World of Warcraft: An alt vacation

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Disapproving eagle disapproves of my life’s choices to date.

So the nice thing about having a raft of alts on your character select screen is that when you feel a little too much in a rut with your main character or you simply need a small break, you can take what I call an alt vacation. For me, alt vacations are when I blow off my normal plans for working on Big Projects and Serious Goals with my main and simply spend an evening exploring a different playstyle and class.

Sometimes I just need to experience and affirm that these other alts aren’t better or more compelling (personally) than what I’m playing as a main, because I’m always wracked with self-doubt over a main selection. And often I come out of my little alt vacations more charged than ever to play my main — perhaps with a few changes.

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Over the past week, I took a night here and there to experience the intro quests for my Hunter and Warlock in Legion. Nothing super-fancy or involved; I simply wanted to get their artifact weapon and see their halls.

Both intro quest lines were actually pretty great. The Hunter involved tomb raiding, some Gnomish invention antics, and a showdown at what looked like Zeus’ throne room. That all culminated with being sworn in to the super-secret Hunter society in the Broken Isles — so secret, in fact, that nobody had heard of it before now, which totally isn’t because the devs made it up for this expansion.

The Warlock’s story was more cohesive and actually pretty epic, sending me and a party into a demonic dimension and having to perform a jailbreak and then a full-on revolution. I totally love the idea of getting a talking skull as a companion (Morte from Planescape Torment, anyone?), although I highly doubt it’s going to say much over the course of the expansion past this intro.

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Both alts had something that interested me and let me down, as I discovered during these vacations.

The Hunter was really disappointing in the combat department. I was hoping that the expansion would make Beast Mastery somehow more interesting, but nope, it’s a whole lot of waiting for cooldowns and unsatisfying attacks. To make matters worse, the second pet you get (Hati) constantly has this annoying, scratching static sound going on — and there’s no easy way to disable it. Who thought this was a good idea? Who?

On the plus side, the Hunter’s lodge is extremely cozy and fits the class like a glove, and I liked seeing my pets again and blasting things with a rifle.

It was almost the opposite experience with the Warlock. The combat as a Demo is actually pretty fantastic. Even though it’s a lot of casting time and whatnot, it’s pretty enjoyable to ramp up a whole crowd of pets that pile on bad guys. Plus, floating skull.

It’s just a shame that the class hall is so incredibly off-putting — and poorly designed, to boot. It’s not a place that I want to spend one more second than necessary, let’s just leave it at that.

At the end of all of these, I was definitely affirmed that I’m getting more out of an Unholy DK than what I would get elsewhere, and so I shall forge on! I just hit 108 and finished the main Highmountain questlines, although the map shows some more hubs to go. I am trying to once again level up Engineering on her (and cursing myself for getting rid of a 700 Engineering skill in WoD for Herbalism — what was *I* thinking?), because I do want some of these little perks that come with the trinkets and toys. I also want to see the quests in Legion for them, and I figure I’ll have enough time and resources to pursue it in the future.

If I ever do invest more into an alt, I think my Druid could be a strong prospect. But I am pretty content with what I’m doing right now. After all, one must come home at the end of any vacation and resume normal life, right?

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6 thoughts on “World of Warcraft: An alt vacation

  1. romeomoon September 14, 2016 / 10:35 am

    I love creating alts in MMORPGs, but it does feel better to make them in the older games like City of Heroes, Everquest, and WoW are great examples of games where altitis can really get a hold of you. I have a couple of toons on games like Guild Wars 2, Rift, and The Secret World, but for the most part I only play my mains on those MMOs.

  2. Dobablo September 14, 2016 / 4:30 pm

    Demo locks get all the fun (ignoring the class hall). Thal’kiel and their felguard get voiced one-liners when you enter new sub zones.

  3. Galactrix September 14, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    I have alts in most games, but I don’t create them lightly or consider them less important than my main. When I “give birth” to a new character I carefully consider their name, appearance and (in my head) backstory. I may play them less than my main character, but only because I hate repeating content I’ve played before. I’ll eventually get around to them once my memory has faded and replaying would seem fresh stuff.

    In games like SWTOR, it helps that the starting story chapters for each class are completely different. I’m also glad they have alt-friendly game systems like the legacy system that gives having alt characters benefits that can be shared.

    This is especially true in alt-friendly games like Guild Wars 2, where they all work in unison sharing the same bank, wallet and achievement gains and mastery skills. In that game I feel like any of my characters can be my main interchangeably without penalties.

  4. tithian September 15, 2016 / 10:25 am

    “I totally love the idea of getting a talking skull as a companion (Morte from Planescape Torment, anyone?), although I highly doubt it’s going to say much over the course of the expansion past this intro.”

    Actually…. you get conversations of the skull with your demon pets and you get one-liners when you enter areas or kill something relevant. It’s not very common, but it’s enough to break the monotony.

  5. wezmodeus September 15, 2016 / 12:50 pm

    Did anyone get to the point where their next artifact ability went from costing 1000AP to 5840AP?

    That has really depressed me and I find myself playing my alts more and more often since then.

    I am also worried that hitting 110 will unlock even more grinding and max out the difficulty on the enemy mobs (currently at 108 on my highest character).

  6. Llokki September 15, 2016 / 10:07 pm

    @Tithian There’re also the lines Thal’kiel spits out on a fairly frequent basis when you cast Hand of Guldan or Summon Dreadstalkers (“Release the hounds!” *evil laughter*). Thankfully, he only seems to do it once (each?) per combat session, so you’re not hearing the same lines getting thrown out over and over during particualrly long battles…or at least I haven’t noticed this to be the case.

    @Wezmodeus Yeah, I swore when I saw that massive leap in cost. I was hoping that after that it would stay the same price, at least for the trait I was working on, but no it keeps on rising. The grind is real once you hit 110 (add rep grind to artifact grind), but I’m still enjoying the heck out of it.

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