It’s funny how things change over time. When I first started playing (January 30th 2010) I rolled a mage, as the friend who introduced me to the game played one and if he played it then it must be the best. I didn’t do much with them in wrath but I did eventually roll a couple of alts: Vladamir a warrior who I decided would be my tank, Alverez a paladin who would be my healer and Zoya a rogue who I’d play if I wanted to pvp. Now two and a half years later things are very different. All three of them have different names, I’ve levelled but loathe the warrior and rogue, and my paladin spends more time as a tank than a healer. If that can happen over the course of one expansion, what will happen in the next?
What’s in a main?
I’m someone that runs with a lot of alts, some I play more than others, but I still have a number of options available to me for whatever I feel like doing. I always defined in my mind my ‘main’ as being the one that got the best of everything. My ‘main’ had the best gear, was the one with all the achievements, mounts and pets and was the one that I played most of the time. However, given what’s happening in Mists how much of that definition will still apply? Achievements, mounts and pets are all going account wide and how much of that playtime is spent chasing those things?
It seems to me that the only separating factor between a main and an alt in Mists will be gear level and that’s only if you raid or pvp. However, as I do then there is still at least this one distinction between my ‘main’ and my army of alts.
Each expansion changes classes, from what I’ve read anyway. I didn’t really experience much of a change between wrath and cata, but that was more down to my lack of knowledge than the fact that there weren’t changes. My first alt was my warrior and I played that up to about level 30 before cata hit. Already even back then I was enjoying my paladin more so that alt got more attention (making level 65 pre-cata) but I’m not sure whether cata changed warriors or not. All I know is that I’m usually quite rude about warriors calling them “a poor man’s paladin”. However, warriors on the beta are proving a lot of fun. For the first time ever I feel like I have more buttons to hit than just devastate and I actually have rage – it’s great! Therefore my warrior which levelled from level 60 to 85 purely on gathering, and has done nothing but gathering all cata, will likely get dusted off and played when Mists comes out.
I haven’t checked out all the classes on the beta yet, just the ones I’m particularly curious about. I looked at mages and I think that Mists will finally finish off my first main. I gave it up as a bad job in the first few weeks of cata, it experienced a recent revival when we needed a ranged dps for some DS raids, but at this point I’m not sure I’ll even bother taking it to 90. To go from main to abandoned in one expansion proves my point like nothing else I guess.
What role is it?
What you play depends on why you play (either pvp or pve) and then what role you play within that. I started my raiding career as a paladin healer (I’m not counting the one disastrous ICC run at the end of wrath on the mage) and slowly over the course of the expansion I’ve transitioned to tanking. Throughout the expansion I’ve maintained a set of tanking gear for my paladin. something my friend didn’t really understand. I was a healer and I should heal in 5 mans for the experience (whereas I usually tanked 5 mans and healed raids). So perhaps I was a tank at heart all along. Given what an alt-a-holic I am I have something that can fulfil every role and I likely always will. I guess that makes me a jack of all trades, master of none.
Anyway, come Mists I will be entering the new expansion as a tank. I’ve played prot paladin on the beta a little, and while it is different, I don’t think it is that different, to make me switch to something else. So perhaps while my main won’t be changing my focus will be. Paladin, death knight, warrior, feral druid and likely monk will be my new character focuses. All of them able to be tanks, three of them plate wearers. I guess I’m just not supposed to be a squishy. Will I level my other alts up to level cap? Yes eventually more than likely. I’m sort of sensing that my healing days are mostly behind me. I will likely have at least one alt that can heal if need be, but if I get a healing set on my paladin it’ll be my off-off-spec in Mists as I should have a dps off spec as a tank. Far cry from being my main spec in this expansion.
I guess what I’m trying to say, in my usual rambling manner, is that expansions are the time for switch ups. Changing main’s at the beginning of an expansion is a lot better than changing during them as you’re not at a disadvantage. I can understand easily how people would change mains and why some people (casual players) won’t come Mists have one at all. At this stage I’m not considering swapping mains. I love my paladin, and what little I’ve seen on beta, doesn’t change that. However, I will be swapping my played alts around. I have 5 characters that are geared enough for Dragon Soul (paladin, priest, druid, death knight and mage) but those classes will likely not be the same ones I carry forward in Mists. I’ll be bringing my warrior up, levelling a monk, ranged dps slot will be taken by hunter and we’ll see what the changes do to druids. It’s an exciting time and I for one can’t wait.