I thought about simply posting a reply, but as a noob who was recently boosted and who now does it to others with alarming frequency, I have a more than a few words to share on the subject.
When I started WoW, I joined a guild with some real-life friends who had been playing WoW for years. But everyone in the guild was already 80, and already raiding. I wanted to get there as quickly as possible so that I could join in the fun with them.
I did most of the solo questing myself (is that redundant?), but I occasionally got a boost through instances, or help with a group quest from one of my guildmates.
If you are trying to power-level a character like I was, boosting in this manner accomplishes several things:
- You get the best loot out of the low-level instances. You get new gear that makes your character stronger and ultimately helps you when you are solo-questing (which is still 99% of the time).
- It can be great XP. Especially if you have several quests saved up for a particular instance, a quick 30 minute run can net you anywhere from half a level to more than a full level in XP.
- Trying to put together a 5-man group at lower levels can be painful. There just aren't that many people leveling. It isn't like doing heroics at level 80, where I can usually put a decent group together in 5-15 minutes if I try hard enough. Even trying to find just one or two people to do a group quest with can be difficult. Ultimately you waste an hour trying to put the group together, then two hours running the instance... at the end of which you would have been better off just solo questing; the XP rewards would have been better.
I would also occasionally get help with solo quests, as much for the social aspect as anything else. When you've spent 10 hours (or more) grinding out levels on a Saturday, it can be refreshing to have your level 80 friend come in and just blow up a shitload of mobs to help you knock out a few quests. Especially the ones that are like, "Get 30 pristine bear hides, 20 unbent wolf fangs, 10 intact goretusk livers, and a partridge in a pear tree." Doing that quest at-level will take you an hour. An 80 can blow through it in about 5 minutes.
Why I Boost Others
Actually there are several reasons. One is that I'm happy to help friends trying to accomplish any or all of the above goals. But I also occasionally help complete strangers!
First, it definitely is NOT a money thing. I always laugh when I see a message come across trade chat saying, "Will pay 2g for a run through instance X." Two gold, really? In the time that it is going to take me to get there and run you through, I could probably earn 100-250 gold through any number of other methods, such as dailies, farming, auction house, etc.
So why do I do it?
Well first of all, I'm a vindictive person. There were a lot of NPCs who beat me up real bad while I was leveling. I kept telling them, "Someday I'm going to be big and powerful, and you're going to regret treating me this way!" They never seemed to listen, but I remembered...
Murlocs were the worst. Any time I can go back and kill murlocs is a real treat. They suck while questing because they have an aggro radius of about a mile, and you always end up being ambushed by five at a time. Gnolls too. If you see me in Redridge Mountains, you can be pretty sure I'm taking out some pent up frustration on some hapless level 20 mobs.
I figure if I'm going to go beat up on all those asshole miners and sailors in Dead Mines, I might as well take some people with me who will benefit from it. This usually happens in the wee hours of the morning, long after I feel I should have gone to bed but for some reason I'm still playing WoW. I'll head to the zone and send a message out over general chat: "Bored level 80 doing a run-thru DM. No charge. PST for invite."
The "no charge" part is necessary because I've found that for some reason most people expect there to be a charge involved. But as I said earlier... why? If I needed the money, there are a LOT better ways I could earn it. No, this is simply for the power and the glory! I get a morbid sense of satisfaction from pulling 40 mobs, then clicking one or two buttons to blow them all up in a big pile.
Hey, I didn't say I was proud of this behavior. Sometimes the truth is ugly. :)
Finally, I do get a sense of satisfaction from helping others. Sometimes its a good social release, and sometimes it feels like giving to charity by "helping the little people." I know Gevlon wouldn't approve of this most decidely social and un-goblinish behavior, but that's one way I derive my pleasure in life: actually being kind to and helping others. Sue me.