I’ve read a lot of posts since Mists of Pandaria was released that Blizzard killed players ability to have max level alts (multiple characters) and have to wonder what merit there is to those arguments. As a player who had leveled one of every class to max level I can safely say that I feel a similar burden of almost any altoholic. My goal is always to have my characters raid ready (at least entry-level raids) and took all of my 10 characters into raid finder at least once. So here we find ourselves in Pandaria, a land with endless adventure (or work as some call it) and an additional class. Blizzard removed the cap on daily quests and made reputation gains important, added pet battles, added challenge mode dungeons, put 3 raids in the first tier, added scenarios, added a farm (ridiculously addictive somehow) on top of what we already had. With so much to do, is there any time for alts? The answer that I’ve found: Maybe.
It’s So Much Work to Get an Alt Raid Ready
This is a common argument as to why alts are going the way of the dodo bird. I hear that first there is this incredibly long and tedious leveling grind in which Blizzard has forced us to do purely through questing, then it’s impossible to accomplish anything without running at least 3 hours of dailies every day. But is any of that really true? The extreme realm/world first levelers reached max in under a day. Most of my guild had max level before the end of the first week after launch. So, it takes from 1 day to 1 week to get to max level from 85. We had a tank reroll to a monk and he reached max level in 2 days 4 hours played. All of these times, totally without the rested experience that alts almost always have. I leveled two alts from 85 at a rate of 4 hours per level or less – because rested XP is awesome. Well, what about the crazy daily grind? Just don’t do it if you don’t like it! Or don’t do all of them. My warrior is nearly ready for LFR in item level and I’ve only played him 5-6 times for 2 hours or less each since reaching max level – no dailies required! Clear Dread Wastes, do a few dungeons, a couple of sha runs (guaranteed epic boots), and fill in the missing spots with justice gear and BAM! Ready for the Raid Finder (or a real raid, if you were wanting do to that with alts). Crafted gear, including the cheap PVP crafted gear can help make getting entry to LFR or PVP fairly quick and painless as well.
There’s Just too Much to Do
I find myself agreeing more with this line of thought. I play WoW a decent amount (usually 2-3 hours a night, most days) and could easily fill my time up entirely with my main. I raid two nights a week, do dailies occasionally, pet battles, check my farm and make sure to valor cap. If I did more dungeons, scenarios, or PVP I’d hardly have time for any alts. But, that being said, I still have 2 other level 90′s, a few over 85, and a monk in BC content. If you’re having fun doing everything you can on one character, is that a bad thing? I have so many alts because at various points in the game there was nothing I wanted to do on my main character. My alts exist primarily out of boredom with the first one. If I’m not bored on even one character, doesn’t that mean Blizzard is doing a good job? I still like to mix it up on different characters because I like the variety in-game play, but I don’t feel the need to alt as the only gaming solution outside of playing something else. If the practice of having an army of alts is dead, maybe it’s because Blizzard did a great job providing so much content? The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, while not an MMO, is an amazing game. There is so much to do, that I’ve yet to hear of anyone actually making more than 2-3 characters and playing them – but I’ve also not heard anyone tell me that Skyrim sucks because there was too much to do on their “main”. Having too much to do is great. It gives those with a lot of time the ability to keep playing and it gives those with limited time options for how they use it. If you like questing, gear through valor and dailies. If you just want to run group content, gear through LFD > LFR > Raiding. Of course PVP has a simple crafted gear > battlegrounds for honor > arena / rated bg for conquest. While this hasn’t really changed, it’s no worse than what we’re used to there.
What do you think? Do you still have an army of alts that you play or is there just too much to do?