I don’t have a link to any formal definition for this term, but I will loosely describe it.
Alt-itis (most of the time the hypen is not present, but it is a conjunction of sorts, so I put it there) is the sum of two parts. The first portion of the word is “Alt”, which in MMO terms means an “alternate character”. Meaning a secondary character aside from your “Main”. A main is typically the first character you create on a server in an MMO, and is typically your highest level character. This can vary, when an Alt becomes a Main because you simply like the new character better, and/or out level your main. But I digress. The second portion of the word is “itis”, which is typcially used to describe diseases, as in gingivitis etc., and essentially means “something that ails you”.
Putting these two words together would mean that you have an issue with alternate characters. I.E. having too many, not having enough character slots, deleting toons and making new ones, playing on multiple servers, and not having enough time in general to get anything done with any of them. Do you have alt-itis? I do.
I didn’t have alt-itis at first. No, when I started my first main, I played that toon and only that toon for a long time. Granted, I lacked the knowledge of the game I do now and I had no desire to play an alt until I learned what some of the other classes could do. PvP played a factor in my alt-itis… mainly because I ended up playing on two different servers with alts on each. Some alts made the cut, some didn’t. Having only 6 character slots becomes a burden when you want more characters than you’re allowed. Eventually, all of my alts were deleted in favor of my new (and current) main.
I thought I was over my alt-itis. I played my main well into his 50s without ever creating another character. But my guild at the time began to disintegrate, and with little to no outside friends, boredom took its toll. Paladins aren’t created for soloing, and in the 50s I needed help to get most anything done. So I created a Necromancer, hoping that his soloability would be sufficient that I wouldn’t need people around to help me level. I still played my Paladin, and I did make some friends here and there. Eventually I desired to have at least one character at level 70, something I had yet to do. So I was back to my Paladin full time, and a couple months later I was 70. Then at 70 the task of getting 100 AP was at hand, and I continued to play. Not wanting to go through all of the trouble again, my Necro was deleted.
Again, I was cured. I played my Paladin non-stop, constantly pushing for gear, questing for achievement xp, and hoping one day to raid. Shortly after I turned 70, my guild completely disbanded, and I was off searching for a new one. I joined a rather large guild, hoping that my raiding fantasies would be fulfilled. They were not, and I jumped ship for another guild that could meet their promises. I currently reside with said guild, and I have raided quite a bit.
The problem has arisen again. I am now a hair away from 100 AP. I have finished all but approximately 10 quests in my journal, all of which either require a raid to finish, or I have just been too lazy to do. When there isn’t a raid going on, I am hard pressed to find something to do. Some would suggest tradeskilling, and though I am a level 43 woodworker and I wouldn’t mind hitting 70, it’s a huge timesink and not all that entertaining. Others would have other suggestions, and most I have done, tried, or didn’t bother with, and still have the same feelings. When I log on, if there isn’t a raid, I just don’t feel like playing my main.
Some people play their main and only their main, and I can’t comprehend that. I suppose this is a symptom of the disease. After having tanked for 70 levels, and a long time thereafter, I grew tired of it. Because the rule of thumb is, if you have a good tank, you’ll have a crappy healer. If you have a good healer, you’ll have a crappy tank. If you have a good tank and healer, then the dps will be lacking in skill, etc. Also, when you do finally get to raiding level, you will find that some classes are less desireable than others, and that healers/dps are ALWAYS needed. So I rolled a Defiler, hoping that when I got to raiding level that I would pretty much always be needed. Not to mention being needed throughout the leveling process. The unfortunate part is, that even being needed, some level ranges have a low population, thusly I have soloed all of his 27 levels. Really, soloing is common all the way into the 50s, and it pretty much sucks as a healer. So, dijected, I rolled a Brigand. The Brigand is loads of fun, can solo effectively, and I know will be almost as needed as a healer. I think my Brig will be my second toon to 70, and may possibly become my main if my goals are met before the expansion arrives in November.
What I’m curious about, is whether or not you have alt-itis? Feel free to share your comments.