The title needs work, I think. But I’ve had this vision of WoW characters being able to merge. It’s two separate scenarios, really.
The first one follows the theme of many Final Fantasy games. You level a character, and you level the jobs (read:classes) separately. It is a lot of work — more work than leveling a single character with a single class. Imagine if you will, leveling a priest. Now, you choose a race, you choose priest, you level from 1-level cap, and you train your professions and you work on achievements and you collect toys and transmog and bags and raid and play and fight and do all the things that the game has to offer. Over time, you’ve accomplished a lot on this character. But, you tire of playing a priest all the time, and you want to try something else.
So, you make a new character. You choose the race you want and you choose mage, and you level your mage from level 1 again and you pick different professions and you repeat a lot of the same content again and you’re re-awarded achievements, and you have to re-level your professions, and you can never, ever catch that mage up to the priest you spent so much time on, no matter how hard you try. And even if you do, by the time you’ve effectively made the mage your new main, the priest still has all that time played, all that work an effort. And now it sits.
Sure, you can log on the priest and play it too. But, with the exception of achievements, toys, pets, and (some) mounts (and that’s not always either), the two are mutually exclusive.
Now, lets tweak this scene.
So you start the game, pick a race, pick a class (priest) and off you go. You play the game to your heart’s content. You negotiate many obstacles, encounter awesome things that are unique to your gaming experience. You’ve raided, you got your realm firsts and your feats of strength, you and your raid team were the first to step food in that new raid. You are loving life. But, playing the priest gets a little boring, so you decide to try something new.
So, you change your alternate spec to a mage. Suddenly you’re scaled to a level 1 mage. You have all the same restrictions as a level 1. You can no longer get into that raid unless you change specs(classes). You start leveling again. This time you take a different path for leveling and you explore different quest lines, you unlock new transmog options for both your priest and your mage (cloth wearers after all). You get to max level and you set your loot specialization to be Arcane Mage. Sometimes you raid with your guild as a priest, collecting gear for the mage, (not that they’re so different, but you see what I mean). One day, you go to raid and they say they have a new healer that wants to play in the raid team. You say “No problem, I’ll change to mage.” You still get that Ahead of the Curve achievement on your main character even though you mage’d it instead of priest’d it.
The second scenarios is not offering you a faster means to anything. You still level your classes just like you’d have done on a separate character. The difference is, your time played, your professions and skills, your quest collection, your transmog, your non-account-wide achievements, they’re all still there. All the rep you gathered? STILL THERE.
“But, what if I want to play a different race?”
This would be a great reason to make a second character. Because you want to actually have two characters in two spaces.
“But I like having them separate”
You can keep them separate if you want! This isn’t suddenly prevented.
“Wouldn’t I eventually run out of quests to do?”
Sure, unless they made quests only count once for your Lorewalker and only award the rep for the first time completion, instead of making the quests vanish forever. (This also allows for you to complete quest lines that you really liked again!)
The 2nd scenario is similar to the other one, but requires that you’d have leveled other characters ahead of time. This is more for people who have a million alts and really just want one main. I’m in this boat! I have a 90+ of every single class and across all my characters over 400 days played. But not a single character has more than 180 days played. I also have a ton of fish caught across all my toons. And I grinded rep from various expansions across all of them. I have a paladin I played in vanilla, and a hunter in BC, and a Paladin/DK/Mage combo I played in Wrath, and a Shaman in Cata, and a Monk in MOP and beyond (A brewmaster, in fact 😉 )
Well as it stands, I have to grind out SO MUCH REP on that Monk to have any chance of catching him up to my Paladin, or my Shaman. Or to all of them. I don’t even PLAY those characters anymore! I just keep them because I’m afraid if I delete them, then I’ll lose the FoS and Achievements, and all the nostalgia. But imagine if my time played, and all the statistics, and your rep, achievements (as though you got them, not just account wide), and everything unique to that character, could be transferred to another at the cost of deleting that character.
You aren’t skipping any steps. You are simply re-allocating the work to a different character.
Anyway, that’s my long winded post. Tim next time.