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Reader Comments (32)

Posted: Apr 12th 2010 8:14AM (Unverified) said

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imho, if you spend your time rolling alts instead of playing onwards in a game, it's probably a sign that the game isn't for you, and you should probably just ditch it and look for something else.

Fair enough if you cap out and run out of things to do, and want to try a different playstyle (class, faction, whatever). But when I see people who have dozens of characters and have never gotten halfway to the level cap on any of them, I just think. "huh, why do you keep playing a game that bores you so much??"

Posted: Apr 12th 2010 8:35AM Wraibot said

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It doesn't necessarily mean you're bored with the game... maybe you like the game so much you can't decide which class you like the most.

I know for City of Heroes, which I played religiously for 3-4 years, I believe I managed to get 7 - 50s, 4 - 40s, ~6 - 30s and filled up about 24 character slots. The game just never really had any end-game content, so you'd cap 50, make a PvP build for it, and then make an alt. But since they ruined PvP, well, I quit.

Right now I'm in Eve, and since it's pretty much impossible to have an alt when you have 1 account, well, I don't have altitus... at all... which is weird for me...
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Posted: Apr 12th 2010 8:42AM (Unverified) said

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Tru.. like I said, if you hit level cap and run out of things to do, but still enjoy the game, sure, you make alts. Sounds like that's what you did in CoH. I specifically mentioned that, because I don't want to suggest that doing that means you're bored of the game.

I'm talking about people who create alt after alt and keep on starting again and never getting anywhere.
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Posted: Apr 12th 2010 8:49AM (Unverified) said

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Well, I can't answer for everyone, but here is my response. I don't think I've ever played a game from level 1 to max without creating other characters throughout the experience. Why commit yourself to one version of the gameplay when you can mix it up and play differently depending on your current mood? Sticking to one class/character may not be inherently boring, but it's certainly more boring than having options. I don't know why you would ever want to rush to hit the level cap anyway, unless you are referring to an open world sandbox game. The majority of MMOs out there these days are themeparks that have tried to cash in on WoW's success, and even Blizzard has trouble getting end-game content out quickly enough satisfy maxed out players. Taking time to play through the game from different angles and explore the entire game is what creating alts does for me.
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Posted: Apr 12th 2010 8:57AM (Unverified) said

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Carson - just as well you commented further upon your original statement, else I'd have been forced to mail you one of these:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT9PQGygZwA

There are a multitude of different reasons for creating alts and/or rolling toons on different servers.
Trying out different class/race combinations, meeting new folk and joining them on their server, different server rules, etc etc.

And remember this can be over a large period of time, not simply because of 'boredom'.
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Posted: Apr 12th 2010 8:33AM (Unverified) said

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12 max level characters in the game who shall not be named :p even 2 of them share a class with another 2 >_<

tho i have resisted the urge to alt in EvE, seeing as its pretty much impossible without another account (tho thats not very cost limiting lol)

Posted: Apr 12th 2010 8:30AM (Unverified) said

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I currently play Aion and am working on my 5 character to level 30.
Now for those who don't know, each character that you get to 30 gets a piece of the Daeva set armor, which is nice armor, so this has played well into my altitis.
I only plan on playing 2 characters after I get this last one done so my case isn't too bad.

Posted: Apr 12th 2010 8:39AM (Unverified) said

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Max slots (50) in Wow *hangs head in shame*.
Max slots on 2 Lotro servers.
Max slots in EQ2.
Max slots in AoC.
Max slots in GW.
Max slots in RoM.
Max slots in GA.
.. I should really stop at this point before I embarrass myself even further.

I'm Amana, and I'm an alt-o-holic.

Posted: Apr 12th 2010 9:54AM yeppers said

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Well... at least I know now why my dishwasher has been slacking on the top rack.
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Posted: Apr 12th 2010 5:17PM Joshua Przygocki said

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I'll see you at the AA meeting...

Max on LOTRO
Max on 2 WoW servers
Max in GW
Max in god knows how many f2ps
Max in CO

I need help.
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Posted: Apr 12th 2010 8:44AM (Unverified) said

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I have it pretty bad. In LoTRO I have 5 chars level 60+, in GW I have at least 8 that finished all campaigns... however in WoW I only have a level 55 and some other minor ones.

I just like trying out different classes and seeing how their skills work, for the variety and to get familiar with what other classes have and offer. WoW was a little different as it took me a long time to find a class I liked and some don't really become playable or fun (or both) in the spec you want to try until comparatively high level (IMHO poor design they need to address).

But I'm trying to focus on "just 2" per game (LoTRO and WoW at this point, I haven't played GW much lately) to concentrate on. Especially in WoW to push one char to max level.

Posted: Apr 12th 2010 8:48AM Syesta said

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That's what I love about FFXI.

One Character. One Server. 6 Years.
75 MNK/WAR/SAM/DRK/NIN/THF/RNG/DNC/DRG/COR
(Not a fan of Mage-type jobs)

Posted: Apr 12th 2010 9:06AM elocke said

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I agree on this point, FFXI is ideal. Unfortunately, no one has truly copied it.
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Posted: Apr 12th 2010 8:49AM SkyStreak said

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My name is SkyStreak, and I'm an altaholic.

I have 2 CoH accounts because I ran out of slots on a server (this was prior to being able to purchase more slots on a server).

As for the idea that creating and playing alts as a sign that the game isn't for you, I couldn't disagree more.

These games give you multiple character types, multiple story arcs, appearance customizabilty and performace customizability for a reason.

To me, and many others, it's about the journey, not the destination.

Posted: Apr 12th 2010 2:22PM (Unverified) said

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I have one of the worst cases of altitis known to man. I suffer gladly.

Here's proof:
http://dashmccool.deviantart.com/art/Alt-Alphabet-114482941
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Posted: Apr 12th 2010 8:53AM (Unverified) said

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Damn that screenshot represents like 50,000 hours of grinding.

Posted: Apr 12th 2010 9:05AM elocke said

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I think altitis is a good thing. A game should be interesting enough to play multiple times through. Different classes SHOULD give me variety if designed correctly. A good example of a game that does this is Vanguard. So many unique and interesting classes, I can't just settle on one ONLY. That would be a waste of my money in my opinion. I pay to play, so I will make the most of it and do EVERYTHING I possibly can in the game.

Posted: Apr 12th 2010 9:23AM (Unverified) said

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I have a friend who has a different variation of this problem. She makes a character, plays it for 3 or 10 levels, learns a few things about the endgame, then rerolls something new. Repeat for about 10 characters until she finds one or two she might actually play to endgame. Sometimes it's as silly as one faction gets a skill that's considered slightly superior than the other faction, which is unfortunate considering she never reached endgame before getting tired of PvE grind.

This was a problem for both DDO and Aion. The former was fun, albeit lacking in much of any PvP aside from free-for-all bar brawls, (Not to mention, we already play D&D and the fluid experience of tabletop is just more enjoyable). The latter just failed to hold her interest (she was hoping for a DAoC-like experience).

I wish more MMOs would follow a style like Kingdom of Loathing and Final Fantasy 11 and not force the player into limited, unchangeable roles and require us to reroll an alt to see different aspects of gameplay.

One thing this article does not mention is that some players see characters as more of D&D style roleplaying entities. They roll a warrior, come up with a distinct personality and playstyle, then give him a relevant name and decorative armor. When they roll a mage later, he's intended to be a completely different personality. It's just a particular flavor of escapism that doesn't happen to indicate

One thing I hate about alts? Packmule alts. I wish games would be designed so those are neither wanted nor needed.

-SirNiko

Posted: Apr 12th 2010 9:28AM Ripper McGee said

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I played City of... for a few years, primarily in a casual duo with my teenage daughter. We loved making thematic characters and playing together, although it wasn't ever anything we devoted tons of time to - just occasional father-daughter gaming quality time.

I also traveled quite a bit for work, so I would tend to make a ton of alts, play them from my hotel room when I was gone, which is great because it's really easy to feel like you've accomplished something in a short amount of time. Another aspect of CoX is that I really, really liked the character creation system - it spoke to my creative side, so I was crazy about making alts, creating backstories, etc...

~Ripper

Posted: Apr 12th 2010 9:58AM Seffrid said

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I coudn't disagree more with Carson, but I suspect he's approaching it from the perspective of a hardcore "rush through the game and get bored when you're ahead of the endgame content" player, whereas I (a) prefer the journey to the destination and (b) have without exception in any MMO since '98 found the low-mid game far more entertaining than the endgame which is always a pure grind followed by raids and PvP neither of which I have the remotest interest in. I think Guild Wars is the only game in which I've maxed a character, but I wouldn't still be playing MMO's after 12 years if I found my way of playing them boring!

I have a full set of characters on one (extended slots) EQ2 account, but have passed my other account over to my son, I have two almost full lifetime accounts on LoTRO, one character of each Alliance class on WoW, one of all Order and a few Horde classes on WAR (two servers for different factions), and goodness knows how many on other MMO's including AoC, DDO, VG etc.

An under-stated reason for people rolling a lot of characters is of course self-sufficiency in crafting. I certainly have all professions covered in both LoTRO and WoW.

People play these games for all manner of reasons, and derive their enjoyment of them in all manner of ways. I can never understand why someone would want to stick to just one character all the time, or feel the need to get to the endgame before anyone else, or even feel the need to be grouped up with others in order to do so. Raiding and PvP are alien concepts to me. I am therefore quite relaxed about other people not understanding why I would want to play the games the way I do. I'm simply delighted that most developers have the wit to design their games so that we can all enjoy them in whichever happens to be our preferred playstyle.

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