Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Torn Asunder... in a good way

I have always been a one avatar kind of guy. In my EverQuest days I tried to level alts but most often found myself either switching game play entirely or neglecting to spend the kind of grind time necessary to progress the character to a point where the investment was worthwhile. When Warcraft was released, I rolled a warlock on the first day, and then did not play another class until my wife joined the game, and I rolled a warrior to level beside her. As soon as she hit 50, I switched back to my warlock and helped her to 60, thus letting my warrior Sunzu, languish in his early 50s for about eighteen months.

Contrast that to a member of my guild who had a level 60 of every available class at the time, and you are looking at one very focused player. I play a lot, and my /played on Cyndre is a bit outrageous, but its what I enjoy, and I never saw a reason not to play that way before.

Until now that is. When raiding tapered off in the calm before tBC storm, I switched to Sunzu to farm and to finish his last few levels. He dinged 60 in Outlands on the second day of release, while Cyndre was stuck in a crashed Blood Furnace instance. As soon as Cyndre reached 70 and finished the Karazhan key, I began to level Sunzu.

Currently I am splitting time rather well between the two characters and enjoying it immensely, something I have not previously been very adept at doing. Sunzu is almost 67, Cyndre continues to round out his reps, gather epics and rares and certainly raid at every possible juncture. Now to add to the multiple personality disorder I am developing, my wife and I are starting to level some Draeni alts. She has started a Shaman and is 22, and I have begun a Priest who is a mighty level 11.

I can't help but think this is a very good thing. If anything, I have an overabundance of items on my virtual 'TO DO' list, and while I often wish I was on the other one, I seem to have developed the perfect anti-burnout strategy.

So the question to you, my readers, is do you weight your time in favor of a 'main' or do you prefer to alt it up? Taken to the next level, would two MMOs played simultaneous be possible or is that taking this too far?


Zubon said...

I tend to focus on one at a time, but over time I will switch to an alt after hitting the cap. In City of Heroes/Villains, I have 5 characters at the level cap and others spread over various levels, but that is over >2 years, when you could cap in perhaps a month of hardcore playing. Of course, then there are all the other things to work on, like finishing all your badges...

Altaholism for me means one of two things. It could be good, if there is so much to experience that I want to get it all: try every class, every race, every starting area, run some good quests several times, see how X differs when you run it with a different class, etc. Try everything, then probably settle into one or a few. It could be bad, if it means that nothing is really locking me in. If nothing is so excellent that it holds my attention, then I will be alting around still trying to find something that works.

Odd, that. You get the same symptoms from opposite causes: there are too many excellent things to stay still or too few to bother.

Cyndre said...

Ya I agree Zubon. Most of my time has been spend in a combination of Everquest and Warcraft (combined seven years) and both were indicative of the same basic problem... Leveling content is firly stagnant. If you level alliance side WoW, its starting zone --> Westfall --> Menethil --> Darkshire etc... all the way to Outlands. So one time through and an alt isn't going to open any new content.

Everquest was the same way. If you didn't want to self-torture, you leveled in basically the same zone progression. So alt number two was revisting the exact same content. You 'could' choose other paths to 50, but it wasn't recommended.

I guess I just get settled with a player identity and I play it to the max, until tehre is simply nothing left to accomplish. Thats what prompted my Warrior alt to get serious. I hit a two-year wall with my Warlock and there wasn't anythin in Old World wow, I had not done or accomplished.

Sechakecha said...

I hardly play on my alts. My highest alt is a level 24 Hunter that I started with my boyfriend when TBC came out. My next highest is a 22 priest that I made while waiting for my druid to transfer over to my new server.

I play boyh FFXI and WoW, and for a while I had no problem balancing time. But now, I've more or less quit FFXI for the time being. I'm having more fun in WoW. And in FFXI, I leveled quite a few jobs simultaniously, because it was more fun that way, and changed it up. My play styles are different on both, I suppose.