Recently, Zarhym posted a confirmation that Monks will be eligible for Recruit a Friend (RaF) benefits. For those of you who want to get a Monk to 90 as quickly as possible, perhaps for a new raiding toon, this is great news! Since an RaF link is active for three months, and since leveling RaF characters earns you levels you can grant, you can get started on preparing your Monk immediately. I recently leveled up six characters to 80 dual-boxing using RaF, so I thought the timing was appropriate for a post detailing the lessons I learned along the way.
I won’t go into too many details about the Recruit a Friend program. For more specifics on RaF, check the Recruit a Friend FAQ, Procedure, and Rewards FAQ pages on Blizzard’s site. Additionally, I’ll be writing from the perspective of someone dual-boxing, so not all the tips will be helpful if you’re leveling with a friend, but there’s some stuff in here for you folks as well. You’ll need a computer that’s powerful enough to handle running two instances of WoW and alt-tabbing between them without too much of a delay, but not much else is needed. On with the guide….
Assuming you’re dual-boxing, the first thing you’ll need to do is select the characters you want to level, one on each account. A few guides I’ve read advise picking one DPS and one healer. While this is a viable approach, I found it more useful to pick two DPS classes/specs, simply because it’s not practical to avoid all item collection quests. When you’re on those, you’ll want to be able to switch between characters to kill mobs, since constantly alt-tabbing to loot on the one you’re currently collecting on can be a pain. So you’ll kill and collect on one with the second on /follow, and then you’ll switch. If that second character is a healer, that part can be quite slow.
Other class considerations:
- At least one of the characters should be ranged DPS. In order to minimize the time you need to level, you’ll want to pull mobs in rapid succession. ranged DPS is obviously good for this.
- DoT classes in particular are great since you can keep damage rolling on multiple mobs at once.
- Pet classes give you a number of options.
- Stealth classes are quite handy.
For an example of how to use all of the above together, I’ll walk you through my two basic techniques for killing lots of mobs quickly, using my favorite combination, Aff Warlock/Combat Rogue.
Technique 1: With my rogue on /follow, I use my warlock to run by as many mobs as I can and bring them all back to a central location. DoT them all up, cast Shadow Ward on yourself, and start a Life Drain channel. Then alt-tab to the rogue, and using Blade Flurry, make mincemeat of the mobs.
Technique 2: With my lock on /follow, I use my stealthed rogue to drag the warlock past mobs, face pulling them. The lock doesn’t aggro, but the pet does, which means I can do damage with both the pet and my rogue at the same time. I open with a Cheap Shot, and the mob melts. With this technique, you’re essentially playing a rogue with a warlock pet. That’s a pretty powerful combination.
Now that you’ve picked out your characters, you’ll want to make sure they’re going to level at the same pace. Having one character leveling faster than the other can cause issues, so make sure their experience bonuses are as even as possible. Make sure they have even XP gains from heirloom gear – don’t have one fully decked out, and the other not. Make sure they’re both in the same guild, or both in a guild with the leveling XP perk (Fast Track, Level 2). Don’t worry much about other gear; you’ll be leveling so fast that keeping up with the curve is difficult, and unnecessary, particularly if you have heirlooms.
Now that you’ve evened out your heirlooms, let’s talk about some basic setup for dual-boxing. If you google dual-boxing, you’ll find plenty of information on programs that will help you relay keystrokes between instances of WoW. While this can be helpful, I found setting all that up to be overkill for two characters. I did, however, do some setup. I
First, I created the following hotkeyed macro on each character:
/focus – as I gained abilities I’d want to use on the other character (heals, for instance), I made focus macros for those as well. That way, I could do things like cast a HoT or a shield on my focus target, then alt-tab to the shielded character and pull a number of mobs to mow down. /focus also allows you to keep an eye on your second character on the minimap, which leads me to…
/follow – it can be a bit finicky at times! Be particularly careful around drops in terrain (the character on /follow can disconnect when changing elevations, especially when on foot). Phased areas can cause problems – Swamp of Sorrows questing is an example of this – as soon as you crossed the phase border with one character, /follow would be broken because the first would disappear for the second. So a little manual movement and using the /follow macro again was required. One last note: be sure your characters have the same movement speed, or you’ll constantly have issues with /follow.
The second setup step I took was installing Quest-o-Matic, which is a great addon to use while multi-boxing. This will automatically accept and turn in quests, saving a bunch of time. There’s a keypress setting for the addon to temporarily disable the auto-accept for those times where you need to go to a dialogue option or turn in quests in a specific order.
Let’s Get Questing!
So you have your macros set up – what’s next? Form a party! If you don’t, you won’t get the RaF benefits. Set loot on free-for-all, so you can loot regardless of which character you’re on. Now you’re ready to get out there and quest.
In order to maximize your quest experience, you’ll want to change questing zones aggressively. Now is not the time to go for Loremaster achievements; we want to hit level 80 quickly. So don’t feel bad abandoning quests and moving on to a different zone. You’ll be outleveling zones very quickly, so every few levels look at the map and see if you’re eligible to start in a new zone. If so, move on!
When you have a choice of zones, aim for ones that have a high number of kill quests, which are quicker to complete than collection quests. A rule of thumb: Seek out Hemet Nesingwary. Northern Stranglethorn, Nagrand, and Sholazar Basin are all great places to RaF quest.
Remember when you go to turn in quests that your characters need to be within 100 yards of each other. This isn’t usually an issue, but keep an eye out, especially after doing quests with travel components. A good example of this is any of Fiona’s caravan quests in Eastern Plaguelands. Don’t turn the quest in until both characters have completed their ride. Also, make sure to turn off /follow (by moving the /follow’ing character) before you take the caravan ride, or you may find one character chasing the caravan on foot. Not that that ever happened to me. You can’t prove it.
While you’re traveling around from quest zone to quest zone, take advantage of your summon abilities. You can summon one character to another character’s spot once every 30 minutes per character, and this can be quite handy. I typically set one character’s hearthstone to the appropriate capital city (Stormwind/Orgrimmar) and the other to the questing zone I was working on. That way, I could get around quickly. Since characters tend to D/C when alt-tabbed on flight paths, I often would fly very long ones on one character and then summon when I got to my destination. Think ahead, and you’ll be able to move around Azeroth with ease.
Other Random Tips
That’s about it. Don’t worry too much about gear other than quest drops. You’ll be leveling too quickly for it to matter. Same with professions – you’ll never keep up. Power level those at the end. Make sure when you grant levels that you do it from the lowest level character first, since you can only grant levels to characters below you.
Hope this helps you get your RaF characters leveled and your monk ready to hop to level 80 on day 1!