Self-sufficiency is for other people

November 20, 2009 at 12:40 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment
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Wotcha everyone,
Back in the mists of time, I discovered I was an Altoholic.  Yadda-yadda-long-story, and I’m still and altoholic.  I like them.  I love my primary  characters most, who these days tend to be called Hawley because I’m too lazy to think of other names any more, but I love the change of pace that an alt can bring.
One of the reasons I loved creating and playing alts was the ability to see what all the crafting professions were like.  It was fun playing around with them, and it gave a certain sense of self-sufficiency, in that I didn’t have to scrabble around in poor gear, or with no potions.  There was always an alt who could help out.
Of course, in time I looked around, decided that so many crafting alts was far too expensive, and that there just weren’t enough hours in the day to try and keep them all going.  Plus the Hawleys, being primary, were always levels ahead of the alts.  Which meant that they had to do all the hard work, levelling up in gear that relied on drops and quest rewards, and then handing all the cash they make over, to pay for alts to level in much more comfort.
There was a change.  It was helped in part by the realisation that crafted gear really wasn’t as good as it could, or should, be.  It was there for easy access whilst levelling, but not after.  So all that money spent on levelling crafting skill, all that time and effort gone into gaining those recipes, and then grinding my way through entire EEC-grade mountains of raw materials, and for what?  An upgrade on the first instance run?
No, no thanks.
There was a shift in policy; the crafting game had lost its shine, so gone were thoughts of self-sufficiency.  In their place were thoughts of dependancy.  Yes, dependancy.
Me deciding not to craft wasn’t going to make a gnat’s gnadgers difference in the crafting output of the server.  But by me not crafting, there were a number of benefits.
First, I could go all-out node-crazy.  Suddenly, all my alts were gatherers.  Made life much easier, as suddenly I could travel by going from node to node.  Travel on the ground suddenly had a purpose other than just wasting my time, and causing me to get into random fights.  I didn’t need the actual raw materials, so they just sat in my bags, accruing over time, until as if by magic there were a few stacks.  Yay!
Second, it was a reason to interact with guild-mates.  And members of raid communities.  And suchlike.  If I needed something making, I could ask them.  And supply them with the materials, or pay with materials.  It’s a win-win, as they get to use the crafting skills they’ve worked hard for.
Third, I was able to sell stacks of stuff to fund whatever it was that was needed.  Most of Shaman Herewerd’s flying skill was paid for by selling stacks of ore on the auction house.  As were the materials I couldn’t gather.  Money was far less of an issue.
Fourth, I could help mates out by chucking stacks of materials at them.  If I’m unlikely to need it, then why not?  It helps them out, and clears bag space for more gathering.
There were still just as many alts popping up in game, but rather than each one having their own little related crafting professions, now they just had resource gathering.  It even became a bit of a gag amongst some friends when they heard about a new World of Warcraft alt popping out: Was this one a herbalist/miner, or a miner/herbalist?
It’s something that’s unlikely to change any time soon.  All the new Lord of the Rings Online alts are gatherers, and that’s unlikely to change for any new game.
However.  There should always be a “However”.
Fallen Earth has made me wonder about the Gathering Only policy.  With its abundance of nodes, and it’s ever so wonderful crafting systems, I realised that crafting was what I’d play Fallen Earth for.
Cheers,
Hawley.

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