Seven weeks after we started our Horde side project (leveling being friendly to frequent pauses and sudden stops), my wife happened to walk by my computer while I had my character select screen up.
“What are all those Horde characters?!” she said.
“Oh! Well, here’s my auction house alt, and my grinding alt, and–”
“I thought this Horde thing was a side project?”
Blink blink. “It is.”
“Are we giving up our Alliance toons?”
“No! But we’ll need support for our horde mains, too.”
“Our L32 mains?”
“We’re going to need gold for epic mounts and–”
She didn’t actually say anything to interrupt me, but her look cut me off. It’s the “you’re missing the point” look.
“Um… yeah,” I said.
She’s right, of course. Without even realizing it, I had begun duplicating the entire infrastructure that I have in place to support our Alliance mains. Crafting alts, auction house alts, and so on. That blink blink above is my brain suddenly becoming aware of a pattern I hadn’t seen before.
I mean, these horde characters are going to be left behind when the expansion comes out, maybe even sooner than that. And even though I know that these characters are going to be left behind, and perhaps never touched again… I’ve learned so much about this game, how to make some parts much easier by expending a little effort in non-obvious ways, that I can’t help doing so. I have to apply that knowledge. I need the infrastructure in place.
And so I log onto my horde auction house alt while I’m bleary eyed in the early morning, and dutifully peck at the AH to build a reserve of gold for epic ground mounts.
Just in case these characters ever get to that point.
After explaining it in this way, my wife understood perfectly. After all, her rogue was a max level Jewelcrafter on day one of the profession’s release. That was fun for both of us, from researching and planning through painful grinding of mats right up to the hour of glorious implementation. When the gates of Outland opened, everyone rushed Hellfire Peninsula. We rushed Exodar, because that’s where the easiest Jewelcrafting trainer is. We stood next to a couple of other people who did the same thing. The fellow crafters all smiled at each other, sharing an understanding of the moment without speaking. Their friends or guild or family or even just themselves would not want for a Jewelcrafter, not one day. Their infrastructure, what they felt they needed to be successful in the game, would be in place.
Likewise, my priest will be a max level Scribe (Inscription) on day one of that profession’s release.
In the past, I’ve scoffed at people who race to max character level, bypassing what I consider to be the beautiful leveling process. In truth, I’m just like these people–I don’t share that compulsion, but I have a couple of my own: the gold one, the crafting one.
Do you have a game compulsion?