Cannibalizing Alts

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.

7 thoughts on “Cannibalizing Alts

  1. 4 oz juicy alt steak (rump is best)
    2 onions
    2 carrots
    1 Parsnip
    2 sprigs Parsley.

    Chop the vegetables and dice the alt. Casserole at 250 degrees for 3 hours. Add parsley and serve with a slice of bread for each person.

    Bon appetit!

  2. I would love a feature like this. I have a 70 Druid, 70 Warlock, 80 Shaman, and 80 Death Knight just sitting around that I would love to cannibalize into getting my 73 Priest to level 80 and geared as well as making a Mage/Paladin a reality without having to trudge through the content all over again. I’d destroy them all in a heartbeat were it possible.

  3. Is it something you’d never see?

    I can start a lvl 55 character on any server in the game. Granted, its a DK, but I can still do it.

  4. If this feature was introduced into an MMO I was playing I’d definately use it. However, it isn’t something I’d push for were it a slight possibility.

    Reason being, those Alts were still played. You had fun (?) up until the point you stopped playing the class for whatever reason. So it isn’t really lost time unless you define your game time by level and gear.

    I’ll say again, I’d use this feature were it available to me – but it also feels a little wrong. It feels like a movement in that “convenience” highway which is trivialising the time spent playing a game and pushing everyone to the end game where they can do the same thing over and over for new shiny things.

    Also, after cashing in the XP of an alt, levelling an alt of the same class down the line (perhaps the class get’s patched and is super appealing to you now) is going to be a serious grind if you’d already made decent progress with it.


  5. DDO:EU has the Veteran Status. Once you get a character to level 4 or higher, you can purchase Vet Status for about 10 bucks. You can start out your new characters at level 4 with some nice starting equipment, or choose to start normally at level 1. Great ot see if you like a new build idea, or just to get a head start on a new character.
    I am a confessed altoholic, and would love to combine/ cannabilize some of them into viable characters.

  6. EQ2 gives you bonus xp for leveling on all all alts once you’ve reached the level cap with one of your characters. Not quite the same thing, but it helps if you ever want to roll an alt.

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