WoW: Cataclysm Conundrums – Creating New Alts vs. Leveling Your Main Past 80

The release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will undoub
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The release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will undoubtedly be the
cause for much celebration among gamers everywhere, yet
despite the rush of excitement it is without a doubt already causing
some players quite a few headaches. Some of these headaches stem from
small things such as deciding whether one should level their
professions now, or whether they should wait until after Cataclysm
hits. Others come from far larger problems like trying to decide if you
should go to the nearest midnight release party as a Blood Elf or Troll.

The headache I have in mind, however, is of a different sort. The
headache I speak of is regarding the epic battle that is waged in a
player’s mind between leveling their current character, or
starting all over again with a new character. This may seem like an
easy choice to make, but in reality it could be one of the hardest and
most influential choices we as players ever make.  

Giving up your character who has been your representation of yourself
in game for possibly your entire WoW career is no small matter. In fact
if I may be so bold for players like me who are more than a little
attached to their characters, creating a new “main”
is almost like marrying your mistress. Sure she may be hotter, younger,
and make the game fresh, but how long will the novelty really last?

And even if you aren’t torn by feelings of nostalgia
regarding your old character, the daunting task of not only starting
out again level wise, but also having to level up your various
professions along the way can serve to turn away even the most hardcore
player. That said, never is there a better time to make the
switch than at the cusp of a new expansion, especially one that brings
new races, race / class combos, and a whole new leveling experience to
the table.

So what is a player to do? The choice is ultimately up to you, however
there are pros and cons to each decision that could help to sway you in
one direction or the other. Below are a few of the pros and cons of
each option laid out in the hopes that you can better make your final

Old Character


  • Minimal Leveling
  • Can experience end game
    content faster
  • Will be able to enjoy the
    leveling experience with the majority of your in game friends
  • Already familiar with the


  • Stuck with the same old
  • Competing with the masses
    for mob spawns and quests
  • End game content could
    quickly become old

New Character


  • Character gets a whole new
  • New zones and quests to
  • Leveling easier than ever in
  • Less congestion and
    competition for quests in low level zones


  • Starting over at level 1
  • Re-leveling Professions
  • Longer wait before end game
    content is reached
  • Difficulty getting groups

After reviewing the above list perhaps you have finally made your

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Will you be putting your
old toon
out to pasture?

choice, or perhaps you could still be engaged in an internal debate on
which course of action is right for you. Regardless of which side of
the fence you find yourself on once your
choice is made, you may find
yourself with some regrets. Don’t panic, these feelings are
perfectly normal, and to help you stem the tide of possible regret,
below are some suggestions to help you continue to feel like your
choice was the right one.

If you decide to make a new

  • Don’t take on the
    challenge of starting over yourself. Try to find a group of other
    players (preferably your friends) to take on the challenge with you.

  • Prepare as many materials
    (including gold) as possible which will allow you to easily and quickly
    level your Professions.

  • If you are changing to a
    class you have never played before do some research before hand. Having
    an idea of how to play your character will make the transition easier.

If you decide to stick with
your current character:

  • A change of race, faction,
    or overall appearance can help to give your character a fresh new feel.
    Don’t forget – you’ll have the option to
    do a paid racial switch to the new goblin and worgen races if you would
    like to play one, but don’t want to deal with starting back
    at level 1.

  • Pace yourself. Sure
    it’s great to be the first to get to the new end game
    content, but it’s not great to be the first burnt out on it.

  • Play an alt. Not only will
    the change of character help dispel your boredom but the leveling grind
    should be enough to make you glad you don’t have to do it on
    your main.

No matter what choice you make we here at Ten Ton Hammer hope that it
turns into an amazing gaming experience. And in the event that it
doesn’t, remember, in the gaming world change is always
possible no matter how unrealistic it may seem. Whether you decide to
rethink your decision mid-expansion, or decide to wait it out till the
next  (crosses fingers) expansion pack, the choice to make a
change is, and will always be yours.

For those of you wondering, I personally will be among the ranks of
those who are sticking with my old musty character. Even though the
temptation to switch at times has been great, I can’t seem to
let go. Join us on our forums and share what character you will be
starting Cataclysm with. Will it be your trusty character from way
back, or a fresh new face to go with changed landscape of

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About The Author

Amunet, also fondly known as Memtron, is an organic life form best known for its ongoing obsession with Blizzard Entertainment's numerous properties. To that end, Amu has authored hundreds (thousands?) of the most popular World of Warcraft guides, editorials, and Top 10 lists on the planet. When not gaming and writing, Amu is busy chasing after her three children in a perpetual loop of ongoing disaster.

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