Do I have WoW ADD or Am I an Altoholic?


As I ease myself back into blogging after my literature-teaching-enduced hiatus, I figure I’ll start with something relatively easy to write about to get me back in the swing of things: World of Warcraft.

Well, my Paladin is level 80 now.  I spent some time in instances and got him a 4600 gearscore, which—while not great—is more than enough to PuG anything that Malygos-US is capable of pugging.  I have been doing a little of this and a little of that for the last couple of weeks.

And then I got bored of running random dungeons just after I became “Beej the Patient.”

So I started to PvP.  Paladin PvP is neat; I have a lot of tricks.  Counterspells and Silences are my bane, but I was having a pretty good time.  Honor grinding was a much needed and enjoyable break from the monotony of the random dungeon finder (which I still hold is the single greatest feature Blizzard has ever implemented into World of Warcraft).

One day not long ago, I see my best friend log on his Druid.  He’s in Arathi Basin.  At level 74. We chat for a few, and he convinces me to join him in some low-70s PvP on my level 73 Priest by recalling days gone by where we had such a good time and made such a good team.

After two or three hours of completely supporting the Alliance team with our healing and winning every BG we entered, I decided that I missed my Priest and needed him to be 80, too.


world_of_warcraft Now I’m the kind of guy who absolutely hates the idea of alts.  That’s why this bothers me so much.  I pretty much abhor the leveling game and my playtime is so limited that I can really only focus on one character at a time if I want to see any kind of real progress.

However, Lesserheal will be my fourth level 80, which prompted my GM to say on Twitter that I have character ADD.

Despite my insistence on focusing on a single character, I always tend to bore of the one I am currently playing and move onto bigger and better. I have a Warlock and a Druid sitting at level 70, destined to never gain XP again.  A Death Knight was my first 80.  I thought being awesome, 2H DPS would make the game more fun.  But then after I kill Sarth-3D before Ulduar comes out, I bore of him and start working on my Shaman so I could heal again.  I get him to 80 and geared effectively and realize that I honestly don’t like the class too much.  So then there’s the Paladin and my trial of leveling him.

But to be honest, the Priest has always been (and likely always will be) my favorite.  So I don’t feel too bad about spending some time over Spring Break getting him to 80.  Or close to 80. I don’t want to outlevel my buddy’s Druid just because I have extra time to play.

Now, I can’t help but feel as though I’ve wasted my time on the Paladin, especially after I went through such deliberation choosing him to level.  Sure, I have an 80 Paladin for whatever I want to do with him from now on, but I only have time to really focus on one toon at a time.  I don’t enjoy being forced to run 4 randoms just for Emblems of Frost every day WoW Gnome Death Knightbefore I can start having fun.  I have fun playing the game however I see fit, which is why altoholism has never fit me.

Or at least I never thought it did.

Looking at my login screen, however, I have a number of high level alts in various stages of repair.  I wish I could be like those people who have an alt for every occasion, but I don’t find that fun.  And now, with my focus on PvP, the Priest seems to be the most enjoyable.

I know many people who have 5+ 80’s and do just fine making sure they are all outfitted.  But to me, that never sits right.  I want to be able to devote myself to a single toon and make him the best he can be.  I believe it’s a spinoff of my pseudo-hyperfocusing.  When I get my mind set on something, I am single-minded until it is finished.  The ADD comes in, however, when I hit a milestone on my goal of “finishing” or simply realize that another aspect of another character is more appealing for X, Y, or Z reason.

I do feel bad, too, because this constant attention-hopping between characters means that I never get a chance to raid (as if my schedule allowed that kind of thing anyhow).  I can’t (or won’t) make a commitment to my guild on a single character because I have no idea how I will feel about my raider two weeks down the line.

WoW Priest T5 So where is the line between ADD and simply having a healthy enjoyment of alternate characters? Is there a line? Or am I—as usual—simply overthinking the way I play a videogame?

What about you, dear readers? How do you divide your time in MMOs:  across multiple characters or do you devote yourself to making all you can out of a single character?

By B.J. Keeton

B.J. KEETON is a writer, teacher, and runner. When he isn't trying to think of a way to trick Fox into putting Firefly back on the air, he is either writing science fiction, watching an obscene amount of genre television, or looking for new ways to integrate fitness into his geektastic lifestyle. He is also the author of BIRTHRIGHT and co-author of NIMBUS. Both books are available for Amazon Kindle.


  1. The only game where I had the will and the time to make multiple chars was Guild Wars. OK I have a Warlock and a Paladin in WoW, but I did this after I came to the conclusion that the endgame role of Paladin was not to my liking. That was before they became the Ghostcrawler-powered uber class they are today.

    LOTRO: Champion (Armored Melee, 2nd class tank)
    WoW: Paladin and Warlock
    Guild Wars:
    my main was the Warrior-Monk till I finally “got it” how to be and play a Necromancer! Reminds me a bit of WoW. 😉
    STO: Tactical Officer for the Federation, the same for the Klingons. No intention to ever roll a Science/Engineering alt so far.

    I sometimes cannot help but wonder, people hate levelling, would like to skip it. Ok – so why not play GW? The game there starts early on at max level. Compared to the tiny dungeonholes of WoW this is really advantageous. 😉

    4-5 max level alts for WoW players is not the norm, very active players like my buddy Steve though usually have them. (Rogue, Warrior, Warlock, Shaman)

    1. I never could get into GW. I tried. I love how the game starts at max level, but the rest of the mechanics never really sat well with me. That, and I never had any buddies to play with, which totally ruins an MMO for me.

  2. I can’t believe I had a spelling error on my Twitter and now you reference it in your blog. The shame!

    I have Drewbie as my raider and that’s all I’ll ever have as a raiding character. I started leveling a priest just to help with healing way back in the days of running Molten Core, but she never even got to lvl 30. In the Burning Crusade, raiding got stagnant so I leveled a lock all the way to 70. She was alot of fun, but I never intended to raid with her either.

    Now with Wrath and the ease of leveling, I did take my priest all the way to 80 and have her gearing up. Again the intent was to help cover healing for the guild (since most people playing healers are flaky and can’t seem to decide what they wanna or when they can play . . . . ), but the need has waned and my time to play has as well.

    I got lucky, in a way, in that I stumbled onto my favorite class right out of the gate and have never wanted to really play anything else. I’ve dabbled in nearly every class at least a bit, but I just don’t like any of them the way I like my first character.

    1. There is something flaky about us. I really enjoy the Paladin, too, though. As much as it sucks, I may stick with him for PvE stuff and the Priest for PvP.

      And I did, too, actually, Drew. I found out when we were still in BWL that the Priest was the class I loved the most. Unfortunately, the grass seemed greener for this expansion, and I will have to rectify that mistake before Cataclysm.

  3. My main is my main is my main. Basically. But with some nuances.
    It depends on where in the cycle of a patch/gearreset I am. Once a new tier/dungeon is released, with for instance the new frost emblems, my first and only priority is to gear up my main, raiding character as soon as possible to make the very best out of her. After a while, when she’s got a decent set (in my case 4xt10 set and no longer any need to gather frost emblems) I can start to look at my alts once gain. The further you get into a patch, the more alt-attention. Currently I’m raiding with my main 3 times a week, but outside of raids she isn’t played much.

    I like this variation in pace, although I suppose my poor alts disagree a a bit about my priorities.

    1. I’m that way, too, or at least I thought I was. I am single-minded in my focus when I actually have focus. Right now, that focus is PvP on my Priest. I want to get him resil’d out so I can have fun in Battlegrounds and do a few Arenas now and again.

  4. I’ve a huge altaholic too and honestly it frustrates me because it takes me so long to hit the level cap in games. My issue is just that I grow bored of the class I’m playing and become attracted to another one. It happens all the time to me and I’m jealous of those people who can stick it with one character and hit the level cap with ease.

    Of course, the other side of the coin is that I’ve seen a lot of players who only ever play one class and have tried nothing else. I think doing that is a little sad as they’re missing so much fun by trying other classes.
    .-= We Fly Spitfires´s last blog ..Why MMOs Need A Harsh Death Penalty =-.

    1. I always think those other spells are so neat, but when I hop over and try them, they’re really just the same as what I’ve already been casting.

      I have tried almost everything at this point (a hunter might be the only class I’ve never leveled at all), but I can’t see myself hopping between them. And I’m too much of a min/maxer (at least at heart, if not in practice) to sit without a single character at max level in a level/class-based game.

Comments are closed.