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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Alt-ism

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74 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 12/11/07
Posts: 8

8/13/13 10:27:33 PM#21
Im surprised no one even mentions champions online. the game is still going and I feel has twice the customization cox did because of the free form class system and all the new costume pieces that keep coming out. coh is dead, champions online is still active, would love to have it get some more love.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/13/13
Posts: 1

8/13/13 11:09:35 PM#22

Matt, for me the character creation was the primary point of the game-- it enabled me to create my own Super-hero characters and then DO something with them.  The details of the "do something" was very minor so long as they could fight crime (which is what Super Heroes are supposed to to) so beating up muggers in Steel Canyon or stopping the Tsoo from stealing artifacts in Talos or stopping Renegade Crey in Brickswas the most important game content -- everything else was just gravy.  At game close I had an entire Justice League and Teen Titans homage super-group of my alts on Virtue and an Avengers homage group on Infinity -- none of whom were much over level 30


Elite Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 4512

RIP City of Heroes!

8/13/13 11:31:44 PM#23
Originally posted by Fusion

Never done alts (except mules), never have, never will.

Alt-ism just don't cut it for me. I stick with my chosen "class" no matter how "f'ed up" or "op" it is after the turn of tides.

Once i grow "old" of it, i quit... i don't do alts, nor give second chances.

So what made you come into this thread?


Elite Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 4512

RIP City of Heroes!

8/13/13 11:33:04 PM#24
Originally posted by Pretndr01
Im surprised no one even mentions champions online. the game is still going and I feel has twice the customization cox did because of the free form class system and all the new costume pieces that keep coming out. coh is dead, champions online is still active, would love to have it get some more love.

COX was great.  CO is a steaming pile.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/03/10
Posts: 240

" forums: Where SWG vets go to die."

8/14/13 12:06:01 AM#25
I'm a recovering altaholic. In fact, that is one of the reasons I'm so excited about FFXIV:ARR. The prospect of having one character that can eventually master all the jobs is very appealing to me. Now, don't get me wrong - I had numerous alts in CoH/CoV that I loved playing and switching between. However, I think that nowadays I just want a single character that can "do it all."


Novice Member

Joined: 5/18/04
Posts: 45

8/14/13 12:35:39 AM#26

I've always create alts in all the MMORPG games I play. I normally start off with one main character for the first few months then create alts when the content starts to get repetitive or the play style boring. My original character normally continues to get most play time, but each of my alts had their own personality and play style. I also like dual-boxing so that helps with levelling up alts.


I think my love for alts all started with EQ. In EQ I was tri-boxing at the end for two reasons.  One, I ran out of character slots on a single account ( you couldn't try all the class/race combinations on the same account). Two, my in-game friend list (that played the same odd hours as I did) slowing got reduced from around 90 to less than a handful and that was the only way we could continue to do the harder end-game content. We may not had been as "good" at it as some other hardcore players, but it did allow us to continue having fun.


I still fondly remember the days/weeks I spent in POM with just two of us running three charcters each and clearing the zone. Or the time I helped someone get their epic by tri-boxing the Black Reader over and over again (he just kept spawning), in the end I think we (my 3 plus 1) got over 80 instant respawns in a row and about 30 Jade Swords (I think that was what they were called). Not really directly relating to alts, but without the ability to create alts (be it on the same or different accounts) and still get enjoyment levelling them up, this is a fond memory I wouldn't have today.


Towards the end of COH I had well over a 100 alts (across three VIP accounts), with about 60 on my server that I use to regularly play. The reasons where basically the same as in EQ, and unlike newer games the different combinations of characters abilities actually made a difference to the way you played and you could end up with many characters with unique play styles. For comparison, you could create alts in GW2 or TOR but I soon found that somehow they just seem to "feel" the same. They may had started in different starting zones and did different starting quests but they just ended up feeling and playing just like each other. I didn't get the same feeling with the older games like EQ, COH, AO, DAOC etc. and it's something I really miss.


I never really wanted a single character that could do everything, maybe that’s one of the reasons why most of the newer games can only hold me for  a few weeks at best. For me the way alts turns out in COH was by and far it’s biggest selling point and it only became a problem in the minds of (some of) the developers because it didn’t fit in to the style of play they wanted for the game. Heck without alts the end-game content added in the last couple of years would had been very repetitive and no fun at all.



Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/14/13
Posts: 1

8/14/13 12:38:35 AM#27
Most of those so called "flaws" were the only reasons I bothered playing CoH to begin with.  I played for the massive character customization, and the ability to make your character just about anything you wanted.  I played for the ability to alt and feel good about doing it.  Sure I didn't use my main as much after I got it to fifty, but I looked forward to the day I could finally afford to slot all the powers with all the things I wanted to put into it.  I never got to, because city was shut down.  Sure I didn't pay for it every month, but I was excited about getting to play it when I had the chance to pay for it, even when it became free to play.   You remedy a lvl cap by making playing a lvl 50 or whatever fruitful.  Make people want to get to fifty and keep playing a fifty rather than start a new toon.  Even so, most people enjoyed making a new toon and doing it all over again.  Alting isn't bad if the player considered it fun, and most Coh players did.  I'm sorry I don't have a favorite game, my favorite MMO died, and I don't think I'll ever find another one like it because for some reason making good games with good feature is not a profitable thing, and no one wants to do such a thing because a handful of people whine about this or complain about that, and that means it must be a bad thing.  Lost of people loved the badge hunting, and really enjoyed getting in teams just to get all the badges for all their alts.   I don't consider those games with all those restrictions good games.  They're just the same old thing, with the same old restrictions, because daring to be different is bad, but it's not like anyone will care about that anyways.  

Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 6686

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

8/14/13 12:44:21 AM#28

i personally spend more time in a game when they offer a lot of classes and races. A lot more time than those restricted to only a few. Specially if each race has its own story and areas based on that race lore. The more they add the more i play them. I love making alts of different races and classes to get to know the lore from each race's perspective and try the new classes at the same time. I wish the mmorpgs that offer varied races and classes also offered a a unique experience based on race and the maps they come from (and i mean throughout the entire game, not jsut a 10 level starting zone).



Too bad a lot of mmorpgs only had a bunch of races for the sake of having more, but are totally meaningless towarads the lore of the game. Everyone begining in the same area, going through the same places, talking to the same npc, killing the same monsters, all that with every race is awful.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/24/06
Posts: 3345

8/14/13 12:59:43 AM#29

Shablagoo! Mint Berry Crunch!


lol for reals, I spent a lot of time playing all my characters in CoX.  Depending on what I felt, I could be a hero and save people, or a villain and go rob banks and such.  I really loved the freedom.  And the Ninja Mastermind was epic!  They need this class in every game hehe :)


Edit: I can't help but notice also that games that offer a lot of different classes seem to do better.  DAoC, FFXI, CoX to name some favorites


Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 17725

8/14/13 3:33:21 AM#30

I have 7 in GW2 even if one just is a mix between a chef and a mule....

But in CoX it was probably the number of character slots together with limited respeccing (compared to most MMOs, but that is based on me playing it for a week so I might be wrong) and loads of powers to choose from.

Some alts is sweet but once I get over 8 I kinda have a hard time connecting to them. I always have different personalities (my Charr mule is a mix of the Swedish chef and Animal from the muppets BTW but most my characters are way more serious) on each of them and if I have more than 8 they blend together or becomes stereotypical.


Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 17725

8/14/13 3:40:17 AM#31
Originally posted by rojo6934

i personally spend more time in a game when they offer a lot of classes and races. A lot more time than those restricted to only a few. Specially if each race has its own story and areas based on that race lore. The more they add the more i play them. I love making alts of different races and classes to get to know the lore from each race's perspective and try the new classes at the same time. I wish the mmorpgs that offer varied races and classes also offered a a unique experience based on race and the maps they come from (and i mean throughout the entire game, not jsut a 10 level starting zone).

Too bad a lot of mmorpgs only had a bunch of races for the sake of having more, but are totally meaningless towarads the lore of the game. Everyone begining in the same area, going through the same places, talking to the same npc, killing the same monsters, all that with every race is awful.

Agreed, each race deserves their own starting area at least. Preferably their own city as well.

With that you get the general feeling for the race.

As for classes they need unique mechanics or the game could just go for a few classes with many speccs instead. Most games could just have warrior, rogue, mage and possibly cleric and then offer loads of specializations to them as you play instead.

Many unique classes is fun though, but if you can't make that there is no reason to make silly mirror classes and slight variations with different names. Customizations and builds are more fun than classes anyways.


Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 2676

8/14/13 4:16:51 AM#32

Great writing. I'm an avid altoholic, from the "who don’t care at all about endgame content" kind (moreso if the given game's so-called "endgame" is nothing more than dailies and gear grind).

I enjoyed the article, but I admit I disagree with many parts of it :)  Like your "good reasons", raid and pvp... come on. Or, as Mirravin also wrote, the "flaws and culprits" which were quite the opposite actually. But I'm just an altoholic, so maybe I'm wrong. If I may shed some light on those "flaws" from my POV:


Character creation - even those who keeps calling them Craptic usually admits, character creation is one of Cryptic's strength. CoH's creator was awesome, especially back then. I've made many alts just for goofing around with the different options (true, most of them were deleted later on, it was only for the looks). Nowadays in STO with the many BOffs I just love to playing around with the editor, which I guess is derived from CoH (especially the aliens part)


Power sets - as someone who likes "theory crafting" the power system was an infinite playground. At least seemed infinite back in the days, compared to the competition. (actually that's why I followed them to CO after the breakup, Freeform was like a dream coming true to me). Trying out different sets, experimenting the builds, it's almost a game in itself.

It's a bit ironical, that the new "goal" for today's mmos you've mentioned later in the column, to fight back altoholism, was reached to the closest by TSW, and they reached it with the simpliest solution: you can have every ability, in one character. It's like Freeform with an infinite respec option. Of course I have 3 characters in TSW nevertheless of that system, for the different costume sets... but hey, I like to have alts.


Starting character slots - don't even know how can that be a flaw :) It should be put on every game designer 101 lesson somewhere: there's no such thing as too many character slots. Ever. And of course every slot needs to be filled sooner or later.


"I have to get that on all X of my characters before the event is over!" - oops... I think I too maybe said something like that, during the way... sorry for that :) but even if I did, that was the exception, in most cases I love festivals, unique events, timed events, etc. in games. It could be tough to get everything, but that's a task someone with alts must take.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/15/12
Posts: 3

8/14/13 4:17:18 AM#33
Alting is vital if you want the community to welcome soloists too. Balancing event badges that are account wide and character specific is what would quieten the naysayers. You just have to concentrate on some of your alts in the endgame, I had about 85 50s, about 40 were alpha slotted, about 15 were +3.

Novice Member

Joined: 8/14/13
Posts: 1

8/14/13 4:45:25 AM#34

I guess I have been influenced heavily by CoH being my first MMO, but I can never understand players that only roll a single character in a game.


Why limit yourself to seeing only part of the story?  I'm currently playing SWTOR and the first thing I did was create one character of each base class so I could (eventually) see all the storylines for myself.


You also get a chance to experience all the different play styles.  In CoH my favoured classes were scrappers, tanks, brutes.  If I hadn't been such an altoholic I would have missed out on the awesomeness that was my Earth/Earth Dominator, my Dark/Dark Defender, my Mind/Kin Controller.


End game in most MMOs is grinding the same instances/dailies over and over and over every day.  Why not use that time instead to experience more of the game?  Yes, logging 50+ characters to get and anniversary badge took an entire evening's gameplay and yes, there were evenings I never made it past the character select screen, but I always had a character that suited my mood that evening (or I could create a new one).


That was what kept CoH so fresh for so long, and why so many other games get boring so quickly in comparison.



Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/16/06
Posts: 221

8/14/13 5:49:52 AM#35

I agree with others here, Matt, I can't understand why you see altoholism as a problem. We can quit any time we want. :)

Saying that it's a problem implies that there is a wrong style of play and a right style, it's shutting off people who like creating a lot of characters and exploring options.

To me CoH was unique in that I created character concepts and backgrounds for it. In most MMO's my character is just a generic PC. It was the setting plus the huge amount of costume options which encouraged me to make my CoH characters unique. Sometimes these concepts weren't that fun to play in practice, but even if I didn't play them even to level 10 I still liked them and enjoyed seeing them on the character selection screen.

Take this out and you take out player creativity from the game. You suddenly get a lot of characters which look the same, dress the same. Have you ever played another game where you just saw a character and wanted to know more about them? In CoH it was pretty common in my experience to find interestingly costumed characters and check the info screen for their background.

Limit the reasons to create alts, and you push aside all this interesting stuff in favour of players who just want to go through content, or reach the endgame, or PvP. Sure, these are parts of the MMO experience, but they are not the only viable parts.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/24/03
Posts: 287

8/14/13 6:09:24 AM#36

In Rift, I still have eight characters. Every character I create has a theme or personality to it that often precludes it from being able to do everything. My Dwarf druid for instance and my Mathosian paladin. I couldn't see making a paladin who worships the Vigil on the Defiant side.


Even now, I am thinking about how many characters I would want to create in EQNext. One for all the arcane magic, one Human paladin/knight type, one druid ranger type and so forth.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/04/04
Posts: 34

8/14/13 6:12:32 AM#37

I'm altholic in my games and I'm a customization nut. If the game doesn't offer customization I would not even consider buying it which pretty much covers most modern MMOs. You can never make the gameplay so good that I would consider buying the game if it lacks the tools to create unique characters - and here's the key why I'm altoholic.


I create characters with different concepts so I need those different character slots. For example in CoH my science tech blaster is very different character from my mage themed mystic blaster. Both are blasters but they are completely different characters. The concept behind both is different. Even if you allowed to change whole archetype (or class or race)  on the fly it would no feel right to do so because when I created the character I had a concept in mind. Switching your character to something different on the fly would negate the core of what he or she is - unless I want to completely reimagine the character.

This is the same reason why I could never play character with a stupid name. I would not feel any sort of connection to them and if I don't feel the connection there's really no point playing the character.


Customization and the level of choices is what kept me playing CoH for more than five years. I didn't much care for the slow gameplay (I prefer GW2 style relaxed active combat). If someone created GW2 style superhero MMO with better designed dynamic events, level-less zones and combined it with CoH level customization options for character appearances and powers... well. That would be *the* superhero game for me.


I somewhat like where the the Phoenix Project from missing world's media can potentially go. However they aim to replicate CoH style slow combat and (in my opinion) bad multiple-identical powers system and that's pretty much the deal breaker for me.


Ideally if you want to limit something limit the choice of powers but make them more interesting and customizable. Why have ice bolt, ice blast, bitter ice blast when you can have just a single ice blast which can be modified for your needs.


- Beregar


Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/19/08
Posts: 2143

8/14/13 6:25:42 AM#38
What a BS: "Sometimes we make Alts because we are bored. That is a terrible reason because our focus gets split among two characters." Alts for me are MAIN source of fun. I.e. in Wow have 10 maxed out, in Swtor 16 (not all yet maxed out, but 10 are :-)). I would be bored playing end game with just one alt. I have been always listening to silly arguments one player can have max 2 alts ... wow ... before started to enjoy alts instead of end game. Or mixed when all alts are maxed out.

Novice Member

Joined: 5/02/10
Posts: 429

8/14/13 6:27:15 AM#39

My main reason for alts is crafting. In almost every MMO you are restricted to the number of craft professions that you can have on a character.  Yes, in most of them you can switch, but you will lose progression when you do.  I basically end up with an alt for leatherworking, an alt for blacksmithing, an alt for alchemy, etc.

Another reason I like alts is to help leveling. What do you do with the green/blue gear that you cannot use for your class? Send it to your alt. Sure I could sell it but sometimes you get something cool that is not soulbound and would like to use it. I am always sending money, crafting materials and other things to my alts to speed up leveling.

The final reason that I like alts is because of the "class de joure" (I don't speak French so pardon if it is mispelled). This was a big reason why I had so many alts in WOW. This week the lock got nerfed - switch to my DK. Next week the DKs got nerfed - switch to my druid, etc. I HATE nerfs so this is the way that I stayed sane (at least until the talents were butchered in CATA).


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/19/13
Posts: 24

8/14/13 6:40:34 AM#40
Honest question: when did a term referring to homosexuals become a term referring to Alt characters? I've never heard this term used this way for Alts
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