Massively Overthinking: Altering ‘mains’ in MMOs

After I first began MMOs, the concept of mains and alts was weird to me. Why would I spend time on a second character once I could possibly be making my first character even higher? That assumption rapidly gave means as I frolicked on the planet and needed to department out to strive totally different playstyles and personae.

And but, I nonetheless have a “mains and alts” mindset: There’s my actual character, after which there’s the fleet of alternates who by no means fairly rise to the highest… effectively, till they do.

For this week’s Massively Overthinking, let’s play storytime with our characters. Inform me a couple of time while you have been deeply invested in a principal character in an MMO after which switched allegiances completely – and I don’t simply imply dabbled in an alt; I imply modified mains in a giant means and by no means appeared again. Has it ever occurred? Do you do that typically? And what made you are taking that leap?

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): I can consider two examples off the highest of my head that I feel actually illustrate how I am going about selecting my principal character. The primary was within the unique Asheron’s Name. Sure builds have been stronger than others, and being self-sufficient was typically seen as necessary. I’ve all the time been extra of a crew participant, so I made a warrior that might be pretty good at resisting magic whereas dispensing melee injury – a mage killer for all of the high-end magic customers I noticed within the instruction e book. Nonetheless, in apply, there was solely like one different man tremendous keen on grouping, and after we did that, folks have been blown away on the content material we may deal with by ourselves with out perching or abusing mechanics, other than collision detection for issues like chokepoints and bodily intercepting mobs. Heck, he didn’t even must play healer since I used to be taking just about no injury perhaps 80% of the time. Naturally, although, once I needed to play solo, it may get tough, and after he obtained too busy in actual life to play, I used an alt that was extra self-sufficient. However that was nonetheless one in all my favourite MMO characters.

Equally, I’d needed to be a bear tank in World of Warcraft since I heard about them in beta, however at launch, it wasn’t terribly possible. I did end-game raiding principally as a Druid healer, however ended up switching to a Self-discipline Priest and on a special server on a special faction to play with a pal. And I ended up switching once more after a number of years as a result of raiding obtained outdated, however Wrath of the Lich King introduced Demise Knights, and I instantly noticed how viable they could possibly be as PvP tanks. Sure, I may do PvE too, and I did when guildies actually wanted it, however I beloved being the unmovable object folks would whack on within the sport world however couldn’t escape till somebody’s pals arrived. Even then, I may typically maintain out 2v1, and didn’t thoughts my lack of kills as a result of, once more, I desire to have a construct that works effectively with others. Finally, although, most individuals simply needed to PvE, however I’d modified a lot at that time that I simply give up the sport. The extra group-oriented I might be with my character whereas receiving help from a group, the simpler it’s for me to vary, however when that help is gone, I cave and play one thing soloable.

Andy McAdams: I don’t know that I’ve ever switched and by no means appeared again. I get actually invested in my characters – within the distinctive fingerprint of 1 and 0s that my character uniquely mine. It’s not a rational response, I get that. However I nonetheless have my OG Troll Hunter from Vanilla that’s low-level, from again once I thought that whites in WoW have been like whites in DnD – that’s, usable. My Belf Rogue is identical one which I rolled throughout headstart of BC, and I also have a Figureprint of him. My Priest is from round a number of months into Wrath, I feel, however he’s nonetheless round. After I switched to Alliance with my husband, the very first thing I rolled was… a Priest. Now that we’ve switched again to Horde, I’m jonesing to maneuver my Horde Priest and Rogue over to our new server as a result of i wish to play them as a substitute of spending the 2 hourrs to degree a brand new one from 0-60.

In brief, no – I get emotionally invested in a particular sequence of 1s and 0s

Ben Griggs (@braxwolf): I often function a bunch of alts with the intention of experiencing all of the totally different lessons and play kinds, however the period of time required to nurture so many characters by means of the identical content material all the time turns into burdensome. On the similar time, deleting a personality who I’ve taken the time to create and type a canon backstory for can be tough for me, so I find yourself with a personality who I play most frequently and a secure of unplayed alts.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, weblog): I truly don’t do that so much! I often discover my solution to the correct character class for me early on. Nonetheless, I’ve a number of notable exceptions, and the massive one is in WoW. I ran a Safety Warrior as my principal character to principal tank for my guild, then I switched to a Self-discipline Priest for the primary a part of Burning Campaign as a result of we simply wanted healers extra (and truthfully, Safety wasn’t tremendous satisfying again then), after which I had a Survival Hunter whom I used principally for PvP. However I additionally had a Resto Shaman on the back-burner as soon as Alliance may roll them, and I fell in love together with her, so I went full Shammy principal for Wrath of the Lich King, and that was that from then onward: lastly discovered the correct class for me, a minimum of up till I give up for good. (I did hold the outdated Hunter and Warrior round as my favourite alts, a minimum of!)

Actually, my Guild Wars 2 principal character (Berserker) can be not my favourite, however she has accomplished essentially the most stuff, and she or he pairs actually properly with my husband’s squishiest toon, so I simply stick together with her as my principal. If it have been simply me, I’d in all probability have given up on her a very long time in the past in favor of my Ranger or Holosmith. The other was true for me in Traditional Guild Wars; I went into Dusk planning to play my outdated Monk or a brand new Paragon, however then I went again and acquired Factions and realized it was gonna be the Ritualist life for me ceaselessly. Genuinely the most effective lessons ever added in an MMORPG, and I’ll die on that hill. That’s my woman up within the header pic of this submit!

Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, weblog): My main character in Last Fantasy XIV remodeled from a wet-blanket miserable-to-play terrible factor into a much more vivid and sunny phoenix that rose from the ashes of my wiping it out.

After about a number of years of being depressed on the considered taking part in the character from each a mechanical and roleplay standpoint, I successfully turned an alt into a brand new principal. This alt was virtually the antithesis of my unique character in each sense, from peak to mannerism to class. It was singlehandedly the perfect determination I’ve ever made in that sport, fairly actually altering my life from each an MMO and a private degree.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, weblog): It’s occurred sparingly in my time, however it has occurred. Normally it’s as a result of one in all three causes: (1) I switched servers and didn’t wish to pay for a personality switch, (2) the devs nerfed my outdated principal into the bottom and I couldn’t abdomen to play it any longer, and (3) I felt like a totally recent begin after a very long time away from a sport. However for essentially the most half, I’m nonetheless taking part in a few of my core mains in video games like LOTRO, SWTOR, and WoW that I’ve had for a few years now.

Sam Kash (@thesamkash): I nonetheless mainly hold to the mains-and-alts way of life. I obtained very near switching mains in GW2 when Path of Fireplace got here out. I all the time play a paladin kind of character, however I do wish to play lessons which have lifesteal skills as effectively. So I had a Necro, however my heals and DPS prevail. Then PoF got here out, and the e book Guard took heart stage. Tremendous boring. Raid meta GTFO. So I went again to the Reaper Necro. I all the time favored the concept of it, however my Guard tended to win out earlier than. Nonetheless, by that time I used to be getting a bit bored of it too, so I went all in on the Reaper. It’s so dang sturdy that I beloved it. I in all probability divide my time 60/40 as of late with my Guardian edging out the Reaper.

Nonetheless, the one time I totally modified mains was when Dusk got here out for the unique GW. Earlier than that, I had mained a Warrior/Monk or perhaps a Warrior/Necro for years, however when the Dervish dropped, I used to be offered. It may play with enchants for pumping itself up whereas then dealing since massive hits. It was the entire bundle for me.

Tyler Edwards (weblog): I’ve been an alt addict just about from the second I set foot on the planet of MMOs, so for me the road between “principal” and “alt” has all the time tended to be a bit blurry. My completely satisfied place is leaping between a number of characters extra so than specializing in one. That stated, in the event you’re in search of tales, I do have a little bit of a story to inform: I spent almost my complete World of Warcraft profession making an attempt, and principally failing, to make my Rogue my principal.

After I first joined in Wrath, my principal was a Blood Elf Mage. I attempted many alts, however the one I favored greatest was my Human Rogue (if I’d recognized I used to be going to like the category a lot, I’d have made her a extra fascinating race, however she grew on me as an individual, and I may by no means carry myself to race change her). Whereas my Mage was my focus, my Rogue did make it to degree cap and do some endgame earlier than the growth ended.

By that point being a Mage had misplaced some luster, so I resolved that my Rogue could be promoted to principal in Cataclysm. However then shortly after the growth arrived, I rolled a Paladin, and I discovered that I actually loved taking part in a Holy Pally, and that my guild actually wanted a healer. As soon as once more my Rogue turned a supporting solid member.

Flash ahead to Mists of Pandaria. I had change into mortally burnt out on my Paladin, and I’d misplaced curiosity in my Mage completely, so he obtained taken off the roster, and the Paladin obtained back-burnered. I deliberate for a newly levelled Warlock to be my caster alt, and I swore that this time, my Rogue could be promoted to principal.

Properly, because it seems, the Warlock modifications in MoP have been spectacular — I keep Mists Demonology might be essentially the most enjoyable construct the sport has ever had — and Rogues obtained severely crushed with the nerf bat. In the meantime Monks barged onto the scene with a design ethos that was apparently, “We do precisely what Rogues do, however higher.” My Rogue was nonetheless within the combine, and she or he even obtained her legendary cloak earlier than the top, however she was as soon as once more simply an alt, and my Warlock was very a lot the star.

Then comes Warlords of Draenor. The Rogue class nonetheless wasn’t in a terrific place, however neither was something in that benighted growth. My Rogue was the primary to step foot in Draenor, and she or he ended up being the one character I performed considerably in that growth just because I didn’t care to spend any extra time in it than obligatory. In the end, she had change into the primary, if solely by means of happenstance.

Legion was my last growth in WoW, and it was at that time any semblance of getting a principal dissolved. My main objective there was to finish each class corridor story, so there was by no means anybody character that stood out as extra of a “principal” than others. Nonetheless, my Rogue did get extra play than most. After a number of expansions of Rogues being systematically stripped of just about the whole lot that had as soon as made them enjoyable, the Legion revamp breathed new life into them (it was the Warlocks’ flip to have all their cool stuff ripped out and given to a brand new class), and I had a blast with the brand new Outlaw spec.

Though she was solely actually a “principal” in a single growth, and solely by default, once I look again at my time in WoW, my Rogue is the character I consider as my principal. She’s the one one I performed at endgame in each growth throughout my tenure. No matter struggles the category went by means of, she was all the time expensive to my coronary heart, and I may by no means quit on her. Today I title a personality after her in virtually each sport I play (and that character is often my principal), and a lot of the feminine characters I play are modeled after her ultimately, be it an identical face or coiffure. She additionally lives on as my avatar right here on Massively Overpowered.

Each week, be a part of the Massively OP workers for Massively Overthinking column, a multi-writer roundtable through which we focus on the MMO business subjects du jour – after which invite you to affix the fray within the feedback. Overthinking it’s actually the entire level. Your flip!



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