Friday, September 18, 2009
Twinking and the economy
Gordon from We Fly Spitfires claims that twinking is a form of cheating, because it doesn't really matter whether your alt is equipped with gear financed with gold from a Chinese gold farmer, or whether he is equipped with gear financed with gold from your own main character. Spinks discusses the effect of heirloom items in that context, and also mentions morality. But even if you tried to apply somewhat silly "moral" standards and not use gold, items, or heirlooms from your main to equip your alt, or even create an alt on a completely different server, I'd argue that this alt would still end up having a lot of gold and being equipped like a twink.
The problem is that the economy of a server evolves with time, and with the average level of the characters playing on that server. The economy as a whole gets much richer, and even low-level characters can easily earn huge amounts of virtual currency by farming low-level resources, because somewhere there is a max-level character buying those low-level resources. In level-based games typically a high-level monster or quest rewards you with several magnitudes more virtual currency than a level 1 monster or quest. In World of Warcraft for example, where I recently made a low-level paladin on a different server, and thus have no heirloom items, I found that I could either do quests for 1 silver reward, or gather a stack of copper ore and sell it for 8 gold. Thus even without twinking, the trickle-down-economy of an older server automatically makes even low-level character rich. Of course prices for magic items on the auction house will also be affected by that inflation, but things like training costs or cost of a mount will not. And as Spinks remarked, because the other low-level characters around you will often have heirloom items, the previously very expensive twink gear items are now somewhat less expensive.
I always wondered why high-level mobs and quests had to give higher rewards. As discussed in the last thread, they aren't actually harder to do. If a level 80 character can kill a level 80 mob as easily as a level 1 character kills a level 1 mob, shouldn't the monetary loot drop and quest reward be the same?