What’s in a Toon?

Spurred by a post over at Holy Discipline, I got to thinking about my own habits in WoW, my patterns, and simply…how I WoW.  She asks in her post “Do you see patterns in your WoW play?  Are you also only able to work on one “main” at a time and kill off alts if they aren’t right?”

I’ll start with the last question first.  “Are you…able to…kill off alts if they aren’t right?”  In short, no.  I’m of the altoholic type.  I have rolled nearly every class at least once and have raised many of the classes up to at least the mid 60s, sometimes twice.  Sure some didn’t make the cut, but my reason for deleting toons has always been play style.  I just haven’t been able to get a rogue past level 10, a warrior past level 18, and my paladin only made it to level 34 as of now, but he has potential–maybe.  Notice the theme there?  I struggle with the melee classes, though I have tried rerolling them many times to give it the old college try yet again.  But I simply don’t delete any toon that I have invested time in.  Examples of this are a shadow priest I have at level 33 and a BE warlock at level 28.  I put some time in on those two and I don’t want to just “toss them out”.  Plus I like how they look and their names, etc.   They have a little spot in my heart, plus I dream that I’ll eventually get back to them since I never played a shadow priest (Elgar was holy until 70s then disc) or an affliction warlock (Kittykat was always demonology), so I’d like to eventually try those out.

But Trout, why not just respec Elgar and Kittykat to try out the other specs.  And here is pattern number one.  So I mentioned the altoholic thing right?  Well I’m not maxxed out on toons by any means, but I do have access to probably 20 different characters that I play, mostly on one server (egads, two accounts?!?—shhh).  So the pattern is this:  instead of respeccing a leveled toon, I reroll a new one.  *gasp*  Why!?!?  Well because like Anea, I put some time into the character creation screen.  I’m not an altoholic that presses “random” grabs a computer generated name and runs off into the wild.  Usually there’s a bit of thought that goes into it.  Now, none of my characters RP, but I like to think they all have a little bit of a story so when I create what they will look like it’s important to kinda match that up.  Is he going to be a shadow priest that tailors and skins his victims?  Will the hunter be a marksman or a beast master and what pets is he going to have?  There’s lots of planning that goes into a character far before I even click “Create new character”.  Usually their fate is decided before I create them and as a result, I tend to create a look that fits their destiny.  Cute hair on a gnome mage?  Yes sir.  But for a rogue, something short and easy seems more practical.  Shadow priest with a smile?  Probably no. 

The planning is all there so creating a toon I’m going to be happy with really matters.  I also try to choose names that sound like names.  No one names their baby “Deathbringer” or “Ieatpoop”.  Seriously.  Now there are some hilarious names out there and that’s good for those people, but I like a name that sounds like a name. 

Another one of Anea’s questions is “Are you also only able to work on one “main” at a time…”  Well to this, I say, yes and no.  Along with all the advance planning of the “alt creation” usually comes some goals.  But common goals are to reach max level, be able to run all the heroics, and max out professions.  Additional goals may include collecting pets (Elgar), taming pets (Trout), getting epic flying, or just getting any title.  Rep grinds get tossed in.  Generally those are guidelines.  But my pattern for a “main” seems to be get those goals done and then after that, they get shelved.  Elgar sadly has already kinda been tossed to the shelf except when a healer is needed, and now that Trout has gained his epic flying, LW is all that’s left and I’m expecting Schubert to really see a huge jump in play time.  So my “main” of the month gets up, works on some level 80 things and then get’s put away until called upon for their role.  Since I don’t really raid, I generally reach a point where I’m “happy” with my character and then will play around with my alts until I get a surge for one of my toons to really accomplish something.

I know people who put all their efforts into one character, focusing on getting them the best gear, advancing them to the limits of what the game allows, never looking back!  The only alt they usually have is a bank toon.  But I also notice a trend there, a pattern that is not like mine.  Those that focus on one toon, do all the raid content, the arena, etc. etc.   They do this day in, day out, week after week, and eventually during the gaps of either lack of progression they change guilds for more success, or they decide to take a break from WoW claiming they are burnt out.  Well to be honest, I would be burnt out too.  The variety that all my alts provide leaves me feeling that I often have TOO much to do, burning out doesn’t even seem possible.  And hopping around from guild to guild really isn’t my style either.  I’ve been recruited on Elgar before to join raiding guilds (sometimes really heavily) but I stick it out because not being able to use /g to talk to all my close friends and my WoW guildies seems really, I dunno, just not as fun.  I would feel like I didn’t have a place then in an MMORPG and might as well be playing the game solo. 

So Anea, I do hope that you find something enjoyable in your next alt, and that for their own sake, I hope they are “just right” so they don’t have to face the DELETE button, but I do understand about wanting to get it just right.  Because you’re going to be possibly spending lots of time with that character, so you better enjoy it.

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One Response to “What’s in a Toon?”

  1. Anea Says:

    Great article. I agree, especially about the naming. My names really need to be names too. Actually, I only got the “names need to be names” thing brought into RP perspective when I was reading an article (I think on Blogatelle, but I can’t remember which article, unfortunately) about how when characters were babies and just born, their mothers gave them “real” names to start out with and they became their class later. The mothers couldn’t somehow see into the future and see her son would become a rogue and name him “Ipwnjoo” or something.

    Good observation about the “one main” type people getting burnt out from their “all go no quit” playstyle – certainly makes sense to me.


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