Since my playing time is curtailed at the moment, I’ve spent some time thinking about gamey stuff (and I don’t mean venison) instead.
Like, for instance: what if I couldn’t have alts anymore? What if, instead, I had to retire character A(lly) before I could make character B(essie)? Bessie would have some advantages Ally didn’t have (skills, stuff, buffs, whatever, the specifics aren’t that important), but Ally would be gone forever, or at least inactive on my character select.
You can gussy that up in various ways, like having subsequent characters be descendants of the first, and so on. I’m pretty sure that if this doesn’t already exist in a game, it’s been suggested many times by bloggers and others. I’m not claiming originality of ideas, here — I’m just wondering what I, as an altoholic, would do. Would the lure of “better stuffz0rz!!” be enough to convince me to retire the first character? Or would I just continue to play that character, pining for the ability to have alts?
In all likelihood, if the game was good enough, I’d probably do what we had to do in SWG back in the 1-char-per-server days, which was to get another account — but it’s another account, not the same account, and therefore not one where you can easily hand out “heirloom” style goodies the way many games do now. Having multiple accounts has its perks but in some ways I find it unsatisfying (not to mention more expensive under the standard subs model) — the characters on one account form a sort of gestalt, a family, even if they’re on different servers and even if they’re not related in terms of backstory. My first EQ2 (and other) account characters are definitely very distinct in my mind from the second, more recent account characters — who to me are definitely noobs who have to prove that they’re as fun as the first lot before I’ll take them seriously.
Course, none of these altoholic issues would be issues if one could only have one character at a time.
Personally, I think my head would do a Linda Blair and then explode. Once an altoholic, always an altoholic…