The Pros and Cons of Alts

Alt characters give players the chance to experience other classes and organizations of the role playing games. They also provide the option of using the alternative character to have a break from the main character you’ve established.

In this article, I'm going to explore the pros and cons have having an alt character in Achaea, the MUD game.

1. I need a break!

PRO: Having an alternative character to switch to can be a blessing whenever you need a break from your main rpg character. There are times when it can become a bit stressful, especially if your character is in leadership, and you deserve a break. It’s nice to have a character to fall back to whenever you need a breather from your main.

CON: Like it or not, but using an alternative character to break from your main, is technically not a break. It is entirely understandable to actually take a break from the games themselves. Read a book, relax, give a few days to yourself (or longer) to go somewhere and do something unrelated to the games.

2. Oooh! A new class to experience!

PRO: Trying a new rpg class may have you on the fence about switching your main. After all, you’ve worked hard to get them to the point they’re currently at. The answer is simple; create an alternate character to get a general idea of the mechanics of the class.

CON: You may not want to change your main due to the lesson and time investment. The truth? You are still spending time on the alt and you are still investing into it, perhaps more than you would when it comes to a simple class change on your main.

3. The grass is greener on the other side

PRO: Wonder what the enemies live like? Or what it’s like to participate in a different rpg organization? You could make yourself an alt and join one of the rpg organizations that has your interest sparked. Alternative characters give you this opportunity to keep your main where they are and experience something new.

CON: Despite the fact you passed up an excellent opportunity to role play changing organizations, you also put yourself at risk. Having alternative characters is one thing, but it becomes risky when you have them in an enemy organization or even in the same organization. It would be coming very close to crossing the linesthat were in place for alternative characters. You also may be accused of "gaining information" and the like.



There you have it! If you feel like you're becoming bored with one way of role playing and want to experience something new, consider creating an alt character. So think about it, how many alt pros and cons can you think of?

Natalie Womble is a text game enthusiast who enjoys the best role playing games from Iron Realms.


Shihai's picture
3:54 AM

Seems like it could be fun! However, on the same note, I would feel like I am missing out on time with my main.

Beya's picture
10:21 AM

The biggest negative of alts existing in the first place is that players don't treat newbies as newbies. There is a high level of suspicion whenever someone new joins a house as to whether or not they are an alt.

This is mostly because alts are throwaway and can tend to be unstable and unpredictable.

Ada's picture
11:52 AM

I've had some alts who simply RP'd to be novices. That was amazing.

Daslin's picture
12:20 AM

Well, depends really, whether or not you're super attached to your main.

Lothenshal's picture
1:46 AM

Alts are nothing but trouble.

Nona's picture
7:00 PM

First of all, not many people would bother to spend time on alts beyond the point of testing the new class and such. In general i consider them to be poor RP on the side of person doing it, since i would feel problematic knowing something that can't fall on my ears the normal way. Achaea loses it's charm that way, although i am tempted to having a life differently... That's not something i'd create an alt for, though. I love my character to live by choices and consequences.

Lisbethae's picture
2:20 PM

I disagree with your first point. I know many people who have two or three very well developed alts, and some in the past (Tenebrus/Saltaern as he told us when he stopped playing completely) were excellent at both personalities.

I agree with the poor RP point, 1000%. No typo, one thousand percent. I love my character as well, and living through the hard times AND good times, working to be the change that I think should happen (rather than giving up and making an alt) has taught me a lot about humanity, the way societies work and how organisations work as well.

Nona's picture
8:15 AM

It is true. There are some well-developed alts out there. But in the end, keep in mind that the day has 24 hours and the time a person can spend on either one character cannot exceed that. Actually, noone spends 24 hours, but to the point. If you have a developed alt, then a significant part of the time you could use your main to get more gold, xp, make friends, do a couple shinanigans, spend in combat training or whatever goes to the alt playing time. The situation gets more confusing if an organization you care about doesn't do as well as it should and you need to spend more time helping them out. In the end, a candle that burns twice as bright will burn out twice as fast, and the person who has such an alt/alts will be more likely to go dormant or leave forever.

Anarwaen's picture
6:48 AM

...actually, during Great Hunts, certain Icon wars, and bouts of severe insomnia, there have been times when I've been in-realms for over 24 straight hours. Some of us are just -that- attached to our characters! I do agree about the inherent problems of overalting, though... one simply cannot devote enough time to both, in many cases. Personally I've always been far too connected to Anarwaen to be able to play an alt for more than about ten minutes of 'hey look, the experience bar actually moves again'!

Xinna's picture
3:15 PM

24 hours is crazy.

Kahlev's picture
5:08 AM

I like alts because when I get bored of bashing the same class over and over again it allows me to do something different instead of just garrote all day long. ha

Selira's picture
7:09 AM

If you alt, you have to fully embrace the ideals of whatever group you join. It can be a break, if your main is stressful, and novice work comes easily to you. It can be a great help, though.

Oceana's picture
9:17 AM

If you make an alt, be beliefworthy. It is fine to be smart and know a lot very fast, but don't talk about personal experience in events that took place before you were born...

Kurios's picture
4:06 PM

I have some issue with alts, mostly because people have some issues with keeping thier mouth shut or ideas seperate when a house or city has secrets, or plans affecting one another. Also a pain when you have alts in two cities at war, after all, why should you favor one?

Gwene's picture
6:08 PM

I agree with your statement but really you should favor the side that your main resides in rather than your alts.

Kurios's picture
7:47 PM

Heh, yah, but some people seem to be incapable of doing such. Or they make alts just to spy for thier mains.. HELP SECONDS...

Ariafel's picture
3:13 AM

That, or when people use their past experience to their advantage... information and whatnot. Oh, another important fact: when they try to be on the good side of an alt and or main character's House/Org (and abuses this relationship). Okay. I know that some people don't like RPing as much as other people, but seriously?

Masaryk's picture
1:15 PM

Agreed. I always feel strange talking to certain people if I know they have an alt with completely different ideals than me.

Aktillum's picture
10:08 PM

Alts should be kept totally secret. If I find out someone has an alt in an enemy org, I'm more wary around them. If you let your alt names slip than what other info do you let slip to your circle of friends?


Yilkon's picture
5:49 AM

I think rather than choosing an alt that is either opposed to strongly related to your main is a bit of a trap, better to chose a path that is completely unrelated to your main. That way you get to talk to different people and have a much smaller risk of unconsciously passing on information that your main shouldn't know.

Fluid's picture
4:05 PM

I agree. Though I'm an alt, technically, I don't consider myself as an alt, really.

Sorcha's picture
12:11 AM

I'm technically an alt, but I try to live life as the alt in a different way than my main. Sure, there are some mutual friends, as its a small world after all, but different families, different ideals, different values lead to different lifestyle choices, and the two characters don't cross paths which makes conflicts of interest unlikely.

Halos's picture
6:12 PM

it can be frustrating interacting with poorly played alts particularly in an rp heavy house. Upside: Shallow learning curve, they zoom right through training reqs. Downside: they're highly disposable, and oftentimes not worth forming relationships with. They'll be gone tomorrow.

Madelyne's picture
7:29 PM

My problem is that my main character (Madelyne) is omni-trans with all three major travel artefacts, so by the time an alt loses portals I'm too bored and lazy to go any further and they wind up getting purged by the time I remember that I had them, for the most part.

Darroth's picture
7:38 PM

Alts are a good ways to fulfill ooc desires to play with friends, experience a new atmosphere and adopt a different roleplay. That said, I do think it's better for the game to keep alts to a minimum. Having multiple alts can really detract the player from contributing to the game, in my opinion.

Morro's picture
12:33 AM

I've never been able to keep a main and an alt at the same time. One always wins over the other because I simply can't devote as much time as I would like to them both.

Berenene's picture
4:38 AM

I could never commit full time to an alt. I've always made them, played a little and suicided them afterwards. Not sure why

Rangor's picture
8:48 AM

Too much work to get an alt into action.

how r u?

Kensei's picture
9:08 AM

I could never stop bashing Minia over and over again! Looking at new classes is always refreshing...

But commiting to a new House is a big issue and I would agree with Beya and Halos on this, therefore I would keep my alt rogue!

Sherazad's picture
6:46 PM

It's too much effort if you want to RP on alts too. I think they are better only when you want break from RP. Just don't involve them in stuff that would tempt you to metagame significantly.

Little ones, they scream like bunnies~

Masaryk's picture
2:43 AM

Precisely my thoughts on the matter

Masaryk's picture
1:32 AM

I would feel like I'm cheating on my main character, although I see the benefits and why some people would do it. When it really comes down to it, I just don't have the time.

Sophy's picture
6:10 PM

I feel I don't have enough time to dedicate to my character as is. Splitting that time just seems like a waste given how much time raising a new character up would take.

Also if your alt gets friends or family? It could get difficult to keep up with both lives. I think one character is enough.

Clark's picture
6:11 AM

It's not a break at all, even if the first five or so minutes feel like it. Every alt I've ever played got abandoned, because they really didn't give me the break I wanted.

Kand's picture
6:02 PM

It's so depressing as a new player to work so hard at trying to improve my character (which granted is still very young, like 23) and then see an 18 year old who is 1000% my might and ranked 700.... I can only imagine this annoys the heck out of people who have been playing longer than me.

Eiredhel's picture
6:58 PM

Agreed. I'm only 19 yet all the 18 year olds can kick my butt. Makes me want to bite people.

Vivia's picture
3:52 PM

Try as I may, I can never seem to devote as much time to an alt as I would like. It's not for lack of enjoyment, as trying out new abilities is great fun, but there's sense of guilt for friends I've made and accidentally end up abandoning because of the lack of time. Plus, who wants to be 18 again? You're not going to be taken very seriously for years!

Athorem's picture
6:38 AM

I cannot honestly say that I've never been overcome by the temptation to make an alt and try out different classes, but I don't really like the idea of alting and haven't joined any houses. I leart my main skills, bashed a bit, said 'Meh.' and suicided. Alts just aren't my thing. Ages since I made one.

Grimalda's picture
11:04 AM

I wouldn't mind trying a different class.

Skylana's picture
2:15 AM

I'm still dedicated to my main character, but having played Achaea for about a decade, the atmosphere can become lackluster and more difficult to appreciate. I disagree with a number of the above comments in that I encourage the use of alts to renew interest in factional and everyday role play as you immerse yourself in the role of an outsider looking in. I regain a lot of the energy required for a zealot, and take advantage of the opportunities that arise in leadership.

Tinta's picture
12:22 PM

Having the burdens of "real life" plus the need to excel in your Acchaean house, build relationships, and amass a fortune in sales or defeat your opponent in a political race, and you want to do that again in an unrelated part of the same world?

Ehrlen's picture
5:55 PM

I enjoy having alts, especially in different cities of the game-world. It also can get monotonous playing the same class every day... with the IRE membership, there is also almost an incentive to have more characters.

Melodie's picture
12:18 AM

I agree with what many have been saying - the "smart" newbies tend to get the "oh, just an alt" tag, which kind of sucks in the long run. The few times I've played newbies, I try to at least ask a couple questions. It helps when.. you know, I actually need to know those questions, anyway!

Synove's picture
12:10 AM

I think an Alt or 2 can really help one understand their main character better. Especially when it comes to combat, necessary items, strengths, weaknesses, etc. if they are a different class. It can get tricky. I try not to have alts on opposing sides of a war between houses or cities, etc. because you can't forget what you know of the other side of the conflict. It could be thought of as a conflict of interest. Not that one can't walk the line, just personally I don't.

Aliath's picture
7:50 AM

Make a char on another IRE game, a lot of the basics are still the same, and you get a break from everything else

Christelle's picture
1:29 PM

Having alternate characters lets me RP personalities or situations that my main character would never do/find themself in. So, when I make alts, I try to focus more on role-playing with them than grinding up levels or learning every class skill.

Koltar's picture
1:16 AM

It seems like whenever I make an alternate character in any RPG, I start to focus more on that character and less time on my main one... Never a good thing.

Jacen's picture
5:10 PM

Just made my first alt about a week ago... have to say I haven't put much time into him at all, but I have good ideas for what I want him to do... I just can't spare the time away from my main

Lyris's picture
12:02 PM

I think alts would be a great tool for a brand new player to try on different organizations. The huge con to this idea is that the true newbie is often overwhelmed at the complexity of this world and the detail of the syntax involved. In addition, they are more concerned with gaining enough might to get out of the newbie areas and into the wider world than working on understanding the requirements of several houses and orders. It took me about four main characters over a period of years off and on to get over the hump and actually enjoy this experience.

Kestyn's picture
9:34 AM

for one character, let a lone an army of alts!

Kaelian's picture
7:44 PM

I tried playing an alt, but I really enjoy spending a lot of time RP-ing my main and flushing out my character in a wide array of areas

Tow's picture
10:47 AM

My main character is already time consuming enough!
I rather take a break outside the game.
And there is also the option of experiencing new things with the same char.
That's why Sentinel Tow of Eleusis also is a dance student in the Academie of Fine Arts in Cyrene

Exelethril's picture
3:03 AM

The problem with alts, you're technically splitting your focus, so logically, you'll probably end up with a bunch of mediocre characters rather than one really "good character".

Tsair's picture
11:53 PM

It took me a while to really get into Achaea, so when I started, I just was never satisfied with my character. I think I lost about five or six, leaving and coming back >< When I actually started, it was during the Eclipse, heh.
Even my Main started as an alt, but now that I've settled in, and I'm happy to be only one person, I realize how much time I wasted by jumping around so much. I think having an alt really does ruin the experience, because it either encourages you to divide your time away from your identity, or it just takes up needless space that you never log on to.

Tzond's picture
6:12 PM

I started off in Achaea with one main character and I class hopped so many times that I had almost no skills when I finally found a class I liked. That's when I started using alts

Juliana's picture
9:44 PM

waste of time. alts.

Naheem's picture
5:11 AM

I personally love the process of creating a character. You have so many different choices; race, class, city.. I read over each and every help scroll and pick the one that best suits my image of the character. I really like how the skill help scrolls give a list of all the abilities you can learn and many times, there are a couple very interesting skillsets that I just want to try out but can't since it'll take a lot of time and effort to accumulate the lessons needed by leveling. However, I sometimes hesitate in making an alt since I know I might just suicide it after a few days and that might be bad rp. Perhaps I won't join any organisations until I get a feel for the alt.

Sryn's picture
1:45 AM

Alts becomes mains.

Azrial's picture
3:32 PM

I agree I have many alts that have become my main and it's kind of bad because I never go as far as I would like on any or my characters because I keep switching

Tierny's picture
5:03 AM

Tierny is not my first, but I did start playing like 13 years ago. I created Tierny as a way to return to Achaea after several RL years of not playing. While I was very framiliar with a lot of aspects of the game, there were many elements of the game that had changed, and starting out fresh was a good way for me to get back into it. I think if you make a committment to RP well, and have set ideals and really sink into a character and think like them and have them react in a way that makes sense for them, then having alts can be very rewarding. That being said, Tierny has become a main for me, and my older character only pops by occasionaly.

Maefeng's picture
6:55 PM

Well, as a player who has 12 permanent characters in Achaea (and only those 12 characters, period), I've had my share of experiences in different bodies. I have alts for different purposes, and, as I've said in other comments, I have many classes under my belt. Of course, Maefeng is my main character and the Queen of my characters.