoted at in LotRO, exchanging gifts in those facebook games, even swapping pokemons so they can evolve)? All the time. While I like playing with other people, I HATE depending on other people. It's the main reason I am an alt-holic: so I can be self-sufficient in crafting and have characters that can fulfill any role.

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 8:52AM (Unverified) said

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I never do such things, since its not worth spending time fucking around instead of realy playing. If I want something, I purchase that, but I cant be bothered to find a sneaky way to earn some more in game.

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 9:41AM Skyydragonn said

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I'll pick up referal codes and rarely ever use them.
If there are freebies to be had such as LoL's freebies for following thier youtube/twwitter/facebook pages I'll grab those.
However I just can't see investing the effort to create and play an account/character solely to get an extra freebie. Just not worth the effort for the reward IMO

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 9:43AM mysecretid said

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I never "work the system" for extra goodies.

Most of the goodies aren't worth the grindery, or the weaseldom, involved ("Con your friends into playing this MMORPG they don't want to play, so you can get a goodie!").

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 9:49AM real65rcncom said

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I never send around those "buddy keys" and such to get trinkets.

Any type of advertising I think the game should do. If they want me to recruit for them give me something better, like a discount instead of a dog or a hat.

I actually laugh at people when I see them wearing that recruiting shill stuff in-game.


It's like an idiot beacon on their heads.

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 10:48AM Jeromai said

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As long as it isn't specifically prohibited by the company, most of this hurts nobody save for the one playing the system. It goes back to the old "grind" argument.

If you're repeating the activity and finding the process enjoyably fun, be it going to 1-5 over and over in LoL, or committing mass genocide in LOTRO for TP from deeds, all power to you. Presumably if you're committed enough to the game to make 3-5+ accounts, you'll eventually hit a point where you'll be tempted to spend money for the characters on the accounts, out of impatience, convenience or long term goodwill.

I think the main risk is that if you're forcing yourself to endure the activity as something you don't enjoy, but simply as a means to the desirable ends, chances of extreme burnout rise pretty sharply.

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 12:38PM TheAngryIntern said

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I'll admit I did this for WoW when they had the recruit a friend promotion. You got double or triple XP when you grouped with your "friend" and if they bought a full sub for at least a month you go the Zebra mount. I just dual boxed for a couple weeks and then canceled the 2nd account.

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 1:30PM Doran7 said

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depends on the game .. many times it's not worth the effort.

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 1:55PM Space Cobra said

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Well, I admit, I will do something like you mentioned. While I could recruit friends, the limitations (only one item per one character/slot) make me just use the free email addys, especially with other restrictions involved.

Although, I must admit, while I would readily do this, I have yet to do so in any game; it's just too much trouble unless I am hyped over something.

Also, it is kinda weird that the companies probably know people, like me, do this and do not recruit friends; I am thinking it is part of an "acceptable loss" sorta thing. Basically, they get enough real recruiters-of-friends to justify those of us who set multiple accounts AND they probably don't mind multiple accounts: There has been a long-standing gripe (that I don't hear much about anymore) about MMOs not giving a "family discount plan" to those in the same household (and I have heard from both sides and agree and disagree; I can see both sides' argument for/against), so there is that (or rather the "Let's milk more subs/accounts and get more money even if it is out of one guy" sort of business philosophy).

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 9:38PM TheClaw said

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I'm not familiar with LoL's referral system, but I am very familiar with LOTRO.

Yes, you can create fresh characters, grind deeds to earn Turbine points, and then delete them. This allows you to buy content, perks, etc. from the cash shop without spending any cash.

But of course there's a catch. The catch is that if you're incredibly good at this and squeeze out every last drop of efficiency, you MIGHT aspire to earning the equivalent of a dollar an hour worth of Turbine Points.

My advice to anyone who does this? Ask your mum & dad if you can do some extra chores to earn some extra pocket money. They'll probably pay you more than a buck an hour, and then you can spend your gaming time GAMING, not grinding 90 slugs in The Shire for the Nth time.

Do Turbine care? I seriously doubt it. I think the most likely outcome of someone pursuing this course of action is that they WILL eventually say "you know what, I just did ten hours of tedious grinding to buy a new quest pack, why didn't I just pay cash for it?" Grinding for points is a good advertisement for PAYING for points.

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