Hello, my name is Tierless and I’m an alt-a-holic. I suffer from severe Altitis. This if from Urban Dictionary if you don’t know what Altitis is “The mental disease of making too many alts. One with altitis can't just play one character, he/she has a need or desire to play many.”
I used to think WOW lead me down the path to my addiction. How did they manage to make every class so fun! I had 5 60’s when it was cool just to be lvl 60! Looking a bit deeper I go back to SWG. I only had 1 character, but I leveled 8 professions, and I wasn’t holo grinding....but wait, lets look back even further. As a little Tierly I didn’t just play with a GIJoe, I played with all of them. I set up epic battles and had several storylines going at once, each requiring a specific Joe. Snakeyes for the stealth, Duke for the combat leading, RocknRoll for nukes, Tunnel Rat to plant the explosives, Flint to mess up the mission, and Beachhead to yell at everyone and Storm Shadow to fight Snakeyes!
Usually a few weeks after launch it starts. I hear things like “are you alting” ”oh god already” “get on your main we need you” “great see you once you finally get one to max level”. It’s a tough life ain't it? All this sound familiar? It’s like I’ve been reading your game mail isn’t it? Kicked out of guilds for not contributing, friends leaving you behind, anxiety over which one to log in as? If you're suffering from any of those symptoms, you might be an alt-a-holic. But don't feel bad, embrace your addiction, because I think CU might just be able to help us. I’m ain't saying we can beat this devil, but I think we can drink his beer for nothing, and here is how.
Linear progression. Look to EVE online. After a couple months you're able to successfully contribute to the overall goal with your friends. They might have 6 years to your 3 months but you can help because of the leveling system. Can I own? Probably not, but I can help, I can contribute, I can cause some damage, enough damage for people to want me to come along.
CU being a PVP game simply HAS to support that sort of leveling. Otherwise newbies would be handicapped and mauled into rage quitting. A new player must be able to contribute with vets or the game will be broken, you can’t level. I don’t expect them to win. If you match an average vet vs an average newb I expect the newb to lose most of the time, but not by a vast margin. It should be by just enough to make that newb think “I almost had him, maybe if I do X,Y,Z next time I can take him”. 2 newbs vs 1 vet, that vet better be skilled!
So what does that mean for alting? “Rejoice for those around you who transform into max leveled characters. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not” because we won't get left behind. We won't hear “dude you need to level before you can come here”. It means that after a fairly small investment we can contribute in some useful way! We might not be uber, but we have a purpose!
“But Tierless, I hate having a disease, surely I would just be better off curing this plague wouldn’t I?” Judging from DAOC and WAR team MJ has a bit of a soft spot for those with our disease. Why else would they do such a phenomenal job of making every race so different yet so appealing? Why else would they have so many interesting classes? Why else would each class per relm be so unique? Do not fear this disease, be like Ash, try em all! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHG-JO8gIGk
Frankly I don’t like calling it a disease, it’s a playstyle, one with a variety of benefits. 1. “Know thy enemy” Sun Tzu the Art of war. Who knows the enemy better than an alter? Most of us secretly went on different servers to see how the other side lived. 2. A plethora of class knowledge. Need a tank, got one. Off tank, them too. DPS, yep. Healer, no problem. Not only do I have a decently leveled X, Y, or Z. Most alters I know are pretty good in any role because they understand all classes on a different level than people that only ever play one toon. 3. You don’t get MMO Burn. “I’m burnt out, I think I played this character too much”. How many times have you heard that? Rarely, if most of your friends are alters. 4. MMO Talk. Alters are great for MMO talk. They have a wide array of knowledge about the game and tend to like talking about all of the aspects in great depth. 5. Alters don’t care about “being cool”. Yes the “cool” thing to do is grind to max level, acquire leets, then stand in a designated spot in the main trade hub showing off said leets and talking down to other non leet players. Alters just don't care about all that jazz. We don’t play to be leet, we play to entertain ourselves. We play to experience as much of the game as we can. Were the kind of player that wears less quality gear just because (in our humble opinion) we think it looks cooler than the leet stuff.
All this alt talk has got me feeling emotionalt, I think I’ll try my hand at a poem.
Woa is the Alter, never ahead
Without his friends
Happy he is,
with the way he plays
Content to be solo,
after only a few days
Launches are exciting, were all the same!
2 hours have gone by, I ran out of names!
Yay is the Alter, he needs no friends
He has his alts, til the game ends!
Hopefully CU is the best of both worlds. Our friends don’t hate us for never being useful, and we get to alt til our hearts content. Sounds like gamer paradise doesn't it? It’s not paradise, it’s Camelot Unchained. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmSG8DAPF8w&list=PL57ACC89C460095D9