The Soul Asylum

As I mentioned in a previous post, the aspect of WoW that I find the most fascinating is exploring all the diversity that it has to offer. This means alts. My main server is the Thorium Brotherhood server. This is an RP realm, but I’m not heavily into the Role Playing side of such a server. You won’t find me heckling roleplayers in trade (even the ones who RP with dialogue so bad it makes soap operas look brilliant in comparison, although these people will be laughed  at privately), but mostly I just want to go through my day without seeing a toon named “Hahastabbedyou” or “Metallicarulez” (both fictional examples). Maybe it’s silly or whatever, but that’s why I joined an RP realm. Had I known, then, though, what I know now, I’d have gone with a normal server. Having the freedom to name your toons whatever you want is worth putting up with a legion of mages named “fireballzlolz”.

Anyway, before I get lost in rambling again, I’ll tell you a bit about my veritable army of alts. When I first started out, it quickly became my goal to do everything. I’m a shameless explorer, and playing around with all the possibilities is usually one of my favorite things to do with a new game. When I get a new RPG it doesn’t bother me one bit to play, then replay the game over and over as different classes and races. To me playing through the latest D&D release as a mage is just as fresh and new as it was when I ran through as a fighter. World of Warcraft is much the same way. So, unsurprisingly, one of the first things that popped into my head is how cool it would be to have a character of every class and every race and every profession. So I created 2 toons of each of the 5 available alliance races, ending up with a total of one of each class.

After almost 2 years of steady play, I have reached my goal of one 80 of every class. My 10 80s are:

Soulflame (Human Mage – FFB/ Frost) – This is the one I consider my main. Not because he was my first toon (he wasn’t), or even because he was my first 80 (he wasn’t), or because he’s my best-geared (he’s not). It’s because he’s the one, more than any other, that has captured my heart. When somebody asks me “what do you play?” the first thing that pops into my head is  “I’m a mage”. I love my mage. I love his elusiveness in both PVE and PVP. I love his respectable damage potential. I even love all the beautiful fiery and icy animations. Fire is undeniably cool (especially when it’s shooting from your hands).

Paladian {Pal-ay-dee-un}(Human Paladin  – Ret/Holy) – This was my second major toon. I leveled mostly as Holy, but wearing tanking gear. This made me more or less indestructible. Of all my toons, this one had perhaps the most “chaotic” leveling path. I leveled him with various toons of my sister’s before finally going it alone from 72-80. Before you jump to conclusions, the switching around wasn’t about not being able to find a good match. The greatest thing about Paladins is how well they complement other classes. I, at various times, traveled with another paladin, a dk, and a rogue, and never once did I feel like I didn’t just “mesh” with the other class. Whatever you are, whatever you do, I have a buff for that. It’s the same thing I love about running dungeons at 80 on my pally. I always feel useful, and almost never redundant, even if there’s another paladin. I can help with cleanses, supplement healing, mitigate damage, reduce threat. Paladins are the ultimate team players. (Or at least, the class is capable of it. Not all players use the class to its fullest advantage.)

Salvanya {Sal-van-yuh}(Draenei Priest – Shadow/Holy) – My primary healer (because it’s way more fun than paladin healing) and another really fun dpser. I love the versatility of priest healing, and though I’ve heard some people complain about the sheer number of spells that priests have for healing, I find it refreshing to have a complete toolbox to work with. Yes, a paladin has a couple hammers that are bigger than anything I have in my arsenal, which is great when all you’re expected to do is hammer nails. But if you’ll forgive me for extending the metaphor too far, sometimes there’s a leaky faucet and the biggest hammer in the world won’t replace a nice pipe wrench in those situations. As shadow, I have most of the same tools I love about the paladin: damage mitigation, supplemental healing, cleansing, and helpful buffs to share with the party. I’ve been giving this one a lot of love lately (and partly because it’s easier to find a group as a healer), this has quickly become my best-geared character.

Romulusdwolf {Rom-u-lus De-Wolf} (Night Elf Hunter – BM/MM) My favorite solo character. Hunters are really great on their own. When I want to set out into the world and kill all the biggest, nastiest stuff I can find, I never doubt my hunter. Sure, they can throw out dps with the best of them in a party, but I find myself getting bored “just” doing damage. A lot of the versatility and utility of the hunter comes in the form of his pet (especially for BM hunters). In instances, there is rarely any reason to use anything other than your highest-dps pet. I tend to shy away from running instances on my hunter, even after I forked out the 1k gold for dual-spec and gave him an actual dps build on his second spec. It’s just more fun solo. Sadly, this means my gear has suffered.

Adumbration {Ad-um-bray-shun}(Dwarf Death Knight – Frost/Blood) Originally intended to be a tank, I sort of abandoned him after I lost all interest in DK tanking. I just never got comfortable with the mechanics of DK tanking. I never had a problem with knowing when to use my CDs to mitigate damage or what have you, but I could never manage to keep up with threat. I realize now that this is at least partially the responsibility of the dps. I should have known, then, too, having been a dps and instinctively managed my own threat (“hey, that mob is flashing orange, maybe I should use a CD or switch targets or something”) that threat is no single person’s responsibility. But the whole thing left such a bad taste in my mouth that I just lost all interest in it. My hat is off to you, tanks, you take way more crap than you deserve. I recently dual-specced him into a Blood dps spec, thinking that I could dps as blood and save the frost spec for private tanking and general extreme soloing purposes, but as despicable as my tanking gear was/is, my dps gear is even worse. I couldn’t even manage to scrape together a full set of the crafted blue PVP gear. Now I just kind of leave him sitting in Dalaran because, well, because I can’t bring myself to delete him and he’s too much trouble to fix. Maybe some day I’ll dust him off and see if I can’t make a project out of figuring out how to make him fun, but for now, there are toons I actually enjoy playing that still need my attention.

Soulmonger (Gnome Warlock – Demo/Demo) – This is a very confusing toon for me. On the one hand, leveling as a warlock was really great, and soloing as a warlock is just as good. Not quite as much fun as the hunter for soloing (and also less point in it, since I don’t have to go kill things and skin them on this toon), but a lot of fun. Warlocks have some nice and fun buffs (usually one from the pet and the much-coveted Soulstone) and some goodies to share (everyone loves the candied souls of my enemies). On the other hand, my group dps spec isn’t so different in playstyle from my mage (who is better geared and has more sentimental attachment). There is also some residual resentment concerning this toon because Blizzard made me change my name. Originally it was Mixinmatch, but Blizzard decided that this name was both “highly offensive” and “against the spirit of the WoW community” – I don’t know what was so offensive about it and they flatly refused to explain. Perhaps Mixinmatch means “I rape babies, then eat them” in a dialect I’m not familiar with or something. Anyway, I’m still bitter about the whole thing and just seeing my name (or rather, not seeing my chosen name) on the toon still rankles me.

Sneakinstab (Gnome Rogue – Combat) I was never that excited about leveling a rogue. Warcraft rogues never seemed to me to have the flavor or versatility of, say, a Dungeons & Dragons rogue. The whole time I was leveling him, my rogue just felt awkward and underpowered; only effective if you used a clunky and inefficient set of limitations to set up combat, and getting caught flat-footed is disastrous. I’m not sorry that I leveled one, and I certainly won”t be deleting him, but rogues just aren’t my style.

Artemeus {Art-uh-may-us}(Night Elf Druid – Balance/Resto) I had originally intended for Artie to be a Resto/Boomkin at 80, but my sister and I leveled our druids as a pair and we figured things would go smoother with more of a tank/healer type set-up. The thing is, I had so much fun as a bear that I didn’t want to stop. Some abilities – like feral charge (aka “laser bear”) – are just ridiculous amounts of fun. For now I’ve dual-specced him as Resto (tree) and Feral (bear tanking). I dropped cat, seeing as how I wasn’t having too much fun on it, and my tanking spec is close enough to a hybrid build that I can get decent DPS in it just by switching gear. I wouldn’t raid with it, but it’s fine for heroics, although now my bags are ridiculously full of gear (3 full sets). ***UPDATE*** In the interest of freeing up some bag space I went ahead and dropped the bear spec for the boomkin spec I had always intended. Boomkin is seriously fun. I’m going to roll a full feral druid on another server, though: I haven’t given up on bear tanking just yet.

Woodhelm (Dwarf Warrior – Protection/Fury) My latest offering in the great tanking experiment of  ‘010. The warrior is pretty fun, and the lack of heals isn’t as much of a problem as I thought it would be (I just make sure to have a stack of the latest bandages and potions handy at all times). Warriors certainly have a lot of buttons to keep you busy, and they remind me quite a lot of priests and mages, in that they have an ability for every occasion.  That said, the so-called “complexity” of warriors seems to be mostly only related to spec-switching, since there is a surprising difference between your tanking tools and your dps tools. With only one-third to one-half of your buttons usable in any one stance, warriors don’t have nearly as many buttons to use as many so-called “faceroll” classes like hunters and paladins, especially when you’re specializing in one role and/or spec.

Devanyal {Dev-an-yal} (Dranei Shaman – Restoration/Elemental):  I made this toon quite awhile back when I was having so much fun with healing that I wanted to try out all 4 classes.  Thus far he’s pretty fun, but I haven’t done any raiding on him, just heroics. Shaman healing reminds me quite a lot of paladin healing, but with slightly better AoE healing.

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