Some people only create alts when they have a specific purpose in mind. Maybe you really want a healer, perhaps there’s someone you really want to play with and levelling alts together is the easiest way, or maybe there’s some tradeskill you’d like to have (in your stable of alts) and you need to level an alt to learn it.
But sometimes it’s just to take a break, or do something different. eg. I’m a bit bored, I’ll go level an alt!
So how do you decide whether to roll a new alt, or whether to just go play a different game?
I find it very difficult to repeat content, so if I do alt, I’ll ideally need an alternative levelling path to my original one.
This is one area where WoW trumps LotRO, especially now that Blizzard have speeded up levelling throughout the vanilla content. In my recent trip through that content I was able to skip several zones entirely.
I do not roll an alt when I get bored. I usually roll them when I am still “in” the game, immersed and engaged.
I usually start playing new games when I lamented enough about the shortcomings of the once beloved game and see it all doom and gloom, while the old enthusiasm is gone.
WoW also has another problem. Even if they speed up levelling so much that talking to a NPC gives me +5 levels in Elwynn, I am still far away from 90% of the population, feeling an urge to hurry through the content and then to hang in the same rather limited endgame content as the rest.
I must have been away from the game for quite some time to again find that special spark of interest that makes levelling again enjoyable.
I love alts, but if there is a platform game I been wanting to check out, I will definitely break from wow and give that a shot until it bores me. (Usually a week to a month)
I’m something of an altoholic but I’d vote for new game. I recently decided to change from a one mmo habit to a two mmo habit which is working well for me.
I love rolling and playing alts in WoW, but once they get to about lv 15, the grind starts, and I end up deleting them soon afterwards.
Recently I have been playing Wizard101, maybe 2 to 3 hours a week instead of alting.
There have been a lot of improvements to W101 recently, and despite the rather simplistic gameplay, it is a fun game. Try it if you havent already done so, people. The first area is free.
My “alts” are in LOTRO. I still raid with my WoW mains, but enjoy that I can play LOTRO and do different content and mechanics. It’s a nice diversion.
Coming back I’d like to add one thing: other games can have a complete change of pace. Eve which I’m trialling now is a slow game. Now as a second game that’s wonderful, I’m actually playing as I type this. I’ll still be playing in a bit when I start cleaning the house and I’ll probably alt tab and keep things going while WoW raiding tonight.
I’d forgotten how much I used to do chores, surfing, etc while playing MMOs like SWG in the past. I’m loving the minimal amount of player input that some Eve roles allow you to get away with.
The only reason I play alts is to explore; new races, new classes, new zones. If all that were available to me with a single character, I’d probably not have alts.
One facet of that is that a game that forces me to have several alts to see everything is one that I view with a jaded eye, especially if the bulk of the alt experience is repetition of something I’ve done already. At the same time, if the alt experience is sufficiently distinct, it can feel like a different game, which is a nice thing.
Oh, and I’ll second Stabs’ pacing comment; that’s one reason I like W101’s combat as a slower paced engine, and its “sidewalks” as safe zones.
WoW is my only game, so it’s alting for me. Easy choice. 🙂
That said, I wouldn’t be opposed to exploring a new MMO. I just wouldn’t know where to start.
I’m a bit of an altaholic usually because I either get bored with my current character or I get that ‘grass is greener’ syndrome and want to try something else I’ve seen which I think looks cool.
I go through phases it seems of alting, but I usually hop around to other games too. However, if I’m feeling a bit burnout of another game too, then I definitely play an alt.
I try to rotate what I’m playing game-wise and alt-wise… helps keep things a little more interesting for me.
Then again, I also go through phases of ultrafocus on one game/one character.
TL;DR – I really have no rhyme or reason or any sort of clue how I decide, I just… do. 😛