Why is it that we have alts, and some of us have a huge stack of them?
Firstly I though it could be an attention span thing (ohh, shiny pretty blood elf), or a side of our personalities that likes punishment. But then I got thinking about the way I play, and in all seriousness there is merit and good reasons to have a few Alts.
I believe that and it makes sense to find ways to avoid grinding the same activities each day. Yes, there will be posts about players being bored, and starting new toons, but what Alting does is teach you about other classes.
You get to see the role and potential of another class, and appreciate the differences between that and what you are used to. Warrior vs Paladin vs Druid tanking for example are all different. All the healer classes have special tricks, and I’d be staggered if Warlocks, Mages, SPriests, Boomkins, and Shamans couldn’t learn something from each other about DPS casters.
You also get a degree of sympathy for players using a class that you play. A dps’er who starts playing a tank has the opportunity to learn why Tanks do some things, and everyone should play a healer at some stage of WoW. It will cut the bitching by a 3rd. However please don’t be that player who gives unsolicited advice constantly to those around them; because other players hate you. Especially so if you are not doing an awesome job with the toon you are playing at the time.
Alts at high levels give you more daily quest opportunities, and that means fast gold. It also gives you more utility to offer as a player, as you can switch toons to suit whatever class is missing for a run. Your play experience gets richer by being able to switch.
The degree of Alt’ing is a different matter. Some players will just experiment and learn a little, others will get a toon to at least 40 and gain good class insight. Some strange and dangerous types will twink a 19, 29, etc to enjoy the thrill of battlegrounds. Lastly the type of true alt-ist will train up a full 70, and complete the learning exercise by playing a class in the 70s.
By way of reinforcement of multi-alt-ism the folks at The Instance (who I listen to regularly) chatted about the leveling process and would they do it again for the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time. Each podcaster had more than one character and has spoken about the class differences on many occasions. That means these guys who are openly not the most hardcore players have a few 70s each (except Scott J – he’s a slacker).
Lastly I’d argue that the coming Hero class starting at 55 is Blizzard telling us two things: (a) that its a long process to get to level 55, and (b) having more that one toon is the way they’d like it played. The leveling grind is there and till the DK is released we’ll just have to keep going, but it also lends some sympathy to seeing what can be done to further accelerate the leveling.
I like the fact you need another toon at 55 to be eligible, and think it will make more folks stay in the game longer; which makes everyone (including Blizzard) happy.