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Posts with tag alts

Breakfast Topic: Should alts remain secondary to a more developed main?

Breakfast Topic Should alts be secondary to a more developed main
Ready to move all those alts through Mists of Pandaria? The XP reduction for levels 85 to 90 in patch 5.3 isn't something I'm particularly excited about. Leveling goes more than quickly enough for my taste. It's the part of the game I'm enjoying most these days, so why would I want less of it?

At its most basic, pushing players through the levels is a matter of character focus. In Mists of Pandaria, WoW turned away from spreading its affections amongst the so-called stable of alts in favor of encouraging a single main character. That's a compelling approach for players like me who enjoy running down the side streets and back alleyways of gameplay in search of every last way to improve a character. Players who leveled up during Blizzard's later era of streamlined leveling, however, are used to cutting a direct line to the finish with an expectation that they'll be able to maintain multiple characters all the way through the endgame.

What do you think about swinging the focus back to a single main character? Do you think bringing alts up to the same level of development as a main character should be easy, making them true alternatives to your primary character? Or should alts remain easy to level but harder to fully round out at 90?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Things that were harder before

Things that were harder before
I did a post this week about raiding in previous expansions and in vanilla WoW, and how people often say those raids were harder and my opinion that it is easily demonstrable that current raids are if anything more complicated than they have ever been. I frankly believe there is almost no room for comparison between the game at 60 and today in terms of raid complexity and difficulty. Part of this stems from the many different variations on what the word hard means in this context. Something can be harder because it is conceptually or executionally more complex (the difficulty can stem from how much is required to successfully complete its mechanics) or it can be hard because it is laborious and/or time consuming. Was raiding with 40 people in classic WoW more laborious? Absolutely it was. It wasn't mechanically harder, but it was more time consuming and took a great deal of effort to organize and plan. It's the difference between working out a complex multi-stage math problem and carrying five thousand pounds of rocks from point A to point B.

But there were some points worth addressing. It absolutely has never been easier to level, even without heirlooms, than it is right now. Vanilla leveling to 60 took more time and effort than leveling to 90 does today. Even without heirlooms, one can easily and without much stress reach level 20 in a few hours, level 40 in less than two days, and be level 60 within a day of that, and this isn't spending all day staring at the screen either. This is a fairly casual leveling pace. I leveled a blood elf warrior to 35 in two days of rather casual play, an hour on followed by a half hour reading websites or having a snack or even going for a long walk.

It's also far easier to do the following things:
  1. Get a dungeon group. You can queue for dungeons at level 15, and from that point on, all you ever have to do to run a dungeon is hit that queue. If you're playing in the tank or healing role you can effectively chain dungeons all day, and even leveling as DPS there are stretches where you don't even need to quest or do anything but dungeon.
  2. Run a battleground. While you could argue that doing well at BG running as you level up and at max level takes some time and effort, if you want to risk queueing in whatever gear you have, it's simplicity itself.
  3. Getting ready to raid at max level. The game now has catchup mechanisms in place for players who start later. If you just got your alt to 90 and are switching to it for raiding, deciding to give raiding a try for the first time, or what have you it's not the case that your raid group is compelled to run you through previous raids for attunements and keys, much less gearing you through older raids to get ready for the current content.
  4. Find something to do. You could even argue that there's too much to do, or that it feels too mandatory. But you can't argue you don't have options - if you don't want to run dungeons, raid, or PvP there are pet battles, daily quests and scenarios you can do.
So the question then becomes this: is it better or worse for the game that these things are easier? For that matter, are they easy enough?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The useless distinction between casual and hardcore

The useless distinction between casual and hardcore
If the words 'casual' and 'hardcore' ever had a useful role in determining the differences between players in World of Warcraft, and I am not convinced they ever did, they no longer do. A player who wants to have an alt of every single class at max level and makes that happen is not playing the game casually even if she never raids. A player who collects several hundred pets and levels many of them through pet battles, or has a similarly high number of mounts, or determines to go out and get every cooking recipe in the game (including Dirge's Kickin' Chimeraok Chops which you can't even get anymore but somehow he finds a way) is playing the game very seriously indeed.

Quite frankly, despite the fact that I raid a set schedule, I often feel like I'm significantly more 'casual' than many players who never raid at all. I know I play a lot less - I definitely do not log on every day, I don't run LFR unless I missed a boss in normal (because I want a shot at my Secrets of the Empire off of that boss) and I don't do pet battles, farm, or even do daily quests anymore. So with my roughly fifteen hours of WoW a week, 12 of it spent inside a raid and the other three futzing about older raids for transmog gear, am I casual or hardcore? And does it matter?

Ordinarily I'd explore the answer in the paragraphs to come. But frankly, the answer is no. It doesn't matter. It is so far from mattering that the light from it mattering won't reach us for fifty thousand years. What matters is finding out what players want to do with their time and letting them do it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: What do you do while you play?

Breakfast Topic What do you do while you play
A lot of us here at WoW Insider have been playing WoW for a long time -- and we suspect most of you have, too. A long enough time that parts of the game are, dare we say, boring. So while doing our dailies (again) or grinding an alt through a zone we've done half a dozen times before we admit, we're usually multitasking. Sometimes we'll have a movie or television show on, and others we might be reading email or catching up on RSS feeds in another window. It's not that we don't still love the game -- it's just how we stay sane while leveling our dozenth alt.

So, fellow WoW players, we pose this question: what else are you doing while you play WoW? Do you have a favorite television show to put on? A much-loved playlist? Twitter or Facebook in another window?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: How do you level?

Breakfast Topic How do you level
Leveling in World of Warcraft is a rite of passage that we all must go through in order to reach max level where we can play with our friends. Though for alt-a-holics -- and I'm starting to think I may be one of them -- leveling is the whole point of the game. But whether you're leveling for the first time or the hundredth, whether you're speeding through or taking time to enjoy the scenery, chances are you have your own way of going about things.

So when you're on the leveling treadmill, what's your choice? For my part, I tend to quest through zones -- especially if they're zones I haven't been through before. But if I'm stuck in zones that I've been through before, perhaps many times before, things get awfully tedious, thus ending my life potential alt-a-holism. But do you quest, dungeon, subsist on dailies and rested XP, or something else entirely? Let us know, so we may commiserate about the leveling treadmill together!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Who here has the most level 90s -- and why?

Breakfast Topic Who here has the most level 90s
Let's talk alts, people. How many 90s are you altaholics running these days?

I guess it's pretty interesting to poke around for big, flashy totals -- and yeah, it would be cool to recognize the player with the highest number of 90s -- but I'm really more interested in how and why you pushed all those characters to the cap in the first place. Are you chasing the whole concept of one level-capped character of each race or class? Perhaps you've been building an empire of craftspeople. Or maybe you just really, really, really like the leveling game. What drives you to level 90 again and again?

How many level 90 characters do you have?
0 to 12550 (25.9%)
2 to 34008 (40.7%)
4 to 62363 (24.0%)
7 to 10596 (6.1%)
11 or more324 (3.3%)


Are there any of you out there who've actually leveled an entire character select screen full of characters to level 90? If you have more than a handful of 90s, what's your motivation for level-capping so many characters?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Are our Cataclysm attitudes ruining Mists?

Are our Cataclysm attitudes ruining Mists
Back in Cataclysm, the world was a very different place. While the journey from 80 to 85 was certainly a little tiresome, with the obligatory travel through Deepholm bringing many a draenei to their oddly-shaped knees, once that achievement flashed across your screen you were home and dry.

Gearing a character for raiding was a predictable and straightforward task. Get a few bits and jump into the latest 5-mans, which were very easy and certainly achievable with PvP gear, as long as you were one of the classes that didn't do too badly from it. Preferably not a plate tank, then!

If you were adamant that cheaty PvP-based gearing wasn't for you, you could just run a few of the normals and earlier heroics, such as the Zul'roics or even the ones before, to get yourself geared to an acceptable level for the 4.3 heroics. What's more, your main could send your alts decent, current gear with their inevitable glut of valor points, and your justice points bought you the previous tier's gear.

Why the Cataclysm retrospective? As a reminder of how easy it was, in Cataclysm's twilight hours, to level and gear alts to a raid-ready level, or, for that matter, to a competitive PvP level. Quite apart from the ease, it was really the only thing left to do, after months upon months of Dragon Soul.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Would Blizzard's efforts in Pandaria be negated by early flight?

Tome of Pandaria Flying
In response to a forum thread started this weekend, Blizzard Community Manager and pug aficionado Crithto clarified Blizzard's thoughts on a Tome of Pandaria Flying. The Tome of Cold Weather Flight was an item introduced in Wrath of the Lich King, which permitted players to avoid buying Cold Weather Flight -- the flight training required to fly in Northrend -- for their alts. Rather than re-purchasing the skill on every character at max level, you could use the tome and begin flying in Northrend a couple of levels earlier than it could ordinarily be acquired. The Tome of Cold Weather Flight was removed from the game in patch 4.0.1.

Crithto's comment is as follows:

Crithto
We're not sure if we'll be doing this. The tome worked out well enough for Wrath of the Lich King as an experiment, but so much of the experience we spent a lot of time and effort shaping in Pandaria is negated by flying. In addition to the upcoming reputation changes for alts (when a character on the account hits Revered), we'll consider other methods of potentially speeding up the leveling process for alts, but we don't think "allow flying" is necessarily the best answer.


While it is clear to see why players feel differently, given how much easier flying makes questing, WoW Insider largely agrees with Crithtos's opinion. Certain achievements, for example, Legend of the Brewfathers, are hugely enhanced by riding rather than flying. Exploration of the world Blizzard has created in Mists of Pandaria is essentially two new experiences when undertaken first from the ground, and later from the air.

Crithto's assertion that Blizzard's developers are looking into methods of speeding up alt leveling may bring considerable comfort to players for whom the leveling experience has been enjoyable but overwhelming. The adventure through Pandaria, while thrilling, may start to lose its shine with subsequent playthroughs, so changes may be needed. Would you welcome methods to level alts at greater speed? Or, like the pandaren, do you believe that players should slow down, that Pandaria is to be savored?

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Pro Tip: Start earning rested XP ASAP

Mists of Pandaria  Alts and rested XP
If you, like me, have a whole lot of warriors (or some other classes, if you're into that kind of thing) that you'll be needing to get to 90 at some point, remember that any current alts you may have will need to be logged on and moved to an inn or capital city in order to start gaining rested status. They won't start getting rested until you log them on since Mists of Pandaria, like all expansions, resets rested XP.

However, you can stockpile up to 25 quests (the maximum your quest log holds) and turn them all in as soon as the level cap is raised. These can be daily quests. If they keep to the same format as they did when Cataclysm launched, the value of Cataclysm quests to a leveling character will be reduced, but it can provide a bit of a boost. It's worth keeping in mind.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria: Valor of the Ancients increases valor points for alts

Mists of Pandaria Valor of the Ancients increases valor points for alts
If you have a lot of alts and often feel like you have a hard time capping valor points on them, the Valor of the Ancients buff is intended to help you out. It will increase the valor points gained by every character you have on a realm after one of your characters maxes out their valor points for the week. In addition, MMO-Champion reports that a new maximum valor point cap is being introduced for Mists, so after you've gotten up to 3,000 valor points, you might as well spend some.

This is probably going to push me even further toward consolidating my alts onto as few realms as possible.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Addon Spotlight: Alt Management Addons

Addon Spotlight Alt Management Addons THURS
At this time in an expansion, the pre-panda lull, many of us are leveling alts. Some people have bucket lists where they have set ambitious targets of a certain number of 85s or a certain level achieved. My bucket list is going pretty well. Remember folks, the secret is to set fairly unambitious targets!

So with these alts coming up, here at Addon Spotlight, we thought we'd fill you in on some little secrets: addons that will help you to manage your alts. Manage them? But how? Well, of course they won't level them or their professions. For starters, that would be completely against the terms of service, and here at WoW Insider, we don't like people to get banned after reading our columns. No, these addons help you to track down which of your leather-wearing alts has those heirloom shoulders, where your pesky staff is this week, whether there's any Strange Dust in any of your guild banks, and whether any of your other alts picked up that Citrine your would-be blacksmith needs.

And we're just getting started here; these addons can bring you so much more functionality than what we've just talked through!

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

How to set up your alts for gold making

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen and Fox Van Allen aim to show you how to make money on the Auction House. Check out Fox and Basil's reboot of Call To Auction, and email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

One of the things I simply can't do is spend time on alts. Between the Auction House and playing my main, I simply don't have the time or interest to seriously use the other character slots on my account the way most people do. And then there's this guy:

Hey Basil, I've been playing WoW for quite a few years now, and just recently stuck my pinky toe in the water that is the Auction House to profit from various sources.

I have alts. Lots of alts. 8 at 85 currently. All of them are able to do HoT dungeons. Now my question is, is there an easy (or efficient) way for me to make multitudes of gold utilizing these alts at all? I would assume leveling as many professions as possible, but there has to be other ways I'm missing. Thanks for your time!

Mellark, altoholic, Hyjal US.


Having eight level 85 characters is a definite advantage when you play the AH. In fact, one of the things that holds me back to this day is lack of profession slots on level 85 characters. I have all the ones I absolutely need, but I'm missing some compared to a lot of my competition. Every character is an opportunity to have two professions, and each profession is a different way to make (or save) gold.

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Filed under: Gold Capped

Gold Capped: Things that still sell at the end of an expansion

sunset pandaria
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen and Fox Van Allen aim to show you how to make money on the Auction House. Check out Fox and Basil's reboot of Call To Auction, and email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

The end of an expansion is a tough time to make gold. There's a lot more competition for a lot less demand. Many people see gold-making as a nice casual way to play while they wait for the next content dump, and fewer people are playing seriously (which is the root of demand for a lot of popular and profitable markets). To top it all off, we know that inflation is going to take a huge chunk out of our net worth when Mists launches, and there are a bunch of new things to save money up for. What kind of things can you still sell to make a profit?

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Filed under: Economy, Cataclysm, Gold Capped, Mists of Pandaria

The alt deficiency

Image
Do alts even count as alts when half of them are the same class as your main and the other half are rarely played?

I have a troubling relationship with the concept of playing an alt. First off, I don't really get alts. I know people who have four or six or even eight level 85 characters, geared and kitted out for raiding or Arena/RBG play. One woman I know has completely filled up two servers with level 85 characters (full character window, a server she plays Horde on and a server she plays Alliance on) that can at least run a random Hour of Twilight heroic. I accept that this exists, but I can't imagine doing it.

See, I'm middling at best about my achievements in game, but there are things I've done that you can't do anymore. I mean, every time I ran the 5-man Zul'Gurub, I kept thinking about how I'm a hero of the Zandalar tribe. Shouldn't they at least try and talk me out of killing them? Shouldn't I at least have the option to say, "Hey, guys, it's me, can we chill out on this?" and then we could express our sorrow at having to come to blows?

I can't do that on an alt. Well, OK, I can do it on the other two warriors who are also heroes of the Zandalar tribe, but you get my point. An alt's not going to have all those titles I barely realized I was earning, or my Mimiron's Head, or a Sulfuras in the bank laughing at me every time I got to the trasmogrification ethereal and get a hit of sweet, sweet gear changery.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight

Breakfast Topic: How and where do you prefer to level your alts?

Low-level priest
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

With all the improvements to the leveling process, you'd be hard pressed to find a player immune to the ill effects of altoholism. Everybody (and with the new free-until-level 20 system, probably their grandmothers too) is rolling that one class they've really, really wanted to try but were too put off by the leveling process to actually do so. In many cases, they are rolling several new alts. All those alts adds up to a lot of leveling -- far more leveling than the current content can support, even. Even after three alts, many find themselves having exhausted the zones currently available in the game. It can get stale very, very quickly.

To prevent the dread condition known as burnout, alt-heavy players have to mix things up as they level -- different zones, different continents, dungeons, Battlegrounds ... Anything to break up the monotony. Personally, while there are several zones I never skip -- Zangarmarsh, Netherstorm, Howling Fjord and Grizzly Hills, for instance -- I make an effort to play through the zones in a new order, hopping continents as often as possible, and never running dungeons or Battlegrounds. Sure, the story may be massively fragmented this way, but I've played through it before. I know the story; I'm there for the gaming aspects the second time through. Sure, dungeons and Battlegrounds may be fun and provide quick experience, but questing lets me go at my own speed.

When you level alts, how do you navigate the zones? Do you have a select few favorites that you always level through, or do you try to forge new adventures in new zones as you make your way to 85? Or do you bypass the zones entirely and opt for dungeon or Battleground farming?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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