The concept of an alt, and the total letdown of the "alt-friendly expansion"

During Blizzcon 2019, one key promise - and selling feature - of Shadowlands was it’s advertised “alt-friendliness.” This was shown by introducing the Threads of Fate and Chromie time features, and the improvements to the PvP and Weekly box systems. Now, while I wouldn’t call the Weekly Box in any way, shape, or form, alt friendly (or a good system in general), but these improvements seemed to promise a degree of greatness, coming off of two expansions that were horribly alt-unfriendly.

It is clear that anywhere you look within WoW, the demand for alts is high. Not only is it pretty much required to have alts if you are doing high end content more seriously, it’s also something that people just simply like doing to experience the game from a different lens. Let it be profession alts, pvp alts, a low level twink, etc. people LOVE alts.

However, it turned out that Shadowlands was also an alt-unfriendly expansion - although, to be fair, not as much as previous ones. Reputations were still not account wide, which meant that you had to grind Ve’nari - and later Korthia - from scratch, the only way for you to get Sockets and Conduits, both super important upgrades. On top of that, the Weekly Box in itself isn’t an alt friendly mechanic, because not only can you get bad RNG, if you fire up an alt later into the patch, you already missed out on a bunch of boxes.

We also have the legendary grind, which can get quite costly (and for the longest time in Shadowlands, it was timegated), as you want a multitude of legendaries, and the more characters you have, the more you have to spend, and unless you’re a booster or you have swiped for a couple WoW Tokens, you just run out of gold.

I’m not exactly sure how it goes for PvE, but in PvP, the alt catchup is atrocious. The Honor grind is unbelieveably massive, the ilvl gaps are ludicrously high and your conquest cap isn’t based on your highest CR because the weekly box is supposed to offset that.

I think WoW could take a lesson from MMOs such as FFXIV - in XIV, you have one character, but you can play all the classes with that one character. Of course you have to grind the levels out and get the gear, but you don’t have to grind out any other reputations or professions, allowing you to skip the grinds you have already done.

To sum up the experience of a fresh PvP alt (note: this does not include the Heirloom Conquest Box, as it will not be part of 9.2):

  • Level up to 60
  • From the AH, buy 200 ilvl gear, one 230ilvl piece, 235/262 legendary base item, full enchants twice for current gear and conquest gear for later
  • Grind Torghast layer9 for Cinders
  • Grind Renown
  • Do World Quests and Korthia for Conduits
  • Grind Conquest and Honor in random BGs, rated BGs and in arenas if you have friends to play with
  • Grind sockets in Korthia
  • Grind CR to be able to upgrade your gear (probably through a booster or a friend)
  • Grind more Honor
  • Craft multiple legendaries depending on your class
  • Have multiple trinket choices (battlemaster, shackle, etc.)
  • Grind Honor still

While it doesnt seem like its a massive bucket list, a LOT of these take SUPER long, and you can multiply that time spent with every character you have. While doing these are (I feel like) totally fine, doing it over and OVER again on alts is very demoralizing.

To return to the proposal: make sure that you can skip grinds such as Ve’nari, or the Renown grind, once you have done it on your main. And, please, nerf the honor costs and add deterministic gearing options (the latter I will elaborate on further in a later topic).

Edit: How could I forgot to mention that Shadowlands wasn’t even spec friendly up until 9.1.5! With punishments on Covenant swapping and Torghast being timegated, you couldn’t even play your other specs without falling massively behind the curve. The same issue was present in Legion as well with Artifact Weapons needing to be levelled all separately. If you’re not going to be alt friendly, at least be spec friendly…


I’m a fairly casual player, but leveling alts and keeping them (relatively) up to date with the game has been my bread and butter since MoP - but it has been really exhausting as of late. I have 41 characters atm, only 12 of which are max level (one per class) and only 4 of them I have actually spent time maxing out renown and other stuff with - and just the thought of playing more alts is kind of painful right now because of how much work is required.

I think a lot of the issues are systemic. Classes are incomplete on their own and require legendaries, conduits, etc to actually perform their proper function. The catchup stuff in 9.1.5 alleviated a lot of the pain points, but a lot of these pain points shouldn’t have existed in the first place.


Other than the whole system stacking, I don’t like how they removed the shared m+ score for alts. You have to get score to upgrade gear on the character you intend to play while last tier I could just do it from the get-go if I had done it on my main. You still need to get the gear to begin with anyway, but not being able to upgrade it sucks.

On my main both tiers so far I’ve hardly seen use of it and I’m just sitting perma valor capped because at best I’ll upgrade a socketed finger or a trinket I really need. On alts however it was very useful last tier especially when combined with the gear you get from the vault. It just speeds up gearing a lot.

But what if you want to raid? Unlike tier sets where you’re done with 4 items, now you need 3-5 dom items but also a full set of shards which you’re highly likely not getting in less than 4 clears unless you get lucky. Then an other month to get to rank 5. I’m at least glad this is not making a return next tier and I hope getting tier sets is actually less inconvenient.