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Posts with tag mains

WoW Rookie: An empire of alts

One of the most satisfying things about the World of Warcraft is the ability to have a small army of alts. Usually, you hear about folks playing a main character full time and then having one or two alternate characters. The alternate characters are a distraction, or perhaps a way to kill a little time. I even know a couple people who play alts expressly to learn more about other classes for PvP purposes.

But for those of us who find ourselves with very limited time to play, alts offer the opportunity to play WoW in a whole different way. We can play almost every class and every race, often all at a same time. Grouping for raids and heroics can be difficult, but if we are playing a half-dozen characters, it's almost like we're a raid unto ourselves.

Playing a group of alts is rewarding, but there are some important tips that can make life a lot easier. To be truthful, it isn't as if there's much you can do wrong while leveling a group of alts. And while a lot of that playstyle is a simple matter of personal choice, there are still little things you can do to smooth your way.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

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

Ask WoW Insider: Defining mains and alts

There's a ton of asking going on around this site lately -- between "Ask a Lore Nerd" and "Ask a Beta Tester," you guys are asking more questions than a two-year old who just learned what "why" means. But this column, Ask WoW Insider, is the O.G. of Ask columns here on the site, and unlike all of the other Ask columns, we put the question back to you readers. Chippen of EU Doomhammer sent in this great question this week:
We are having a discussion in our guild whether alts have priority on loot before guild members and we do have different views on this. Some say that an alt is an alt, and need to wait to be geared up, while others can't really see the problem. What is a main and what is an alt?

I suppose a main is the...well...I don't know. The first character I created? Or is it the character I play the most? Or is it the character I want to play the most and also enjoying playing the most? When does an alt become a main, and is it possible to swap between the two?
If you're asking me, I'd say it's definitely possible to switch mains (I've done it a few times) -- your main is currently the character that's getting the majority of your playtime, and the one where loot matters the most to you. Some guilds ask you to declare a main, so that they can make a clear distinction for passing out loot, while other guilds just have players switch alts depending only on what situations require what.

So let's show up those other Ask columns and give this great, open-ended question out to you, our dear readers: what is a main and what is an alt? And what's the difference between the two?

If you've got a question for our readers to be posted right here in the original Ask column, be sure to send it along to And there's lots more Ask WoW Insider, including this question on abusing the /roll, and how to make friends and influence raiders on a new server.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Ask WoW Insider, Making money

Breakfast Topic: WoTLK: The perfect time to switch mains?

It's a faaaaaaaaake!It's an exciting time to be playing WoW, what with the WoTLK alpha information leaking out (Thanks for risking your eternal soul to break the NDA, anonymous screenshotter!) and 2.4 being pretty much a roaring success. By now, I'm sure everyone has settled in and is making plans for WoTLK, figuring out which zone they'll go to first, maybe setting aside a bit of money from all those dailies to powerlevel a trade skill.

So, I was thinking the other day of one more thing I was planning: switching mains. We've discussed the art of switching mains a bit before, but there's always a lot of hassles to it: there's the concern that you'll fall behind your friends, the concern that your gear won't be good enough, the concern that you'll have to grind your reputation up for certain keys and essential reputation rewards all over again.

A new expansion is just the ticket for getting rid of most of those problems. As long as your character is max level at the start of WoTLK, they can catch up on gear pretty quickly just from level 71 greens and quest rewards. Everyone's starting out grinding all the new WoTLK reputation grinds, so no worries that you're behind on those either. Despite being on a relatively "new" character, you'll be able to join your friends in Utgarde Keep right away.

So the reasons not to switch mains mostly manage to resolve themselves when a new expansion hits, and the question becomes, do you want to switch mains, and why?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Leveling, Classes, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King

I spent how much on my alt?

Just this weekend I did something I never expected I would do: Spent 5,000 gold on epic flight. On my main? Oh no, I've had that for months now. I spent 5,000 gold on my alt. My alt! Good gravy!

Honestly, I don't really regret it, it's mostly the shock of spending that much gold on an alt that gets me. I'll definitely be putting the epic gryphon to good use, I play my alt quite a bit. Like I mentioned in another recent post, my alt is almost my second main. Pretty much full epics, has seen the insides of Zul'Aman, Tempest Keep and Serpentshrine, capped Blacksmithing, all of that. The fact remains, though, it is an alt. 5,000 gold on an alt!

I can't be the only one crazy enough to do this, am I? Surely there are others with alts that have epic flight? Most of my friends poked fun at me about it, but besides waiting for Wrath of the Lich King, what am I going to use that money for anyway? I suppose I could feast on Stormwind Brie instead but I have a feeling an epic gryphon is a little more useful, no?

Filed under: Paladin, Items, Economy, Mounts

Is your main your favorite character?

It seems like a strange question, but think about it. Is your main your favorite character?

For me, the answer would be a No. This isn't to say I dislike my main, I simply enjoy my alt more. My gut told me originally that I only thought that way because my alt was something I didn't get to play as much, something new and exciting. As the months went on, though, I came to realize that I simply like my alt better.

My main is a DPS class, my alt is a tanking hybrid. As most of my friends could tell you, tanking is in my blood. In WoW and other games, tanking is kind of my 'thing.' Its been suggested to me a number of times that I just change mains, making my paladin my primary character. I like the idea and considered it, but there are other things that have kept me from doing it. My guild needs a shadow priest for the raid far more than another paladin, and at this point in the game, there's no closing the gear gap to catch up and continue raiding with a new main.

There are other reasons, too. Emotional attachment is a big one. Its a bit shameful to admit you care for a character that much, but after three years of Warcraft, the thought of shunting my main to the background is a bit painful. Maybe that's just the roleplayer in me, but you never know! I'm sure there are PvPers that feel the same somewhere out there, right?

Am I the only one in this boat, or are any of you guys in the same position? Is your favorite character secondary to your main for one reason or another?

Filed under: Paladin, Priest, Odds and ends, RP, Alts

Whistling a new toon

Jason over at Wife Aggro sends word about a good piece he posted on a subject I don't remember ever covering: how to switch over to a new main. It's an interesting thing to cover, and a situation that I bet happens more often than people think. But as Jason says, especially since the Burning Crusade was released, switching an alt up to your main is quite a task. In vanilla WoW, things weren't too bad-- you had to run BRD once or twice, run UBRS once, and you were pretty much set for endgame. But in Burning Crusade, there are lots and lots of keys and factions and questlines and decisions to deal with, so switching is a much tougher thing to do.

Not to mention how your guild takes it-- dealing with grinding faction rep again is one thing, but "giving up" a character that your guild has helped equip (sometimes with epic gear) causes all kinds of drama by itself. And while it's probably easier if you're switching to benefit the guild, Jason is actually doing the opposite-- he's leaving his Holy Paladin for a raiding Rogue.

Of course, this is still just a game, and you should play what you want to play. If that Warrior you've got just isn't doing it for you lately, you have every right to make that Druid you've really been enjoying your main. But you've also got to remember that this isn't a solo game-- especially in guild situations, switching from an alt to a main can have a huge effect. But if you handle it as Jason seems to be doing, by carefully considering all the consequences of such a switch, both you and your guild will be better off in the end.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Instances

Breakfast topic: Switching mains

Ever since I got a computer sophisticated enough to play WoW and created my own account, my main has been my troll rogue. Sure, occasionally I'd experiment with an undead warlock or night elf hunter, but my heart and gear belonged to the rogue.

But recently, I've found myself just not satisfied with my rogue -- and just not getting raid spots with her. Maybe it's the fact that my weapons suck. Maybe it's my low hit rating. Maybe it's because we have a ton of rogues. Maybe it's because a lot of fights are melee-unfriendly. Maybe it's because I wrote an article mocking the guild's second-in-command. Actually, it's probably the last one.

Instead, I've been leveling my paladin. Now that I'm in Outlands, have finally found a pleasant profession (jewelcrafting), and am getting closer and closer to that magic number of 70, I'm considering asking the officers if I can make my paladin my main and raid on her. Not only would it be better for the guild (we only have a couple of paladins) and better for me (woo hoo, an actual raid slot), I'd like to experience the healing side of the game. I've been DPSing forever and am tired of it.

I'd say about half the players I know have a different main character now than the one they started with. Have you ever switched your main? What did you start out with, and what have you ended up with? Were you happy with the change?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Guilds, Breakfast Topics

Starting from scratch with the same class

Kraylessa on WoW Ladies has a problem I've been thinking about lately as well. When I first started playing WoW, I rolled an NE hunter (yes, I know it's a cliche noob class and race but I was young and impressionable at the time), and while I was able to get her all the way up to 60, I've since abandoned her for another server (because a friend made me move) and for the Horde (because, come on, Horde rocks). I've since rolled up a shaman, a rogue, and a mage, but even after playing and enjoying those, I still long to play a hunter again-- the combination of crazy ranged DPS, traps, and a powerful pet is like a siren song to me.

So I'm faced with the possibility of rerolling the same class I already played, and, like Kraylessa, this is not really something I want to do (at least I wasn't made to reroll because of an accidental character deletion). True, it has been a while since I've played the hunter, so things have changed a lot (not to mention that I've learned a lot as a player). And I'd likely try another spec-- my hunter was a marksman, so I'd probably try a BM (Kray doesn't want to level her priest shadow, but I have no idea why-- shadow priests are hella fun, and if she missed out by leveling with holy the first time around, she owes it to herself to level a face melter).

But it still seems like it would be boring, like a suspense movie I've already seen. Have you ever rerolled the exact same class? Was it definitely worth it or completely a pain? I'd really enjoy having a brand new Blood Elf hunter as a main, but I just don't know if I'd enjoy grinding all the way to 70 again.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Leveling, Classes, Talents

A look at Blizzard's stats, post-Burning Crusade

Last November, Blizzard finally made public a page full of stats for what's happening to all of us in game-- the most dangerous creatures, most gathered items, most completed quests, and so on. Ever since, I always find it fascinating to stop over there and see what's new, but today I realized that I haven't really seen it since Burning Crusade dropped. So let's take a look at what players are up to since the Dark Portal opened, shall we?

Netherweave has jumped right to the top of listings in the Auction House, while Arcade Dust makes a nice showing at 7th. Of the Primal elements, only Earth is on the first page (most likely because it's the most farmed from all those Earth Elementals in Nagrand). It also comes from Mining, so it makes a good showing on the Most Gathered Items as well-- Copper leads that category by double everything else, though, most likely because of all the jewelcrafting going on. In fact, while Soul Shards are still number one, Copper Bars are the second Most Created Items in the realms, too. Interesting that you have to go to page 3 before you see a jewelcrafting item, though-- two sets of battleground tokens (Arathi Basin and WSG) are being made more than any Delicate Copper Wire.

Warlock pets remain on the top of the Most Dangerous NPC list, but King Bangalash and those nasty Defias Pillagers have company-- apparently people are back playing their mains, and raid bosses like Shade of Aran, Gruul, Nightbane, and the Maiden are killing players by the thousands. The Most Complete Quests screen has interesting info, too-- almost all of the quests are newbie Blood Elf quests (there is at least one Draenei newbie quest mixed in, but BEs have the clear majority). You'd think people would be completing quests in Outland to level, but three months after BC release, maybe that's not the case anymore. According to the stats, it seems like the large majority of players has gotten their mains to 70, are raiding Kara and Gruul, and leveling up their Blood Elf mains.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Quests, The Burning Crusade, NPCs

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