WoW! Thoughts! — On Alts and the Earning of Titles
I don’t play on an RP server, but I do enjoying coming up with concepts for my alts. While my main is a tauren hunter, orc hunters have the benefit of the racial ability Command, so I rolled one. But since I love playing a tauren, I decided I’d play him as though he was one. Just before the Cataclysm hit, Taurenvy ran from Orgrimmar down the Gold Road (in the then united Barrens) through the Great Gate and stopped at the exact spot new players spawned. I logged in the next day to find that Deathwing’s emergence shifted Camp Narache by a few meters.
At level 10, Taurenvy tamed a plainstrider. As soon as he was able, he purchased a Thunder Bluff tabard and ran dungeons to level and also reach exalted status with the tauren. He rides a kodo. My plans all along had been to level him up high enough to participate in the Argent Tournament and earn the ‘of Thunder Bluff‘ title. However, given that I have other alts that I preferred to focus on getting to max level, Taurenvy’s been stalled at level 33 for quite some time; so this dream of achieving a tauren trapped in an orcish body would have to wait.
And then Mists of Pandaria introduced account-wide achievements and titles.
With my main firmly entrenched in the conflict in Pandaria, I parked one of my higher alts at the Argent Tournament and began grinding out dailies on occasion; FINALLY earning the right to represent Thunder Bluff in the tournament. I was hoping that the achievements would work such that while my warlock unlocked Champion of Thunder Bluff, that would combine with Taurenvy’s exalted Thunder Bluff reputation to grant him Exalted Champion of Thunder Bluff and earn him the title that is many levels above him. Instead, the achievement did not work in such a fashion, and I now have to undertake grinding a blood elf from revered to exalted with Thunder Bluff in order to get this achievement. I normally would not be concerned about this, but I’ve already reached exalted with Thunder Bluff on my orc and tauren, and now I need to do it again.
One of the points of making achievements account-wide was to prevent players from having to pointlessly grind out the same content over and over again. In this case, I’m earning the Thunder Bluff reputation by running my level 87 warlock through Wrath of the Lich King dungeons by virtue of the Thunder Bluff tabard. While I’m glad I’m getting to see content I missed out on previously (I’m surprised with how much I enjoyed the Quel’Dalar questline!), this still feels like an unnecessary barrier to earning my desired title. To a degree, it is, since I could just have my tauren handle the Argent dailies after completing his missions in Pandaria (although when that will be is anyone’s guess…) But the reason I chose to do it on my warlock was because I could simply leave that character there and not have to waste time portal-jumping or hearthing between continents. To the degree that I earned the right to serve as a Valiant of Thunder Bluff, it was successful.
Still though, this alt is only level 87. There’s a ton of questing to be done in Pandaria to get from Kun-Lai Summit to the Dread Wastes. My time in WoW is limited enough, and the Pandaria dailies keep my main occupied such that the time left over for my alts is extremely precious. Of all the things I could be doing, why am I focusing on grinding out a reputation that I don’t really need just so a character I rarely play will have a title? At the very least, earning titles, tabards, and mounts on your main allows one to display them while doing the bulk of their playing. Alts can be used to show off lesser accomplishments – since we play them less, they have less visible time in Azeroth. But is there any value in intentionally grinding out a title that will be rarely displayed and enjoyed?
Fundamentally, at a high enough level, WoW is an open world sandbox for me to pick and choose what I feel like doing at any given moment. I spent the bulk of Cataclysm endgame earning my Loremaster title. If I feel like running a blood elf warlock through Heroic Pit of Saron a half-dozen times because that gives the best reputation gains, then there’s no reason I shouldn’t. It just seems odd to be so focused on a task with such a minimal reward. At least for now I’m enjoying seeing these dungeons, which I had ignored in favor of questing on my first (and second… and third…) tour of Northrend.
There is one caveat to all this. The ‘of <capital city>’ titles are only accessible to alts once they reach level 80, the level at which they would be eligible to earn the titles themselves. Even though I’ll have this title shortly, Taurenvy will still need to earn 47 more levels to use it. All this work I’m doing on my warlock won’t come to fruition for quite some time. I still can’t say for certain why I’m so compelled to earn this title now of all times, but at the very least I’m enjoying the ride, and that’s all that matters.
Taurenvy, you’ll be of Thunder Bluff soon…
PATCH 5.2! FEEL THE MAGIC. HEAR THE ROAR. THUNDER-KING IS LOOSE!!! http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/8713870/Patch_52_The_Thunder_King_-_Live_March_5-3_4_2013