In late 2007 I took my first and only break from playing World of Warcraft to play another MMO with a friend. This game, City of Heroes & Villains, has since been taken offline but they had in place a few meta functions in the game that really added to my time playing it. These little additions really had nothing to do the actual gameplay but were in general quality of life changes that I still miss today while I’m playing WoW.
In the ‘City of’ games you started with a certain number of character slots just like you do in WoW, the difference here was that those slots could be assigned to any of the severs as you saw fit. If you wanted to have 15 slots on one server and 10 on another, that was completely fine. If you wanted to have every single one of your slots on one server, that was fine too! In addition to being able to assign your slots per server you were also awarded additional slots the longer you played as a part of their Veteran Reward System. I believe, though I could be incorrect on this that purchasing additional slots was also an option through a micro-transaction.
I’d have to say my largest problem with Blizzard is how stingy they are with character slots! I fail to understand why we aren’t allowed to have as many alts as we’d like on the server we like to play on, at least up to the current account cap. Granted, it’s less of a hassle to restart on another server these days with more things like heirlooms and pets becoming account bound, but there’s still the very large matter of moving gold between servers without the trouble of trying to sell pets and the problem of leaving your server friends behind. Even if the developers decided that they didn’t want to open up our current allocation of slots to be moved, additional character slots would be a perfect service to add to the in-game store. I’m certain if they did add such a service I’d be better off just signing over my paycheck each week.
The Veterans Rewards Program in City of Heroes and Villains was done in an excellent manner. Every three months you received a Veterans Reward. Starting out it was something small, but as you went along the rewards ramped up considerably. At three months you were given a badge which is something akin to an achievement in WoW as well as unlocked a costume piece for your entire account. At twelve months you were given another badge, a few special items you could display in your base, an additional character slot for your account, and a few other things.
Now I know veteran rewards in WoW have been hashed out many times by many people in forum posts and other blogs and I realize the ups and downs to putting such a system in place, especially this far into the life of the game. However, I think tossing people who have been playing for almost a decade at this point a few extra character slots or maybe an extra spot to put a bag in your bank wouldn’t be bad. Pets and mounts are nice, but when most of us have hundreds of each type, I think a different sort of reward would be welcome. Maybe even a free character re-customization or server change after a few years of being subscribed?
City of Heroes & Villains had a friends list that’s very similar to how WoW’s friend’s list functions today with account level and character level friends. The difference of course was the ‘Appear Offline’ option. You could still chat to those you wanted to, but your name didn’t appear on any friends lists or supergroup rosters. Perfect for those times when you can’t or simply don’t want to interact with people.
I know this function has been promised for WoW but two years is a really long wait. I’m still holding out hope that “Soon™” is a few months rather than a few more years, especially with the addition of chat to the Battle.net launcher app. The current ‘Online’, ‘Away’, and ‘Busy’ statuses simply don’t do the job.
I’m interested to hear if anyone has any reasons why more character slots shouldn’t be added? (Other than maybe their own temptation to create more characters, that is!)