2018 – My year of alts?

I hope everyone had a great holiday. I certainly did, but I won’t deny it is good to be back to a routine. The house is back to its normal non-decorated self, all the bad-for-you Christmas cookies and fudge and such have been gobbled or otherwise disposed of, the relatives have gone home, the parties are over, and there is no need for constant cheer.

O, comfortable rut, how I missed you!

Anyway, I did get in a lot of WoW play time while on break. Mostly I took the opportunity to develop a few of my alts that have been so badly neglected this entire expansion. It occurs to me that our raid team will soon — probably within a month — be done with Heroic Antorus TBT, and then things will essentially be set on “coast” for the remainder of Legion. Sure, we will still raid a couple of times a week, but after progression it is mainly just fun runs and getting Ahead of the Curve for non-raiders, along with some gear. I doubt if we will be doing any Mythic attempts, as once we finish Heroic (currently 8/11) it gets hard to corral enough core raiders to get to 20. So I am not holding my breath on that, and honestly I am kind of looking forward to a respite.

I think we are in for a pretty long “content drought” this year — typical end-of-expansion doldrums. It seems unlikely that we will see Battle for Azeroth before Blizzcon. We do not even have a hint of an Alpha much less a Beta yet, and we are probably still a month or two away from Patch 7.3.5. Also, I cannot imagine Blizz going into a Blizzcon without something big to hype. So my main bet is that we will have Legion for most of the rest of 2018.

Still, I have to admit that Blizz has surprised me with their delivery of Legion content. I may quibble with their definition of the term, but I cannot deny that they have carried out the exact schedule they promised. If anything, Legion has given us too much to do. It is because of this recent history that I think there is a (slim) possibility that Blizz has a surprise or two left for us in Legion. Also, I do not think Ion Hazzikostas wants to risk players leaving Legion with a bad taste in their mouths because it dwindled to nothing for months on end.

I hope they are not banking on everyone being content to level their new allied race character for 8-10 months. (Although the cynic in me says that slowing down the leveling process while at the same time offering new races to level is absolutely not a coincidence…)

If there are Legion surprises (and remember I think it is a long shot), what they may be are anyone’s guess. After 7.3.5 there could be one or two small “fun” patches before we get 8.0 in preparation for BfA. These could offer some quality of life fixes, some new scenario-type activities, maybe some new timewalking stuff, maybe even a mini-raid.

Additionally, I think there is a tiny chance that all the WoW prognosticators and pundits are wrong, and we will get BfA much sooner than anyone expects. I have no real basis for this, but it still tickles at the back of my brain that there seems to be a very fuzzy line between BfA and 7.3.5 development. Patch 7.3.5 may be a Trojan horse of sorts, a way to sneak in a lot of BfA design and testing without actually admitting that is what is going on. If Blizz can limit the new things that a Beta has to test (and remember they have said that BfA will have very few major class changes), they might be able to bring the new expansion to live servers faster than most of us anticipate.

But as I said, both the “Legion surprise” and “early BfA” theories are extreme long shots. What is more likely is that we will have Legion for nearly all of 2018, with only allied characters to keep us busy. Which means I will have a nice long time to immerse myself in my favorite part of every expansion: the “content drought” period most people hate. With that thought in mind, I spent a good deal of my break time playing my alts.

Anyway, back to my alts. I am not even close to being an altoholic. I have basically a main and 7 alts, plus a bank alt and usually one or two low level alts that I play for a few days and then delete. Of my 7 alts, all but one are level 110, with varying gear levels. All are Alliance and all are on the same server. I have tried Horde alts from time to time but just do not enjoy that whole fantasy. Also, I have no dwarf or Draenei characters. If I had to pick a favorite race, it would be a tossup between Pandaren and Night Elves. All but one of my alts are female. My alt specs are either damage dealers (slightly more ranged than melee) or healers, no tanks.

My holiday surprise came when I spent some time on my mage. Regular readers will recall that I have struggled with mage play style forever, and that I tend to have a sort of love-hate relationship with the class. I stereotype it as a stand-still-and-cast class, and cloth-squishy to boot. So imagine my delight when I discovered that my fire mage is very mobile, and that she has some considerable defensive abilities. I am having a blast with her, trying now to get her gear level to a point where I can jump into a few of our guild alt runs in Antorus. I have always said I think fire mages have the best visuals in the game, and I think that even more now that I am actually playing one.

I get enormous satisfaction from a streak of Heating Up and Hot Streak procs, and these happen very frequently. Thinking about it, the absence of that is one of the things that makes BM hunter play so dull — you just do not get any fun procs to really get your adrenaline going. Back in the day, the thing I absolutely loved about SV hunter was getting that Lock and Load proc — it was pure joy when it went off and BAM! you knew you had a chance to do some very significant extra damage. It just never got old. The puny, yawn-inducing almost-unnoticeable procs you get on BM these days do not even come close. Thanks again, Blizz, for sucking the fun out of huntering.

I actually hope Blizz takes its time with Battle for Azeroth. I will be perfectly happy to play a lot of my alts for several months. As my game time is usually limited to around 20 hours a week or so, I have not so far had the luxury of both maintaining a raiding main and doing end game play on my alts. I am hoping 2018 allows me to give my main a rest and spend most of my game time on some of my favorite (and possibly even new) alts.

10 thoughts on “2018 – My year of alts?

  1. ” I am not even close to being an altoholic. I have basically a main and 7 alts, plus a bank alt and usually one or two low level alts that I play for a few days and then delete”
    Yeah, I’ve heard that before …

  2. Welcome back, hope your holidays were enjoyable.

    You tweaked a thought when you mentioned surprises.

    They are adding a way to acquire all of your missing Legendary pieces in 7.3.5, and while it is a feature lost on me at first glance, I play one spec, and have my two best equipped, anything else rots in the bank, what it they announced

    Drum roll

    You can equip all of your level 1000 legendary pieces in patch 7.4, go have some fun.

    1. I had that same thought – it would be nice if we could use more of the legendaries at once! Would be fun, and would keep me playing longer than otherwise…

    2. That would really be fun, I agree. Why not do it the last month or so of Legion — BfA greens will supersede the legendaries anyway. (Not going to happen, but, like you, I enjoy entertaining the idea!)

      1. At that point all of the ahead of the curves will be locked out. Why not do something absolutely silly with no point other than letting players ROFLSTOMP the content. Even put in a Legion only achievement my iLvL is over 1000

  3. I think the expansion drops by Autumn. Blizzard has released Legion in August/September and didn’t wait for Blizzcon a couple of months more.

    Leveling a new race is something that requires time – my latest new toon leveling 1-110 took me exactly one month of no-rush, take-your-time, have-fun path to the cap. If we want our new races to be prepared for the next expansion, the sensible thing would be releasing them at least 3-4 months prior to the expansion – considering they encourage us to level all of them via achievements.

    Also, it seems to me that only tuning is left in development. There’s no class overhaul, their battlefronts and treasure islands are “throw in the existing art in the mixer and tweak gameplay”, their new questlines, art and continents seem to be almost ready – and this is art that stalls the development, as I recall from interviews. They have at least 9 months until September to sharp tune and test everything, so it’s very likely to be earlier than Blizzcon.

    So, my prediction is:
    1. Patch 7.3.5. questline – January
    2. New races available for leveling – March-April
    3. New expansion – June-August

  4. I had that exact same thought; levelling scaling and Allied races – not a coinsidence. I keep thinking of the fact, that Ion used to work as a lawyer. He is very trained in, I wouldn’t say lie, but, you know? Make things appear awesome, told in a way, that makes the majority think “Great!” without being able to connect the dots, if that makes sense?

    Anyway, I think it’s a super smart move of Blizzard, I look forward to levelling that way, and I don’t mind it 🙂

    I am right there with you: I love this part of an expansion! I can’t get enough of it. I will never catch up anyway, so when “current content” is on hold, it gives me more time to focus on older things 🙂 I would be surprised though, if we had an entire year of waiting in store, but I think Blizzard will release major things leading up to BfA, to keep us around.

    Who’s to say, of course, it’s just a guess 🙂

    Welcome back and Happy New Year!

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