How do you decide which of your characters is your main?
Huh. That’s a frickin’ good question.
To me, a main is a character you put a lot of time and effort on. It’s the toon that probably has the most achievement points. It’s the toon with all the cool mounts, your favourite titles, maxed professions (even fishing and cooking and first aid, maybe even archaeology) and the most /played time. It’s also a toon for which you have a strong attachment, for whatever reason. Maybe it was your first toon. Maybe it was created to level with a friend. Maybe you just have a lot of good memories attached to this particular character.
The writer of the article mentions that even though she plays her shaman more now, she still considers her paladin to be her main. It was her first 85, and her second ever made toon. She also says :
But I think the idea of a main could be something quite significant in WoW. It’s how you identify yourself. It’s your positioning and your role in the big machine, and it’s who you feel you are online. Possibly.
I think not everyone has the same definition of what a main is, and that’s fine. I don’t think there is only one good answer anyway. I think her definition is interesting, and probably true for most of us. Maybe we just don't realize it.
My first toon ever was my mage. And for a long time she was my main. She was my second level 70 in BC. She was my first level 80 in Wrath, and my first 85 in Cata. I farmed mounts and achievements and companions and titles on her. I loved playing her. I took her everywhere I could, every chance I got. I switched toons often, raided with a druid, a hunter, a pally for a while, but I never got them the coolest mounts or titles or companions or achievements. Those were reserved for my mage.
But for a very long time in Cataclsym, my mage was just looking pretty in Dalaran. I have not raided with her seriously since ICC. The reason is simple: I hate what they did to Arcane. Many people might enjoy it. But I don’t. Arcane has been my favourite spec since Naxx, and I swear I’ve tried Fire and Frost, but it’s no as much fun as Arcane used to be. For weeks now, I've been playing as Fire in LFR, and am enjoying myself. But things aren't what they used to be. And for two whole tiers of raiding, Jori was retired.
I did gear her in full 353′s in the troll heroics. I geared her in 378′s when Hour of Twilight came out. And she is now fully geared in LFR gear - except for one eluding trinket - but for a long time, I didn’t play her nearly has much as I did back in Wrath. Nowadays, I play her a lot, just not for raiding. I grind rep, I farm gear for transmog, I get her achievements. That's just as fun as raiding, without the commitment to a bunch of people counting on me.
If I ever come around to do Loremaster, it will be on my mage. If I can get a new companion, I will try to get it on my mage first. I do enjoy doing stuff with her. Just not raiding, which for a very long time was mostly what my playtime was about. But not anymore. So is she my main? Of course she is.
Just out of curiosity, I went and checked my /played time on each of my level 85 characters. I also checked their achievement points. I obviously didn't include my most recent characters here.
/played (Total time)
Most of my characters don’t have half as much played time as my mage. Even my hunter, which is the second most played, has 30 days less. And the achievement points speak for themselves.
My mage will always be very dear to me. It was with her that I first explored the world, with her that I ran my first dungeons, that I had my first raiding experience. My dear Jori. How could she not be my main after all we’ve been through together?
A lot of people who knew me back when I was raiding with my mage still call me Jori. Some of them know my real name, and even though my mage is on another server now, and has another name, they still call me Jori. It’s just who I am. To them, I’ll always be the inexperienced, quiet mage who, by some miracle or strange alignment of planets, outdps’d them in Naxx, and had a french accent on vent.
So what if I don’t play Jori as much as I used to, or if I don’t raid as a mage anymore. That’s not all there is to a main. And there’s no other toon I love so much. My hunter is a close second, but Jori remains first in my heart, and whatever happens, I think that’s where she’ll stay until the day I finally leave Azeroth.