So, Druidmain showed me a very disturbing thing that is happening on the “WoW getting started” forum. She has been spending a lot of time in the Getting Started forum, which is designed for experienced players help new players get acquainted in the game. The forum has a lot of guides for new players, and allows players to ask basic questions about the game mechanics that tended to get lost in other forums.
Unfortunately, experienced players have started a really bad trend of spamming this forum for their own purposes. In an attempt to abuse the Recruit a Friend feature, there are people trying to bribe new players into leveling with them, with promises of gold, mounts, etc. Yes, instead of trying to use the RAF feature to recruit their RL friends, they are trying to trick inexperienced new players into becoming their Recruit a Stranger.
I can’t conceive of how Blizzard allows people to spam the Getting Started forum with subject lines such as: “RAF!!! I Give You Free Stuff LOOK!” This is just really inappropriate behavior, which (According to Druidmain) Blizzard hasn’t cracked down on at all. The most troublesome thing is that these spammers are likely trying to recruit people for their own personal gains, rather than for the benefit of the new players. These spam posts often have poor grammar & spelling, and read more like a gold-selling add than people trying to help others out of the kindness of their hearts. According to Druidmain, people spamming the RAF forum with these posts are not getting bans, as the same people keep posting there day after day (to the point where the “regular” helpful posters recognize the names of the RAF spammers).
WARNING – If you are a new player to WoW: Please do not respond to these people spamming the “getting started” forum. In general, you should never send e-mails to people you don’t know/trust, and you shouldn’t ever click on links posted on the forum if they come from sources you don’t know/trust. Even if there happen to be trustworthy people who will help you as you are leveling, they are not likely to be the people who are posting on the “getting started” forums. I personally spend a lot of time trying to help new players, BUT I don’t do it for personal gain, and I don’t spam forums looking to recruit new players to help them.
The people on that forum posting RAF threads are (9 times out of 10) likely only there because they want you to grant them free levels and get them a free mount reward that comes from recruiting a player – and it’s unlikely that they actually have YOUR best interest at heart. In this case, any players who abuse their RAF partner are a risk that could turn off new players from the game more than help them, and is likely an unacceptably high risk, especially since all the recruiters post e-mail addresses which they expect you to reply to.
If you want to do the RAF system, you should be doing it with someone you know and trust – not with some stranger.
In addition, the posts on that forum are something that Blizzard should NOT be continuing to allow to happen. I feel that posting RAF want-adds on the getting started forum is something that Blizzard’s Forum Mod Squad should be deleting – just like they delete other spam adds in other forums. The RAF spam distracts from what the “getting started” forum is supposed to be all about, and shouldn’t be allowed to continue week after week.