What’s my main again?

I started playing WoW as a priest. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I’d played healers in other games, I liked the idea of being a “support” person, and everything I read about the various classes suggested that priests were the healers. If you were going to be a healer, be a priest!

My priest lasted until about the mid-40s. We had a group of people we grouped with regularly at the time. They consisted of: a prot warrior, a prot paladin, a holy priest, another holy priest, and an arms warrior.

Oh, we were bad. I mean, none of us really had any idea what we were doing, except that everything we were doing took an eternity. I fostered a dislike of Sunken Temple that stems from that time. There is no instance that should take five hours to run. (I’ve since learned, naturally, that it was “smite” DPS that led to this phenomenon. I actually like Sunken Temple now.) But I’d had enough. There was no need for healers, and in the guild we were in at the time there was an abundance of them at max level as well. “We need a real DPS class,” I declared. “I’m making a mage.”

There’s no business like H2O business

I'm conjuring mana strudel!!1!

And so Millya was born. I took to maging like a fish to water (or something burning to…something else burning, if you prefer). I leveled her in less than half the time it had taken me to level the priest. She ripped solo through every zone she went to with no trouble. I loved it.

Mil was my raiding character through the end of Burning Crusade, what I raided of it. She was my first character to eighty without hesitation once Wrath came out. It was only once she was at eighty that there was trouble in paradise. We never had enough healers to field runs, even five-mans. I had actually leveled my priest to seventy in my spare time. She was sitting there; getting her to eighty wouldn’t take much time.

I set my beloved mage aside to help out when it was needed, and I have nobody to blame but myself! No one forced me into it, I made a conscious decision. So it was that the first raiding I did in Wrath – setting foot in Naxxramas – was as a priest. I later replaced the priest with a restoration druid, but the decision had been made. Millya had become an “alt.”

I still stubbornly clung to her, though. She was my chef character, my fishing character, my mount collecting character: the character I would play whenever I had a spare chance. I maintained her gear level with emblem gear. If I hadn’t done so, I never would have had the opportunity to transfer servers and join our current strict ten guild as a raider.

It was glorious! There hadn’t been a mage in the guild in a long time, so everyone marveled at strudels, portals, bonus intellect. I loved raiding as Millya again, trying to do the best DPS I could. I finished off Ulduar with her, she who had barely seen Naxxramas – stepped straight into Ulduar hard-modes and never looked back. She was my Firefighter character, she earned a Rusted Proto-Drake. I raided with her through Trial of the Crusader, Trial of the Grand Crusader, and the beginning of Icecrown. But then a problem arose.

HoT like me

Starfalllll!

We’d lost a few healers, and we were always coming up short. Some encounters favoured two-healing, others we struggled with healing them and we felt that three might make the difference for a victory. Recruiting to allow for enough full-time healers to always have three would mean that we’d wind up having too many riding the bench. At the same time, a mage friend of mine had been looking for a new guild. Two mages wouldn’t be ideal, and I knew he was a really quality player.

What we needed was a hybrid – someone who could DPS when needed, and swap to heals in-between bosses. I’d raided in both roles. I knew that I could do it, and moreover I had the character for it, too. Changing mains to my resto/balance druid, Shaedre, was a no-brainer.

As a balance druid, she brought buffs that the group had previously lacked. Without a warlock we didn’t have 13% additional spell damage. Her resto gear was actually superior to her balance gear initially, so I knew she could hack it to heal content when needed. Millya took a backseat while we went back and finished off Ulduar (we were late to the Algalon game, unfortunately), but still she is my Starcaller.

I mean this literally, because I gleefully wade into trash and cry, “Starfallll!” Shae is my current raiding main and I do love playing her. She’s the one with the Frostbrood drake, earned through weeks of ICC heroic-modes. She got extremely lucky and scored an Anzu mount shortly after we transferred to our new server, too. (Good omens!) When we down Heroic Lich King, she’ll be the one to do it. She’s my character that will finish out this expansion, no question. However…

The little pally that could

The goggles, they do nothing!

There’s this other character I have, you may know her a little bit. She started out as a lark that could basically be summarized by, “Can my patience surmount over 150 instances with pug people?” The answer was yes, but moreover writing about her adventures started this blog, has introduced me to so many awesome people and has been more fun than I could have conceived.

Since we’ve started our weekly alt runs, Vid’s been trotting through ICC happily, and I realized something. I really like paladin healing. Okay, I had a suspicion already, since I quite enjoyed levels seventeen to eighty via LFD. I mean I like it when I’m raiding, too. Suddenly the choice isn’t so clear any more. When Cataclysm comes, I’m not sure which character I’ll most want to experience it with. I suppose it will partly depend on how the classes are changed between now and then, and how it alters my enjoyment of them. (Huge hint: New moonkin art could quite potentially tip the balance. I can laugh good-naturedly, but sometimes being the raid group’s walking, squawking practical joke can get a bit old).

The drawback, though, is that I’m not nearly as comfortable (or skilled) at melee DPS as I am at ranged. A swap from mage to moonkin was pretty intuitive, but a similar swap to retribution wouldn’t be as much so. If I were to play a paladin, it would undoubtedly be as a healer primarily. I remember scoffing when Vid was mid-level, “Oh she’ll never be my main, etc.” You think I’d learn never to say “never.”

Ultimately, it’s going to depend on what the guild needs when Cataclysm comes out. Until then, I’ve had to reconcile myself to the fact that I can’t put too much effort into one character or get fussy about who achieves what and when. Some people have one clearly defined main that they wouldn’t even consider changing. I won’t lie, I envy that a bit! All your achievements and collections in one place is nice. At the same time though, I’ve reallly enjoyed all of the different classes and roles I’ve tried, and I think I’d be worse off for having missed out on them.

I will have to make a choice at some point – just hopefully not any time soon! I remember Cass writing about how her auditions were over. She knew who her main was going to be! I won’t spoil the ending, it’s worth the read. As for me, I suppose I have to admit that Millya’s probably not in the running, simply because she doesn’t have hybrid capabilities and I’m learning that I’m a hybrid at heart. I like being able to fill the role that is needed. For that purpose, a druid and a paladin definitely fit the bill.

p.s. – Big thanks to the generous and talented Loreli of AoD studios for the Vidyala post-it portrait above. I love it! The art for the other characters is my own.

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26 responses to “What’s my main again?

  1. I had been playing my pally almost exclusively over my moonkin at the end of TBC, to the point where my guildies were wondering if I was going to change mains for Wrath, but I’ve found I can’t give up being the guild’s walking, squawking practical joke. :)

    I think my paladin will always be a close second though, and ready to backup raid in a pinch.

    • It’s funny that people who like druids are often the same people who like paladins! I’ve noticed that, anyhow. I hope I didn’t offend you with the remark… I’m a giant feathery moonkin ass, too. :D

  2. I guess I don’t have issues like what you’ve got, Vid. I’ve got a clearly defined main –as in, the only character I have who’s over L28– but after that, I guess I ought to get to leveling some alts.

    There’s the mage, Neve, who I enjoyed playing until I started my push for Loremaster. I was just getting ready to ramp up and use the LFD tool with her when I realized I had to get a move on.

    My first character, a priest, in which I had absolutely no idea that a WoW priest != D&D Cleric, hasn’t seen that much face time. I’m moving him over to the Dark Side (Alliance), heavily laden with heirlooms (and money!) that I’m missing on my Alliance side.

    After that, there’s the pair of Alliance paladins I have. (One was a bank alt, see, but he was the right level to go questing with Souldat’s wife, while Tomakan was a bit higher level… Oh, never mind.)

    Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll end up playing Quint the most, providing a never ending source of humor for the blog.

    • Ah yeah, if you like the D&D “cleric” then it’s no surprise you favour a paladin. Heavy armour AND healing, what’s not to love? As I say, it’s no detriment to the people who have just one main. I wish I could be that way, though it takes all kinds to keep life interesting!

  3. I wish I could write like you, I really like reading your blog after everything in my game life has gone bad lately.

    It does give me hope to continue to try.

    Thank you

    • Aww, Jorge. What’s been going wrong? :( You’re too kind. Shoot me an e-mail if you need an ear to listen, figuratively. It’s puggingpally AT gmail.com.

  4. Like Rades, I have a clear and well defined main in my Endyme. I’ve never wavered in my dedication to the character in 5+ years. I get the best for her, work the hardest on her and she’s the one who I’d take above all others to progression raids. It’s my alts that tend to change. I, too, like being able to fill different roles (except tanking, I just have no interest in it) and I try to do that via alts. For my melee, bash your head in DPSing, I have my DK Celrina. For healing, I have Endy. For a different flavor of heals, I’m working on my Disc Priest, Ryska. I hope this will come in handy in Cata, when 10 and 25 mans share lockouts. Not only can I fill different roles, I can fill them on characters that are on separate lockouts!

    But for me, it’s always been Endyme. If I could only play one character for the rest of WoW, it’d be her.

    • Having multiple characters at 85 will definitely be a boon when raid lockouts change and Cataclysm comes out, good point! See, if I had to choose just one I’d be hard-pressed, and I’d probably wind up regretting it later. I’m doomed to indecisiveness, I suppose. :(

  5. Did I comment on this post already? I think I’m losing it. :O For me, no matter how hard my darn resto druid tries, my hunter will always be my main. Unless Cataclysm’s switch to Hunters using focus destroys the class for me, that is. *fear*

    • I think Endyme meant me. Rades, Redbeard, what’s the difference?

      Oh yeah, the beard…

    • I like the way you describe the battle between your two characters though, as if your druid was sort of born with a silver spoon and is always taking things away from Rades while Rades works to support this lazy, good-for-nothing… It always makes me laugh. I think of you as “Rades” so it’s hard to picture you being anyone else!

      • It’s so true though! Mardak has had everything…recruit a friend gift levels, heirloom gear, instant pug raid invites as a healer…Rades has had to grind EVERYTHING. Uphill both ways while snowing! Haha, I feel they have real personalities when it comes to this.

        Heck, a couple months ago I was looking at Mardak’s offspec – his used less-than-10-times, barely practiced, thrown-together Balance spec – and it had so much unwanted ICC gear and stuff it outgeared Rades’ primary gear. /sigh

        If, when I eventually kill the Lich King, it’s with my druid and not my hunter, I will weep inside a little. But it wouldn’t surprise me.

      • But hunters are so awesome for LK! You can tranq shot the horrors and misdirect terrible spirit thingos onto the tank. :D

  6. Oops, yeah…I saw the R and must’ve gotten confused. Mah bad.

  7. I envy the people that have one main too (one achiever, one explorer, one mount collector, etc.) but at least you are changing mains for the good of your guild!

    I’m changing out of selfishness (and identity disorders, but that is neither here nor there)

    • Yes, I try to justify it that way to myself, too… ;) I really do have their best interests in mind, too, but I wouldn’t play something I really hated. That just leads to discontent and isn’t good for anybody. You are THE altoholic, I think if you changed I’d have to check if gravity was still working.

  8. How far are you guys progressing on Heroic Lich King?

    • Not further than phase 2, unfortunately. The summer boss has been preventing us from getting to the point where we’re consistently working on him (lack of people available, wrong comp) and so I’m afraid it’s one step forward and two steps back every time. I’m hoping to see some solid progress this week, but as no strict ten guild has yet to get him – we fear it’s a pretty fine line between “geared enough” and “just shy.” But it’s not stopping us from trying!

      • Yeah we’ve been having the same problems. We’ve made it to phase 3 4-5 times only to have the group Harvest Soul destroy us. Just need the summer to end so we get some reliable raiders!

  9. I could never have one main. Right now I have a Holy Priest and Warrior Tank as my two 80′s but I have a mage, hunter and druid in the works too. And now I have found myself wondering about (yet another) death knight. I can’t play WoW without trying alsorts of classes in alsorts of scenarios. Just – can’t – do – it.

  10. Lo, and there shall be frequent blog updates! :P

    Getting back to the topic at hand, even though I am a self-confessed alt-aholic, my true main will always be, and has always been my little blood elf priest, Telmaria. I think this is because she is the character I relate most to: if WoW was real, there is no question that I would be a priest. Although, being an athiest, that is slightly ironic.

    I think I just enjoy the different feels of different classes, some I love, some I seriously can’t stand and the poor character meets the “Delete” button. Each alt carrier a small sliver of my personality which has been exaggerated into pure awesome, so each alt feels like a superhuman (or should I say, super-elf) version of myself. However my true role-playing character is my priest. The priest is me, and I am her, so to speak :)

  11. Going from balance druid to retribution paladin to frost DW death knight to prot paladin and back again isn’t so bad…

    Now only if I could throw holy paladin into that mix. I envy your healing prowess.

  12. The only class I have left to level past 60 is the warrior. I have two paladins, both prot on different servers/factions. Several hunters that I love leveling but don’t enjoy at end game.

    My favorite and new main is an elemental shaman.

    I gave up on the most recent paladin because of having to tank through pugs in the dungeon finder tool. (Also why I think your site is great). It caused me so much grief and stress. Much more than the first time I level a pally tank. I actually switched her to heals before giving up.

    Groups have changed. Pugs are reckless now, cross-server means fast leveling but noone bothers to build loyalty any more.

    In the last 3 months, I’ve leveled a lock, dk, paladin, hunter and now my shaman. I’m an altoholic but thrilled with what I finally settled on. My TBC characters are collecting dust on another server.

  13. I have one dedicated main. My hunter was my very first toon and I’m just so comfortable playing him. Plus I think specializing pays off after a certain point. For example I was completely unaware that a hunter can tank the last 5% of Lady DW if both of the tanks are dead (reg mode 10 man with 5% buff up). But I did it (138 health left when she fell) . I probably wouldn’t have been able to pull that off if I’d been less practiced or geared.

    That being said I’ll probably level my Warrior to 85 second and hopefully my Shammy will be level 80 by then. If so my DK will make it to 85 last. Incidentally all of my alts are skinners so that the leveling process keeps my hunter well supplied in mats for leatherworking (almost at 400 recipes now :D)

  14. I share your envy for those who can truly main one character – or, I think so, anyways. Either way, an enjoyable read – one day, I shall put pen to paper and similarly chronicle my char-hoppings, if I even remember all the jumps, jeez.

    But yes. Really. Hybrids, heck yeah!

  15. I have a few alts as well but in my heart my main will always be my rogue. I initially leveled alts to help a guild but by the time I was leveled they weren’t really needed due to an influx of new recruits. For now my alt decision play time is based more on mood than necessity. Maybe once I have an entire stable of level 85s and raiding is kicking off I’ll be able to implement a dual-main system and keep myself from suffering some sort of schizotypal personality disorder.

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