Who are your alts?

As I usually do at the end of an expansion, I have been spending quite a bit of time with my alts. Getting reacquainted with them and in the process learning new things about them, I have to admit, is really one of my favorite activities in this game. If it weren’t for the time factor ( as in I already spend too much time on the game), I could see myself being a multi-account maxed-out number of characters type of player.

As it is, I feel like I can barely manage my current nine characters on my single account:

  • Worgen hunter main, level 100
  • Night elf hunter almost-main, level 100
  • Panda mistweaver monk, level 100
  • Gnome destro lock, level 100
  • Night elf druid I have never been able to settle on a spec for, level 100
  • Human mage (currently arcane) I keep threatening to delete, level 100
  • Human rogue I just rolled and leveled a couple of months ago, level 100
  • Human paladin I just rolled recently, level 30
  • Human priest that has been my banker for several years, level 18

The first four are the ones I feel most comfortable with, the ones I have raided with at various times, the ones I always level first in a new expansion. My night elf hunter was my very first character and my uncontested main until the current expansion, when for unimportant reasons having to do with various guild memberships and raiding activities, my Worgen hunter became my main. I run my Worgen as MM, my Night elf as BM, and I think of my BM as the fun hunter spec — the one I like doing old content on, the one I use to chase achievements, etc. If I had to dump all my characters but one, I would keep my Night elf hunter. Hands down, no contest.

I rolled my Worgen and my Panda when those races became available, just to see if I liked them. I did, obviously, and I have never looked back. I usually like to try new races, classes and specs when they come out, but sometimes it is just a passing fancy with me. I have tried DK twice, both times leveling to whatever the max was at the time, but just cannot make myself like them as a class. I will definitely roll a DH in Legion, but from what I have seen so far it will probably turn out like DK did for me. And — because I am stubborn and bull headed and still immersed in my tantrum — I will not roll a SV hunter. (As I write them, those look very much like Famous Last Words. I give you permission now to laugh in my face if I cave at some point on this…) I am certainly considering rolling a third — Gnome — hunter, though, when they become available.

As for races, I am not big on either Draenei or Dwarves. I have tried both, but I can never get past the aesthetics of hooves and a tail for Draenei, and although I think Dwarves fit the hunter fantasy well, I just don’t like looking at mobile fire plugs every time I log in to them. My only Dwarf, however, was female, so maybe at some point I would do better with a male. (And yes, I realize it is extremely sexist of me to think it fine for a male to be short, squat, and ugly, but not a female. I am not proud of it, but there it is. Sadly, we cannot always escape our cultural biases.)

I have two or three times tried rolling a Horde alt, but I just am not a Horde person. In addition to the ugliness of some of the races, I can’t get past the baseline fantasy of the whole Horde concept. I like my leisure escapism to be clear cut Good-versus-Evil, with me solidly on the side of Good. I get that the Horde are nuanced and conflicted, and have what seems to be a richer and more complex story than Alliance, but honestly I get plenty of nuanced and conflicted in real life thank you very much.

Anyway, back to my alts. I am fascinated by the fact that, as I play them, their individual personalities emerge, each quite different from the others. My Worgen is all business, very intense, competent, and professional. Also tends towards gruffness, gets impatient with frivolity. My Night Elf hunter, on the other hand, has a very laid back and balanced view of things. She is like someone’s really cool granny, who can enjoy being silly with the kids but who also has a strong grip on how to lead the family and who still stays on top of her professional skills. Nothing really fazes her, she takes it all calmly in stride.

My Panda is still figuring out her professional niche, hasn’t quite reached the top of her game yet, and tends to be a little insecure.  She is at heart a caretaker, a healer who dislikes doing harm to others except as necessary in the cause of saving those in her charge. I am not an expert healer on her, but I am respectable, and I find the healing mechanics very quirky and fun. We will see if they will stay that way in Legion.

My Gnome is all spit and fire, who gives off a clear signal of “Don’t f**k with me or I will kick your ass”. I think she is very cute, but I would never let her know that, because — well — she would kick my ass. But I find warlocks to be huge fun to play. If I feel the need to abandon my hunters in Legion, I think my lock will become my main.

I have had both my Druid and my Mage for a long time, but I have never really bonded with either of them. I think part of the problem is that I can’t seem to identify with a single spec for them. My Mage is all over the place on specs every expansion, although fire really is my favorite. I should probably just go with fire no matter what, and maybe then I would develop a bit more continuity and expertise with the class. As for my Druid, I like the idea of Boomkin best, think it is the most fun, but in WoD it has been horrible to play. I keep thinking I should learn to heal on her, because I think Resto Druids are quite powerful healers when played well, but so far I have found it to be a daunting learning curve. Still, I find Druids to be a fascinating class for their abilities to tank, heal, and be both ranged and melee damage dealers — really the most versatile class in the game.

My Rogue and Pally are experiments in melee classes for me. I rolled the rogue mainly to have someone to open lock boxes for my characters, and because I need one final profession to have them all. I find it to be an interesting class to play, but I am pretty bad at it still, and I get anxious when I have to just wait for  power build-ups and spells to become available. (I am a mad button pusher…)  My Pally is my only plate wearer, and is too low level yet for me to decide much about the class.

Well, this has been a longer and more rambling post than I intended. Possibly it reflects my scattershot, unfocused approach to the game these days. I’d be interested to hear how others view their alts.

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.

8 Responses to Who are your alts?

  1. ArnoldBMhunter says:

    hi well i got 11 alts but 1 meby i del. soon a horde dk lvl 55
    the rest are : 1 night elf hunter lvl 100 ilvl 727 + ring at 795
    1 worgen hunter lvl 100 ilvl 696 + ring 715 (2 more weeks then 735)
    1 DK draenei lvl 100 ilvl 712 + ring at 738
    1 warlock lvl 100 ilvl 686
    1 paladin lvl 100 ilvl 646
    1 druid lvl 100 ilvl 620
    they got all there professions at lvl 700

    1 warrior lvl 95
    1 Rogue lvl 90
    1 Horde druid lvl 100 ilvl 704 (just for the horde storyline)
    and 1 human mage lvl 1 she buy and sell stuff on the AH

    the warrior and rogue will go lvl 100 if they will go for the ring i dont know yet.

    by the way i told u about a hunter party only raid, well here is the youtupe move i make (my first whan) just see what hunters and there pets can do in HFC (more movies will come we killt 4 boss there for now more kills will follow 🙂 )

  2. Grumsta says:

    It’s nice to see not only the variety of characters but also that you’ve fleshed out a personality for them. I know you dipped your toe in RP before, have you considered it again?

    Here are my alts (in the order I created them):-

    Westrock is my Dwarf warrior. The name came from an NPC I developed for RuneQuest (dice & paper RPG) back in the 80s. His full name is Flint Westrock (aka the Dwarf With No Name). RuneQuest had Dwarves as mad inventor types, and he was armed with two flintlock pistols. When I rolled him I’d read that Warriors could use pistols, but that information turned out to be out of date [I started playing just after SoO was released]. So I made him a Fury Warrior and I had a lot of fun and frustration learning the game with him. Raiding was a disaster – my poor raid awareness coupled with standing in the melee circle meant he had exalted floor rep in no time, so I decided to try a ranged dps class. I did manage to get him his legendary cloak and that really was an epic achievement for me, there’s nothing I’ve ever done in the game harder than that!

    Vaxthel (real name Vax’Thel) was my “main” AD&D character again back in the 80s. He was actually an Illusionist in D&D, but I chose the name when I rolled my Fire Mage. I picked Fire because everyone else was Frost or Arcane, I like to be different. As soon as I started levelling him I knew that this was the class and spec for me, and I’d retired Westrock as my main even before Vax got to level 60. I breezed through getting the legendary cloak on him, and I fared much better in raids, even though I never did great numbers because I was still learning the game, the class and raiding in general. He’s now an Arcane Mage for obvious and well-documented reasons, 13/13H and 724 ilevel. Not the strongest character in the game, but it’s better than I dared hope to achieve when I first started this xpac.

    Most of our guild members pre-purchased WoD so we all rolled boosted Hordies and created a Guild on the dark side. I was planning to try out Tanking, so I rolled an Undead Blood DK. I called him Loldemorte to show everyone just how seriously I was taking this project. I’m like you in that I see myself as an Alliance “person”, and after experiencing the vile atmosphere of LFR as a boosted Horde toon in MoP I have vowed never to raid there again. I switched from Blood to Holy and levelled Lol up to 100 in WoD and I’m very glad I did – the quests in Frostfire Ridge are superb, and it was great to see the Horde storyline. I laughed hard at the Horde Garrison, and was glad to faction change him to Alliance once I got to 100. He’s now a gnom: the laughing gnome of death. Serves him right.

    I rolled my first Hunter when a guildie BM Hunter quit the game just before WoD to start his University course. I wanted the food buff and wanted to try a new starter zone, so I rolled a Panda. He’s called Preypaws (which makes sense to me, but others seem to assume he’s a Druid from his name, hey ho). I made him a Marksman hunter because everyone else was SV or BM. I like to be different. I had the Heirloom bow and levelling him was an experience I can only describe as “faceroll easy”. I hit level 90 in no time and knew next to nothing about how to play Hunter. I did enjoy getting the various pets, but as I didn’t try BM until WoD (just to get Gara) I only got the “normal” ones for raid buffs. When WoD came and I started to struggle with my Fire Mage at level 100, my Hunter became my main. I ignored all the moaning to switch him from MM to BM, got as far as Brackenspore in HM and gave up the game for a couple of months in disgust. [Looking back it was a combination of my disdain for HM raiding after loving SoO so much and not forgiving Blizz for stopping me from playing Fire Mage]. When I came back to BRF raiding MM was suddenly the class to have, and I took no satisfaction watching all the BM hunters switch.

    When I came back to WoW I initially retired from raiding and decided to try something fresh. I did the Loremaster achievement on my Fire Mage, and rolled a Draenei Shaman called Velusi (named after an old Morrowind character), with the possible target of trying Healing at max level. Then I started reading that Shaman healing wasn’t in a great place in WoD, so I levelled her as Elemental using primarily pet battles for xp. She’s at level 100 but only leaves the garrison to kill Kazzak every week.

    I have a very low level Rogue Worgen called Wulfaz (old Germanic/Nordic for wolf) that I rolled for two reasons: to experience their opening zone to contrast with the Forsaken, and to get the Gilnean raven pet. The undead Frost Mage I rolled was quickly deleted after I’d done that zone. It was interesting, glad I did it, but even at low levels my heart wasn’t in Frost so she didn’t last long. [If you do ever roll Horde I’d recommend Undead as a great choice.]

    My current project is a Worgen Disc Priest called Medikate. She is fulfilling two purposes: to get my new guild the achievement for having Priests of all races, and it’s my first serious attempt at healing. I have to say I’m loving ithe role and class so far. I’m up to level 42 and after level 16 it’s all been done in dungeons (mainly with a fellow guildie as Paladin tank, but I have been brave and pugged a few by myself too). If I play in Legion I’m pretty sure this will be my main [it’s doubtful Blizz will wreck Disc Priests, and I can’t face playing a new Hunter or having to re-learn Arcane or Fire on my Mage].

    After my first two characters (Westrock and Vaxthel) I stopped thinking about them as personalities, and I have a firm detachment to all my subsequent toons. That way when the Blizz nerf hammer hits I won’t feel so bad about switching from them. I have created a pool from which hopefully there will always be one or two viable ones to play. [My definition of viable is that they can contribute to a raid and that I enjoy playing them.]

    • Fiannor says:

      Your last paragraph really hit home with me, and it made me think that is one of the main reasons why I am so furious with Blizz over what they have done and will do to hunters. In effect, they have completely destroyed the entire story and persona I have built up for years on my two main characters, the ones I am invested in and attached to the most.

      Interesting you should mention your priest. Last night on a whim I decided to give my poor priest banker a little fun as a break from her humdrum existence of running back and forth between the auction house and the bank. Outfitted her with all the heirlooms I could find and ran enough quests to raise her to level 28 (from 18). I am thinking now I may actually get her leveled. Even though she pretty much has to level as shadow, I probably will get brave enough at some point to try healing on her, possibly with a disc off spec. It will have to be a pug or dungeon finder group though, as of course she is the only member of her bank-purposed guild. I am sure that will mean a few kicks for being incompetent at the beginning, but luckily I have a pretty thick skin in these matters.

      As you noted, I have toyed with the idea of RP, but I am not really excited enough by it to go to the trouble of finding an RP guild. Despite the fact that I am on what is technically an RP server, most of what happens on it in terms of RP is done either by the weirdos in Goldshire, or by a couple of RP guilds that are either religion oriented or something called “college student” oriented. No idea what that last one is, but my imagination paints them as a bunch of old farts pretending to be frat boys. I think I would have to roll a new alt on a real RP server to really get a good idea of whether or not it is my cup of tea.

      I completely understand your feelings of betrayal regarding your fire mage, as it is quite similar to what Blizz did to SV hunters. It just seems fundamentally wrong to take a viable spec and — whether by incompetence or by nefarious design — make it practically unplayable. Blizz has shown itself over the past year and a half to be totally adrift when it comes to balancing classes and specs. They just seem unable to grapple with the complexities they have created.

      It is this inability to satisfactorily balance specs and classes — and the accompanying wild pendulum swings as they unsuccessfully try to compensate — that worries me about Legion. I suspect that in the first few months of the expansion the changes to specs will be so drastic as to force serious players to switch specs more than once, and the existence of the whole artifact weapon mechanism will make this process beyond frustrating.

      (“Loldemorte” — I love it.)

  3. No way am I going to list them all… at one point I had three accounts so you can do the math lol. However I like to always keep one “DPS alt” for farming and just for a change of pace when I don’t feel like healing. This has, for 10 years, always been a hunter — sometimes it switches which hunter because I have more than one. I don’t know what I will use for a DPS alt in Legion, if any. If WoD curbed my alt problem, Legion may well cure it entirely.

    • Fiannor says:

      Yes, there is no doubt that the game trend is becoming less and less hospitable for alt play. As you hint at, I think Legion may be a real alt-killer if for no other reason than artifact weapons.

      Three accounts! My hat is off to you, I cannot even imagine that.

  4. gnomecore says:

    Let’s see 🙂
    One, I play mostly girls for aesthetic reasons.
    Two, I’m definitely Alliance, but I value Horde as well.
    Three, there is no such thing as a “bank alt” or “profession alt” – in fact, any technical reason. If I roll an alt, it has backstory, attitude, its likes and dislikes. If I roll an alt and like it, it’s leveled up to the latest LFR and keeps up to the current content. All my toons have epic rings and fully packed in HFC LFR gear, have their professions maxed at 700.
    Four, I’ve rolled all races and eventually ended up turning most of my toons into kawaiiness of gnomes and goblins. Interesting that race changes happened at lv 100.

    So, here’s my account of 11 top-levels:

    Micromantica – Gnome Frost Mage.(girl). My main, considering she does reputations, achievements, archaeology, has the longest history and what not. She’s the most adventurous type. A devoted Jaina’s pupil and her bestie.

    Microfury – Gnome Affliction Warlock (girl). She’s serious and tender at the same time. Affliction because you need to be very focused about diseases, shadow and fel, it requires intellect work. Doesn’t like demons (would get rid of them gladly if she could).

    Bons – Gnome Fury Warrior (girl). Barbaric, berserkish, grim type. Rip off a bone from an undead creature and use it as a weapon against it – that sort of thing. Likes strong liquors which make her even more grim and silent. Race changed from Backston the Human girl.

    Paitsu – Gnome Windwalker Monk (girl). Zen and meditation. That’s the path. Running between enemy’s legs and giving out kicks, slaps and punches is also a path. Race changed from Chitsuro the Pandaren girl.

    Mayluna – Night Elf Balance Druid (girl). A classic raven druid wih devotion to Elune and Stars and both NE leaders. Doesn’t turn into boomkin.

    Melaris – Draenei Frost Death Knight (girl). Stunningly beautiful and cold creature, a podium model among my toons. Radiating cold, loves dead roses. Being a draenei, her skin is not much different if dead or alive.

    Lizgun – Goblin Marksmanship Hunter (girl). A bazooka girl, fire, powder and steam. Proudly wearing brightest colors. Loves cities, palaces and civilization, hates nature. No pets. Race changed from Salash the Orc girl.

    Schlitzhen – Goblin Enhancement Shaman (girl). Escaping from Kezan she met Thrall who taught her the basics of shamanism, and she’s following that path ever since. Idealistic person which tries to find positive sides in everyone and everything she comes across.

    Hexen – Goblin Assassination Rogue (girl). The most beautiful thing of all my hordies. At the same time she has a heart of gold, she’s experimenting and skilled alchemist and master of poisons. Race changed from Zindari the Troll girl.

    Ilmari – Blood Elf Retribution Paladin (dude). A typical inquisitor type paladin, hot headed and with life rules/attitude set once and for all. A typical blood elf too, with all the race’s merits and drawbacks. Despite wearing rich inquisitor robes, working at a forge is not a sin if you make finest things.

    Gottenbar – Tauren Protection Warrior (dude). He’s not wearing shining armor, his tabard is patched, he has dust on his hooves and he knows what war is about. Race changed from Rottenshield the Undead girl.

    • Fiannor says:

      Looks like an interesting group of alts. My anecdotal observation of alt selection in this game leads me to believe that there are two approaches to it from the psychological perspective. One — favored exclusively by males as far as I can tell — is yours of rolling females for the visual gratification aspect. The other is to roll alts that you invest with much of your own persona — including your own gender identification.

      This is based purely on non-scientific observation, but women roll male alts far less often than men roll female ones. Possibly that is because Blizz has drawn female characters in such a way as to fulfill most adolescent male fantasies of the impossible woman (basically a Barbie Doll), but male characters are hulking sexless behemoths.

      Not to delve into the crude side, but if females routinely show cleavage and wear armor that resembles fishnet stockings, why can’t we see a more pronounced “package” on the male characters and have armor that emphasizes it? The answer is that the males who design this game think of the latter as “gross” and salivate over the former like small boys sneaking a peek at an adult magazine.

      Sorry for the mini-rant, but you reminded me of one of my pet peeves about this game. Nothing to do with you personally, I like your lineup of alts, they look fun.

      • gnomecore says:

        In my case it’s only aesthetic reasons. I’ve tried each and every race/gender combination, and it depends on how I like the vibe, how it moves, fights and casts. Undead, Tauren, Blood Elf, Dwarf – I would play only males. The other races – it’s girls only, men just don’t seem appealing or they’re awkward.

        As for race choice, I’m fond of kawaii, cute races/creatures in each and every media product, be it a movie, a cartoon or a videogame. It’s not about fantasies, but rather an attitude not unlike to a pet or a kid (depending on whether it speaks or not).

        Speaking of physical attractiveness, if I lived in WoW, my choice would be draenei girls, human girls and surprisingly pandaren. I’m not into barbie style elves at all, but my guildmate girls indeed are playing mostly sleek blood elves, no matter if they’re thin or not irl.