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A Newbie Raider’s Guide: Multiple Raiding Toons

Raid Leaders often take for granted that everyone understands raiding like they do. What they forget is that “once upon a time”, they were just as ignorant…

*This post was inspired by Amber’s A Tale of Two Mains.

I started playing WoW about 6 months after BC’s release. I was a total newb! But after months of leveling and frustrations trying to figure out how to play a paladin, I finally hit 70! It was exciting, but what now?

I remember not even really understanding what heroics were. Raids? I’d seen something about 10, 20, and even 40 man raids in a book I bought. Atlasloot? I don’t think I’d ever installed an addon before level 70!

I had absolutely no healing gear when I was 70. I had leveled Protection in some twisted mixture of Prot and Ret gear. I had no idea what stats were ideal, what I should be doing. I just went with some misguided notion of what to do for leveling.

So when my computer decided to crap out on me and I had to have it sent back for repairs, I found all kinds of info about this damn game on the internet! I got my WoW fix over the next two weeks by researching and planning what to do next. So it’s no surprise that the next several months consumed all of my time as I prepared my journey for raiding. (For those of you just now starting to raid at level 80, there was a time when you hit 70 you had to prepare just to get into heroics. Forget raids!)

The one thing during all that time that really blew my mind was people with multiple 70s! How had they found the time, let alone the desire to work on so many alts?! I started my old guild <ICESTORM> with a guy who had 5!!! I barely had one and the next was 50 levels away from that!

But time has passed and as I write this I now have 2 level 80s and 2 more that are close. Short of someone that has just recently joined the game, most everyone I know has at least 2 level 80s.

So how do you handle multiple toons you want to raid with? I have several guidelines you should consider when wanting to raid with multiple toons.


Two sides to every story.

A Raiding Guild’s Perspective

  • We’re here to raid.
  • We have multiple level 80s wanting to raid.
  • We take pride in knowing how to play our toons.
  • We want to be the best* guild we can possibly be, down bosses, and get the best* gear possible.
  • We all pay our $15/month and want our money’s worth!
  • Aside from drama, two things really cause heartburn for raid leaders and officers: lack of attendance and pugging raids.

    Lack of Attendance

    Two things generally happen that cause lack of attendance. The first is progression raiding. A lot of “so-called” raiders are unwilling to wipe more than 2-3 times on any given boss. This is when the mysterious illnesses, change in work schedules, school assignments, and personal life issues arise.

    The second is when a player gets all the gear they need. At that point they no longer have any desire or drive to continue in the raid anymore and begin looking for other things to entertain themselves. This can often manifest itself into leveling alts, arenas, battlegrounds, or hanging around the bank in Dalaran.

    Pugging Raids

    Most raiding guilds will not tolerate pugging of any of the current scheduled raids, at least until such time that it’s obvious they won’t be using you. If your schedule changes such that you won’t be able to make any of the scheduled raid nights for that week, then most guilds are at least understanding and will allow you to pug a raid that week without any repercussions.

    Guild Frustrations

    A raiding guild exists to raid. Their ultimate goal is to bring like-minded and hopefully skilled players together to enjoy the end game. With the current state of the game and most guilds attempting to field 25 man raids, that means there are 24 other REAL LIVE people counting on YOU to perform and help them.

    Progression raiding is part of any raiding guild. It takes time to learn the fights and to get the necessary gear to progress. So you find that those 24 other people are counting on you to show up and suffer along with them for the good of the guild. If you don’t, then the other 24 must scramble to try to find a replacement, stressing about finding a pug, or can’t raid at all. See why they’re upset? You’ve turned something that should be fairly easy to set up into a monumental task and they want to just sit back and enjoy the game as much as you do!

    Either way it doesn’t matter if you’re already geared to the teeth and need nothing or if you just don’t feel like going. You joined a raiding guild and if they need help on scheduled runs, then they feel you should be there to help.

    So let’s assume that you’re all geared out from the current raid and don’t need anything else. You have been running the raid for a while now and would like some time off. By this time it’s easily pugged anyway as most of your fellow raiders are geared enough and know enough of the encounters to carry any slack. So you think to yourself, why shouldn’t you get a night off or be allowed to run with your alt?

    Guilds hate this because they have to look at it from the standpoint of the guild which probably consists of more than just the 25 people. In your case, you were fortunate enough to get your gear near the beginning. The others who helped you get that gear are still waiting for their chance to get the last few items they need. The guild believes you owe it to them to return the favor by continuing to help others out. Now this may allow for your alt to come, but if not at the very least you should be making yourself available on your main if no one else is available. Most guilds will be very appreciative of your willingness to sit out should someone else really need to go in your place.

    A Player’s Perspective

  • You like to raid.
  • You spent time leveling more than one toon to 80.
  • You take pride in knowing how to play more than one toon.
  • You want all your toons to be the best* they can possibly be and have the best* gear possible.
  • You pay your $15/month and damned if you aren’t going to try and get what you want!
  • There are two primary reasons players want to raid with multiple toons: they’re already geared and/or they’re bored with their current role/class and want to try something new. The latter primarily seems to manifest itself in burned out tanks and healers wanting to dps, but it does happen to dps as well.

    Geared Raiding Toons

    With the exception of a few raiders, content becomes very boring once a toon has become “geared enough”. Being geared enough means different things to different people. For some it might mean getting all their tier pieces. For others it might mean just getting 4 pieces for their bonus. For a few it might mean just enough to get through the content with relative ease based on the raid’s overall gear, ability, and success. If they aren’t struggling, then they’re good enough. For others still it might mean getting every last best-in-slot (BiS) piece out there for all 3 of their specs.

    Bored Players

    Some players just need a change of pace. I myself found I wanted a change of pace from healing when my priest finally hit 70. I initially was going to switch to Holy, but a friend convinced me to stay Shadow as we had no spriests.  I eventually came to love dps’ing with her and she’s remained shadow at 80. To this day I’ve never healed with her.

    For me, Ky will always be my main and I love healing, but I want to raid with Maedchen as well. I’m even getting a bug to finish leveling Erdkrieg and switch him to heals for raiding. The latter two will probably never get quite the love that Ky will, but who knows?

    What Guilds Should Consider

    Guilds should consider their players’ wants. Burned-out and bored players make for poor raiders. Things need to be mixed up from time to time. Whenever possible alts should be allowed into raids, even when things might not go as smoothly as they otherwise would. This will keep players’ interest in raiding alive and keep them around so the others can go. I do not advocate that an alt should ever be placed above a main though. Not everyone has the luxury of multiple toons.


    Just because you see it one way, doesn't mean others do.

    Finding The Happy Medium

    In Amber’s example, two guild members removed their alts from the guild and placed them in another raiding guild. Now one might ask why would they do that? Why not keep all their toons in one guild? The answer: because their current guild cannot provide enough opportunities to run all their toons through raids on a regular basis. There is nothing wrong with having multiple alts in multiple guilds, even raiding guilds, and keeping those alts active on a regular basis; that is until it conflicts with the interests of the guild.

    So let’s assume that the two guilds have completely different raiding nights. The raids are posted, these two members sign up and show up for all, both guilds are happy, the raiders are happy. This is the best case scenario. Given that the raiders can make this work it’s perfect!

    Ah, but we don’t live in a perfect world. If we did there wouldn’t be any lag! 🙂

    Let’s say now that the two guilds share a similar raid night, but the start times are one hour off. The raider decides he wants to go to the earlier run because he wants to raid with that toon tonight. So he checks the raid signs up and everything looks good. The second guild has enough signups he won’t be needed. He goes to the earlier raid.

    One hour later.

    The second guild sends out invites. Unfortunately someone doesn’t show because of a last minute emergency. There’s no one to replace her. The officers start looking for a replacement and notice that our raider is on his alt in a different raid. He’s online. He’s available and yet he’s not! Now 9 people are severely disappointed that they either have to call the raid or pug. They aren’t happy. They become bitter! If that raider cared about more than himself, he’d be over here! Drama ensues.

    If you want to put your raiding toons in multiple guilds, you have two options. First, make sure you won’t have conflicts by either letting both guilds know your exact availability on whichever toon for whichever guild. Allow them the opportunity to voice their opinion and if it doesn’t appear it will work, then find another guild. 

    The second option, and perhaps a little underhanded, is to make sure no one–AND I MEAN NO ONE–knows who your alts are. Even your real life friends will spill the beans eventually, so don’t let anyone know. Once it’s out there the drama ensues. I highly recommend not even letting people know you have alts, especially raiding alts, on other servers. I’ve experienced raiders who once geared disappeared mysteriously due to real life issues only to have friends tell us they were on another server leveling alts during our raid times. Imagine the drama!

    Bottom line, whether you’re the player or the guild, prepare to make a few sacrifices to keep each other happy. Be honest and up front about what you both want, what you’re willing to give, and how far you’re willing to bend. Neither party should have to bend over backward to get what they want, but neither should anyone have to accept less than they need.

    *Remember that best is relative. Hardcore players will want the absolute best of everything out there. More casual players will want the best that they can possibly hope to achieve given their circumstances and available time.