Alt Friendliness

Each expansion is pitched as being alt friendly, but they end being more unfriendly than the last.

At this point it’s just a buzzword and when you hear it you know to expect that if you want alt you should probably bite the bullet and multibox if you want to maintain multiple characters.

Looking at Shadowlands specifically, I’d like to go over the systems that were and were not alt friendly to give an overview:

Alt Friendly:

Renown: The fact it was weekly gated was really good for an expansion level power system. With all the previous AP systems there was an immense amount of social pressure both put on yourself (from striving to be more competitive and gaining more power) and from external forces (guild requirements for some really weird guilds that aren’t even competing on the high end) that made you want to farm endlessly. Saving players from themselves was a very good move.

Archivist Rep Grinding: The fact that all of the key rewards were account-wide when you unlocked it was great.

Not Alt Friendly:

M+ Rating: In Season 1 there was account-wide progress and this meant that you could accelerate gear acquisition on alts. However in Season 2 this was changed to require that rating on each character. The point here is that it went live in one state and changed to another after expectations had been set.

Maw Rep Grinding: Slow, tedious, daily capped. If you missed a day, you just missed it. Needed to be done on each char.

Legendaries: Having to go through multiple steps in order to engage with the system, was a bit of an outlier. If you missed a single week of Torghast you were just behind permanently. That’s before we even talk about gold cost of having a legendary which has yet to be addressed via lowering costs.

Stygian Embers: As with the Torghast complaint above, if you missed a single week you’re permanently behind and to get to rank 5 shards you need to do 13 10 weeks of content. How is that even acceptable pacing this late into the tier?

Domination Shards: Takes a few weeks to get all of the Shards with reasonable levels of luck. But this was a huge concern at the start of the tier where you were just THOUSANDS of DPS behind by not having the shards.

Domination Socket Pieces: Lack of Deterministic looting potential meant that you could just live on a string of bad luck for a long time despite having the shards but unable to activate the bonus.

So with all of the above in mind, let’s consider a returning player. They’re coming back to the game to engage with 9.1.5 to get hyped for 9.2 and they want to go all in. They want to raid and game. What do they need to do?

  • Grind new renown
  • Obtain a new lego/upgrade already existing lego
  • Have to do the raid for 3-4 weeks to get shards
  • Have to do Korthia
  • Have to do Tormenters + Covenant Assault
  • Still have to do callings (for renown as above)
  • Then have to re-grind gear from M+

It’s an exhausting list and it’s no surprise that friends of mine who attempted to return just let their sub lapse after a month. It’s such a high and exhausting barrier to entry.


On the topic of Stygian embers, Right now it takes 5 weeks if you’re full clearing mythic and 6 weeks on heroic to get rank 5 gems, for your alt to be “fully ready” and even 3 weeks for it to stand a chance with rank 4 gems. It would be awesome if this small portion had an increased drop rate or even made BoA. It’s the only major thing I feel they left behind or forget as you stated in your post. Would be amazing if they did something to the stygian embers


These are fixed in 9.1.5 no? Torghast is completely spammable now.

These should just be 100% drop chance now. Full clear once and you have them all.

I have 4 characters at 60. All between 225 and 250 ilvl. It sucks trying to keep them all caught up.

It’s a little outrageous. There are pieces selling for a fraction of the cost to make, and others that are consistently well over 100k gold. I’m not sure why it took 10 crafts to get to the next rank. Seems weird why it was that way initially, and why its still there


Fixed 1 year into the expansion. More of a reflection lesson for future expansions if a similar system were to pop up.

Also, this lesson was learnt for Legendaries but not Embers?

100 embers per shard to rank 5. 5 Slots.
51 embers per week if you do everything (World Boss, Shaping Fate, All 5 miniboss Trash in Raid, All 10 bosses) on Heroic. (An additional 1 per boss for Mythic)
This would mean 10 resets/2.5 months. For Mythic this would be 9 resets/2.25 Months.

Will edit post to say 10 instead of 13. Apologies.


Fair enough - I think this goes back into the 9.1.5 general thoughts, where stuff is just added too late. I don’t mind if for the first few weeks of the expac torghast was not spammable, to timegate 235 legendaries a little bit, same with 262’s, but you’re right. It should not be a year.

Embers need to be fixed as well, for sure.