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Why do you alt?

neuroguyneuroguy Member
edited June 2019 in General Discussion
Short version:

Do you enjoy rolling alts? What were your reasons for rolling alts in the past (e.g. crafting, trying a new class, trying a new race, trying a new faction, guild espionage, playing with friends who just started the game)? What are enjoyable reasons you would like to see motivate you to roll an alt in AoC? And lastly, how do you feel about systems that force you to roll an alt (e.g. locked classes or factions) to experience all the game has to offer?

Unnecessarily long version (spoiler: it's about crafting and my thought process on if and how we should be limited in the number of crafting skills we engage with per character):

I was remembering runescape and how you didn't really need alts in that game. You are not really locked in to any class or faction or crafting skill limit so you can focus on progressing one character and allow for really cool interdependencies where your progress in one skill could be heavily dependent on your progress in other skills. This is of course in contrast to a game like WoW where you have different narratives/experiences/quests based on your character creation choices (faction/class/race) as well as limited in-game ability to specialize (professions).

Ultimately, in my mind at least, I think the most tangible downstream effect on my engagement with these 2 types of games ended up being how forced/motivated/incentivized I felt to roll alts. I never really had a reason to roll an alt in runescape other than extra storage space or for trading. This allowed me to have one grand narrative for my character and the most meaningful progression I have ever experienced in a video game (unlocking entire zones, skills, abilities, etc). I was chasing a complete experience of the game through one character. On the other hang, in WoW, I felt like I had to roll at least one other toon (opposite faction) to get the full experience of the game. This to me personally was really cool, to experience things through a different perspective and do it with a totally different set of tools and skills (different class) made my experience feel sufficiently different for it to be enjoyable. The dungeons and some/many of the quests were the same but nonetheless my overall experience felt different and I was chasing a full experience of the game through multiple characters.

They both have their pros and cons and I wonder where you'd like AoC to fall on this spectrum. Personally, I like race and class locking but don't like WoW's 2 profession limit for example. From a re-playability perspective, given the divergent server narratives and the class/race locking, I already have lots of motivation to roll alts. Also, historically, the most common reason I've ever rolled an alt in an MMO was to play with a friend who was just starting out or wanted to roll an alt and if AoC really fosters strong social connections/relationships in game, I suspect this too will be the #1 reason people will roll alts. From a community and dependency perspective, I understand that you need to make sure everyone is somewhat dependent on the community for progression. Guilds should need many people to fulfill their crafting needs and specializations and having uber characters that can do it all diminishes the value of others.

I do support limited "specialization" in professions, but not limited participation. I like the within character interdependency that runescape provided where I had to progress multiple skills in parallel and couldn't really hyper-focus on a single skill. This caused overlap in my goals and made progress in any single skill more rewarding. I was excited to get a higher level of mining not just because I could mine a new ore, but also because I could now better level up my crafting to join the crafting guild, AND I now had unlocked a new quest that required my mining to be a certain level AND the quest reward unlocks a new area that allows me to more efficiently level my wood cutting and etc etc. I think what might help accomplish that is locking specialization to a limited number of professions without prohibiting characters from engaging with all the other professions. Given how many professions there seems to be planned for AoC, people will likely naturally ignore some anyways (I know many people might not be interested in farming for example). Also, the dependency within the community will still exist, especially at higher levels of content where skinning a dragon for example will require a master skinner (specialized) but everyone could still skin a wolf with varying levels of success/yield depending on if they are specialized in skinning or not. This way, you can still have some interdependency on your own other skills, but would still rely on others for your progression more and more so as you honed your (specialized) craft.


  • VarkunVarkun Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    For me, it is about picking up other crafting professions though I do give thought to what class/race as I will play these alts at some point for a change. That is my reason for alts with almost all other content being done on my main toon.

    With what we do know about AOC's crafting there will be a need for many alts if you wish to master them all and it may very well take multiple accounts to do so. Gathering/processing/crafting all further broken down into multiple specializations that you may only be able to master one of.
    Close your eyes spread your arms and always trust your cape.
  • It's sometimes nice to have a change of pace from your main. Depending on whether or not there might be AFK professions, that could also be a reason. I often end up creating 1 or 2 alts eventually. Although I play my main for quite a bit.
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  • DamoklesDamokles Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I will only use alts to master different artisan/gathering jobs tbh xD
  • BlackheartedBlackhearted Member
    edited June 2019
    I think class is a good reason.
    In Runescape you also had a class type of system as u could create different kind of pures.

    I hope ashes moves to similar direction where professions arent
    "You're seeking for perfection, but your disillusions are leading to destruction.
    You're bleeding for salvation, but you can't see that you are the damnation itself." -Norther
  • AzathothAzathoth Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I like to build characters that I think are fun and fitting of my mood. I like to play the heroic and lawful warrior, the good and compassionate knight, the evil and demented cleric, the sneaky stealthy ranged assassin, and occasionally the wise old wizard. Then I pick one to play based on how I feel when I sit down to play,
    +1 Skull & Crown metal coin
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    The first reason I role alts is because in a raiding environment I find it invaluable to at least know the basics of how each class works. Yes you can watch videos or read guides to get that information, but it's not nearly as educational as playing the class for yourself.

    The second reason is simple - I get bored easily, so switching classes allows me to maintain my interest in the game for longer. On a similar note I like playing all the different roles in an mmorpg, and often each class is locked into a single role.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I play RPGs because I'm an actor - which means RP is fun.
    I like to RP different characters - race/class combos, genders and professions.
    I don't really need more motivation than that.
  • @varkun @damokles
    So if you roll alts pretty much for professions, do you find it annoying to be "artificially" forced to do so by profession limits? Or is it a nice incentive to also try new classes/races and you like the motivation to do so?

    Yeah actually, understanding the mechanics of another class by playing it is very nice for raiding/grouping with said classes. You can make better decisions that way.
  • DamoklesDamokles Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Not really... I mean it is logical that one character cant do everything on his own.
    I also choose my characters and their classes for what kind of thing i plan to do for them.
    My main is a bard that specializes in jewelcrafting
    My first toon is a rogue with focus on mining and skinning
    My second toon is a mage that focuses on alchemy and gathering flowers.
    My third is a weaponsmith.
    (All of them Zulnar because Tulnar are obviously the best ;) )
  • whitedude31whitedude31 Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    edited June 2019
    In Tera I had a max level/geared character for every class because I was guild leader for 7 years and needed to know every class to a certain degree. I mained a lancer, and that is what I taught people how to play mainly, but I could still answer basic questions about skills/rotations/playstyles for any class. This was all before Fate of Arun so there are some new classes that I do not know much about anymore and so many different skill changes at this point. Shortly after Fate of Arun was released I decided to pass leader off to our co-leader who I heard later, could not hold the guild together and the 1000+ members all scattered. That made me feel good and bad at the same time. Good, because it meant I was a good enough leader to hold that many people together, but bad because when I left that was pretty much the end. :disappointed: That was all accomplished though with the time and effort me and my officers put into learning the game and all the classes which led to a better experience for those that did not have the time we had.
  • neuroguyneuroguy Member
    edited June 2019
    Nice, it's fun that you already have a nice roadmap for your play haha. But I find it strange that you default to each toon having 2 professions as their focus at most. Like is it presumptuous of me to say that perhaps that's just engrained as a restriction from WoW or another MMO? AoC is supposed to have so many professions, I personally would like my main to do fishing, farming, cooking, herbalism, alchemy and tailoring well.
  • T ElfT Elf Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I usually roll an alt because:
    I'm stuck in someway with my main (which usually means I need more people and can't get them when I want/need).
    I'm bored.
    In EQ2 my leveling in crafting was thwarted by interdependency (not being able to have components when I needed them) so the only way I could progress was making alts so I could craft when and what I wanted.
    I'm interested to see what life is like for other races and professions.
    To have a mule.
    Before mentoring, to help quest with someone.
    I just like creating new characters :wink:
    Formerly T-Elf

  • DamoklesDamokles Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    neuroguy wrote: »
    Nice, it's fun that you already have a nice roadmap for your play haha. But I find it strange that you default to each toon having 2 professions as their focus at most. Like is it presumptuous of me to say that perhaps that's just engrained as a restriction from WoW or another MMO? AoC is supposed to have so many professions, I personally would like my main to do fishing, farming, cooking, herbalism, alchemy and tailoring well.

    Here are some quotes from Steven directly from the Ashes of Creation community Wiki (which i can only recommend, the people there are really fast to update the website), about the crafting principle. I am just assuming that you wont be able to master more then one/two things on one character:
    "Artisan classes do not allow a character to become a master of all."
    "Players must choose a path in the artisan skill tree for each character."

    I plan to specialize my characters heavily in their respective fields, and connect all their paths together.
    My Rogue will mine ores and leather for my smith, while he supplies the jewel crafter with needed gems and ores.
    The smith will in turn use the crafted gems from my jeweler to socket them in his weapons, and then he will give my rogue the best weapon he can craft to enhance his power so that he can go into dungeons, raids and open world PvP.

    Tbh, I am planing to make my "main" more like an RP main. Most of the world activities will be with my rogue, while the bard will care for my freehold, and be there for micromanagement of recipy creation and node politics.

    My ultimate goal is to craft a legendary gemstone as big as my head. (Will probably end up being a trinket, that I want to name "Nagash's Source of Power", which will increase ONLY agility and attackpower xD)
  • Kiryu_riyKiryu_riy Member, Leader of Men
    Mainly to try different classes, profesions.
  • VarkunVarkun Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited June 2019
    @neuroguy I actually like to create a number of alts and I do give thought to their race and class as I will play them. This gives me a different perspective and teaches me how other classes play and feel. This may sound somewhat strange but each character I create get their own little back story, with motivations and even reasoning behind tattoos or scars they may have its all just contained in my head usually. I do this for every character I have ever played be it alt or main, I guess it is just a throwback to 30+ years of running pen and paper rpg's.

    It is by no means annoying I actually prefer it tbh. It may take me some time to get to play them but I will put some time into them eventually.
    Close your eyes spread your arms and always trust your cape.
  • I hate requiring alts for progression in crafting. You are going to put in the same amount of time either with an alt or one character, so why limit player crafting? Making it tougher to advance in further skills, that seems reasonable. So for example if you are a legendary smith, lets say. 5 levels of smithing, when you try to learn apprecticeship skills in tailoring (lvl 1) you need to get the crafting points or exp for a lvl 6. Now with progression via only limiting warring or opposition factions as unlockable makes sense to me. If you want to be in the thieves guild and warrior guild, why not? But being in the elf haters club and elf lovers club, maybe not so much.
  • AzryilAzryil Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited June 2019
    I generally roll alts for two reasons, the first being so that I can be self sufficient when it comes to crafting. I don't like to rely on others to craft necessities such as food, potions, elixirs, and enchantments so I always end up rolling alts with varying crafting professions. The second reason I roll alts is to get a feel for how each class plays so I can have an understanding of their utilities from a raiding standpoint and theory crafting.
  • damokles wrote: »
    Here are some quotes from Steven directly from the Ashes of Creation community Wiki (which i can only recommend, the people there are really fast to update the website), about the crafting principle. I am just assuming that you wont be able to master more then one/two things on one character:
    "Artisan classes do not allow a character to become a master of all."
    "Players must choose a path in the artisan skill tree for each character."

    Mhm exactly, this allows for no conclusion on how many professions you can be a master of, nor does it speak to your ability to participate in professions you are not a "master" of. Since we don't know, I think it's fun to talk about the possibility :).

    I personally would like the ability to dabble in any/all professions on one character and I will naturally focus on a few anyways. With limited bag space, no fast travel, and the knowledge that I can only specialize on a few professions ultimately, I'm not going to carry around a skinning knife, a pickaxe, a woodcutting axe, fishing pole, etc everywhere I go nor am I going to keep every resource I collect (because of bagspace haha).

    A few people here have mentioned rolling alts to not be dependent on other players. There are lots of fun reasons to roll alts but I don't think the profession self sufficiency (at lower tiers) should be a sufficient reason to roll an alt on its own. If I can gather my own ore for blacksmithing until I get to higher tiers of blacksmithing without having to specialize into mining, that would be cool. I may not be very efficient at gathering ore or capable of gathering every ore that a specialized miner would but still I can be a bit self sufficient until higher tiers if I so choose. If everyone has the ability to mine, you could reasonably place a tunnel block in a dungeon that requires some modest mining level to clear without forcing group compositions to bring a specialized miner. Similarly, the mage's guild might require you to be able to brew minor potions without having to specialize into alchemy. Essentially, this would 1. create overlap in goals making progress in any single domain rewarding for multiple reasons and 2. create dependencies in parallel streams of individual character progression promoting involvement in multiple game systems and discouraging hyper-focusing on single professions or combat levels or w.e.
  • ViymirViymir Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    For me the concept of an alt is a little bit defunct as that implies it is an alternative to my main, but my "alts" are usually as powerful and as well equipped as my "main" so when I log in to a different character it becomes my main for the reason I have logged into that character.

    For sure to start with my first born character gets the most attention but generally I create all my required characters on day one. I do occasionally create an alt for a specific reason that does not require much in the way of skills or equipment, but even then I soon find a reason to make them stronger in a particular discipline so I can use them as a main when I want to.
  • DamoklesDamokles Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I also hope that one character can at least "do" most professions (at least on an innitiate level), and then choose the direction he wants to go :)
    Like i said, my main reason is not to be totally independent of other people, but rather to save crafting costs at higher levels. I would always have to haggle for raw mats when i need to level my artisan class, and with my alts i can subvert that by simply getting all that myself :D
    Especially because i plan to settle in an scientific node, where i can use the legendary crafting, where i wont have access to the centralised auktionhouse of the economic node.
  • This is a great discussion topic @neuroguy - thanks for getting this started and sharing your thoughts!

    From my own personal experience, I would say that I tend to only make alts when I HAVE TO for say - storage reasons (a handy dandy mule if banking is expensive or limited) or crafting reasons (specializing in something other than my main character, if I'm locked in how many skills I can acquire).

    Usually I like to put all my time, energy, and effort into one main character, and I appreciate when a game allows me to follow as many paths as I want with the same character, even if that means that becoming a true master takes a LOT of time and skill.
  • bloodprophetbloodprophet Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I usually main a mage type class in MMO's. But I also enjoy the healer game as well and more often then not they both end up raid toons and I can switch back and forth as needed.
    Any other alts is me checking out other classes and how they play.
    Most people never listen. They are just waiting on you to quit making noise so they can.
  • WololoWololo Member, Phoenix Initiative, Hero of the People, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I dont like playing alts but for the sake of content i guess there is no way around it
  • IreriIreri Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I don't play alts at all. I've only got a few hours each night to relax and game. Alts would detract from the limited time I have to play my main.
    If I roll an alt, it was usually only for bank space and storage.
  • Well I also rolled alts for professions cause did not want to pay other toons for mats and wanted make and sell my own items. And also a bank toon. But also leveled alts for pvp purposes as in right composition. And made a really good discovery.

    The Developers in that game had done an incredible job at making classes. I really like my main but had more fun playing other classes. So I became a multiclasser meaning could pvp and pve equally with each class.
    What this did for me it made me feel like I was actually playing a different version of the game for each class. I found myslef wishing I had the time to play more classes that is why I think a game should be as alt friendly as possible.

    Plus was happy I could play different roles as a ranged dps class and as a tank. Play styles totally different but really fun all in all.
  • SarevokSarevok Member
    edited June 2019
    Depends on the game for me. In WoW it was warrior tank for raids, paladin healer for backup PvE and rogue for PvP. All that changed with each expansion that came out as the classes evolved.

    For AoC I'll probably have three main characters based on roles but it's too early to decide on anything. I'll have a melee dps, healer and some sort of support toon but since we can swap out the secondary class I might be able to get away with two. I'm not a huge fan of alts as that requires more time and resources invested. This detracts from being the best at what I play. If we could Respec our main class as well then I would definitely only play one toon.

    Classes I plan to research:

    Dreadnought, Shadowblade, Weapon Master
  • Well I always have 2 characters base. One for solo and one for playing with my spouse so that is two characters minimum for any game.

    Then I roll alts because I either want to try a specific class that I haven't tried yet, or I have an idea for a character for RP reasons that I'm not playing yet.

  • Well, if I have to roll an alt to store mats, I don't enjoy it. Space shouldn't matter. I never enjoyed space complication except in single games.
    When online games apply it, it's just boring, unless the game is Survival genre, that's different.

    And, eventually I roll alts to play as another class. I usually main healers, so tanking it's a nice change of pace, or just DPSing and don't worry about anyone's health.

    I don't particularly enjoy alts for other professions. I feel that it kills a bit of gameplay when 1 person can do everything, negating the necessity for other players and possible interactions.
  • georgeblackgeorgeblack Member
    edited June 2019
    I like playing on character. It is my persona in the game world. One name for people to call me by and know as.

    I am mainly a damage dealer but some content I can tank.
    I do not expect to tank all content and that is ok. I mainly use twin swords but some times I try to play well with a two handed sword.

    So far I havent found a game in which I could have ONE useful profession besides my combat abilities. It's either full CrafterGatheredAlchemistBlacksmith genious or nothing
    My best experience was having no profession and creating an artisan/gatherer class for the group which we all level.

    For me when a game is based on many alts it's a sign of lack of depth and challenge. Leveling alts means solo and selfishness.

    From time to time I will see a character in a movie or a series and Ill be like " I want to make Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow and pvp"
    Ill just log in in an easy mmorpg like ESO, get my archer rdy and be bored with it within a week.

    Ideally in AoC Ill be a twin sword warrior that can tank some PvE content but mainly dps.
    Ill be able to have a twin sword and a two handed sword playstyle in PvP and in order to be useful to my guild Ill be a mineral gatherer and if the game allows a blacksmith, and my friend will be a botanist gatherer and alchemist. Hopefully we could sell our materials and products.

    Ideally... zero alts.
  • noemadnoemad Member
    I love my alts. In most games I have them so I can try the other classes and hopefully not burn out on my main. In some games, such as swtor, which has a unique story to play thru for each class that's a huge reason why I have alts. I have to play thru all of the stories. Even if it's a class I'm not sure I'll like I want to play thru that story. It's part of the appeal of RPGs and MMORPGs for me. It's like reading a good fantasy novel but you actually get to be the main character, make the decisions, fight the monsters, save the world. MMO\RPGs are the ultimate evolution of the choose your own adventure book.
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