How much time have you wasted on alts?
Today I rolled another three alts in WoW. Alts of alts, in fact. Yep, I deleted my level 15 Warlock Goblin alt and started a Warlock Blood Elf alt-alt. I also deleted my Worgen Rogue alt and started a Goblin Rogue alt-alt. Finally, I also created a new Warrior who’s an alt of a level 15 Warrior I have who’s an alt of a level 67 Warrior I deleted who was an alt of my level 85 Warrior main. And if you followed any of that then you surely deserve a place in Mensa.
I’m actually starting to think I have a problem. I had this weird moment this afternoon when I was playing through the Blood Elf starting area for, oh I don’t know, the 100th time, and had a flashback to a vivid memory from about two years ago. In it, I recalled playing the exact same class through the exact same starting area. Two years ago. I’m starting to feel like I’m either stuck in some sort of warped MMO Groundhog Day or my attention span is that of a hyperactive four year old chimpanzee.
What’s worse though is when I tally up all of the lost hours I’ve spent rolling alts over and over again. I’ve deleted some rather high level characters too in order to make way for new ones, usually over silly whims to try something new. I also have this bad habit of deleting lower level characters to recreate them as a different race (it’s ‘cheaper’ than paying for the race transfer) all because I’m incredibly shallow and fickle, it seems. Wouldn’t it be nice if somehow all of these hours spent on deleted characters could be banked and transferred when appropriate? It would be nice sometimes to be able to play exactly a level 32 Orc Mage for no other reason when I simply felt like it right at that moment.
All of this lost time isn’t just in WoW either and I don’t even want to think about all of the hundreds of alts I’ve created and discarded over the years in the multitude of MMOs I’ve played. It’s certainly adds up to a lot of wasted time. OK, that’s not fair, I had fun with them so it’s not really wasted but still, it seems slightly sad to have gone through so many characters and still have nothing to show for it at the end of the day other than, presumably, a gigantic log of deleted avatars on some remote server in the middle of nowhere.
In some ways, I do think altoholism is a real addiction because it seems to be, from my experience, that once you start down the path of creating alts, it’s very hard to stop. If I invest enough time in a single character and manage to remain monogamous (for lack of a better word) for a reasonable duration, then the alt fever never takes grip and I can quite easily stay focused for months on end. But once I break and my roll my first alt, it’s end of days.
Am I the only one who suffers from this plight? Is it a problem others share? Or should I just suck it up, take some Ritalin and stop my whining?