Now that Patch 7.1 is out and we’re moving deeper into the Legion expansion, I think it’s time that I acknowledge the truth that’s been growing over the past two months. It’s not really feasible for me to play and support multiple characters in this game any more.
World of Warcraft has, to put it simply, broken me of my rampant altoholism.
This is neither a good nor a bad thing (more accurately, it’s enough of both to balance out); it’s just how it is right now. I’ve been a while coming to this conclusion as I’ve harbored hope that I would be able to dig out and play my alts once I got my Death Knight to a good place… but that’s just not going to happen. I’ve actually entered a phase in this game where the thought of playing more than one character is too much — and far too time-consuming, particularly when my attention is split between multiple MMOs.
So why is this? Why am I not fielding my small army of alts that flourished in Warlords of Draenor? Other than pressing time concerns from outside sources, a lot of the reasons come from the design of Legion itself.
First of all, there’s no fast path to getting a character to the level cap and gearing her up; every successive character will need to go through the questing zones and retread territory I’ve already done. It’s not as if Alt Number Two can choose to level up in dungeons instead. Even with the choices of leveling zone picks, the game still firmly guides you down a path of Blizzard’s choosing.
Second, even if I had the time to work on a second character and put in another two months to get that character to roughly where my DK is today, it would be too much on a daily basis. The world quest system pushes you to log in at least every three days to do emissary quests for the reputation and bonus rewards. Right now, a half-hour a day of doing these isn’t unreasonable. But tack on alts, and suddenly that’s going up to an hour, hour-and-a-half, two hours of emissary quests. No. Just no. I have other things to play and don’t need that monkey on my back.
And while alting in Draenor was lucrative, as garrisons were self-sustaining gold-making machines, Legion’s decision to put order resources out into the world means that you can’t keep doing missions forever if you’re not playing that character. Two or more characters doing daily emissary quests, trying to keep the inflow of order resources going, moving between characters to set missions… it overflows the small cup of my time and interest and energy.
One character feels enough right now. It feels right. I can keep pursuing all of the quests, the dailies, whatever I want to do, and I don’t feel pressured to play someone else in the game. I’m a little worried that somehow I will lose this character, but other than that, I’m very happy with the DK as a whole. The wraith walk is a wonderful tool, as is the ability to run on water. Fighting packs of mobs is a joy and I have pretty decent (845) gear for a non-mythic player.
I’m actually glad that WoW brought me to this point, because it also makes jumping between games that much easier. In every MMO I play, even the ones I dabble in, I’m down to just one character. I don’t need alts in individual MMOs; MMOs are my alts. And I feel like I get a lot more out of them when I have that broader experience.