Friday, March 6, 2009

On Having Two Accounts...

Last March I bought a second WoW account. It was my son's birthday. He's at that weird age where he's hard to buy for. He gets all A's and B's in school. Good kid. Too old for most toys; too young for anything really serious. He had been playing WoW quite a bit and gotten a mage up into the 30s or 40s (at the time) ... I think. But... I couldn't really help him out. Yeah... I could toss him some gold or scan the auction house for an item or two, but not really help.

Enter the second account. It was given as a birthday gift, but it wasn't for his exclusive use. He wouldn't have the password, but it would allow us to play together, run instances (me blitzing mostly), and do some direct helping. At the time, I had my 70 Hunter and my 70 Warlock. My Druid was just a baby. (NOTE: This was all done before Refer-A-Friend was an option.)

So... the second account was created. After some discussion about what to do, we decided to move my Warlock to the second account. The Warlock was a tailor/enchanter so it made sense. Remember this was before the days of enchanting Vellum. Having him on the 2nd account meant that I could directly enchant my own items simply by having both accounts logged in on different computers. Warlocks make excellent low-level instance blitzers. Round up a bunch of mobs with the voidwalker and Seed of Corruption the snot out of them. It was fun making big piles of mobs in places.

As an ulterior motive in this whole thing was my desire to get my Druid up to 70 before the expansion. With that character, I could be either a tank or a healer, whatever the guild needed. (Again... this was before Balance was a "real" spec, so it was just really those two options.) I had tried a Paladin, but didn't like it and couldn't bear -- no pun -- the thought of getting that character to 80. *shudder*

Now that a year has passed, I got to looking back at this experience and learned a few things:

  1. I *hated* dual boxing. Putting a toon on /follow and running low-level instances alone for XP is about the most boring thing you can do in WoW. I did it a half-dozen times for my Druid and couldn't stomach it any more.
  2. I *liked* helping my son. He and I could rip through places pretty quickly. We had a system down where he'd lock mobs in place with Frost Nova while my DoTs and SoC was ticking. We just tore stuff up.
  3. Until the expansion, managing your characters on two different computers sucks. If you have two fast/good computers, it's no sweat. If you have one *really* good computer and an aging laptop, it's a marginal nightmare. You can't really mess with your UI on the laptop because it can't take the add-ons. If you mess with your bars in one place, it messed up the other. Add-ons? Forget it. Macros... they weren't stored by Blizzard, they were stored locally. Another nightmare.
  4. If you have a good enough computer with enough RAM, you can run two instances (probably more) of WoW on the same machine.
  5. Having one Blizzard Authenticator with two accounts is enough, although kind of a pain. At $6 a pop -- if they're in stock -- I'd probably recommend just getting two and labelling them for the proper account.

When WotLK came out, the boy swapped over to a Death Knight. He had gotten the Mage to 63 (?) by then and I thought it was a real waste to start over, but having his own 55+ earned him a character slot in my book. The DK is now almost 71 and he's hit Northrend. The biggest issue now is that we'll probably have to drop another $25 to move characters. His DK is on the first account, and since I got my druid to 80, too, that means there will soon be 3 80s on that account and my lonely 70+ Warlock on the 2nd. Oh... the horror. :)

Just thought I'd get down -- however boringly -- my thoughts on second accounts.


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