When I started this blog, almost a year and-a-half ago, I was starting to get burnt out on playing the Alliance. Yes, I'd been named an Officer in the 10-man raiding guild I'd joined with my main (my F&F guild had done Kara runs with them for the last few months of BC). I was raiding Naxx weekly, clearing it even, but I wasn't having fun anymore. In part, due to the never ending thanklessness of having to swap in my healer whenever we needed a third healer, then getting attitude from the main spec healers for having the nerve to ever roll on gear.
After becoming a core raider and an officer in a 10-man guild, only to
watch it fall apart due to a lack of leadership + an inability to make
and act on decisions + interpersonal dramas of the kind a married man
with children shouldn't be having with a lady officer old enough to know
better, I was over it. Over with playing my druid. Over with the drama
from the folks I'd known and played with on that server for three years.
It was about this time, I started spending more time on the horde. I leveled up my long neglected shadow priest, and transferred her to a server to play with some WoW Ladies. She hit 80 and had her crafted gear waiting for her, and started the reputation grind while PUGing heroics as often as she could. This coincided with her horde guild finally having enough geared up mains to consider running Naxx 10. Which is how I became one of those persons with two raiding mains. Which was the last thing I'd intended.
I went from having a couple of nights per week raiding on my toon of three years, to doing that plus spending my weekend mornings raiding on a toon that was the equivalent of being my alt. Yes, I'd played a shadow priest for months Alliance-side, raiding Karazhan, and yes I'd made this character several years prior, but she'd never been a focus.
I had the advantage of having cleared Naxxaramas on both a healer and a DPS character and farming the content for a few months prior to jumping in with both feet horde-side. But I still had to spend time researching the best/most appropriate gear upgrades, how to optimize my performance on the bosses, and special tasks I'd likely be called upon to do, like cleanse disease on Heigan after dancing my heart out.
I loved the challenge of getting her up-to-speed. But as we all know, there's only so much time in the week. I have a pretty demanding full time job, so that's not a place where I could slack. I can't even read gaming related content on the Web there if I have 5 minutes thanks to the firewall. No, the place where I cut back was my Alliance raiding main. I became that guildie who only logged on for raids, or for holiday activities.
Splitting my week between two characters left me feeling as though neither of them got my full attention. I needed to do dailies and farm in two places now to have the flasks and repair cash I needed. And I wanted to get to know my new horde guildies and become an active, productive member of the guild.
After a good solid month of raiding on the shadow priest when they had a spot open, I made my decision. I said goodbye to my newly-forged motorcycle and my main of three years, and became full time horde.
Maybe it would have been possible to have continued splitting my time between both raids for longer. But I'm not happy being an adequate player. I want to excel at my class, excel within my role. And that takes both butt-in-seat time, to gain that situational experience, and it takes some planning and theorycrafting. And at a certain point, you need to pick a focus to avoid becoming a jack of all trades, master of none.
This is also why I never seriously pursue raiding on my alts. Yes, over the years I have drug a number of alts through a ton of content as time has allowed. But other than in vanilla, when my frost mage was in one of our two alt MC raids every week, I've never made it a priority. Although I have done a good job on my alts, I've not found I've been able to do an exceptional job on them. That's only been possible with my main characters, whomever they may be at the time.
Coming from this POV I've been surprised to see how many of our recent applications, as we've progressed through ICC content (11/12 in 10-man, 6/12 in 25) have been alts. Alts of raiders Alliance-side on our server or others, who think it would be fun to join us and raid with their often not-yet-raid-ready alts. I struggle with this.
On the one hand, I know we can certainly use some extra raiders in key positions, but having been there and done that, when I see those who have stated outright they have no intention of leaving their Alliance homes expressing interest in our raids, I do wonder how long such an interest would hold. And, frankly, I wonder if they will be able to perform as well on an alt in our raids as our mains perform, or as well as they perform on their own mains. Even in guild where swapping in alts for specific roles is the status quo, it's been a rarity that I've seen main-worthy performance from a person's sideburner toon. I'm hoping to be proven wrong, spectacularly, on this.
Should I tire of the purple lazers of death, I'll quietly put Anexxia on the back burner and move on to the next character, not try to draw things out by having a foot in two camps. It's great if it works for others to split their attentions, but for me, I'd rather not.