Altoholicism: An Addiction

19 Apr

Been busy, blah blah, blog’s been slow, blah blah, filler post is filler, blah blah blah, so on and so on. Alright on to something a bit more

Addiction to Alts
In case you don’t know, haven’t noticed, or haven’t followed the blog for long, I’m an alt leveling junkie. It’s sort of become my personal motto that “I play to level, not to raid”. I have 80s, I play them, I raid with them, I enjoy them, but they aren’t the reason why I play. Instead I play to roll up a level 1, get them up to whatever level I feel like getting them up to and then either abandon or delete them.

Everyone has their own scale for judging whether or not they are an altoholic. Some say that if they have more than two or three toons that they’re “focusing” on then they’re an altoholic, others say you achieve that label once you’ve gotten the message that you already have 50 toons and cannot roll another, and other still will say it’s once you’ve got four or more toons leveled up to 80.

For me it’s more a matter of what you do with your alts and how much time you spend on them compared to your main, or how often you’re playing on a variety of toons as opposed to a single one. Using “alt” is sort of misleading for someone like me because everyone is an alt to me, even my main. When people ask me to get on my main I know they’re asking me to relog over to my 80 Mage, but to me my main is whatever character I’m logged into and playing at the moment.

People who claim to not be altoholics often say things like “I just can’t ignore my main that long, I have to focus on him”. I understand where they’re coming from, I just look at it through a different window. When I log into a toon it becomes the main and my focus is there, right up until I get a desire to do something on a different toon, at which point they become the main.

Finding Accomplishment
People often wonder when they hear me talking about things like this how I ever feel any sense of accomplishment or how I can stand jumping around all the time. The main thing you need to understand if you really want to comprehend my meaning in that is that when I get a character to the level cap the character is done, they’ve beaten then game. I don’t need to kill raid bosses or get great gear, I don’t need anything to feel accomplished except for that experience bar to stop moving.

I jump around on different toons so much because I love leveling, but I hate seeing the end draw near. I get to Northrend and I do a few quests, max my professions, do a little farming, and then set the character aside for an undetermined amount of time. Having a toon reach Northrend is like being on vacation for a couple of weeks and then two days before you have to come home realizing that it’s all about to end. Leveling is my vacation, and Northrend is the last couple of days before it’s time to pack up and head back home.

I find accomplishment in things other than bosses and gear. I find it in leveling itself, I find it in capping my professions, I find it in forcing myself into a situation with a character that I stand almost no chance of winning and then fighting my way through it, I find it in changing specs and trying new things, I find it soloing content that I shouldn’t be able to solo with my given level or gear level, and I find it in helping other people remember that this game has so many avenues for enjoyment and that not all of them consist entirely of repeated runs through end game raids.

Character Slot Issues
The first problem any altoholic runs into is going to be character slots. It’s usually too many toons on your current server to start with, but eventually it gets to the point that you’ve already got the maximum 50 toons per account.

I couldn’t even venture a guess as to how many times I’ve filled up my server slots. I know on my current main server of Durotan right now that I’ve hit it at least twelve different times and I’ve done the same thing on at least four other “main” servers in the past as well.

The most unfathomable thing (to non-altoholics) that someone like me does is deleting toons. I can delete any character at any time. I don’t care what level they are, how much time I’ve played them, what their professions are, what achievements they have, or anything else. Level 80? /delete. Has 450 in two crafting professions? /delete. Only level 30 but has every PvP achievement from both WSG and AB? /delete.

If I want to roll a new toon on a server that’s already full then I don’t bother finding a new server, I just go through spring cleaning instead. I go down the list of toons and ask myself: Have I played this toon at all recently? Do I have any intention of playing them in the near future? Did I hate leveling him so much that I refuse to go through those levels again? If all the answers are “no” then I log in, sell/mail everything on the toon, log out, and then delete them. Nothing fancy, no special goodbyes, no messages to anyone, just a plain and simple clean out and delete.

When I do manage to reach the account limit I do a mass cleaning and go to every server I haven’t been on in a while, do spring cleaning on every character sending all the gold to a single toon, and then I’ll either give the gold away to the first person I see below level 20 or I’ll just leave the one toon there with everything I’ve got in case I start over fresh on the server at a later date.

Altoholism In Action
To give you a better idea of what my version of an altoholic is and show you some of what I’ve talked about here in action, we’ll look at the last week in Psynister’s WoW.

During the week I rolled two new toons, a Draenei Priest and a Dwarf Warrior. That’s right, the two classes I despise leveling above all others and I rolled them both in the same week. The Priest I got up to around 13 or so and the Warrior sits right now at level 15. Surprisingly, both of these toons are still “alive”. Unsurprisingly, the Priest is getting deleted tonight. Surprisingly, the Warrior will be sticking around for a while. In addition to leveling those two fresh I also leveled up my Shaman to 33, my Hunter to 25, my Druid to 45, and my Warlock to 71.

Over the weekend I rolled a Tauren Warrior, an Undead Mage, and an Undead Rogue. After playing each of them for a short while I decided they weren’t catching my attention much so they got sent to the chopping block shortly (prior to level 10) after being rolled. I also rolled a female BElf Fire Mage named Lyrysyn that made it to level 22 and is still kicking strong by burninating the country side, and a male BElf Paladin named Limpwrists (have you ever watched a male BElf jump?? o.O) that made it to level 10 but he may be replaced with an Orc Warrior within the next couple of days. I’m going to try to keep the Paladin at least until he gets his DPS Seal and then make a call from there. If I keep the Paladin then I might delete my Dwarf Warrior and replace him with an Orc Warrior so that we have another tank on Horde side just in case. I rolled another toon as well, but…well, he’s a secret.

All but one of those new toons was on my current main server which was already full. All in all I had 6 toons created during the weekend and about 20 toons deleted from spring cleaning across all servers.


Posted by on April 19, 2010 in Blog, Leveling


31 responses to “Altoholicism: An Addiction

  1. deimonia

    April 19, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    I’m with you on my mains. My main varies, it usually is a lowbie toon. When I get asked what’s my main in-game I say, “My main is one of my lowbie toons I’m leveling.”

    My toons usually take a vacation when they hit Outlands or Northrend. Currently I have two level 71 toons (Mage and a Paladin.) I have no idea when they will hit end-game.

    I’ve only deleted a “higher level alt” once, and that was my 30 Orc Warrior. The reason is simple. I server hop a lot. I enjoy meeting people in person and in-game and so always like to meet fresh new faces on a brand new server. It’s also nice to play a brand-new AH market.

    I’m shocked I’ve been on Bronzebeard this long although recently I’ve felt the notable signs that I do want to check out a new server.

    • anexxia

      April 19, 2010 at 3:19 PM

      @Deimonia I know a bank alt/lowbie guild just formed to feed someone’s need for bank tabs and her hassling her Alliance friends to reroll…

      I also lose my motivation to quest and level when I hit Northrend. I tried to concentrate on playing the Alliance 70+s, but got only a couple of bars on one, and did the cooking/fishing dailies on them before running back to the babylock.

      • Psynister

        April 19, 2010 at 4:03 PM

        I was talking to my wife earlier and she brought up a good point about Northrend. The quests on Alliance side are much more Lore centric in the low level Northrend zones than on Horde. Horde has some quests that are more enjoyable, such as the vehicle quest in BT where you blow up a all the scourge (love it), which Alliance doesn’t get, but there’s more story instead.

        It doesn’t really make any difference in whether I level there or not, but it was a good point that might make a difference for some.

    • Psynister

      April 19, 2010 at 4:01 PM

      I know what you mean. I tend to take a break in Outlands as well. Not so much from the “nearing the end” feeling I get when I hit Northrend, but more because basically every character (regardless of faction) does the exact same quests there. It really sucks that they didn’t put more variety in questing when they built it. I tend to leave one sitting around 60-61 for a while and then coming back to get them to about 64-65, then leave them a while longer before pushing for Northrend and level 70’ish. Then they just sort of sit there for next to forever until I get around to finishing them off.

  2. Cayleb

    April 19, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    I actually started out in WoW as an altoholic of the sort you describe. For me, it was more a result of learning the game on my own and finding out which classes played to my tastes. Of course, this was back before Burning Crusade, so things have changed a mite since then as far as how the classes play.

    After many, many tries at leveling a Horde main, I finally gave up on rolling Horde. In the fall of 2008, my draenei paladin main was born, and I transitioned to different style of play. I still roll alts, but for me they’re (at least currently) intended to be support for my main. Sadly, none of them are yet at 80 because of the effort I’m putting in towards grinding [Insane in the Membrane] before Cataclysm.

    To make a long comment short (too late!) your post made me realize how much my own experience has changed and how what I value about the game has changed. Where once I’d have given very little thought to deleting on of my many Horde alts, I now mentally cringe at the suggestion that I’d have to delete Eddywizzard (my mage alt) or Shankspeare (rogue) to make room for another toon.

    Thanks for a great post!

    • Psynister

      April 19, 2010 at 4:12 PM

      It was sort of the opposite for me. When I first started playing I really wanted to sort of rush to the end game and really get into the good stuff. I transitioned to WoW from Diablo II where you can go from level 1 to level 89 in about three hours and I was used to being able to do that kind of power leveling. I was also a group player in those days as well, trying to level with my wife and her friend who had gotten us started on WoW in the first place.

      Looking back on it though I didn’t really enjoy playing in that little group because our playstyles are different for all three of us. My wife and her friend are similar enough that they leveled together all the way from 1-80, but I gave up on being a group around level 35 and went solo from there on. I also deleted that toon and started over completely. I enjoyed leveling that second toon so much that I think that’s really the origin of my love for rolling new toons and starting over comes from.

      As for deleting characters, I deleted my first 80 Mage Psynister a few weeks back. I had leveled four different professions on him from 1-450, but in the end I had absolutely no intention of ever going back to him or to transfer servers with him so it was better to just free up the character slot.

  3. duskhawk

    April 19, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    This doesn’t describe me (who can’t stick with a toon without my guild for chatter), but it /so/ describes my husband. He does it for the RP, though.

    • Psynister

      April 19, 2010 at 4:13 PM

      I end up getting most of my toons into the guild(s) that I play in, but it doesn’t take the guild long to realize that I am what I am. After they see the 15th alt join the guild they sort of catch on. My “main” toon is named Belsynis and you’ll see the guild note on all of my toons something along the lines of “just another Bel alt”. I love it.

  4. skinnemuva

    April 19, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    I am also an altoholic, though to a lesser extant than you. I only play the game about 5-10 hours a week and what I mainly do is level through pvp. I have one 80 and his sole purpose it to grind out gear and money for all of my alts (think heirloom gear). Because of the amount of time I play I keep it all on one server and just delete characters when I am sick of them (always maxed at 8) or when the desire comes up to do something new. I love it, and after twinking was destroyed, it has been the only thing that has kept me playing. Alt on! :)

    • skinnemuva

      April 19, 2010 at 3:42 PM

      That (always maxed at 8) should be (always maxed at eight). Dumb emotes! :D

      • Psynister

        April 19, 2010 at 3:49 PM

        Yeah, I meant to turn the flipping emotes off last week and forgot about it. Let me fix that.

    • Psynister

      April 19, 2010 at 4:19 PM

      The “destruction” of twinking is another very relative term. If you consider the change to enchants to be the destruction, then yeah twinking as we once knew it is dead and gone. But just like the game itself, twinking has changed. Twinks still exist and if you happen to be in the Ruin battlegroup then it still thrives as well. Most twink action has moved to the Ruin battlegroup now, it’s the only one I’ve found where twink queues are 8-20 minutes as opposed to 6 hours.

      • deimonia

        April 19, 2010 at 4:39 PM


        I was on the Ruin Battlegroup (Horde side) and will be moving a few mains back to that battlegroup so I can get back into Twinking again.

        I’m thinking I’ll move Holiterra and perhaps Pouncealot (Druid.) Although I’ve been thinking about moving back to Zul’jin I’m not so sure, the queue times to simply log on at night was insane, perhaps things hve changed…

        • Psynister

          April 19, 2010 at 5:06 PM

          I twink primarily in the 19 bracket which is where I get the average queue times I mentioned above.

          I’ve twinked 29s in Ruin as well with similar queue times, finding that people still preferred WSG over AB, which baffles me a bit since AB is my favorite BG period.

          I haven’t twinked 39 on Ruin yet, but I’m considering it for my Shaman.

          I’ve never been a fan of 49s so no idea there, 59’s are pretty quick but (obviously) DK-heavy. A solid non-DK twink in 59s can usually own a DK in that bracket though. I don’t do twinks higher than that so no comment there, but that’s the info I have on it from my own experience.

      • deimonia

        April 19, 2010 at 5:12 PM

        I’ll definitely check it out, I tried twinking in the Cyclone Battlegroup and the queue time was way to long. I left after 30 mins of leveling on my Warlock. I honestly don’t have time for hours-on-end wait just to group against other twinks. I figure if I move a few mains to Ruin I can fund my twinks by swapping run throughs, crafting their gear, gemming, etc.

        Although I enjoy meeting people in-game but I’m mainly a solo player.

        • Psynister

          April 19, 2010 at 5:19 PM

          You’re welcome to join us over on Durotan. Just do a /join Twitter when you get there and you’ll find one of us twitter folks there. Cynwise and I are the only two that actively twink in our little bunch, but the twinks on the server grow daily.

      • skinnemuva

        April 20, 2010 at 9:38 AM

        My old favorite twink is a 59 hunter and in my battlegroup (reckoning) that bracket is completely gone. The only bracket I have been able to get into a bg at all was 19, and it still took 30+ minutes. I have given up on it, and now just rely on semi-twinking while leveling with my heirloom gear. It is very enjoyable, but I miss my 59…

        I may roll a new toon and join you guys over on Durotan too! Alliance, right?

  5. Alas

    April 19, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    This makes me feel a lot better about the toons I’ve deleted over the years!

    I do enjoy leveling, and with so many 80’s consider myself to be something of an altoholic, but I am getting tired of seeing the same quests over and over. However, I can’t bring myself to level in zones I don’t normally level in because I get too focused on efficiency and I end up in a vicious cycle of my own making where I want to level but it’s boring but I need to do it quickly because I’m not enjoying the journey the way I used to.

    I think that’s why I’m so excited about getting a horde toon up to Northrend. I’ve heard it’s completely another experience, unlike vanilla and BC where so many things overlap or are essentially the same quest with a slightly different flavor.

    • Psynister

      April 19, 2010 at 4:26 PM

      I tend to stick to the same zones for my leveling as well, and it’s also for efficiency sake. I don’t typically get bored going through them again though unless it’s something like leveling a toon up to 15 and then leveling another right after that in the same zone. I’ve found certain zones that I quest in for certain level ranges and I mostly stick to them because I like the quests and/or I like the rewards from those quests.

      When I find a lull in the leveling I can now praise Blizzard for the excellent addition of the random dungeon queues. I love that I don’t have to bother with finding groups and traveling to the locations any more. LFG was the most brilliant addition Blizzard has given us in a long time. Love it.

      It is true that we see some actual variation in quests between the two factions in Northrend though. The biggest disappointment when my wife and I rerolled Alliance was finding out that Outlands was the exact same quests (save a small few, i.e. poop quests) that we did on Horde. Almost every single zone was the same thing we had just done and it sucked. I don’t have that feeling so much for early vanilla content, but it definitely is from about 35 on up to 58 where it’s all the same regardless.

      I did have a lot more fun leveling in Northrend with my two most recent 80s than I did before, and I think it was largely due to the difference in Alliance quests versus Horde quests in the starting zones in particular.

  6. Gravity

    April 19, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    That’s a good insight to a playstyle very remote from my own, nice post.

    • Psynister

      April 19, 2010 at 5:08 PM

      Thanks for dropping in for a read, Gravity. It sucks that your main blog is blocked while I’m at work now. I need to get your alternate URL from you again so I can link it here and stay subscribed with that route instead.

  7. anexxia

    April 19, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    oooh tonight when I get online I am gong to make a /twitter channel on Bronzebeard too.

    • Psynister

      April 19, 2010 at 5:53 PM

      I join the Twitter channel on every server I go to, and every toon I log in on.

  8. Brandon

    April 19, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    By your definition I am not so much an altaholic as player with no mains. Most of my toons have a gambling related name so I am known to my guildies as Roulette since that was my original 60. Since BC I have not so much had a main as just a flavor of the week. I do like playing end game stuff and consider myself a valuable PuG and can fill pretty much any roll up thru ICC10 at this time. (Tank, Melee Dps, Ranged Dps, Raid Healer, Tank Healer) Now with dual spec I have been able to thin the ranks a bit with all my 80’s doing double duty. (Yes even my Mage, Hunter and Rogue are all dualspec.)
    I just find I get in moods to play a certain way every month or so. Right now I am all about my PvP Affliction Lock… DoT DoT, Tab, DoT DoT, Tab repeat, top damage for BG. Not sure why, but I just love watching people die slowly and inevitably from DoT ticks. I will even stay in my corpse to watch them try to bandage/eat/pot only to still collapse.
    Next month I may be back to Prot Warrior tanking or Resto Shammy healing, you never know with me.
    I am kinda like chatroulette with WoW, only without the nakedness…

    • Psynister

      April 20, 2010 at 8:57 AM

      You would still fit into the altoholic category in my book. You basically do the same thing I do only you consider ever toon a main where I consider every toon an alt. It’s essentially the same thing. My main is whichever character I’m logged in as at the time. When people refer to my main I know they’re talking about a specific one because that’s who they’re most familiar with from raiding with him, but when I log into a toon (s)he becomes my main until I log out.

      My stretches are usually 2-3 weeks long rather than a month though, unless I’m just absolutely loving the character so much that I don’t feel a desire to go roll a new one. And so far only a mage can consume my time for that long without the desire to play something else.

      I really do love playing an Affliction lock. It’s probably the most fun I’ve had on any character in a very long time. I absolutely love drain tanking and just running around on a constant killing spree before turning around and looting the massive trail of corpses. My love runs deep indeed. Unfortunately, my Warlock sits at level 71 in Northrend and sure enough it’s “two days before vacation’s over” so it’s time to drag my feet and ride it out as long as I can. *sadface*


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