Alt-friendly or alt-hostile?

One month into Draenor, and I have come to the conclusion that this xpac pretty much requires you to have alts in order to progress, yet at the same time punishes you for having them by making it prohibitively time-intensive to maintain them.

I still have only two characters (both hunters) at level 100.  I have two other alts (my lock and my Mistweaver monk) leveled to 92, mainly in order to get started on their garrisons and professions. Which means I still have 4 alts stuck at the Shrine, waiting patiently to be brought over.

Facts:

  • Since the start of this xpac I have increased my playing time, to 4-6 hours every night, with sometimes more time on weekends.
  • Leveling really is fairly quick and easy now.
  • I am not much of an achievement hog, certainly do not feel the need to get every achievement on every (or any for that matter) alt.
  • I don’t spend time just sitting around in game, engaging in idle chitchat in guild just for the sake of socializing.
  • I do raid with two guilds (one hunter in each), but they are both casual raiding guilds, each raiding twice a week with a two-hour raid time limit each time (so at most 8 hours a week raiding).
  • I rarely do garrison invasions, mainly because they take time I feel I do not have.
  • I spend no time pet battling, thus cannot unlock the Menagerie, but also thus not using time for this activity.

And yet:

  • I have been unable to carve out the time to level my 92s any further. No chance I can even start working on my other alts, just not a possibility yet.
  • My level 100 hunters have barely adequate gear for raiding (low 630s), in spite of getting the level 680 legendary ring, running the world boss every week, running LFR as soon as it was available, etc.
  • I can just barely produce a few crafted 640 items, but cannot upgrade them for lack of Savage Blood. (I have a grand total of 2 SB, which I only got because someone screwed up and listed them on th AH for 180 gold, apparently inadvertently dropping a zero.) It seems pretty certain that by the time I am able to craft level 665 gear, it will be of marginal value.
  • I only last night unlocked my level 3 barn. Hoping that will finally now yield some SB.
  • I have yet to unlock level 3 bunker or storehouse.
  • I have not begun to reach the end of the interminable dailies for the stable mounts, spending considerable time every night galloping all over Draenor to get to the mount fight points (because Blizz’s promise of “Don’t worry, you won’t miss flying, it will be easy and fast to get around” was a bald-faced lie).
  • The highest gear level for my followers is 622, and I still have only 19 at level 100 on my main hunter, which is the furthest along on followers.

Without several alts having garrisons, unlocking many of the level 3 buildings takes an exceptionally long time. Literally months with just one level 100 character, is my guess. More alts with garrisons can lessen this unlock time, but realistically, your alt garrisons should be level 3 to be most helpful.

Yet the more garrisons you have, especially at level 3, the more time it takes every day just to maintain them. This is time not available for questing and leveling, raiding, pet battling, pvp-ing, treasure finding, or even just chilling out doing whatever you find fun about the game. And I am not talking about a few extra minutes here, I am talking about most people have to actually choose whether to maintain garrisons, or do any of the other game activities. It very much is an either-or proposition.

Thus my frustration.

I like the idea of garrisons, but their practical implementation is far from ideal. They require way too much time to maintain, especially if you have more than 1 or 2. And tying them to professions was a mistake, effectively destroying professions as viable income producers or gearing options.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

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