Part 1 of an occasional series
Step 1: Choose your Class. Try something really different from your main, and watch your main’s playstyle improve. Every tank should play a healer. Every dps should have to tank a few instances. Every healer should get a chance to lob fireballs at gnolls. Ranged dps? Try a melee class. But make sure it’s something that appeals to you!
Step 2: Choose your Race. Unless you’re limited by your class, you should have a few races to choose from. Consider the racial bonuses – Gift of the Naruu is a nice racial for a class that has no heal, for instance. Consider the starting zone – if your last character was a Night Elf, maybe try a Gnome for a change (or even roll on the opposite faction for a real change)
Now choose your name, configure your apprearance, log in – and then log out, noting your new name, and log onto your main.
Step 3: Shopping Spree! Buy Heirlooms from the Heirloom vendor in Dalaran (next to the Badge Vendors), Wintergrasp (in the courtyard) or if you’re a Crusader, at the Argent Crusade in the tent. Your priority list is chest, shoulders, then weapon and trinkets. The chest and shoulders grant 10% extra XP each, for everything – exploring, kills, turn ins. Get these.
Pro tip: if you know you want lots of alts and you think you’ll be short on emblems/marks/whatever for the gear, buy the cloth shoulders and equip them even on your baby pally. At low levels, the silly stats and lack of armor mean a lot less than the 10% XP gain.
Now send your alt the gear, some cash (20 gold will keep your newbie happy for a long time) and a set of bags. While you can deck Mini-You out in Frostweave Bags, did you know that mageweave bags don’t bind on equip? So your alt can use them, gradually replace them on her own, and send them on to another alt?
Step 4: Profit! Get your noob to a mailbox, pull out the goodies, then backtrack and start leveling! You’ll find it a lot easier to level the second time around. LFG starts at 15, your mount will come at level 20, buy a portal to Dalaran and set your stone there and travel will be much simpler.
Don’t Forget Your Professions: it’s easier to level them up with you than to learn them at max level. Try to pick some your main doesn’t have.