Since I first got into MMORPGs, I’ve found myself absolutely addicted to rolling alts. Whether it be Anarchy Online, FFXI, CoH/CoV, LOTRO or even DDO, I’ve never actually “maxed” out a character to its highest level before WoW (fun fact: last fall, Syp became my first maxed-out anything). Like many of you, I roll alts for several reasons including:
1. To avoid burnout. Burnout is the #1 killer of game enjoyment — when you’ve simply played something too much, to the point where it’s work and stressful to do. Alts spice up things with variety, with “newness”, and give a new sense of purpose within the game.
2. To experience classes/races you’ve only seen from the outside. Huh… so THAT’S why playing a druid is so tough!
3. To explore different professions and areas of the game (including quests) only available to that class.
There’s also danger in alts, however. Alts hold back the progress of your main toon — after all, if you’re playing an alt, that’s time you could be putting into getting your main guy higher or better equipped. Too many alts, and you start to lose your in-game identity; we often strongly identify with one name and one toon more than any others. Even while I’m playing Ghostfire this summer, everyone calls me Syp. Why? Syp’s my identity, and what I’ll always think of when I consider my WoW career.
Right now I’m at level 46 for Ghostfire, having started her in early June. I expect to hit Outland by the end of the month, and 70 by the end of August. However, with Syp in dry-dock, I need a little alt variety in my life, and I’m considering rolling up one of the following classes I haven’t played (much):
* PALADIN: The last time I played one, it was 2004 and I was in open beta. Got my toon up to 14 before the server wipe. Since it was my first character, I never realized how powerful the whole bubble/stun thing was. However, I’ve resisted playing them since, due to a stigma surrounding the class — their lack of variety, their slow leveling, lack of HOTs, etc. But maybe it’s time for another chance.
* MAGE: Never rolled a mage. Ever. Don’t hate them, just haven’t done it. It seems as if they have the highest potential damage output in exchange for the smallest flexible utility — yeah yeah, they have poly and water/food conjuring and those portals, but when people look to mages it’s pretty much for the BANG BANG YER DEAD and little else. Maybe I’m wrong!
* ROGUE: I will never roll one of these. May the class rot in hell. (No offense to TWW rogues, but offense a-plenty to the rogue jerks I’ve met over the years, including one today in ZF who got our group wiped twice, then left.)
* PRIEST: Never got one past 22. I feel as if they may be too similar to Warlocks in a sense (shadow damage, DOT-dealer, clothie) to give me true variety.
* SHAMAN: I have Seed, who stalled out at 44. Very unimpressed with the mana inefficiency and having to spam totems each and every fight.
* WARRIOR: Never rolled one. Never felt the urge.
Or perhaps I’ll just work on getting Snappi, my slow-leveling 44 druid, up to Outland. Birdy-form!
What do you guys think?