I mentioned in the class dynamics post that I rarely played alts in most games, preferring to focus on my primary characters. In EQ 1 I played a necromancer exclusively, in EQ2 when it launched in 2005 I played an assassin from the same family, but our guild needed a tank and we were an RP guild so I played the necromancer also. This is probably where things started to diverge and I became more flexible with shifting personalities.
Mostly though it was to maximize my character. When you are near maxed in everything is where I’ve found people create alts to experience that race/rush/vibe again.
In WoW I played a priest from launch until about the end of burning crusade. By Cataclysm I had shifted my main to my paladin to tank. I was the top cleric on my server for burning crusade, but I never felt like healers were appreciated as the lynchpin they were. Tanks on the other hand were must haves. I’ve tanked in most games since and I remain skeptical of healing because of the returns on my investment previously in it. I do appreciate healers and I try to go out of my way to show appreciation and acknowledgement for them based on my experience.
In Final Fantasy XIV I played a gladiator/paladin main in 1.0, but I didn’t cap until 1.23 patch or so and it was late in the game before the servers were turned off for A Realm Reborn, which is outstanding. In 2.0 ARR I’m leveling summoner, because pet classes are awesome (Necromancer in EQ1 vibe!) and scholar. FF XIV has a nice dynamic that you can change your weapon and it changes your class. I think the game has 20 classes and I’m leveling 16 of them plus your job specializations. Feel like healing? Switch to a crook. Feel like tanking? Get out a sword. Damage? Get a staff or grimoire. I hope they add Ninja jobs, cause Ninja’s are awesome.
Back in 2010 I had dabbled with an Empath and Mage in Gemstone IV. They were basically leveled to around 20th. I think sometime in 2011 I would play them when Geijon’s Lumnis had expired (I was also usually on an RPA) so I was looking to make my time efficient.
For whatever reason I started creating support for myself and Evialla. Being a sorcerer it was easy for spells, but she plays a Warrior also and eventually the Wizard was useful to helping her out there. He’s a Warmage with enchanting focus (Strange, yes), but he’s 50th now and I figure I’ll attempt his first 7x enchantment soon. He’s done probably a handful of both 5x and 6x. He’s a lot of fun to play and I may switch him to pure eventually. I play him as kind of a chaotic neutral or lawful evil type who dabbles in arcane, mystery things. A bit of Szass Tam or powerful, but not outwardly evil types. It’s still coming together. He does not say please and thank you.
I think I created the rogue sometime around here when I was managing to use Lumnis up on both of them. I was finding I had too many boxes both on Geijon and the Wizard. I locker mine (Boo NPC locksmith). He’s a variation of my EQ2 assassin, but he’s not filled with darkness. He now opens boxes for all the alts, the Wizards might be tough since he’s near Stonehold, but all the alts up to about 40th he can manage easily. He’s picked Lesser Minotaur boxes, but I’ve also broken lockpicks. He’s a Guardian of the Sunfist (Great society). 35th on the rogue.
Then I made a cleric because I wanted to be able to make holy receptable gems and eventually chrisms. Made him a swinger in the first 30 and didn’t change out of it. CS casters are superior and he’s just around the level where it makes sense to make him a pure. Pookas, Mares, and Miners will probably be the end of his swinging days. With both the Wizard and Cleric using weapons I think the 60s is about as far as they’ll go, but we’ll see. Cleric is 34th now.
I have an evil monk around 20th, a ranger I’m somewhat meh about, but I learned to use ranged at 19th, and a sorcerer I have big RP plans for. Plus a lowbie ensorceller. I have a mid-range Paladin also at 27th.
All in all a broadened cast and mechanical knowledge and support structure. I think this has become a bit common in Gemstone IV for a multitude of reasons. Mostly though I think people are just more apt to play alternate characters and in a game as old as Gemstone IV it’s natural evolution.