One of my favorite things to do in the original EverQuest was twinking alts. I loved handing down gear I no longer used, or passing an item I found on my higher level characters to an alt. Today’s MMOs have abandoned the idea of low levels being able to use high level items. Most items are full of requisites which restrict usage. I miss being able to hand my level 1 Gnome Warrior a Wurmslayer, FBSS, and pair of Short Sword of Ykeshas. Those were my treasures, my cherished possessions, and I enjoyed being able to use them on other characters.
Twinking often gets a bad rap for trivializing content or offering an unfair advantage. I think the unfair advantage can be tossed out because there’s nothing unfair about fairly acquiring an item. There will always be haves and have-nots. Oh, and there’s also the “you didn’t earn that” argument which is also false — even if someone gave me the item and I wasn’t the one to originally loot it off a monster, I still earned it through social constructs.
Trivializing content is a legitimate claim, though. My Monk would waste just about anything with his Tranquil Staff and Fungal Tunic. I think I was able to blow through the first 30 levels without ever having a second of downtime. Heck, I loved every second of it and repeated the process over a dozen times on various other twinked characters — I would actually delete characters and pass my treasures to the next one. In hindsight, the items were probably (I say this reluctantly because I really did have fun) overpowered in the hands of a lowbie. That can be solved.
All it takes to alleviate the problem of twinked characters being ‘too’ strong — notice the emphasis on ‘too’ since a twinked character should always be strong (imo) — is a better scaling system. If the damage my warrior can do with a SSOY is directly related to my 1-hand slashing skill level (capped by my level), my strength (also capped), and some other complicated math then maybe I can still use that cool sword; I just won’t obliterate everything. My treasures will still scale with me, and I’ll still be able to pass them down and enjoy them.
Twinking is something I enjoy, and I hope future games are designed to allow these types of activities. Personally, I think it adds to replability, and breathes new life into items which may be forgotten or sentenced to a life spent in a bank slot never to be enjoyed again.
You’re going to be tempted to talk about BoE and BoP. I have purposely neglected those topics for a post I’m putting up tomorrow. I’d like you to hold your thoughts on binding until tomorrow; instead, share your thoughts on twinking. It used to be so much more than giving your alt the best items he can use at his level.
Update: I’ll be posting my BoE/BoP post on Friday.