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Alts, Alts, and more Alts

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This is rather recent, most prominently in Tabula Rasa. What do you think about having 'crafting' characters in MMOs that are good for nothing else? Many MMO players have alts anyways that are used for just such a purpose, but is it a good idea to separate combat and crafting into two characters altogether? Is there any benefit in doing so?

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Multi-accounting is also common in WOW, Dofus, and to some extent A Tale in the Desert. This is players fighting back against not only limiting the number of profession a character can have, but also making it impossible or difficult to do some/all in-game activities solo. A secondary factor is that the strategy of fighting controlling multiple characters is more interesting than the strategy of fighting controlling only one character. In general mmo owners seem to not be opposed to multi-accounting because it means they get more subscription fees. Personally I'd rather see players limited to one character because this encourages roleplaying, and that character able to do all crafting, do all game activity's solo, and have complex enough choices to make in combat so that single character combat isn't boring.

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Intensifying the character controls with some twitch elements could reduce or eliminate the "clone army" phenomenon, but any time you need specialized skillsets for varied scenarios, there will be alts. EvE is fraught with disposable suicide scout alts and trade alts and even forum alts, for political reasons. As a one-character player, I find it absolutely infuriating when some one-day-old character is floating quietly in space scanning ships as they go through a stargate, or leaping willy-nilly into our battleship fleet, scanning a few while we kill it, and then returning two minutes later to do it again, but there's really no real reason not to do it (my reason is laziness).

It would take a fundamental reconstruction of the core gameplay mechanics to make this go away, and such drastic changes would make the game into something other than what the players signed up for. You'd need a new target audience, a new game genre, etc., and that make it less of a solution than just a move away from the problem.

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One way that EVE could highly limit the suicide scanners is to require ships to be equipped with scanners if you want to actually learn anything more interesting than "Theres something BIG here" against the larger and more expensive targets.

If that cheap thing you get for free after you lose your ship can scan and give users useful information for metagaming, then it is abusable (as you say) but if it requires an expensive scanner to be added on to the ship before it could get anything useful, i bet you would see a bit of a reduction in the usefulness of the Scanner Scout Alt. Or at the very least make it cost something for the player using them.


Each tier of ship should be naturally large enough to contain standard scanners to get info on ships its size and smaller. Larger ships are better shielded from scanning and for a smaller ship to get much info on a ship one class larger they'll need to fork over a bit of game money. If the smallest ships want to scan the largest ones for useful information, they'll be paying serious game money for the ability.

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So what about the idea of allowing anyone to use all skills such as in EvE or Runescape?

Runescape even allowed you to be all three classes and switch between them at any point.

Also, the concept of level-one suicide alts can be disposed of by removing levels entirely.
It essentially makes it far less worthwhile to create alts when your main can do it with less hassle.

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alt characters have been around for as long as i can remember. I personally had many alts playing lineage and lineage 2. It can make the game play more enjoyable. (hmm, do i want to play as a mage, a warrior or something in between today)

In games like lineage having a crafting alt wasn't really a necessity because the dwarfs where the crafting class and where very good warriors also. But if your choice was to play as a mage you had to choose one of the other races then level up a dwarf for crafting (which is what i did)

Now take games like Rising Force Online (RFO) where the crafting class for each race was pitiful. The only thing they had going for them was the ability to setup turrets and they where the only ones in the game that could craft.

While the turrets sound great they took a long time to setup and you had to use certain materials that could cost an arm and a leg to get. Which is why most crafters where alts.

The point is that being able to create alts is a big perk for some gamers. It is to the point that even if you can not create alts on your main account they will go buy additional accounts just to do so. And trying to stop them from doing so will only cause your sales to drop.

As for the question at hand, having characters that are good for nothing but crafting will cause you to get feedback in both directions. Some people will love the idea, while some will hate it.

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Alts have another purpose

Alternating identities

I like making Alts i make alot of them in any game ^.^

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Something that we need to talk about here is the difference between an Alt Abuse Character, and Simply an Alt.


A new character with nothing of value used as a scout for a party of main characters and using an external communications is clearly an abuse. You are using the fact that it is without risk that you gather something you need.


Now, a player that has two chracters in EVE, one a Miner/Crafter, and the other a heavy combat character. This is highly acceptible, and from a developer standpoint I think rather good to see players wanting to do this. The goal is to have players able to ENJOY just crafting. I spent some time playing as a miner in EVE, and while it is actually rather boring (would have liked to see some more interaction, target part of the roid to blow it up faster and gather more materials quicker or something) I still enjoyed spending time talking and joking with friends in an online social environment.


If a given class is ONLY played by alt characters for the most part, then you have a problem. Look at Priests in WURM Online. They are so crippled, and unable to take any normal actions that no one admits to playing them as their main. Most of the time they are logged in for a few minutes every day to do something to help level something up, then the player runs off and actually has fun with their main, and their priest alt is ignored and does nothing.

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