The first step of being an alt-aholic is to admit the truth of what you are! You are an ALT addict, and it’s affecting everyone around you! You spend so much of your time and credits creating, leveling, and playing all of your ALTs. When do you give it a break? When can you break the addiction??
I wrote that first part jokingly, but I actually wanted to discuss the positives and negatives of having many ALTs that you spend your time/credits/patience on. I wanted to clarify that while I do have many characters, I do not play them or gear them out as I would my main. I would rather focus as much effort as possible on the main toon. However, I have recently been leveling some of my other toons just for a tiny bit more flexibility in raids. Also, Dianah is almost maxed out in gear until we get our new tier, which is coming up soon anyway.
Benefits and Drawbacks
A lot of this is from being a PVE player, mostly from a raiding perspective. However, here are my thoughts regarding certain perks that come with having multiple awesome ALTs!
You can be the crafting king/queen!
I’ve seen a few of my guildies logging on and off all the time on their characters because they are crafters. They probably earn a lot of credits and also help stock our guild bank as well. They are also very self-sufficient and can support themselves, and don’t need to depend on the GTN or guild bank as much as others do.
Until we get a shared legacy cargo hold, such as in the upcoming Galactic Strongholds Digital Expansion, this sounds like a pain. I’m not a crafter. I’d rather be doing something else, and I simply don’t spend enough credits to care about earning that much. I will gladly buy something from the GTN if I really need it (ex: MK-9 Augmentation Kits, color dyes), but if the guild can provide it, then I really don’t have to…
Ultimate flexibility in gameplay.
In my guild we have a rank called “Masochist,” which is basically a person that plays multiple types of characters extremely proficiently, and will switch over at any time when needed. He or she is also very knowledgeable and must be geared for the highest-level fights on all characters/specs.
Having multiple, geared ALTs with different purposes (heal, tank, ranged-DPS, melee DPS) allows you to be flexible in raids when your team needs you. Additionally, multiple ALTs means you can have separate toons specifically for different reasons, such as a PvP toon, GSF toon, sweatshop companion (crafting) toon, etc.
It is very time consuming to level and gear out multiple characters, as well as knowing your role, class, and skill tree like the back of your hand. Alternatively, it takes a lot of time/credits to build your way up to an awesome ship or in ranked PvP also. It would be nice if I was also an awesome healer, but I would rather spend my time/money/effort going for perfection on my main toon. It’s like having only one child! You may also run into the issue of quantity over quality. How good could your main be if you weren’t spending resources (time/money) on your ALT?
So much stuff to do all the time!
You’ll never be bored. You’ll always be available and not locked on an operation. You always have something to do because it truly takes a lot to completely max out a character.
Ain’t nobody got time for that! I work 40 hours a week, I raid at least 3 times a week for almost 3 hours each session, and I play a lot more hours in addition to that. I have to sleep, eat, do multiple girly salon-type activities, blog, work out, and put effort in my outside-of-game relationships. When I play, I want to make the biggest impact possible on my character. My main toon deserves the best! I just don’t have the time to give to a lot of characters unfortunately.
Real Examples from Despair
Sometimes there’s a really good reason to have a lot of characters. Here are some great examples from my guild, Despair.
Sleeth has different characters so that he can play GSF in incognito mode. He’s one of, if not the best GSF player on the Harbinger server (click here to see Despair’s GSF April Fool’s joke), and would like to play without being swarmed! Since he is also one of our crafters, his companions are additionally forever in the sweatshop.
Drios has 16 characters, one of every advanced class. As an officer and raid leader, this is incredibly helpful, as he knows the abilities of everyone’s toons to make better decisions on raiding assignments.
Ben plays his main toon for raids, but he has a couple toons specifically dedicated for PvP. This is important especially because he has a method for saving warzone commendations, in which he must trade in the PvP weapons purchased every 2 hours. This would not be feasible if he did this on his raiding toon. You can hear more about this method on Episode 128 of OotiniCast. In total I think he 19 characters total.
It is totally okay to have multiple toons. I think you should try not to burn yourself out trying to get all of your characters to the highest level of raiding gear or ranked PvP. Like these guys mentioned above, they have a lot of characters, but not all 20 of them are at *gear perfection* I imagine. You should try to reach some sort of work/school/life/gaming balance.
What’s your ALT story? Is everyone geared like your main? Do your different characters have different purposes?