There’s nothing I love more than a plan.
When you have a plan in Warcraft, you can organize your limited resources to the very best of your ability. When you’re playing, that resource is almost always time; whether you want to pick flowers or move to the top of your raid rotation, you’ll maximize the bang for your minutes with just a little bit of groundwork.
As you continue to play you’ll begin to accumulate a number of characters. They may be spread out over a number of servers, or they may be grouped on one or two. Personally, I’ve found that I maximize the support my characters can give one another if they are grouped by faction: One server holds only Alliance characters, another has only Horde.
When I level a new class or grind professions, I want to ensure I have as little overlap as possible on the same server. If I already have a high-level Herbalist and Alchemist, for example, I can use her to provide all of the herbs for a new Inscription alt. Instead of picking up herbalism, the new alt now can take an additional profession that I don’t already have- say, Enchanting- and provide all of my characters with more money in the long run.
I created a simple Excel file to track my alts, their levels, and their professions:
I separate each set of characters out by realm, and add a note in front of the realm name to denote if the characters there are all either (A)lliance or (H)orde:
Next, I fill in the character information. The current level of the character, an abbreviation for their class, and name are all filled in, and sorted by level. I try to ensure I have only one character of each class type per realm (my personal exception to that is disc priests, who are distributed at fixed levels through multiple realms for testing):
The next section to tackle is the Professions. Here, professions are distributed into primary and secondary chunks to keep the information clear. Not every character will keep the same profession over time; frequently, I’ll level a character as a dual-gatherer to maximize XP, then switch over to their permanent profession at a higher level. I use ‘x’ to denote professions a character needs to drop and ‘!’ to indicate which ones they need to pick up. Using this method lets me quickly see if I’ve accidentally doubled up on a profession in a certain realm, or if there are any gaps. The professions I already have are bolded, and the ones I still need are un-bolded:
In the last section I leave space to add any notes to myself about plans I have for this character- Does he need to do a certain daily? Did I tell myself that Warlock needed a certain rep?- which I often find I think about when looking at the spreadsheet, but can’t remember when I’m actually in the game. This is also a good place to note the appropriate zone for each character’s level (Zones by Level):
Finally, I make a note to myself which heirlooms are on this realm. The character currently wearing the heirloom is marked with a matching, bold ‘H’ to remind me where I’ve left it- I’ve had to email Blizzard customer to track down lost heirlooms too many times to want to do it again. It’s sometimes useful to know who will be the fastest leveler when looking at your spreadsheet:
You can download the Excel file template to create your own Character Spreadsheet here. With any luck you’ll be maximizing your professions- and profits- in no time at all!