A post on the World of Warcraft

Alt-Army: Gathering

“As you get older, the pickings get slimmer, but the people don’t.”
Carrie Fisher


Alt-Army: Gathering

I seem to approach Alts a little differently than many players. I am very respectful of players who manage to play different classes and specs. These players explore the story-line and the game itself much deeper than I do.

My attitude is more along the lines of a factory or a spearhead. I have a Main and my Alts work to support that Main. I have a guild and my Alts work to support that guild and my friends.

My “other main”, my long time Hunter, is not as involved this expansion and not part of a Raid Team. This was a deliberate choice to dial back commitments in WoW. And, as always, I want to be strong enough in my character to be invited.

I had an idea of taking one of my Druid Alts and making her* a dedicated Gatherer. Specifically for when we can fly in 7.2. Mining and Herbing, whether I use the mats or sell them, I like gathering and old movies — I like it a lot.

This Druid got to (new) Dalaran at 100. With a Goblin Glider Kit, I jumped off the Landing and glided into Suramar and landed on the road that leads to Val’Sharah. And began to pick Starlight Rose and to mine Leystone. Cautiously, carefully and with a thrill of danger in a zone 10 levels over my head.

When I started Mass Entanglement would often fail so instead of rooting, plucking and Dashing away; I simply ran away! Treants will grab aggro so I can run away. Fun stuff. Really fun.

At 103, I decided to get my Artifact weapon. I did Balance, just because. At 104, I got the Starlight Rose rank 2 quest and twisted Mirba’s arm to fight our way to the quest. At 107, I think, I started to get Mining quests.

Into the Thicket, I had to kill the Shade of Xavius and cued into a dungeon. A year ago I was running as a healer and so was “Healer in Balance” and wondered why the healer sucked so bad. Until I saw that it was me! I changed specs and healed with no weapon at all and got through the dungeon.

Here is the deal: RNG sucks.
I have well over 100 – 150 Starlight Rose Dust and no quest for Rank 3. All mining is at Rank 1. This doesn’t bother me toooo much because I can still get the mats that I am trying to get when gathering.

But, my Alchemist. This makes a difference.
Most professions have a pet or a mount at 800. The Alchemist has a crucial recipe to make Spirit Cauldrons at 800. But, you get no “points” until you ding a flask from Rank 2 to Rank 3 and it is painful RNG. The single upside is that I will be able to make a LOT of freaking Spirit Cauldrons once I do ding 800. But I need them now and no matter how hard I “work” at it, I am a slave to RNG.

RNG (it means Random Number Generator) is chance, a roll of the dice. It is woven into every aspect of the game, most notable is gear. It has taken the hard edge off the game and made it squishy and unsatisfying. We don’t have Best in Slot anymore because some less interesting piece might roll up to crazy stats.

The argument is that the fun is in the surprise of getting a sudden upgrade. Like a jack-in-the-box popping out of his cage as we wind and wind and wind. But, my child-like wonder waned a bit when I was six years old. When I make a pact with a game, like any adult, I want sure and promised results for effort.

With no sure “best” on our loot lists, we keep trying for the random upgrade; gambling against the odds. I keep churning out flasks; gambling that I’ll get Rank 3 and can (slowly) grind up to 800. I’ll keep stupidly banging my head against mining nodes; gambling that some day I’ll win the roll — not be rewarded for time invested in the task.

In Real Life, I don’t gamble. Once upon a time, I enjoyed playing poker with friends. There was Seven Card Stud and Chicago and we’d say Dealer’s Choice. But the institutions made poker into a single layout (Texas Hold ‘Em, a quaint name but don’t believe it) so there would be control and the house could get its take. I don’t gamble on anything but love. I’ll take a chance on you, yes I will.

In spite of all the frustration, I’m enjoying my Druid Project. Plucking and Picking is fun and by avoiding quests and gear and all of that, it is focused and specific. That may change with the lure of World Quests at 110, I don’t know.



*All of my characters were male for the longest time with a “some” naming convention. Wrathsome, Dimsome (Pandaria, get it?), Toothsome, Scaresome etc. Then much later I made some female alts; their naming convention is from naming girls in the faux-1700’s: Modesty, Temerity, Alacrity, Mockery etc.

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2 thoughts on “Alt-Army: Gathering

  1. My alt collection started out because I wanted to try all the classes — but I soon realized that I could make it play double-duty by distributing all the professions among them. In Wrath and Cataclysm, I leveled my alts primarily to be profession support for raiding with Kamalia. In Mists, when I decided to LFR with all of the healing classes, they supported each other. In Warlords, when I wasn’t LFRing anymore, I leveled my alts more for class gameplay and story explanation, and I leveled the non-armor-crafting professions mostly just to get the Guild Achievement for having all the professions capped out. Legion is looking like it will be more of the same, in terms of valuing my alts for the variety of gameplay and different stories they let me explore more than for their profession utility.

    The difficulty of leveling all those professions to be self-sufficient in supporting raiding has definitely become a barrier to entry (even for LFR) for me, however. And yet I’d still rather make stuff for myself than buy it off the AH, because I’d rather save my relatively limited gold income to be able to occasionally splurge on shinies for Mogging 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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