Thursday, 24 February 2011

Altoholics anonymous

I'd never really considered myself an altoholic, yes I played alts, but I'd never really got into multiple toons in a big way. Throughout WOW I've generally had 3 characters at the top level, be it 60, 70, 80 or 85, generally one as a gatherer primarily and the others two as my main play-things, one which was my primary raider the other as my alt runner.

I've tended to have a play with other classes in the past, but nothing too serious, I levelled a warrior to level 60 to have a go at tanking, but didn't really like it, then Death Knights came along and he became my tank and gatherer, so the warrior got neglected, stuck in the outlands at level 63. Anyway, I was doing a little house keeping over the weekend, clearing crap out of bags and seeing if I had any spare bank space when I realised I had a character in every class but Shaman! Most were in the 40's or there abouts, those of you who've been reading regularly will know I've been levelling a druid which is now getting on for 65, I remember playing around on a Paladin about the time of TBC getting to 50 odd, and then I spotted my hunter, I didn't even know I had a hunter!?! Its level 63 SIXTY THREE!!! How can I forget levelling a toon through 63 levels?

Quite bizarre really; so it seems I am an altoholic, I even created a level 1 Shammy just to complete the set… there we go, I've admitted it, the first step on the road to recovery is admitting there's a problem after all…

I wonder how many alts the average is and how many of those are 85 or regularly active, I suppose only Blizzard knows the answer. I've found my alts incredibly useful for a number of reasons, primarily, for trade skills, I use one alt to collect stuff, one to enchant and inscribe and my main for alchemy and gem crafting which works well for me. In the past when I've been raiding, and didn't need the gear on my main the primary alt of the moment was my 'fun' player who'd do the 5 mans and alt-raids etc. I've also previously used an alt as a sanity character back when I was actively raiding and a GM, sticking it in the guild so I could keep an eye on guild chat and log over if there was a run I was interested in happening but just kick back and relax a bit more.  As far as most of the guild were aware this was just a casual member so I didn't get the constant questions about DKP, when the next raid was, randoms whispering asking for a guild invite etc. etc. More recently my alts have been my go-to characters when I'm time constrained, you need at least an hour for a random heroic these days, probably more like two if you get one of the longer instances or encounter 'issues' with the PUG… plus the wait time in LFD. So if I can't guarantee I've got at least 90 minutes I tend to either log over and level something or jump into a normal.

I've found alts have been both an important boost to my performance on my main, in terms of positional play and understanding the new dynamics of other classes and other roles (particularly tanking). I've also found they can sometimes be a bit of a hindrance; healing on the druid, especially early instances is about as simple as it gets, little heal, mid-heal, rinse, repeat. With the addition of an occasional panic heal when you've been caught staring out of the window, on a number of occasions I've dropped straight out of a lower level normal into a five man and found myself forgetting about Chakra, refreshing Renews, Prayer of Mending and a whole heap of other stuff. I've also noticed my DPS mashing rotation is similar on my Death Knight to that of the order of mash for my shadow spec, similar, but not quite the same, which has led to me firing off Mind Blasts without Orbs up and refreshing SW:P when there's been no need.

I'm not sure what the point of this post is, more an observational post I suppose, whatever, the sandwiches have been devoured and I've shed loads to do, if I plough through it I might be able to get home early and start levelling the Shammy…


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