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Some thoughts on re-rolling


Like many that read WoW Insider, I've been playing World of Warcraft pretty much since release. Many people I know who've been playing that long have spent all of their time on one server. Mine has been spent with my guild, running up one of various characters to endgame. Raiding. Fun faction farming like Thorium Brotherhood, Argent Dawn, or Timbermaw Furbolgs. (I can hear your yawns of excitement now!)

Then Burning Crusade came out, and I thought to myself... "Aha! Something new to do." Now I'm running my Druid and Mage up to L70, having run my Rogue up, and my guild is starting to look at running alts through Kara. And I'm farming rep again, only this time it's Lower City and Thrallmar and I think I even have faction with someones best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night...

So when we opened up the It came from the Blog guild on Zangarmarsh, I jumped in with both feet for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to run a Rogue up so that I had a testing ground to play with maces and daggers and fist weapons and not just my beloved Swords. After all, if I'm going to help bring a good quality Rogue column to the Rogue community, I should be running the builds for myself. The second reason is because since Burning Crusade has come out, there have been huge calls for more new realms so people can run from 1-70 on them, fresh. I figured I'd see what it was like to seriously try to run a new character up after 2 1/2 years of playing the game on the same server with the same people, and a pile of gold just one in-game-mail away.

I think the first thing I noticed was just how chakkin long it takes you to get green gear if you're not just gearing yourself out. I know that sounds strange, but I didn't get a quest reward green until I was pretty well in my teens. I had actually gotten two drops before I'd even seen a quest green. That was kind of surprising. I'm used to just taking an endgame character through the lowbie instances, farming up a bundle of greens, and mailbombing the new alt with anything appropriate. The second thing I noticed was how outrageous the rewards for Tranquilien rep were. Who ever heard of a rep that you'd hit exalted with before you were level 20 -- that included it's own repeatable quest grinds for those poor unlucky souls who didn't start friendly with Silvermoon like the Forsaken and Blood Elves did! But sure enough, Blood Elves have some seriously sweet goodies, and I honestly will likely be starting all future Horde alts from Silvermoon City, regardles of race. After all, with the changes, you can go back and do the starting areas for the different factions and still gain full reputation.

But it all broke down to some basic things that I truly missed. It wasn't the sweet gear I'd managed to amass. It wasn't the snap, crackle, pop of having dual Mongoose enchants. (Although I'll admit missing the cool glowy, because Mongoose is wicked looking.) It wasn't even having the convienence of VOIP in parties and raids. Nope. After 2.5 years, it came down to three things:
  • Bags
  • A mount
  • Certain higher-level abilities (in my case, Cheap Shot at level 26, and Blade Flurry from Combat talents)
The bags were pretty obvious. Who would ever want to go from piles of 18-20 slot bags to a couple of 4 slot bags? I can't tell you how much time I blew running back and forth to vendors to sell everything at first, but run I did. The mount was the one that didn't surprise me at all. Of course, I wasn't crying for an epic. I just wanted something faster than World of Walking. (And for anyone who has ever run up an alt, you know I'll be screaming for an epic mount once I get the normal one, because we all pretty much do.) From there, I just levelled until I got Cheap Shot and Blade Flurry, and now I have to admit, I'm whizzing along pretty contentedly even with only having the bags and the talents at Level 38.

But when I sat down to think about it, I realized there was a 4th element involved that I had forgotten. It's the one that set my experiment apart from the race-to-70 solo-crazy "reroll locusts." The thing that makes leveling any character fun for me is having a great group of people to spend time flinging insults and compliments back and forth with in /guild. So, I must add an important 4th to my list of things I couldn't live without: and that would be a cool group of people that I get to spend time with. In this case, the ICftB crew were all relatively new to me, but several of them I've come to consider friends since then. As I know a couple will be at Dragon*Con, I expect at least one round of It Came from the Blog drinks will be had. And there will be pie. Oh yes.

So I suppose I fail at being a really good reroller. I'm not at endgame in nothing flat, I don't have huge amounts of money, and without the folks in ICftB, I have no doubt I would have gotten really tired of running a new character up and gone back "home" as it were. I'm still working on getting exalted with Undercity so I can have a My Little Undead Pony at level 40. My gear is a mishmash of eh and meh. But I have enjoyed seeing the game with as fresh of eyes as is possible after a couple of years playing it. In that, I will give the re-rollers one thing -- it does make you re-think your normal patterns. I feel like I've re-learned some more basic Rogue aspects that I now know I take for granted in my endgame pursuits, too.

I can see the allure. A fresh start, a new realm, and potentially a bunch of new friends to meet. But I don't think I'll ever quite get into the spirit of hopping from server to server every time they open one. I'd rather be able to spoil the next inevitable alt I roll. How about you? Do you prefer to keep your characters to one server? Anyone else ever try rerolling just to get a fresh start after playing for a while?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Odds and ends

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