Been struggling with which toon to play other than my Death Knight, and circling around the problem of so little reward for so little time spent. Adding an alt as a casual toon will mean even less time playing the already casual Death Knight; which will slow the even further his advancement. But I really feel the need for an alternate to always doing melee tank or dps all the time. Just a quick break on another toon now and then is what I’m after.
So what are good strategies for gearing a casual alt?
(a) Accept that it will take a very long time. Ages in fact. If you are playing less than 20 hours a week on a “main” then a plan like mine to slowly play an again “alt” as well will be basically a mental break from the main, not an uber-toon.
(b) Accept you’ll be lucky to even have any good gear; aka (Current iLevel -19) gear. eg. Now that 245/232 is the high end, a casual alt is doing well if they’re wearing all 226/219. Consider that my DK wears 232/226, but still has 219 some items and I think I’m (humbly) doing ok on gearing in old content.
(c) Consider picking a hybrid class so your opportunities for grouping is higher. But balance that against the need to get twice as much gear. Maybe a pure dps class will be better as you don’t need two different gear sets.
(d) Learn both specs well, and read a digest of the patch notes every now and then. If the EJ forums are too much, then at least skim over the MMO Champion or WoW.com notes. You might see a few gems in there that help raise your understanding. I recently pondered the racials and found myself wondering why I had not been using the free Draeni instant heal during movement parts of fights. I now ping that heal every time I’m damaged and forced to stop dps.
(e) Choose activity for the Alt that is achieveable. Small steps that you can do are better than longer steps that take a long time. For me this means thinking about BGs and PuGs as places to get gear, and only farming mats for professions as I do a few daily quests. Daily quests are basically how my alt-80 will stay cashed up, but I don’t intend to be doing them religiously.
(f) Get mods/blogs to help you. As I’m thinking of a Priest alt, and my healing skills are totally bogus, I’ve started reading about different mods and blogs to assist. Grid, clique, etc all offer a faster way to heal, and more control for the oh-shit moments.
Caveat on the topic of being a Casual Alt WoW’er
For starters I know that the problem of Main bordem is mine, as I choose to raid with the guild rather than progress my own gear; so really have little to whinge about. This is not a whinge.
Second to that I know that my WoW time is very limited, and that the best way to spend it would be to focus. However the mental break is needed, and so I openly accept and plan to use all my own advice above.