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Posts with tag alt

Breakfast Topic: When your alt becomes your main

You've raided Icecrown Citadel and killed Arthas. You've got a ranked arena team. Your gear score and achievement score both push 6,000. You're officially elite. Then one day that level 15 gnome rogue you rolled two years ago on a whim starts to call your name. She's got pink pig-tails and the cutest little laugh. Before you know it your little gnome is questing in Outland. Soon you're in Northrend. All of a sudden you're running heroics, and raiding. Now your little gnome is just as leet as your old main.

Back long ago I started a druid for the sole purpose of making leather kits for my guild. At the time I didn't realize that since my main was an enchanter, I made myself redundant because leather kits overwrite enchantments -- but I must have liked my druid. As I leveled that enchanter, a mage, my druid was never far behind. Now both toons are level 80, geared, and at the top of their professions. I honestly don't know which one of them is my main and which is my alt. The only difference is, as a healer, the druid has more utility in raids and heroics.

Have you ever switched mains? What would cause you to switch? Guild needs? Personal preferences? Switching classes? With paid server and faction transfers, a lot of the old reasons for switching toons have gone by the wayside. We want to hear your main switching stories.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Behold the orc (1-20)

The Care and Feeding of Warriors is about warriors, those lovable, squeezable, strokeable bundles of pure joy who seethe with a burning inner fire, a rage that can only be quenched in blood. Matthew Rossi tries quenching it in delicious caffeinated beverages. You'd be surprised how often that works.

Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that not all warriors are level 80. Quite a few of them are alts currently grinding their way through Dun Morogh or The Barrens or Silverpine or Bloodmyst Isle. So while I do plan on going forward with my fresh 80 guides for arms, fury and prot, I'm going to alternate them with an experiment I started this week, which was to level an orc warrior from scratch and see how far I get with her. (I have almost no female toons, so I figured I'd give a she-orc a try.)

Yes, that's right, I rolled another warrior. In my defense, this week I've been really sick and exhausted, so what better use of my feverish time than to quest through The Barrens again? Look, the intervention didn't work, what makes you think your looking at the screen like that will stop me? Anyway, onward to discuss levels 1-20 as a warrior.

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Filed under: Warrior, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

All the World's a Stage: The art of the alt

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

With all the talk lately about starting new characters once the Cataclysm arrives, it struck me that most roleplayers already have more than one, including myself. Like most players, I started with one, a night elf druid, and focused on playing that exclusively for quite some time. It didn't really occur to me that I would even want to play more than one.

Then, I began to notice that other people played more than one character, even within the same small group of friends. I had one friend in particular who had mastered the art of roleplaying multiple characters. She never said anything out of character to anyone in our group, and it took me ages to even realize that her characters were ally played by the same person in the first place. Each one had its own personality, and each had a different relationship with all our mutual friends.

Knowing her made something click inside my mind, and I began to see other possibilities for myself too, other sorts of characters I could play with different weaknesses, strengths, and entirely different stories to tell. As my roleplaying experience grew, I began to feel as though one character couldn't contain all the ideas I had jumbling about in my head, so... I started another one, then another, and ... another. Little did I know all the pitfalls I could run into with so many characters, nor the quirky little tricks that could become possible with multiple characters, a small group of friends, and a bit of creativity.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Guilds, RP, Classes, Alts, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: The new character experience in Cataclysm

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

As you know, the Cataclysm is going to bring major changes to the whole world of Azeroth. There will only be 5 new zones for leveling above 80 and one new zone for each new race -- the rest of the work they're doing involves changing the old zones, bringing them up to the standards of zones in The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, adding new quests that are more appropriate to the current timeline, and completely rebuilding the areas that just didn't work so well.

You are also probably aware that this is a much-needed improvement. The 1 - 60 leveling process (except for the draenei or blood elf starting areas) has long been fraught with serious flaws. Going through it the first time wasn't so bad, since exploring everything felt so new, but doing it the third and fourth times meant sheer boredom. I remember many times going to a zone, completing many or all of the quests there, and leaving without ever feeling as though I had really "been" there. Except for a few real gems, quests mostly involved spending a lot of time running long distances in order to kill more nameless bad guys -- they felt more like pest control than adventure. Just being there seemed to remove me from the story of Azeroth, and dump me in some other world where there was nothing important happening. Vast stretches of land on the Azeroth map meant absolutely nothing to me as a roleplayer: no character, no story, no meaning.

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Filed under: Quests, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, RP, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying), Cataclysm

WoW Moviewatch: Don't Make Me Get My Main

is the legendary WoW musician behind Big Blue Dress and Darrowshire. If you've been following Moviewatch, then you already know he worked with equally amazing machinimator Legs to create a music video for Wrought. For BlizzCon 2009, the pair again created an astounding piece of art, titled Don't Make Me Get My Main.

The story of the video is something with which most of us can empathize. At least, you can empathize with it if you've ever tried leveling an alt up through Stranglethorn. A beleaguered low level character is just trying to get his quests done, but a vile Blood Elf repeatedly gray-ganks the poor chap. The protagonist implores the ganker to leave him alone, before he's forced to go get his accomplished, powerful main character.

I'll avoid spoilers for the ending, but trust me when I say it's probably yet another experience most of us have probably suffered through before. Congratulations to Cranius and Legs on winning a first place prize with this video.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Moviewatch, BlizzCon

Breakfast Topic: Loving the class you hate

I wasn't terribly thrilled with Death Knights when I first saw them. I didn't like the idea of yet another plate class (since I play a lot of warriors), and their whole "recently freed from the thrall of the Lich King" deal didn't do all that much for me. They didn't seem that different from Paladins, to be frank (which is because they're not: thematically, they're the old D&D Anti-Paladin/Blackguard idea) and although I dabbled with them from time to time, I didn't think I'd go the distance.

The first crack in that sense of disdain for the class was the starting zone experience. Anyone who's done it knows it's one heck of a well designed start to finish piece of gameplay. It was so well done, in fact, that I actually rerolled several DK's in an attempt to find the one race I really liked, secure in the knowledge that not only would I start at level 55 and be Outland ready by the end, but I'd enjoy the trip. After that, I blew through Outland on a Tauren, Gnome, Draenei and Dwarf before finally settling on my Night Elf here. Heirloom shoulders made the already painless starting zone even more rapid and Outland fell away like a solid fuel booster rocket lifting me to Northrend before I'd even finished Nagrand.

Now here I am at level 80, and for once I actually have a third alt at max level (not counting the old days when I had four level 60/level 70 warriors - I'm sad to report I only have three 80 warriors now) of a different class. Gearing the DK's been interesting, and as I've run myself through various content my DPS has been steadily increasing, my understanding of my specs steadily expanding (frankly, I love Blood as a DPS spec, it has so many cooldowns for AoE damage and a nice bag of tricks without being as fiddly as Unholy, and I can't say enough good things about Frost as a tank spec) - I have to admit, I've totally turned around on DKs. They're awfully broken in my eyes (even after the most recent nerfs to their cooldowns and tanking health) but I cannot pretend to be having a bad time playing the class.

So now I turn to you. What class turned out to be a surprise hit with you once you tried it out?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Alts, Death Knight

Breakfast Topic: Is this too easy?

Recently, I decided to do something with all those Emblems of Heroism/Valor that were clogging up my currency tag, and so bought myself the heirloom shoulders and Bloodied Arcanite Reaper. I soon found myself in possession of a level 80 death knight (messing about with Frost and Blood specs, waiting for 3.2 to see if Dual Wielding becomes viable again) and thus, had a dilemma. There's only three classes that can wear the Polished Spaulders of Valor and I have two of them at 80 now. So what to do?

Rather than bank them in the hopes that they'll work in the expansion (I don't think they will, because it's not like Blizzard to put out an expansion and then let you cheat your way through it the first time) I decided I'd try another paladin. The last one was horde side, and my burning vitriolic hatred of blood elves made him very, very hard to level. I mean, they twirl around when you jump! I hate that!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Classes, Alts

Breakfast Topic: On alts and patch planning

Patch 3.2 is looking more and more solid. There are still some bugs with the bosses in the Argent Coliseum, but those are being worked out and appear to be more of a technical thing than a design flaw. This leads us to think that patch 3.2 will be dropping relatively soon.

So with that said, I've been wondering lately about my alts. In particular the four left between 60 and 70 who are sitting in Outland not doing anything in particular. I know that if I drop the gold on them and let them fly around I'll have much more incentive to play them through to 80, and perhaps even find a new class that I love (truth be told, I'm finding my 63 rogue quite a bit of fun to play lately).

As I'm thinking of finishing my army of level 80 alts, I have to plan a little bit. Why should I level right now if within the next couple weeks I'm going to be able to fly around and do it all much faster? Wouldn't my time be better spent playing Fallout 3 working on projects?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Cross-character consistency

Most of us probably have alts at this point. On my main server, I have a character of each class (and besides the shaman and the mage, they're all at least level 40). And all of them that have leveled past Feralas have a Sprite Darter Hatchling to love and call their own. I like keeping at least something constant across all the different classes.

I've met people who use consistent naming schemes, which is helpful because it makes it easier to tell which alts go with which mains. I've met people that get the same color shirt on all their alts, although it's hard to see under all that armor. Some people like to take the same leveling path every time (like me), some people like to shake it up.

I even know someone who's leveled the same class to 80 several times - Warrior no less. But Rossi is widely considered to be crazy.

If you have alts, is there anything you always do the same way across all of them?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Alts

Tip: Show possible slot gear on character screen

I know for sure we've mentioned this on the podcast (in the ever-more-popular Turpster's Tips feature), but I'm not sure we've ever explicitly mentioned it on the site before, and this post from WoW Ladies is a great reminder to do so: next time you're checking out your character screen, try holding Alt as you mouse over the various loots you're wearing. You'll get a little popup with all of the gear in your bags that corresponds to that slot -- a (mostly) undocumented feature that showed up in patch 3.1 along with all of the other UI improvements.

In fact, that's probably why this is just sneaking around now -- there were a lot of nice tweaks back then, and this one slipped through the cracks. Of course, now that the official Equipment Manager is in the game (you have clicked that checkbox in the Interface options to enable it, right?), you might not need to worry about switching your gear manually anyway. But just in case you haven't seen the Alt function on your character screen yet, there you go.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King

Dealing with old currencies

Gaviedrummer has exactly the problem that I have, only mine is probably worse: he has about 50 Badges of Justice left over from the last expansion. True, I've only got about 30, but I've also got stacks of Apexis Shards, Spirit Shards, Halaa Tokens, Obsidian Warbeads, and pretty much every other old reputation and currency item from the Burning Crusade sitting around clogging up my bank. And while some of it is just me being lazy (I could turn the Warbeads in, and I think I could probably grind out a few more Halaa tokens to pick up something there), as gaviedrummer finds out, most of it is completely useless. Yes, we can still trade for level 70 items, but who needs those any more?

It would be nice, especially with the soulbound stuff (I presume I will someday have an alt coming up through Outland that might need some help), for Blizzard to give us an out. Even if it requires level 80 to do, and even if the exchange rate is terrible (something like one level 80 badge for five or ten level 70 badges), at least we'll be able to get rid of the old stuff. Obviously, they're worried that if they offer exchanges for new items, people will go back and grind the old instances for the old currency. But there has to be some middle ground or a level requirement or something, some rate that allows us to get something for the old junk, while keeping current level 80s from exploiting the system. Heck, even cloth has a reputation turn-in value, at the very minimum.

The Stone Keeper's Shards at least have a turn-in for honor, and at the bare minimum, that's what you'd want for any currency -- something cheap that you can just cash out of the system with all of your leftovers. Blizzard may say what's past is past (and like I said, I may just need to spend a weekend cleaning out the bank), but it would be nice to have an NPC in Shattrath that can say "Oh, you're level 80? Let me just take those old tokens off your hands at a discounted price!" And it would be an Ethereal, of course.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Leveling, NPCs, Making money

Five tips for inventory management

So I've been leveling an alt lately (yes, despite the fact that it makes my skin crawl a little bit, I've been leveling a Paladin so I can tank and heal with dual specs when they show up), and my biggest problem isn't the XP, since Blizzard has nerfed the leveling time so much. It's not the quests, either -- between Questhelper and having done the 1-60 jig five or six times before, I'm all set for quests now. Nope, it's managing my inventory -- I'm questing so quickly that the biggest problem I have is just keeping bag space open.

So here's a few tips I've picked up along the way. Even if you're not leveling, maybe some of these will help. And I'm sure there are plenty of great ways to make sure your bags are clear that I haven't discovered yet (I know for a fact that there are plenty of addons out there that I haven't had an interest in yet) -- feel free to share your own tips in the comments below.

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Filed under: Paladin, Mining, Engineering, Enchanting, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Odds and ends, Economy, Leveling, Making money

Trying something different

Mania's got an excellent, if longer-than-usual post up about an issue I'm dealing with as well: the need to play, but confusion about just what to do in the game. I've pretty much done everything I want to do on my Hunter -- after a very lucky night the other week, I'm decked out in all the gear I want, I've topped off my professions, and while I do have some reps to grind out yet (I still want a few rep mounts), most everything I want just depends on dailies, and those I can finish in just a few minutes a day. But just like Mania I've still got that itch to play, to explore and advance and progress, with nowhere to go.

For Mania, the answer turned out to be going to a Death Knight -- she may discover that she's opened up a whole new world in choosing to level with a completely different class. An alt was also the answer for me, but I have a few different reasons, the first of which is Engineering -- I thought for a while, after hitting 450 Leatherworking on my (also Skinning) Hunter that I would switch to Engie and just buy all the mats, but I think it'll be more fun (and profitable) leveling up a Mining/Engineering alt. And he can always make the BoE chopper for any of my characters as well.

But while an alt is sometimes the answer, there are lots of things you can dive into to find a completely new area in the game -- try Arenas for the first time, do a Wintergrasp grind, seek out an old world reputation or title that you've always wanted. We're very lucky, in a game like this, to have lots and lots of new things to try even when it seems like we've done everything we want.

Filed under: Engineering, Leatherworking, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items, Economy, Classes

Breakfast Topic: Emotes to improve cross faction communication

Some days, I just don't feel like playing my main character, so I hop onto an alt. Before long, I encounter some poor clothie of the opposite faction camping an elite quest mob hoping that someone else will show up and offer to group. Usually, the ground is speckled with skeletons.

Then the dance ensues. I salute, and the Mage waves. The Mage starts /saying things that I don't understand. I shrug. I wait for awhile, hoping that this will signal that I am willing to let the Mage go first. I'm hoping that my politeness infers that I will help.

Finally, I point at the Mage, then at the mob. Taking a leap of faith, the Mage tags it, and I run around behind to help, perhaps with a guildmate at my side.

After our parting farewells, I sit down to await a respawn. Personally, I think it would be much easier if I could say "I'm here to save the day!" or "I come in peace." Of course, there is some charm involved in finding a way to use our current emotes to communicate other messages, especially after Blizz added new ones in 2008.

How do you communicate to a player of the opposite faction messages that aren't directly built-in to emotes? Are you aching for a certain emote that would help you do this, or do you enjoy having to puzzle it out by piecing together existing ones?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Factions

Breakfast Topic: Murphy's Alt Law

The other day while doing her usual mystic rituals at the Auction House, my wife who was on her recently-turned-80 Priest saw an LFG for 25-man Archavon. She decides to hop onto her Warlock, who still needed the Valorous version of her gloves, and proceeds to do the raid. When the group fells Archavon some minutes later, surprise surprise -- the big lug drops the Valorous Leggings of Faith and the Valorous Robes of Faith. The painful irony is that there wasn't even a Priest in the raid. Head against keyboard, she couldn't help but think "if only I had brought my Priest..." but I've got a feeling that if she did, the Valorous Plagueheart Gloves would've dropped. It's kind of Murphy's Alt Law. Whatever loot drops will be what you alt needs.

It's something that everyone who has an alt has experienced. Last week while doing Malygos, one of our officers hopped onto his Mage to give the raid some more DPS since his Paladin tank wasn't needed for the fight. Sure enough, Alexstraza's Gift opened up containing the Barricade of Eternity, which his alt needed. Have you guys ever experienced this? Running on your tank only to see the drop, which would have been better suited for your caster, get disenchanted or rolled off for greed? The kind of situations where you wish everything was Binds-to-Account, instead. If only you could pay off the RNG...

Filed under: Items, Breakfast Topics

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