On a recent podcast of The Instance, a listener sent in a really fascinating question concerning a hypothetical feature for WoW (but, really, it could apply to any MMO).
The feature is paraphrased as such: what if the game would let you destroy an alt in order to let you transfer some of the levels/XP of the destroyed alt to another one of your characters? Personally, I’m thinking of a 1:2 ratio with XP — for every 2 XP the offed alt had accumulated, you could transfer 1 XP over to the character of your choice.
The principle behind this is that many of us end up with several alts who just take up space. We ended up not liking the class, not wanting to invest time into too many characters, what have you. But there’s a bit of player’s regret that’s happened — you’ve spent a good chunk of time on that character that’s now useless. So why not be allowed to transfer at least a portion of that spent time in the form of XP into a character that you will play?
For example, maybe I have a few alts I don’t play, but I really want to start a new guy of class X. I’m dreading the slow trudge up to the higher levels, so I sacrifice those alts and give my new main a good boost up in levels. Bam. I’m not cheating, per se, because I’ve already invested the time — and if I could go back and tell myself that I wouldn’t play those alts, perhaps I would have played class X from the beginning.
Now for obvious reasons, this is a feature we’d never ever see in a MMO, because it removes a portion of the time sink that devs love, since it keeps you subbed and playing. Playing a character 1-100 will net them more money than playing a character from 45-100.
But I can’t help but look at all the many, many, many alts that I’ve generated over my MMO career, and wish that I could use their efforts for something useful.