To be or not to be an altoholic?
Altoholics. Everyone knows at least a handful of people who play a number of online games / have a number of characters in a game / both (!). Maybe you’re one of them too. I’ve always admired these maybe-not-so-rare specimens, read on and find out why.
So let’s say you’re entering a virtual world. Most commonly the first choice you have to make is about your character. Who will you be in this world, how will you look, etc. When it comes to this matter, this is how I usually adress it: I choose the race and class (or whatever names) I fell I’ll like the most and login. Throughout gameplay, I get hooked on improving and developing that one character. A dear friend of mine does it differently. He does it the altoholic way. He creates one character, plays if for a while and then moves on to create another one… And another… And by the time I notice it, 40% of my friends list are his characters.
What is the motivation behind being an altoholic? I mean, when I’m playing I feel compelled to move forward, getting to max level, obtain better gear to take on harder encounters or PvP, etc. When I look at my friend (for example) he seems to be happy playing medium level content, sometimes quite often the same again. What’s even more curious from my point of view is that he wants to play end-game content but rarely has a chance, since none of us are really hardcore players and don’t have the time to play as much as some other folks do. So what’s the reward in leveling a bunch of characters to mid level versus having one high level character to experience the end-game content with?
An obvious answer comes to my mind. In a game, there’s content for all levels and races / professions / classes / whatever. Playing only one character (or mostly one) means I’m missing out on a lot of content that was designed for the other races / classes /(…) . That means knowing more about the game and, potentially, it’s lore. That’s a plus I guess. From this one derives another one: by playing different professions / classes you understand better how they work, what’s their strong points and their flaws and how their playstyle will be. That’s also true I guess, but then again, you’d want that information for your high level character right? But there’s two issues with that: 1) you have no high level character [**] 2) to truly understand a class / profession you probably need to play them to high level. I admire the hardcore altoholics’s ability to keep track of multiple high level characters. It’s something I probably would not be good at.
** – Yes, I know sometimes people create different characters after they reached max level and/or experienced most or all content. But I’m focusing on those people who’s character list has 10 level 53 characters (think WoW on this one)
What are your feelings on this? Are you an altoholic? Do you think there’s maybe a psychological reason behind creating a number of different avatars? Post below your thoughts on this :)