As I close in on 60 with my first WoW character, I’ve of course started a small army of alts. There’s the token overpowered-class-I-didn’t-pick, which always happens. Greener grass and all that. Also I picked a healer class, because somewhere, deep inside, I live to bandage people I guess. Also, I have the normal stealth alt, the one next to no one knows about, where I can go when I want to “get away”. As I look at my character selection screen, I begin to wonder why so many of us deliberately do this to ourselves.
You’ve killed all the various colored, and steadily stronger, rats from level 1 to 50, 60, 70, or whatever the cap is. You’ve effectively “won”, at least as much as you can win a MMORPG to some extent. Depending on your game of choice, you have an assortment of content to explore, most, if not all of which requires 10-50 of your closest virtual buddies to explore. Why do so many of us immediately turn to the Alt? The Alternate Character, the Twink, the Lowbie, call it what you will, but almost all of us look to try and explore something else of the game than what we’ve been given. This doesn’t happen in Real Life(tm). Well, not often. There was that whole Michael Jordan leaving to play baseball failure years ago, but the average person, after working 20 years in a cubicle, doesn’t decide that they will henceforth be a forest ranger.
Some do it to try another flavor of the game. At least that’s what they say. “I’m going to do something different!” they proclaim, and after about two days, gravitate back to killing the same rats they were killing so many levels ago. I know, I’ve been there. I took my CoH alts to Bricktown to get PL’ed, my EQ alts to PoF, and my WoW alts do the power-questing that is STV and 1000 needles. But why? We’ve done it before.
So my question would be: Why do you have an alt? And when do you play it? Is it a get-away char for when you’re not raiding, or perhaps it’s a future raider to suppliment your casualness? Or what?