I think most of us who have played any MMO for a considerable amount of time has been there. You find yourself in a situation where slowly, but surely you discover that one of your characters besides your main is taking up the majority of your time. Maybe it started innocently. Maybe you just wanted to try a class out and see what it was like. Then you found yourself making excuses to your weekly dungeon group so that you can finish up some quests in The Shire. Maybe you just wanted to see if the Evendim revamp was really as good as you heard your kinship saying it was. And then the next thing you know you’re at the Ring of Isengard, Legendary Weapon in-hand, wondering how many more dungeons you’ll need to run before you’re ready for the Tower of Orthanc with that character. And all the time your previous main character is sitting to the side wondering why you don’t call anymore.
Yes, I’m talking about switching mains.
Now I don’t know about you, but before LOTRO I have been a serial monogamist when it comes to playing characters. However, there have been times even in previous games when I switched mains. I usually find myself switching mains out of dissatisfaction for my current class. Those dissatisfactions have included:
- Not being able to find a group with my current character
- My character falls short in some role. (Tanking, DPS, Healing)
- My character class gets “nerfed” or changed to a degree I no longer find it agreeable
- I want a character class that has more flexibility in what roles it can perform within a group
- I get bored with my character
In my opinion these are probably some of the most common reasons that most people have for switching their main character within games. However, switching mains in LOTRO is not without its consequences and there are some things that one should consider before doing so:
- Deeds will need to be ground out in order to complete class traits.
- Quests and deeds will need to be completed for Legendary Class Traits.
- Deeds will need to be completed in order to complete player virtues.
- If your new main is a crafter, they may have to complete some reputation grinds ahead of them.
- If your previous main was a crafter, you may need to eventually dust them off to grind some reputation, and/or levels as new gear is released.
- If you raid or do dungeons, you will have to build up a new set of gear including legendary items.
Now in my opinion there are really only several of these points that will take up a lot of time after switching mains; and they may even have you rethinking about your decision. The foremost of these decisions is player virtues, especially if you want to do end game content. Now while some of the virtues that can be earned with natural gameplay, it’s really only in the later zones such as Enedwaith and Dunland that I really have seen Turbine being what I consider “reasonable” when it comes to deeds. I really think that Turbine needs to take a hard look at some of the slayer deeds that require killing 360 of the same mob or older raids and dungeons such as needing to kill a large number of the Watcher in the Water’s tentacles and Champion of Urugarth (Advanced) to see if this is really where they want their player base spending their time moving forward. But until they do so, this is what will be required unless you want to spend Turbine Points. Of course if you don’t give a toss about end game content you can just skip this all together!
The next time consuming issue I see is the crafting issue. For example, right now my main is a Guardian who is also a Metalsmith. Now, while he is already maxed out in his reputation with the Metalsmith Guild I have to decide whether or not I want to take the time to increase his reputation with Dunland and Rohan so that he has access to all of the possible crafting recipes or do I want to just make do with what I have. And while Dunland’s reputation will be a breeze to obtain, gaining Rohan’s will definitely take a bit more time on my part since you don’t start earning reputation for them until later levels.
The last issue is gear based and although this can be a pain in the rear, I really consider it to be mitigated by several factors. Mostly that I think with reputation, crafting, and some support from your friends and/or kinship you can resolve this issue. I’m not saying it won’t take any time or resources, because it will. But thankfully, again in my opinion, LOTRO isn’t as gear dependent as other games are; meaning that you won’t need to worry about running previous raids to get into the newest one. You may however need to run previous instances, but thankfully due to the upcoming currency consolidation and instance finder, gearing up may become easier than ever.
Of course all of this can easily be tossed out the window if you’re not worried about getting to end-game content with your new main. But for those of us whose playtime centers around that area of the game switching alts can be a somewhat imposing task. But one of the upsides to it is that it does give you the opportunity to explore past areas, review old storylines, and see what changes have been made to the game since you last leveled a character. As for me, I may switch from my Guardian to my Champion at some point, but right now the time involved for leveling deeds is just too steep for it to be any time soon. But what about you? Have you ever switched mains?