Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Alt Project

A lot of my guildies and the people I normally instance with haven't been on WoW quite so much for various legitimate and very understandable reasons, such as school, work, and just-plain-needing-a-break. This has inspired me to sort of "stable" Tawyn for the time being; I haven't been logging into her quite as much so she can take a little break too. Playing one character for a while does make me kind of antsy, anyway.

But I like WoW.

So I have decided to officially jumpstart an idea that has been running around in my brain for a little while now: The Alt Project.

Basically, I want to get at least one character of every class, at least to level 20.

"But Pike, you said you could only play hunters!" Oh that's true, I won't deny it. That's why all my non-hunter alts have eventually wound up going from the "alt" pile to the "collecting-dust" pile. But I dunno, I've been thinking lately that it's kind of sad how little I know about the other classes. I could probably tell you all the hunter talents backwards and forwards and play my hunter with my eyes closed (actually, once I did kill a mob with my eyes closed; it was strangely relaxing to simply listen and time my shots based on the sounds they made... but I digress *coughs*).

But I couldn't begin to tell you squat about any of the other classes. I maybe know a little bit about warlocks because my boyfriend is one, and I know about a few mysterious moves that other classes have (like the mythical "Last Stand" that our tank will announce he's using in Ventrilo, usually when things aren't going so well), but I couldn't tell you how to properly play or spec any other class but hunter.

And on top of that, I can't tell you how to defeat any other class in PvP, except for what I've learned from experience.

This is where The Alt Project comes into play. If I learn to play the other classes, even just a little bit... it will expand my knowledge and my play experience, and maybe help me out a little in PvP situations.

So here are the rules:

1.) Get one of each class to at least level 20
2.) It's okay to use existing characters unless they haven't really been touched in a while
3.) Spec the way that sounds the most fun, hopefully to help keep the "I-must-go-back-to-my-hunters-NOW" bug at bay.
4.) It's okay to jump between characters (i.e., I don't have to sit down at get one to 20 before I move on to the next one, etc.)

Here's my basic itinerary:


Character:The highest level I've gotten a druid to is level 6, and that was on some random server I don't play on anymore, so I think I'm going to ditch that one and start anew. I am definitely going to be a tauren druid-- don't get me wrong, I really like night elves. But see... ya know how you can really love kittens but not want to breed anymore because there's already too many in the world? That's sorta like me and night elves. So... yeah. Gonna make a hordie druid.
Spec: I'm torn here. Moonkin looks ridiculously fun. Bear tanking is something I'd like to try (I'd like to give tanking a shot in general, and bear-tanking sounds the most appealing so far.) Tree healing sounds fun for similar reasons; namely I want to try healing and the tree looks fun. Kitty actually doesn't appeal to me too much simply because as I've said before, I have a hard time with melee classes. So if you give me a hybrid class I'm going to pick the caster spec over the melee spec. To be honest if I'm just getting to level 20 it's not like I'm going to be able to mess with many forms anyway so it maybe doesn't matter, but I think I'm going to wind up going Balance/Resto.


Character: I happen to have a human mage at level 19. Now, because that's so close to 20 already, I'm going to go above and beyond the call of duty on this character and aim for 25. There was a time when I was actually playing and enjoying this character a lot and I was thinking she would probably be my second level-70, but eventually the Call of the Wild was too much for me and I headed back to my hunters. Still, I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with my mage; and I still maintain that if I'm ever going to get a non-hunter to level 70, this is gonna be the character that does it.
Spec: I really have no idea what I'm doing in terms of a mage spec though I'm sorta basing myself on a "leveling spec" I saw once on WoWWiki or something. I'm going mostly fire. I like blowing things up. And casting the spells that make the peoples fall down.


Character: A blood elf paladin was one of the very first alts I ever made. I actually leveled her to level 16 before I realized that I was going into fits of jealousy anytime that I saw a hunter running by with their pet, breezing through mobs while I was sitting there using these confusing seals and judgments and dying all the time (yes I was a horrible paladin. It was like... my third ever character, okay? =P) So I basically gave up on her. Several months later I decided to give the paladin class another try, inspired primarily by the Tales of the Past III machinima which depicted paladins as being a lot more awesome than I recalled them being the first time I tried one. So I now have a draenei paladin who is currently at level 6, and I think this is the pally I'm going to focus on. I still find the playstyle to be a bit confusing but I'm having a lot more fun this time around.
Spec: "Ret for leveling" has kind of been my way of thinking but at the same time I really do want to give healing a try so Holy is calling to me. I'll have to think this one over a bit.


Character: I have a woefully neglected level 8 undead priest. I say "woefully neglected" because every time I've played this character so far I've had an absolute blast. I dunno why she's so fun, she just is. Not hunter-fun, of course, but "DoT-Smite-Heal-Win" fun. I can't wait to resurrect her (no undead-related pun intended...)
Spec: For a while I was waffling between Holy (so I can try out healing) and Shadow (for easier leveling); at this point I think I'm gonna throw both those ideas out the window and go Discipline. I like the odd specs.


Character: At first I thought this was going to be the class I would have the hardest time with... it's purely a melee DPS class and I simply don't have as much fun with melee as I do with other stuff. However, I have an adorable level 8 gnome rogue who I've been playing on and off lately, and enjoying a lot. Why? Roleplaying. I came up with the best backstory ever for this guy. How can you not love a gnome whose only wish is to be a Draenei? I took him to the Draenei starting area and he's doing all his questing there; a bit hard because Draenei can't be rogues so he's gotta run to Darnassus to hit up the trainer, but it's oh so fun. I love this character, melee or not.
Spec: I've no idea. Probably combat because I've heard it's easy to level. But I'm probably going to put at least a few points in Subtlety, because the whole sneaking-around thing is one of the things I like best about this class so far.


Character: I have a draenei shaman who started out as a bank character, wound up getting power-leveled to 9 in a bored afternoon, and then promptly turned back into the bank character. I can't decide if I want to pick this character up again or make a fresh start on a new character. Still thinkin' about that one.
Spec: Elemental. Casting ftw.


Character: I believe I will be picking up my long-neglected level 5 gnome warlock for this one. I recall getting frustrated and giving up early with this character because my imp was failing horribly as a stand-in for a hunter pet. On top of that, I wanted to roleplay this character as "evil" and I just have trouble doing that. I think I want to modify her story and personality a little to give her some more quirks and interesting personality traits. She won't be quite so purely evil. That will be more fun.
Spec: I'm totally thinking Demonology. It's the closest to Beast Mastery that you can get!


Character: I'm going to have to make an all-new character for this one I think; I've tried warrior a few times in the past but never gotten very far (7 or 8 is the farthest I think) and those characters are all on servers I don't play on anymore. I'm not sure what faction or race the new warrior is gonna be yet, though.
Spec: I have a lot of respect for tanks and I don't know if I could ever play one properly; still, I find myself intrigued and I'd love to give Prot a try. But I think that might be rather difficult to level. In which case I'd probably go Arms or Fury or whatever the "good" warrior leveling spec is (I have no idea.)

Well, there ya have it. Can she do it? Can her little huntery heart manage playing *gasp* other classes?

We're about to find out!


dblzero1 said...

i did that too, i have a 70 prot pally, 70 feral druid, 70 shadow priest, 67 rogue, 66 hunter, 64 lock. the only toon i hated was my warrior(made it to 33) and i don't care much for my mage(49). my shaman started late so he's only level 29 at the moment. it's alot of fun and breaks up the boredom of only playing one toon too much.

Sellia said...

I'm 100% with you on that one ! :)
For a warrior, i suggest a draenei. You'll love the racial heal.

Good luck !

Llanion said...

Ooh, harsh. I'll be the first one to say it: Druids are not a lot of fun before level 20. Yeah. Blizzard really dropped the ball on it. You just... there are no decent defining abilities that low. Think of...

Imagine if a hunter couldn't tame pets until 20, and only got one of their special ranged attacks or traps before then, every other ability they were able to train being a melee ability. It's like that.

Sellia said...

Maybe for you Llanion. The fact that you didn't like the class before level 20 doesn't mean "Blizzard really dropped the ball on it".

Joel said...

Good for you! I carried out a similar project about a year ago (in the months before BC). It was a lot of fun and taught me a lot about the different classes. The key thing for me was learning to play each class as itself. I had a tendency to try to play my paladin like a warrior, my druid like a rogue, my mage like a priest and so on. The fun came when I began to appreciate each class for what it is and not for what I thought it should be.

You may want to check out the WoWWiki "Starting a ..." articles for some initial tips. http://www.wowwiki.com/Category:Starting_a_class_series

faradhim said...


That is a neat project! May I further suggest you try some of your alts in another realm? I noticed you don't have any characters in earthen rings ;-)

Lazz said...

Pike, having both a 70 Hunter and a 70 Pally, I know how confusing the play machanic switch can be (my Pally came after my Hunter). But I have to say, Prot is a really fun spec. I'm holy now, simply because my guild has a LOT of tanks, but I leveled Prot and it gets to be great fun in the higher levels.

Anyway, I love the blog, and look forward to your Aspect of the Alt blogs. :D

Stephen said...

I agree with Ilanion - Druids before lvl 20 are a bit... well... generic.

At one point I had a very low lvl shammy and a very low lvl drood. I forgot which one was which because they were that similar. It does start to get better - Bear Form and 10, Aquatic at 16, and Cat at 20 (but no stealth until higher :( )- but you need to be lvl 40 (and specced Balance 100%) to unlock Moonkin.

That's not to say that I don't love the druid - I lvled one to 60 in 5 weeks and am working him through Outland now - but the earlier lvls really don;t have the same wide-ranging feel as the higher ones.

Beledona said...

Unfortunately, level 20 may not be high enough. At least, not for your stated goal of learning enough about the other classes to understand their specs and their PvP styles.

For example, what could someone learn about hunters before lvl30 Feign Death? Or Steady Shot?

Anonymous said...

Sorry. I think this is going to be long.

It's a great idea and best of luck to you. You'll definitely be a better player for doing it. I've done a similar thing and here my biggest tip:

#1 - Play the class like people tell you to, even if you don't like following the crowd (I don't).

I prefer standing back to being face to face with mobs, so I tried a ele-Shaman. After quite a bit of frustration I respecced to enh, and suddenly it was fun. Go arms for War, feral dru, BM hunter, shadow priest. etc.

You'll have more fun because you're playing your class well, even if it's not how you'd prefer. I'd compare it to driving a car without turning it's engine on because you'd prefer to save gas. Yeah, you can push it everywhere in neutral, but why bother having a car if you're going to do that.

It's not fun.

Either use the car like it's supposed to be (feral druid) or go back to your bike (hunter).

... That wasn't supposed to sound harsh... it just finishes the analogy. What I'm trying to say is you'll have more fun if you do things the way 'those that know' suggest.

#2 - Twink the heck out of them for fun and profit. I set a minimum balance for gold on my bank alt. I twink until I go below that level, and then do dailies to get it back up.

#3 - There is a level where they really start to shine. You're not really a hunter until level 10 and you get a pet. You're not really a shaman until 30 when you get windfury. I'm sure every class has their own.

Quick class thoughts:

Druid - Highest I've gotten is 21. The classes gimmick is shapeshifting. Go feral. Balance was not fun.

Mage - I'm at 20. The peoples do fall down. Great fun.

Paladin - Highest is 31. I hear good things about AoE protection specs at 35. If I hit 35, I'd respec and try it, until crusader is available in ret to compare. I overall like the class more than my warrior (see below).

Priest - I can't play evil. So I went smite build instead of shadow. Not having fun and stopped at 15.

I don't have any rogues or warlocks for the same reason. My mind keeps telling me they're evil classes...

Shaman - I'm 38. Go enhancement. Class doesn't really start until 30 IMO. Ghost wolf is actually your best escape ability, but you don't get it until 20.

Warrior - This was my 2nd char to 60. I went DW fury before people thought it was good (I even used daggers :) I found it to be OK. Killed things very slowly. I respecced prot for tanking with friends at 60 and found I didn't like the playstyle at all. I'm now trying 2H arms and find it extremely, positively, absolutely - meh. I'm only leveling until I collect all the BC non-combat pets I can, hehehe.

Maybe I should have just posted on my site... Oh well.

wowHuntress said...

I respectfully disagree with themystichunter and that is because your goal is to learn about the classes for yourself. You will not learn much if you do not go with your instincts about how to play/spec them. It's really quite important to go through the trials and tribulations and bouts of frustration in order to really learn a class. Of course, this will be somewhat limited if you stop at level 20. And I'm sure you know this, but just to reinforce it - because balance/elemental/whatever spec is not fun or enjoyable for one person does not mean if will be unfun or unenjoyable for another. You have to try it out to figure it out.

I look forward to reading more about your Alt Project!

Dammerung said...

/agree with wow huntress

Play each class how you will. I for instance ADORE soloing as a level 15 disc priest. But thats me.

As for only to level 20... for now for your project that sounds great. Just don't judge the classes entirely based on that short experiance.

Shaman completely changes with Windfury. And for enh it completely changed again for me with dual-wield/stormstrike.

Wulfa swears hunter is revolutionized by the REDPET talent.

Druid is really slow until catform.


Capn John said...

While I'm a Hunter through & through, I also have a 66 Warrior and a 68 Rogue, and I must say, the Rogue is a blast to play. Vanish is your best friend as long as you don't get caught with DOTs, and it's remarkably similar to playing a Hunter when the sh!t hits the fan. "AAAaahhh!!! Feign Death!!!"
"AAAaahhh!!! Vanish!!!"

With almost 3 years of WoW under my belt I was able to assign Talent points where I figured they'd do the most good, and ended up with a Combat Sword & Dagger Rogue, but on the advice of a friend (and a deadly lethal Rogue at that) I respec'd to pure Swords. My Rogue is a Gnome by the way, a little female Gnome, and there's just something incredibly fun about playing a cute-as-a-button female Gnome while dragging around two huge flaming swords (Fiery Weapons FTW ;)

I Stealthed almost everyone and played my Rogue to the hilt, completing quests in as Rogueish manner as I could, which usually meant sneaking past guards to Ambush and go all out DPS on their Boss, popping my cooldowns like candy and VANISH!!! once the hit was made to Stealth on out. Oh yeah, Rogues are teh Fun!!!

Gon said...

Speaking as someone who plays both a lock and hunter, to get a flavour of the fun part of locks may I suggest you spec affliction at the start? What makes locks unique is their dots and fears. The fun part of the demo tree only comes up much much later when you get the felguard.

Oh and locks suck before they get their void. A good wand helps a lot.

Viktel said...

I think this is a great idea. It should keep things fresh for you if you don't let it overwhelm you.

I have learned a lot by playing my alts, and I feel I am a better hunter for it.

Have Fun!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say I do not expect anyone to follow my advice in my previous comment. At least not right away. It's more for planting the seed in minds, like it was for me.

{ flashback }

Snodis - This ele shaman really sux. I can only kill one mob at a time or I'm dead. I'm always OOM. I could do decent damage, but mobs always interrupt me. I give up...

Friend - You know you'll do better damage as an enhancement, right?

S - I don't want to do damage, I want to have fun as a caster.

F- And are you?

S- ?

F- Are you having fun?

S- No.

F- If you want to have fun, play enh.

S- *respecs*

S- *suddenly has fun even though it's not how I wanted to play*


I say this as someone who did the same thing with the same goals - have fun and learn about a class. My advice is not to follow my advice. I'm pretty sure this is one of those cases where you have to do things the wrong way to appreciate, how well they work the right way.

Enjoy the alts :)

PS: I don't think there's a point to rushing to 10, if you don't have time to do the bear form quest, too.

Gebeorgan said...

As the comment got longer I decided to make it a separate post :o

Yours inspiredly, G.