Incognito, the Way of the Alt

"What?  I got a boogie?

"What? I got a boogie?

As anyone who’s played WoW for more than month knows, sometimes the game can get… well, a little boring.  I know it sounds like heresy to some, but occasionally people log on and stare at their toon for a few minutes and think to themselves “I want to play… but I don’t want to play the same old, same old.”  They find themselves scrolling down over the “Create New Character” button, hypnotized by it’s shiny redness and bright yellow text and with one click, they’re off to a whole new experience.

Alts are fun and can provide a new view of this game we play so much, which is always refreshing, especially when burnout begins to rear it’s ugly head.  But they can also be a curious thing, telling stories about the person behind the keyboard that they weren’t even aware of themselves.  And of course, there’s the alt-o-holic, suffering desperately from altitis, unable to stop themselves from making one character after another that usually end up going nowhere.

I find myself somewhat in the latter category there.  I know for me whenever I get bored, I immediately start tooling around with the character creation process.  I have 10 chars on my main server, 6 on my original one and at least 20 other characters spread out amongst another 5 or so servers.  I have a problem with leveling them though as is evident with Dueg being my only level 80 char.  The closest one is a level 68 DK, with my original main being level 66.  Hell’s bells, sometimes I’ll just make a character and never even log in on them, resulting in occasional purges of unused toons.  I know, I have a problem.

I’ve also noticed a curious phenomenon that seems to crop up amongst the healer crowd.  Healers tend to make tank alts.  I know I’ve done this myself with my highest level alt being a warrior that I have an eye for eventually having to be a tank.  Considering that he’s only level 25 after about a half a year, we’ll see how that turns out.  However, I’ve read other blogs on here and I know numerous healers in game who all love their baby tanks (or grown up in some cases).  Is it cause we’re needy and want all groups to pay attention to us or are we just givers who can’t help but be helpful?  I dunno, but the second reason makes me sound more altruistic, so we’ll go with that.

Others use alts as cash cows, only leveling up when necessary to advance their trade and only logging on when their coffers start to thin.  Still more will have the bank alt, who does nothing but take in all the trade goods, put them in the AH and then dance on the mailbox in their underwear while you’re afk making a sandwich.  And you say I have problems?  There’s also the victim of circumstance, someone who rolls an alt to fill a particular role needed for the guild or to play with a group of newb friends.  These type of alts are the most likely to make the transition to mains.

And then there’s the true gamer, the person who’s just not satisfied with the one character.  You know the type, always popping up one char then another then another.  Maybe they dual box or have it all on one account, but you can always rely on them to show up with a tank or healer or dps depending on what the situation is.  They’ve got five level 80’s and will have two more before the end of the month.  Their mailing and money making systems are perfected to a tee and they know which professions to have and on which alts for optimal min/maxing.  Yes, we all know at least one person like this and we’re all ever so slightly jealous of their stash of alts.

So what is it that drives you, gentle jerkwads?  Are you like me and make alts for fun, but quickly tire of them and run back to your main after maybe a night or two off?  Or are they strictly a money making venture?  One that keeps your main rolling in the dough and dresses out any other alts in world blues?  Or perhaps you are one of the tireless few who can level an alt from 1 to 80 in a month and have raided with 6 different classes?  Drop a comment and let me know.

Oh, and by the way, yes, that is Proto Dueg in the pic up there, he’s my level 66.  He’s shadow specced and fairly moldy.  And smelly.  I mean, he is Alliance after all.



8 Responses to “Incognito, the Way of the Alt”

  1. 1 willel
    03/04/2009 at 10:20 AM

    I though all Dwarves were hunters. Mine is 🙂

  2. 03/04/2009 at 11:03 AM

    Ah yes, Alt-itis. I have a touch of it myself. And how funny that you mention the healer/tank connection. I’ve had a bit of trouble in the past keeping my attention on any toon other than Tart, but recently I made my Tankadin, and am leveling faster than I think I’ve ever leveled a character. I don’t know that I’ll raid on my pally tank but I do intend on farming with her (and have picked up herbing/skinning to help with that) and possibly having her be back up healadin with DualSpec.

    Oh, and glad to see that I’m not the only one that does the similar toon name thing. 🙂

  3. 03/04/2009 at 11:15 AM

    I get bored easily. My alts are why I still HAVE a paladin at 80 that leveled holy the entire way. I’ll frequently alt-hop, logging from one character to the next until I settle on something that seems interesting minute.

    And yes, I have a tank. I have a tank because I ran into a slew of Terrible Tanks pugging groups and I finally screamed IF YOU GUYS CAN’T DO IT RIGHT I WILL!!!!! and thus, my neglected RP concept warrior was respecced from arms into prot, and dragged from her abandonment in her late 20s all the way to 70. I had 3 70s-one of each role, tank and healer and DPS.

    I’ve noticed that a lot of healers have HUNTER alts. One particular Kara run we wanted a hutner and all the people who offeredto switch to their alts were…the healers that we couldn’t spare. Ahaha. My hunter was my fun time alt, and the dailies bitch.

    My priest was born of the days before PvE to PvP transfers, when I wanted to join Steve and Co on Azgalor. I wanted a healer again but the idea of leveling another pally killed me, and I always wanted a draenei alt. I continued her post transfer out of…insanity and boredem with the pally.

    Then there’s my 55 mage, long neglected…more DKs than I care to really admit…the infamous Icestone…various warlocks that I never got far…the varying play keeps me going.

    I even raided on both my hunter and my pally at the same time in seperate raiding guilds for awhile-and I didn’t care that it was Kara twice a week, RAWRREDPET was so deliciously different than Green Bar Whack a Mole.

  4. 4 kanaloah
    03/04/2009 at 12:10 PM

    I tend to latch on to a single character for a while, play it endlessly and then, eventually move on to something else.

    WoW was my first MMO, so it took some time to “get” the idea behind it. My first character beyond level 4 was a druid, I made it to 60 in 4 months. I played that character nearly non-stop, gearing him up, then PvPing ( omg the old pvp system /wrists ), until I hit Marshal and finally wanted to raid. Healing with the occasional off-tanking spot. Between raids and farming I slowly leveled a mage to 50 by the time BC came out. I leveled my druid first, then slowly bored of tanking and rolled my shaman.

    My shaman became my main, healing all of BC content ( except the last 1/2 of Sunwell ) and all current WoTLK content. Healing is what I enjoy. I leveled from 70-80 as resto healing instances and ( slowly ) questing.

    Since hitting 80 real life has stepped back into the equation, taking me out of raiding due to time constraints, and I find myself playing alts again. I now have a 73 DK on a PvP realm with some co-workers and I find I’m enjoying the intricacies of DK tanking, but nearly as much I’m enjoying playing the AH with my level 1 that runs between the mailbox and the AH in Silvermoon City.

    Maybe it’s just the lack of time I have to focus on one character to min/max like I used to that I am enjoying other parts of the game now.

  5. 5 Chibikeni
    03/04/2009 at 2:12 PM

    A dwarf with pointy ears and long eyelashes, and he looks sober…Ye gods! O.o

    I’m pretty much an Alt-tinator, I still do play my main Warrior who’s an 80 on Shattered Hand for most of the Northrend grind while I have a 70s protection pally and rouge still waiting for the zepplin to hop on to. I do admit I make many, many alts…for the fun to learn a class to play with. I tank better as a paladin aside from a warrior tank >.>

    Beside that, I’m pretty much a pack-rat, collecting ALOT of stuff and goes ‘Oh dear, I have too much ores and leather, time to send these over to the ‘banks’. But somehow, I do interact with the other characters just to make use of the stuff I’ve collected.

    Sometimes I do get a little ticked off seeing someone doing a 2-man or 5-man boxing using similar classes and specs, what does one try to prove? Leveling solo isn’t enough, or can’t find someone to party with? It does reflect on human nature on how we would interact in-game or offline, though.

  6. 03/04/2009 at 3:50 PM

    Hi, my name is Myri and I’m an altoholic… *cough*

    At the moment I have three 80s (Prot Paladin, BM Hunter, and Affliction Warlock), one 79 (Shadow Priest), and a boatload of 60s. Oh, and a couple of lower-levels, too. I think the only class I don’t play—have never managed to get past about level 12 before deleting, actually—is Warrior. In fact, I’m so much of an altoholic that I had to get a second account because I ran out of room on my main server. Despite that, and despite moving all of my Alliance alts to another server during the recent free transfers, space is still tight.

    For me the motivation to alt is split fifty-fifty between a) my love of utility and desire to bring whatever class is needed to help my guild, and b) my terminal ADD and tendency to get bored when focusing on one class all the time. Then there’s the RP factor; sometimes a girl just needs a new character to explore, you know?

    I’m hoping that the introduction of dual-specs will at least slow my descent into altoholism, but I’m not counting on it.

  7. 7 MellaDrama
    03/04/2009 at 8:23 PM

    I am also afflicted with the dreaded alt-itis. As you may know, my priest actually started out as an alt, and I raided on my mage for years, including the beginning of wotlk. However, it became apparent that we were in serious need of healers, and I’d always enjoyed playing my priest FAR more than my mage, it wasn’t as boring and it seemed like there was always variety (I’ve always played a healer in other MMO’s as well). In BC I played my priest as disc on a two’s team with a rogue and we did pretty well. I hadn’t had a chance to try out -real- raid healing yet (kara doesnt count) so it seemed like a win/win. Plus, if i ever had the itch to DPS, shadow is really fun to play now, too. So….yeah.

    My chars include:
    Priest (main, level 80)
    My mage (original main, level 80)
    Shaman (level 65)
    Warlock (level 39)
    Rogue (level 23)
    Another priest (level 38)
    Another mage (level 45)
    Original gnome mage (level 58)
    Twink hunter (19)

  8. 8 Anea
    03/04/2009 at 8:46 PM

    I used to be such a bad altoholic. I had SO many alts, and that is why it took me years to get a character to 70. Towards the end, Lus pointed out (several times) that it was getting me nowhere and I decided to do away with all unnecessary alts. I kept my old rogue (nostalgia) and played the priest exclusively for quite a while. I did make an alt here and there but none really made it to any significant level before being deleted. So, I’ve gone the opposite way, almost. I’m very conscious now of every alt I make, wondering if I ought to and whether or not they’re worth my time.

    I must have a complex.

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