At present I'm playing, what for me, is a different game. My first character (my warlock, who has been through more race and sex changes than anyone, frankly, should ever have to endure and is currently a sulky, never-played female gnome on my old 'home' server) is the only character I have ever basically played solo. Pretty much all my other characters have been levelled to 80 in tandem with the Other Half's 'matching' characters (as a point of preference, I hasten to add, not because I had to, lest anyone think the Other Half is some scary, over-controlling sort, I'm not usually... brave enough to play on my own, sad as that sounds...!) Whilst Pilf fitted this description up to the mid 50s, I have been solo playing with her a great deal since then. And, wow, it's an odd feeling.
I guess in part this has been a result of being on an RP realm. I have mentioned, in previous posts, how much I had wanted to roll a character on an RP realm, but had been put off due to nasty stereotypes of RP folk and my terror of inadvertently offending said RPers. But what can I say? These RP sorts are a friendly bunch, it turns out, and the way Pilf has developed suits solo play in many ways. Sure, the Other Half and I still play together, in groups or when, ahem, I want to remind myself of the Zangermarsh instances but can't bear the thought of PuGing them, but I'm levelling her solo in the main, and have been since I hit Outlands. It is, of course, completely different solo. Previously I had some big, plate wearing meat shield between me and the mobs. Now there's just me. The days of zerg, zerg, zerg are past, certainly but I'm discovering that I actually can withstand a suprising amount of damage and not die. Ok, I'm too high to be doing Zangermarsh in a meaningful way, the mobs are, at best, only 3 levels below me, but does it *really* matter? I've pretty much finished the entire zone (yay!) and am getting ready to move onto Nagrand. I've realised, sadly, that I won't be able to hit 80 in Outlands, and at some point I will have to make the jump to Northrend, but dammit, I'm going to get as far along as I can before venturing off there.
Solo play also allows me to get further under Pilf's skin, which I find very hard to do in a group; probably why I'll never be able to RP her effectively in instances. As I bumble around questing I try to think like she would, to experience the world through her eyes, for the first time (not through my jaded lenses, for the 5th time.) And that adds additional depth to my gaming, I have to say. I never had much issue with HFP, she hated it (not unsurprisingly) and couldn't wait to leave there. I couldn't fathom how she'd handle Zangermarsh (many trolls!) but, as you may get from that fact that I/we are still there, she has enjoyed it. I worry about taking her to Nagrand as I have a feeling she'll see the floating islands, stock up on food and water and refuse to come down. And of course, if I was prepared to really RP her, to demonstrate complete commitment, I suppose I would let her. In a way, I feel quite sad that I 'can't' let her, it would be her idea of nirvana but I enjoy playing her way too much.
But back to this solo lark, it's good fun isn't it? It also occurs to me that in many people's view, I've been playing back-asswards for far too long. I think it might be why I have created Kyr; the Other Half doesn't really have anything of that level (as far as I know) so he may well be my second solo character. But come Cata, and goblins (squee!) we'll be back together, levelling as we always have done. And in the meantime, the Other Half gets some quality interrupted game play on his (many) toons. And I get to consider whether I can start to entwine Pilf and Afaon somehow (yes, in that way), in a way that won't make it yukky for those around us... or whether Pilf is better remaining solo in all things.