I am a self-confessed altoholic, of the worst kind.  Some players roll new characters with a specific aim in mind – to provide a guild healer, to get the best racial/profession combination, so fulfill some kind of perceived need.

I just roll alts because I lack focus. Yes, I have a raid-geared shadow priest but I don’t devote as much time to it as I should because I keep getting distracted. My log-in page is littered with low-to-mid level characters strewn willy-nilly across four servers – and I have deleted many more.  And still I have the urge to try some new race/class combination.

This is partly due, I think, to a basic curiosity to find out how the different classes work, but its more than that.  I still get great pleasure from choosing features, hair-styles, skintone etc, and I have been known to spend hours choosing a name that feels ‘right’ for the new addition to the flock.

The trouble is that I lack stickability; because I know that I don’t have the movement skills necessary to play a hunter well, I tend to abandon hunters at around level 40.  I have a mage at level 55 who hasn’t been touched since Cata because I wanted to try the new starter areas. My most successful current alt, a druid, reached the dizzy heights of lvl 59 – but then I did some reading about high level moonkin eclipse mechanics and had second thoughts.

My first ever wow character was a paladin – and I was awful. In the delusional hope that my melee skills have magically improved over the last couple of years, I recently rolled another ( a dwarf, because her pigtails twirl when she casts – I’m easily amused)  and I’m having great fun, but I doubt I will ever get to lvl 85 with her.

And then there are my adventures on the ‘other side’ – my heart is with the Alliance but I just had to go & see the Horde starter areas too.  So along came an Undead mage (didn’t last long, hated it), a Tauren paladin (love the lore but too big & clumsy), a Blood Elf….something (too like a teenager for my taste) and a Goblin priest (cute but not compelling enough).

I’m sure there will come a day when I’ve had enough of starter quests, or I run out of un-tried races and classes, or I just can’t face one more run through Gnomeregan, but until then curiosity and a scatter-gun approach is what keeps my play-time interesting.  Perhaps one day I will be able to delete a character without a twinge of guilt, and that’s when I will know that my ‘family’ of alts is complete, and maybe, just maybe, some of them will live to see the ice-bergs of Northrend on the horizon.