On taking a break from your main, and then going back to it

It’s fantastic to have an MMO which has a single server. All your mates are there. You don’t have to worry about whether your server will end up being under-populated and dead, or whether all the hardcore gank guilds will pick it. You know that all the best guilds will be there, because there isn’t anywhere else.

But recently in WoW, I’m also seeing the advantages of having several servers. When you are tired or worn out on your main character and want a break, you can take a ‘server holiday’. I’m not tired of Spinks, but I am running out of endgame content for her. And rather than burn out or pay to be bored, I’ve been spending more time on alliance alts with friends.

So most of my experience with PUGs recently has been with various alts: the hunter I’m playing with Arbitrary (our duo recently hit Outland, which is the first time she has been there), the inevitable death knight (did anyone mention yet that blood specced tanks are overpowered?), the bank alt that got levelled just because, the lowbie fixed group that I’m playing with friends (ok, no PUG there).

Last week, I decided that I missed my level 80s and ran a few instances on Argent Dawn, just to get back into the spirit of things. My main reactions:


  • Spinks looks insanely badass on the loading screen in her T10 warrior kit. I think I’d been used to the lowbies, who look OK but … wow.
  • Spinks is a also a total beast when I spec her fury and go hang out in PUGs. Picking up Bryntroll the other week seems to have launched her into the dps stratosphere. I’m encouraged to spend more time practising as Fury to get my raid dps up a notch.
  • People are just plain nastier in level 80 PUGs. Oh for sure, the majority are fine, but the general experience was much pleasanter with lowbies.

Note the Ulduar tanking sword, I hate Blizzard sometimes

For example, let’s take a random LBRS (lower blackrock spire) group – which for my money is the toughest instance for its level.

We have a wipe, no surprise there. The rogue uses vanish to avoid being killed. As everyone else is running back, he comments that he’s scared about being alone with all those orcs. The tank says, “Don’t worry lilninja (that was his name), I’m coming to save you!”

Can you imagine that in a level 80 PUG? For one thing, as soon as there was a wipe, half the group would disband. If they didn’t, everyone would hurl abuse at the guy who managed to avoid wiping. And the tank would probably curse the healer.

Even the rubbish groups I’ve had at low level haven’t been really aggressively nasty in the way that high level groups can. Here’s another example:

Level 80 PUG, and I’m healing on my druid. I’ve not done any level 80 heroics for a month or so because I was taking a break. The tank is racing through and not waiting for anyone, and he’s taking shortcuts I haven’t seen people use before. I’m no slouch, but I’m remembering my way around. We wipe at one point (yet another stupid pull, and I got some adds because I didn’t realise that they’d skipped a pack on the way down some stairs) and I explain that I haven’t been there in awhile and ask if he could just wait for me to be in range from time to time. Others in the group whisper me and tell me that he’s just being an elitist jerk. He says, “You should have said you were a fucking cripple who couldn’t do your job,” and I leave.

I’m tempted to put it down to people continuing to run the instances long after they’re burned out. Which doesn’t happen so much while levelling.

I love my main

So it all comes down to this. I love my main character, and even after taking a break (apart from weekly raids) I get a kick out of coming back to her. Sometimes absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

But I will look forwards to harder instances in Cataclysm, if only so that they will cut some of the current 5 man players who fancy themselves elitist down to size.

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9 thoughts on “On taking a break from your main, and then going back to it

  1. You’re completely right: low-level pugs are much more enjoyable than high. I found that the best groupmates came between levels 35 and 70. Before and after that, I ran into too many idiots from across the spectrum. But inside that bracket, leveling through the dungeon finder was awesome.

    As for loving my main, I took a break from my Priest during WLK. I thought I’d try new stuff and since he’d been my main since BWL, I leveled a Death Knight, Shaman, and Paladin all up to 80 before him. In Cataclysm, I will rectify that mistake and get back to the class I know and love the best out of them all: Discipline Priest. The Holy Paladin is still in the running, but I always tend to love the Priest, even after periods of lethargy. There’s just something about him that I love to play so that no other class “feels” right.

  2. “Note the Ulduar tanking sword, I hate Blizzard sometimes”

    Oh well, can we cry together?
    17 Marrowgar kills + 5 Putricide kills, no tanking weapon drop. I think across my 3 other alts I’ve seen like 10 tank one hander drops, mostly the mace, but sword once as well. WTB BoA loot.

    “He says, “You should have said you were a fucking cripple who couldn’t do your job,” and I leave.”

    Oh yeah, people can be tragically rude, I’ve heard several times stuff like “your gs sucks, we should kick you” and on the other hand “for your high gs you should do 10 times better you suck”.

    Problem with running heroics is they’re perceived as “easy” so dying there is shame, embarrassment and reason to look for a scapegoat who “sucks” and is guilty for the death (usually tank or healer).

    People run those for the 2 frost badge which they feel entitled too (they should come fast and painlessly) and aren’t interested in challenge, exploration or loot, they just want this stupid crap to be over.

    Levelling people pursue experience points and item upgrades but they have few ways, dungeons, quests for both, battlegrounds for experience (and maybe some honor items) and auction house for gear. Level 80 people can’t get their t10 soloing or pvping and every alts needs to go through that chore farming nearly hundred of badges for a single piece. You can alleviate it a bit with buying the saronites for the craftables, but that’s it.

    And in the world where the character progression is measured by the dreaded gearscore and the only reliable way to progress there is farming frost badges, and since the activity is accessible for everyone (let’s say everyone can do some daily heroic or kill sartharion without drakes), it is assumed everyone SHOULD get t10 because every dumbass CAN get it, therefore if someone isn’t geared in t10, he must be dumber than a dumbass (who tediously and tirelessly farmed his t10 across last 4 months).

    I know the feeling of great relief of “not having to run those goddamn daily heroics any more” (on “geared” main) however on my new alt I see the horrendous path of snail crawling for my each badge… first I thought I’ll just level the alt up, dress in t9 and put aside, but I found raiding opportunities for her… and yeah, everyone else has that t10 and I look like some haggard being boosted. And I don’t want to feel like a poor cousin who is the weakest link in the raid.

    There was a good statement about a fundamental flaw of mmo with “choice” – those “choices” are so mixed to do something you like you need to first crawl through something you don’t like (for example someone likes arena but needs to first grind battlegrounds, he doesn’t play BGs because he enjoys this form of pvp, but because he needs honor points).

  3. PuG’s at 80 are really nasty. As you say there’s often a complete lack of civility.

    Having geared my main so I dont need to run PuG’s :- I dont. My alts languish in ‘mere’ t9 for just that reason. It’ll be fine for leveling in Cata and I’m not overly worried about raiding them more.

    PuG leveling is a different ball game. Up untill Outlands its been amusing. Some deeply bad tanks and some good ones. I’m leveling with the Missus who’s a Tree Drood so I’ve not had to worry about bad healers.
    But then we hit outlands. Hellfire instances started to winnow those bad tanks and then Auchindown puts the killing blow in on them. I’d forgotton how _hard_ Mana Tombs, Shadow Labs, Sethick Halls are! Even post nerf, non heroic and with DK’s Death Grip making things easier they are just SO much harder than the Northrend instances. My worries about the quality of tanks is somewhat abated.

    It is good fun to drag Uzi out and truck through the odd heroic just to keep my hand in though. Like many now its about the raids and being ready for Cata. No wonder we’re seeing top end guilds crumble as people want more casual schedules.

  4. There won’t be harder 5-mans with cataclysm because that can’t work with the LFD. The LFD throws people at you who can’t pull their weight because they just hit 80 and can’t play their 10th alt.

    And what about the 3 warlocks signing up together? Good luck if you get in that group in a heroic that requires CC. (I got 3 locks yesterday in a LFD as tank.)

  5. 5mans aren’t the playoffs, but its still training *. I dont want to see people crossing the field with a bottle of beer, while I’m dedicated to my training. But thats the case, more often than not.
    People are different while leveling, simling about every muscle that grows, because they can watch them grow. If they are over the edge of t10, most of them are so bloated, they can’t run anymore. Sometimes going “down” to an alt may push them back to “reality”. But sometime they behave just the same while beeing on an alt: “I gotz heirlooms, me God!”.

    * It wouldn’t be that much training, if there weren’t that much dumbasses around, modern heroics aren’t a challenge, even before t10. Thank You, slacker!

  6. Wow, Spinks does look fantastic! The Tier 10 seems to look especially shiny on a zomfie – my dorf is looking increasingly like a free-standing ashtray the more bits of fiery gear I pick up. Sigh.

  7. Sadly the “fucking cripple” comment means your blog is no long able to pass through my work’s firewall. Nevertheless, I liked this article muchly.

    Best wishes


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