I probably play World of Warcraft way too much. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, right? My addiction stems from not being happy with one character, or two, or three... I have 7 characters leveling in the Outlands right now, two of which are raiding Karazhan. Why can't I stick with just one and work on it until it's the best of the best? Because I love my alts!
I created my first alt when my primary character, a Hunter, hit level 52. I'm not entirely sure why I did so, but it probably had something to do with having out-leveled my friends by about 20 levels and wanting to help them without hindering our playing experience. My first alt was a Warlock, who I took to 60 first, becoming my first instance grinding and raiding main character. The hunter stood on standby for a while, until my guild had Molten Core on farm-mode, upon which I took him to 60 and brought him in for our alt runs. He was one of the first to complete the Lok'delar/Rhok'delar/Lamina quest in our guild, which he still has (at least, until I dust him off and bring him out of retirement).
After a few months with them, I met other people who played on a different server, and they needed main tanks for their progression. So I was off and running with a Warrior, who was level 60 in a matter of a few weeks. I helped that guild progress through Blackwing Lair when I took my first burnout hiatus. It took a few months of enjoying other things, more real-life than virtual, when I was feeling the pangs of withdrawal and logged back in.
At this point, another friend of mine started a twink on a role-playing server, so I thought I'd join him in a little noob lowbie fun. With that, my Paladin was born, and then a Druid, both capping out at 60 rather quickly. And then I took a Mage and Rogue to the mid-30s before I was called back to raiding.
Now I've never lost ties to all the guilds I've been in. In fact, the guild that I raid with a few times a week was the first one I was ever in. I just keep taking breaks every now and then to level a new alt, or explore a new realm's social environment to get to know some new friends a little better.
Upon the release of The Burning Crusade, when I found out that Alliance was getting Shaman as a playable class, I immediately rolled a Draenei Shaman and took him to 70, being my new primary raiding class. I've been on him and the Paladin the most over the last few weeks, but lately I've felt the urge to go back to one of the other classes...especially with the Shaman and Paladin nerfs on the horizon.
Last night, I didn't feel much like running Karazhan, so what did I do? I'll bet you can guess... Sure enough, about 2 hours after I logged off my main, there's a level 15 alt Priest asking for a guild invite. It was the only class I hadn't tried yet, so I figured why not. What can I say, I love alts!
Tell us about your alt experience. How many do you have, and why did you choose what you did?