WoW: What makes a “Main”?


In 2006, I made my very first character in World of Warcraft. A fire mage from Stormwind who was ready to set out on great adventures across his digital world. That was over ten years ago, but last night I logged my character and thought about what would come next.

My wife’s character, Iliera, is no longer a youngster either. She’s over three years old now and last night she tanked her first heroic dungeon with great success.

A tank is a role in WoW and many other games. It means that you are the one responsible for guarding the other team members from the high damage outputs of a dangerous foe.

Watching her switch from her normal role of DPS was exciting, and it has sparked the existential issue that my mage suffers from from time to time.

You see, Sionis the mage is restrained to the role of DPS.

The DPS role means a character is responsible for dealing out high levels of damage per second (DPS) in order to quickly bring down a dangerous foe before he kills the tank.

Earlier in 2016, I created a Paladin character, aptly named Siönis, because the Paladin class is able to switch between the roles of tank, DPS, and healer.

The healer role means a character is responsible for dealing out high levels of healing, primarily to the tank, so that a dangerous foe does not kill the tank before the DPS role can bring down the dangerous foe.

Through some fun afternoons and evenings last year, Siönis the paladin reached 100 and embarked on his own digital adventures through the latest expansion. As of last night, he sits at 109, just one level away from max.


The problem, which settles in about 20 minutes after logging onto my paladin is that I have long partnered with Sionis the mage for my game time. He is my main.

A main is a player’s primary character. This means it is the character that sees the most play time of any of the active characters on the player’s account.

img_20151228_195808I’ve written an extensive history for the character over the last decade.

I’ve had him 3D printed for display in my home!

Can I really just stop playing my mage and switch to doppelgänger paladin?

The answer to that is… it’s complicated.

Sionis carries with him more than just a logged hours history. He is also the character with the maxed reputations from every expansion from vanilla to Warlords of Draenor.

Sionis has the Loremaster achievement.

An achievement is an award in a game that can unlock cool things, like titles or mounts. In this case, the Loremaster achievement grants Sionis a title in front of his name that signifies he has completed a majority of the quests available in every location of the game.

Sionis has 800 skill points in fishing. FISHING!

The point is, my fire mage is a veteran character while my paladin is a World of Warcraft newb.

newb, sometimes referred to as noob or newbie, is a player that is just starting out with the game. Generally, you associate a player, not the character, with this term.

So how does someone like me go about making the switch? What am I to do?

The simple idea is to simply switch. Use the paladin now instead of the mage. The problem, however, is that I must make a bold decision in that case. Sionis the mage effectively has to retire. He’d be out of the game, metaphorically speaking of course, since he can never leave the game.

Sure, I could dance between my paladin and my mage, but I barely have the time to run a dungeon with one character, much less attempting the feat with multiple people!

Ah, videogame problems! What does the future hold!?!

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