Now that I've been playing WoW again for a bit, I've discovered that due to recent changes the game is a lot less alt-friendly for a player without a level 80 character. While there has always been a natural advantage in having a max-level character to pass items and gold to the alternates, the game has now added explicit benefits: there are new heirloom items that can be passed to any character on the account which boost experience gains. One heirloom, the Tome of Cold Weather Flight, allows flying in Northrend at level 68.
As a result, while I'd rather play the warlock, it made less sense to level it up from 41 than to first get the 70 shadow priest to 80 and start grinding for heirlooms. And the situation is even worse with the lower-level alts (yes, I'm an altoholic).
Of course the business reason for favoring the alts of dedicated players is to keep them engaged in WoW rather than wandering off to other games. While it's a bit frustrating for an atypical player like me to see certain play styles favored over others, in the end I decided to conform and play in the manner that Blizzard rewards with incentives.
But I'm not particularly happy about it.
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