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Of monks, mains, and the ability to change

Anne Stickney

I've changed my main exactly once in all of my years playing World of Warcraft. It wasn't out of need or necessity for a guild -- in fact, I was guildless at the point I decided to switch. And I wasn't really planning on switching so much as I really wanted to play a rogue. I wasn't tied down to a guild, and I figured I could simply have fun with the experience. Over the course of leveling that rogue, I met a group of friends in a raiding guild, and once I hit level 70, they encouraged me to apply.

Going from a healing class to a pure melee DPS class wasn't as much of a stretch as you'd think. In fact, I think I almost fared better than most because as a former healer, I keenly understood the importance of staying alive. More importantly, I understood that as a pure melee DPS player who was not a tank or a healer, my priority on most heal lists was fairly low. So it was up to me to keep myself alive and happily stab things.

I don't think, however, that I could ever make that switch again -- although honestly, I've thought about it.

Sunnier over at A Sunnier Bear recently posted a list of reasons of why she wants to go monk, none of which are related to balance or mechanics. Along with exclamations over the pandaren model and the fluid animations monks get to use is the fact that she'd finally get to see her transmogrification outfits -- something that's currently absent from druids wandering around in various forms. Her list is short and sweet, honestly, but it got me thinking about my own experiences playing the monk on the beta so far.

I really like the monk class. It plays like a weird combination of rogue and death knight, almost. You use energy to rack up little glowy balls (chi) and then use finishers that use the glowy balls while your energy is regenerating. Now, this may change between beta and the point when the game goes live of course, but there's something kind of cool about balancing your energy spent on main attacks and your time spent pulling off finishers. There are never really any not-enough-energy messages, because when your energy is down, you can use a finisher. When your energy is back, you can build more chi. Back and forth, back and forth.

The mentality of switching

I really, really like the monk class, but I don't think I could ever change my main again. As it was, I was somewhat sad to be leaving my priest behind when I started raiding on my rogue, largely because I'd put so much into that priest. She had Benediction, she had tier gear, she had lots of pets and mounts, she'd even gotten pretty far into the original honor grind. I made a lot of friends on that character, and I kind of hated shelving her away. Today, she is still the first alt I take to max level after my main -- I can't just let her rot away like other characters I have.

It makes me wonder if there's just a certain mentality I'm missing, however. I see lots of people switching mains all the time. And while I really like the monk class, I don't think I could ever make the switch. For all the time invested in my priest, my rogue has so much more than the priest ever did. Account-wide achievements and pets and mounts and everything else? I still don't think I could do it, even if those were in place.

So I guess I'll leave this up to you guys, because after all this pondering, I still don't quite get it. Are you one of those people who can change mains at the drop of a hat? Why do you do it? Is it because you get tired of playing one class, or you just want a change of pace? Does the fact that you've got achievements and toys on your old characters ever bother you? What's that mysterious thing that makes it perfectly OK to switch your main?

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