Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My first character to hit level 60 in World of Warcraft was a warrior. Next level 60s were two priests, one Horde, one Alliance. I leveled the Horde priest to 70 first when TBC came out, then the Horde warrior. The low-level mage I am currently playing was created when TBC came out, and I was speed-skilling jewelcrafting with my priest. I sent all the jewelry I made to the mage, and disenchanted it to level up enchanting. I also learned tailoring with him, because that is a good combo with enchanting, as tailoring doesn't need a gathering skill, and you can disenchant tailored green items for dusts.

So now I have a level 17 mage who is maxed out at 150/150 tailoring and 160/160 enchanting. And I still got tons of higher level jewelry to disenchant once I hit level 20 and my enchanting cap goes up. Plus of course I have access to large amounts of gold, one daily quest with a level 70 gives you all the money you need for a long time for a level 17. I'm twinked to the max, wearing only magic armor, weapons, and jewelry. I even put enchantments on everything I could. I know all that is a terrible waste, since you outgrow your equipment so fast, but it isn't as if I had anything better to do with the mats.

The one thing that irks me is how little all this twinking is actually helping my mage. I found just one item yet which increases fire spell damage. All the other stuff I can tailor, enchant, jewelcraft, or buy from the auction house increases my intellect, stamina, and spirit. But none of that really improves my mage, as the damage I deal is totally independant of my stats. Intellect means I can cast longer before I run out of mana, but then I have to sit and drink longer to get it back. Stamina gives me more health, but mages shouldn't get hit anyway. Spirit theoretically increases my mana regeneration, but while the effect on a priest is already small, the effect of spirit on a mage is too tiny to even notice. In short, the mage has a very bad twinkability, he profits very little from being a twink. I already had similar problems with my priest, where again being twinked doesn't help you much in solo situations, unless you go for a spirit talent build and gear.

Now compare that to the warrior. Stats like strength and stamina are highly important to a warrior, and so is armor. A twinked low-level warrior deals more damage and survives a lot longer than a non-twinked one. Warriors have high twinkability. So in hindsight I might have been better off if I had played a priest or mage as my first character, and then used their cash to twink a warrior, who would have had an easier live. Hunters, rogues, feral druids, shamans and paladins also have a relatively high twinkability. Warlocks have a low twinkability. It's three years to late to think about it for most of us, but maybe something to keep in mind for future games. If a game has damage dealers whose damage only depends on their level and not on their stats, they make great first characters. The other classes who are helped a lot by their stats make better twinks.

I hear that in this week's patch 2.3 Blizzard is changing low-level magic items for casters to have more bonuses to spell damage, and thus make gear more relevant for casters for leveling up. Good timing, as this will improve the twinkability of my mage. Only problem is that most of these items will be bind-on-pickup loot from dungeons. And finding a group for a low- or mid-level dungeon on a 3-year old server is next to impossible. I checked my server at prime time and found 900 Horde players online, but 600 of these were playing their level 70. The 300 remaining characters were pretty much evenly distributed over the other 69 levels, thus only about 4 characters per level available for grouping. I so wished Blizzard would introduce cross-server instances (with trading disabled inside the instance).
I think you just described really well why melee classes and hunters completely dominate pvp in the 10-19 bracket. >.<
"Trading disabled in instance" sounds like nonsence to me.
How about trading consumables - food, water, looted pots, spell reagents?
"Trading disabled in instance" sounds like nonsence to me.
How about trading consumables - food, water, looted pots, spell reagents?

Many people are quoting trading in instances as main opposition reason for Blizzard not having cross-server instances. I know there are restrictions on trading in cross-server battlegrounds, but I'm not up to date on what exactly you can or can't trade in a battleground. Obviously a cross-server dungeon should work the same as a cross-server battleground.

The important thing to remember is that older servers on average are richer than newer servers. Thus the possibility to transfer large amounts of wealth from an old server to a newer server (where it would have more purchasing power) has to be avoided.
Hang on a second, Tobold. You are supposed to be playing casually. Doesn't that mean not caring too much about loot?
I play seriously on my main, but I play casually on my alt. I have huge amounts of cash on my main, but I don't give it to my alt.

Similarly, I could go to the AH and buy top twink gear, but I don't. I only equip my alt with mob drops.
As I have said before, I don't bother doing instances on my alt, either, so I only have the odd blue that I got from normal quests.
Am I having fun? Yes.
I'll agree with *vlad* in that I see no reason to 'twink' a casually-leveling toon.

I don't have a true "twink"; my definition being a toon locked into a level ending in '9' set up with the best possible gear for PvP BGs.
I do have a number of alts, all on the same server & faction, and the toons cover all of the professions to at least level 40-ish gear.

So I transfer gold from a main to an alt for three purposes:
1) An initial 1 gold that will cover everything that toon needs until level 40 (typically)
2) Mount money
3) Skilling an expensive profession

Other than that, it's pretty much crafted gear and quest loot only. After all, I'll outlevel my gear in 5 to 10 levels anyway. The only exception is that I will buy melee and ranged weapons for non-caster alts every once in a while to keep the DPS up (I can't always count on a crafted item to fill those slots).
WoW somewhat distorted the original meaning of twink, because in a WoW context it now often means a lower level character with the best possible equipment for level 19 battleground PvP. I'm using the old definition of a lower level character who received *anything* from a higher level character. So my mage doesn't have any blue items, but I still consider him a twink due to the fact that the tailored items and enchantments he has on himself wouldn't have been possible without the support from the level 70s.
I've semi-twinked a couple of characters like tobold has done, but I'd say that its still pretty casual. My druid has 14-16 slot bags, plus a 20 slot herb bag, and 50g (just in case).

I also have a rogue, currently level 10 and within spitting distance of the portal to Deadmines, with the intention of getting guildies to boost me through it for items in there. But then that guild collapsed and I stopped playing, so she's currently on hold.

Also, it occurs that with 2.3 boosting items, a lot of level 19 twinks are going to be VERY unhappy if the new best gear is in some instance somewhere.
"as the damage I deal is totally independant of my stats."

- Not entirely correct!
More STA will make you last longer; more INT will not only allow you to cast more spells but ALSO increase the crit % which ultimately increases damage done as well. Even more SPI will make Evocation better when you get it at mid 20ish if I recall correctly...

Just read your following paragraphs! :)

Yes, a mage "shouldn't" be hit, at least not by meleers. But not all mobs deal melee damage and there's those times where you get more adds and/or pats on your back and more STA means you can have a better chance of surviving, especially if they resist your Frost Novas... As for "longer drinks", it's not exactly true: if you have less mana you'll need to drink for less time but you also need to make more frequent pauses. Besides, if you have, and I'm exaggerating here for argument's sake, mana for 1 kill and have to deal with 2 mobs? You run away to be OOC and then drink and come back?

So, those stats DO help on better leveling/grinding even if they don't add directly to your "constant" damage as +Spell Damage will...

"Warlocks have a low twinkability."

- Again, I think you're wrong on this one! More INT = more spell crit and more mobs at once and more STA = more mana due to mana tap and more mobs at once. With a decent stack of INT/STA, you can DoT a few more mobs at once than if you have lower STA/INT.

But, overall, you have a point: some classes benefit MORE from low level twinkage than others. Things will be different once your enchanter has drained all your main's gold pool and more! I'm 340ish enchanting on one of my chars and I believe I've easily lost some 3K gold so far (not counting mats that I farmed for some "twinkage" of some of my alts, although I don't have any "true" twink as I only improve their stats and don't do PvP anyway, just do it so they have an easier time going through the leveling process!)
Intellect also increases spell crit, so the more int you have, the more often you'll be critting.

As for the complaint about not having anyone to level with ..... they are releasing a patch today that makes it easier for people to level alts, therefore you're probably going to see a large upswing in people playing alts (most of the people in my guild have been holding off leveling alts until this patch.)
Int does increase spell crit, but by a negligible amount, at low levels.
Actually it increases it a lot. Going from +0 int on some gear to +6 int (not unreasonable) is about 3% crit rate.
I have a lot of the Azure Silk tailored gear on my 30's mage (made in the 20's I think) that are all +Frost. Coupled with Mana Oil I get fairly high crit/dmg numbers.

Glad you're having fun tho!
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