In my first MMO I created many characters before settling on my Balance druid as my main. But I had certain characters to play in duo’s or small groups set aside so I was actively playing two or three at any given time.
In LoTRO I likewise have a stable of characters, although only one has developed past the first few zones. Crafting here was the main drive as it was nice to make weapons, armour, consumables and buff food using my own characters. The interlacing system of harvesting and crafting professions works very well in that game.
In Everquest 2 I have a set of characters, although less extensive. I have my inquisitor main, a warden/tailor and a few others created purely for certain crafting professions.
In other games I’ve largely stuck to one character. In Rift I have played my cleric almost exclusively, except for some group play on a warrior in the first couple of months after launch. I’ve never managed to build up the enthusiasm to level another character since, although I’ve tried making a mage twice and a rogue once as well.
In GW2 I have tried a few other characters, but only my mesmer has leveled past the teens. Again I don’t have the motivation to play lots of characters at once here, when I’ve capped my mesmer finally we’ll probably start on a new pair to level though no doubt at an even slower pace.
Is this change related to having burned myself out on alts in WoW and LoTRO? Is it more that I create a lot of alts in games where I craft more? Probably a bit of both actually. Crafting complexity is probably a negative here personally; the grindier the crafting process and the amount of stages involved will inversely influence my desire to create alts.
In WoW or LoTRO with their simple crafting mechanisms its not particularly daunting to level new professions. in EQ2 the process is more active but its no more complex than in WoW, other than the crazy plethora of recipes available so again I have multiple characters to explore different crafting professions.