Confession: I don’t want to gear my alts. Don’t get me wrong… I want to play them. It would be fun, but I don’t want to have them geared enough that I could possibly raid with them. Short of purposely destroying loot, it would be very hard not to get raid-ready for ICC-10 (given the new instances, badge gear, etc.) But I don’t wanna!
2 toon rule – alt raids
As a healer, I’m very sensitive about healer burnout. As such, I want the healers in the guild to have the opportunity to DPS, Tank, or do whatever their little hearts desire occasionally. I’ve seen too many healers say “screw this, I’m only playing my mage” because they just can’t take the stress of always having to attend the raid or it won’t happen, and to get all the healer-grief dumped on them.
At the same time, the guild was sometimes struggling to fill raids with the right class balance, and we wanted to do 2 raid ID’s but recognized that we might need to use an alt or 2 to fill out the 2nd raid ID. So we created the 2-toon raiding rule.
The 2-toon rule stated simply that you could only have 2 raiding toons. We’re not gonna run your 4th alt through Naxx. 2 toons are beneficial for the guild for role versatility and filling out a 2nd ID. More than 2 is overkill and dilutes loot.
My preference on this would have been for the 2-toon rule to dictate that your 2 toons had to be different roles… such as 1 tank, 1 dps. But ultimately that idea was scrapped because we don’t have required specs, and some hybrids had 2 equally good specs and gear sets.
The Babynaxx Experiment
Around this same time, the hubby and I were running Naxx for the newer guild members and filling out the raids with alts. At the time, pre-TOC, it was the only way to gear up for Ulduar without farming a ridiculous amount of badges.
In theory, an alt run would work great and help with healer/tank burnout. One would think that the tanks and healers would roll DPS alts, and the DPS would roll tank/healer alts, thereby making the ratios still work out. Instead, the dps mostly rolled DPS alts, with few exceptions.
I was all excited to blow off some steam on the baby elemental shaman. What ended up happening is that I was asked to heal on the shaman or bring my main (priest, at the time) – or the raid wouldn’t happen.
My choices were to be deliberately obstinate and have raids be canceled, or suck it up and heal for the greater good. I chose the latter. Eventually I started just bringing the priest since I don’t like healing with the shaman, and I was never able to DPS.
Now my Priest is no longer my main. My druid is my main – still a healer. From doing TOC, badge gear, etc, my druid basically caught up to my priest in gear, so without detriment to the guild, I was able to easily swap out a healer for a healer, both similarly geared.
It was my intention for the druid to be my main, as a true hybrid, equal in healing and DPS, and my gear in both sets was equal. Obviously, I am tasked for healing, and have DPSed once in a blue moon.
When it came time for a 2nd ID, I was asked to shake the dust off the priest (who was appropriately geared for content), and heal with the priest.
Here’s the thing. I LIKE healing with the priest. I LIKE healing with the druid. But I do NOT like healing the same damn content twice in a week. I didn’t level 2 toons for 2 raid ID’s so I could do the same damn thing in every raid. I don’t care if you task me as a DPS-cat or a DPS-shadow… but I draw the line at healing 2 raid ID’s a week so that Mr. Hunter-come-lately can also gear his mage. This 2-toon thing was only adding to my healer burnout, not alleviating it.
And my willingness to heal for the “greater good” was only exacerbating the problem. If the raid leaders move heaven and earth to procure healers at any cost, and never cancel raids due to DPS bloat, then the DPS does not get the message that it might be beneficial to the guild to do something else with their raiding alt. They won’t have any incentive to quit being selfish (yes, I said it, selfish) if raids continue to be furnished for their DPS alt convenience.
It wasn’t just raids, either. It was 5 mans. If the druid was locked out of HTOC, I would be asked to bring the priest. And of course, I want my guildies to get gear, I’ll help them. (With the new dungeon system and randoms ignoring lockouts, at least this is less of a problem.)
Post 3.3 I have geared the crap outta the druid. I have geared both sets. I have purposely neglected the priest and let the gear fall behind. I can no longer heal raiding content with 2 toons, just one.
I hate to retire the priest and the shaman, but I don’t want to get healer burnout. I don’t want to level a pure DPS toon as an alt to solve this problem. I don’t want to get rid of my healing off-specs. I shouldn’t have to.
It’s not my inability to say no, because I can and do. What I don’t want is to be the cog in the machine, without which the machine won’t work. I don’t even want to be in the position of saying “no” to healing a 2nd raid, a 5 man where my main’s locked out, etc, knowing that if I say no, the event won’t happen. I don’t want to even have that power to make my guildies happy by doing something that I don’t want to do.
So for now, the alts sit idle.