When I finally got flying back on my World of Warcraft account and cleaned up the rest of my Death Knight’s quest log, I had that immense feeling of satisfaction that comes with concluding a lengthy project. Not only did I have flying in Battle for Azeroth now and forever but I also had the freedom to choose what I wanted to do next in the game.
That actually proved to be a more complicated question than I had first anticipated. Originally, I figured that I was going to get my Gnome Hunter out of dry dock and get her caught up while doing some Engineering with her. For several days, that’s just what I did, hitting level 120 and enjoying the sensation of casually questing and looting around the islands. Yet I wasn’t that satisfied with her, and I think it’s because she felt redundant to my main character — in terms of being a pet class — and less effective in terms of AoE damage.
I realized that I wanted something much different for an alt, and that led me to consider a few different options, including resurrecting some other level 100+ characters or rolling a Dark Iron Dwarf Shaman. But one night I pulled the trigger on a Kul Tiran Human Druid — something I had been thinking about for a while — and there was no going back from that.
The Druid gave me a much different experience than the Death Knight while offering me some new twists on the old formula. Most notably was the ability to be a human when not shapeshifted, which is something I always wanted in the game, and the neat wicker-bone animal forms that are radically different than the other Druids. Looks and visual style are important, and that could go a long way to keeping my interest.
The actual Druidic playstyle is another major benefit. The Druid is the only healing class in WoW where I feel like I am not underpowered while questing and leveling in a healing spec. In fact, I stay in restoration 100% of the time, choosing whatever talents I can to augment my DPS while keeping my healing toolkit intact.
Here’s another twist for my experience: I’m not questing. At least, I’m not questing for right now. I haven’t ever gone through the game once Blizzard put in that level-scaling tech, so now I’m finding that no matter where I go, mobs and quests stay on-level with me and I don’t have to go hunting around for XP. Instead, I’m doing two things with my time: I’m running around zones farming ore nodes (and heading back to town to work on engineering) and queuing up for dungeons. Between those two, I’m getting plenty of XP, great gear, and enjoying a relaxed, laid-back experience. Plus, I get to heal in dungeons, which is something I’ve greatly missed in WoW.
The long-term goal is to progress her through all of regular engineering, then to the other tiers as I work my way up without any huge rush. If I’m not 120 and ready for the next expansion in a year, oh well, it’s not a big deal. This is my alt in every sense of that word — an alternative experience to simply enjoy rather than to feel like I have to follow the same deep ruts that Blizzard and players have established for main characters.