Today I want to talk to you about a serious problem. It’s not a taboo subject, but there aren’t many people who talk about it, except the acknowledgement that they are diagnosed with this particular problem. It’s most often self-diagnosed, or diagnosed by their peers.
I'm talking about Altoholism.
I think it’s been a year since I heard my friend say that he’s an altoholic, with roughly forty characters. At that time I had just bought my first extra character slot, having six slots total. Of course, this isn’t a new phenomenon grown with Guild Wars 2. I’m sure it started back in the days of the first MMORPGs. I’m also sure there are many more games that are altoholic friendly, which have more character slots for free or allowing people to create multiple characters on different servers.
I’m writing this from a Guild Wars 2 perspective, but I’ve asked people who play other MMORPGs, like World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Star Trek Online, who have answered my question about alts as well. Why do we create alts? Here are 7 reasons! Comment below with your own reasons if I didn’t mention them.
Complete understanding of the game
Some of you create alts to experience their play style. No profession or class plays the same. Guild Wars 2 tries its best to go against the holy trinity of damage dealer, healer and tank. Even playing other races can give you a different experience as stories are told differently and have various starting zones. Playing the Heart of Thorns story as a Sylvari, you’ll hear a lot more than any of the other races.
I’ve played through the racial branches (not all choices yet), all factions and most other branches in the personal story. At one moment you’ll get the option to study a race. On one character I chose Quaggans because they’re awesome. On a second I chose to study the Skritt. Well, they’re idiots. If I didn’t save them, they would have killed themselves. It was a funny story though.
Did you go to clown college?
Another good reason to play different classes or professions is to get to know them. If you play PvP, raids or other instances, you’ll definitely benefit from knowing all the other classes and how to possibly counter them or use their skills in your favor.
What’s an MMORPG without actual roleplaying? Whole guilds came together for this one purpose. Every character has its own story, looks, style, voice, etc. And every role in the story is a different character. With the free accounts introduced with the expansion, I can imagine the true roleplaying fans create free accounts for characters slots and potentially multibox with the extras.
Personally, the only roleplaying I do is using my character in the fanfiction I write. I don’t want to use other people’s characters without permission or the canon characters of the main story. I will sometimes use existing NPCs for cameos in my story, just to flesh out the setting. It’s good to have a visual of the character you’re writing about. So I’ll make more characters when I’m writing more.
I’m sure you know this feeling. Not enough inventory/bank/stash space. I’m looting too many things that I want to save. From equipment for other characters, to skins, to event items. That’s where alts come in. Free bank space!
Some people leave their alts at convenient locations, such as the end of a jumping puzzle, gathering places, farming spots or close to events. Creating new characters for each build is easy. Maybe even preferable if you switch between game modes quickly and don’t have much time.
[caption id="attachment_67349" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Doing world bosses is so much easier with certain classes[/caption]
This is definitely not one of the things I do. I do, however, consider making a second character specifically for PvP. They don’t need full exotic/ascended/legendary weapons or armor. A simple white will do. Everything I need is unlocked, plus I wouldn’t have to switch builds when I do go to PvE. The weapons and armor can be transmuted to the skins I want.
The real altoholics like to have all the possible combinations of professions and races. That’s 45 characters in total for Guild Wars 2. I focused first on getting at least one armor class for each race, with a mix of male and female and one of each class. It’s good to check out different classes and find the one that fits your play style.
Others have mentioned that they like one profession so much that they created multiple of the same class, but with different races.
Every MMORPG has its fair share of skins or transmogs. Another reason for the many alts is style. Each character can have it’s own looks without having to change much. Sure, you can change the look of a character, but to do so every play session? No. Just create another character with its own theme and look.
[caption id="attachment_67347" align="aligncenter" width="560"] I just can't get enough of this[/caption]
Guild Wars 2 also has racial armor that can only be worn by their respective races. Some of the armor pieces look awesome on males, others on females. I’ll always try to find a great mixed armor set with a great dye pallet.
Sometimes you get bored of playing the same thing over and over again. You want something new, fresh and motivation to keep you going. Creating a new character can be really exciting. Starting at level 1 and leveling again, gives you that sense of progression. Even though you’ve already done it a thousand times. I plan to not use any Tomes of Knowledge to level my newest Male Norn Ranger called Linnermr Asbjörn. The new character will give you a new goal. Leveling him to max, getting the right gear and making sure he looks the way you want. Then you have to consider if you want to prepare him for dungeons, raids or WvW.
Who doesn’t get a kick out saying they have 27 different characters?
Now, I’m off to create another new character. Enjoy leveling your own alts!