“Tinkering” With Abilities

Briggs Boltslinger - Gearsmith

One of the things that can get static in-game are the same old skills, powers and abilities we have with a character or class. I was playing one of my alts and I thought, “Let’s spice this up a bit!”.

The basic concept was to take the “standard” abilities and give them a twist for both creative and immersion reasons. I thought it was worth a shot! :)

So, you have Briggs, my frazzled “Gnomish inventor/engineer”… or “Gearsmith” as he prefers to be called.

If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits eighty-eight miles per hour… you’re gonna see some serious #*@$!
- Dr. Emmett Brown

Over the years he’s had many hit or miss inventions that he’s been tweaking and refining since his exile from Gnomeregan when the Trogs and radiation forced him out.

I used the Rogue class for this character due to the “everydayish” quality of the Rogue class. I find it very versatile, like the warrior – for a “everyman” sort of template. Of course, I took Engineering readily for more goodies to make later on.

Here’s an overview of what I did with him:

This is a view of his macro panel after “tinkering” with it a little.


I made custom specific macros for him and replaced them in my action bars. I kept the tooltips visible for ease of remembering – in case I forgot. Hey… it happens! :)

Taking the basic abilities I got at different levels, I came up with ideas for different gadgets, tools and gimmicks to both “rationalize” the Rogue class abilities.

I also picked new icons to help immerse myself into the character – and to give the illusion of playing a “different” class. The “Gearsmith”, for example.

Class-wise, yeah – he’s “still” a Rogue, but I don’t play him like that while in character. He’s just a very crafty inventor, or “Gearsmith” in this case. His gadgets have a heavy steampunkish quality – with a Azeroth/Gnomish Engineering flair.

Take the Cloak macro, for example as a replacement to his Stealth ability. He carries a handheld gadget that when he pushes the button, he’s bending the light around him, based on “highly experimental” mirrored thread in parts of his clothing. It’s very unstable, but it can allow him to sneak in and out of places.

The Boost Boots! macro is a pair of “Rocket Spurs” he has on his boots that allow his to run faster. It replaces the Rogue ability Sprint that makes you run really fast for a few seconds.

Ah! What did I tell you? 88 miles per hour!
The temporal displacement occurred exactly 1:20am
and zero seconds!

- Dr. Emmett Brown

The Melee Accelerant macro is a set of implanted “sequenced melee attack kinetics registors) or “SMAKRs” which puts his melee attack sequences into overdrive. It replaces the Rogue ability Slice and Dice that makes you increase melee attack speed. He just has to build up some kinetic energy (combo points) to activate it.

As you can see, I experimented with many of the Rogue abilities. Basically, he’s pulling a “Batman”, a gadgeteer using a Utility Belt. “Holy Monkey-Wrenches!” - You can also pull a Booster Gold, by “acquiring” tech or magic to help you on your adventures.

Other ideas
His [Mechanical Squirrel] is a portable lab – similar to K-9 from the Doctor Who series. I also use the various goggles for different uses, luckily I got a pair of [Ruby Shades] before they poofed from the vendors. I use those as a “lens” change when I spot something or focus on a area – could use it when I have Longsight using my [Ornate Spyglass] . [The Bright-Eye Goggles] are for studying things. My “normal” specs are the [Gnomish Goggles] or the classic [Flying Tiger Goggles]!

Briggs in Stormwind

The great thing about this is that it helps get you in character. Get creative with your spells as a Mage, or powers as a Druid. Also for powers as magical items – magical rings, cloaks and offhand items could be a physical focus or representation of an abilty. Fetishes of odd items for Druids and Shaman types as well. Priests and Paladins can use weapons and offhand items to “use” abilites – like for resurrection spells.

Examples (with nods to D&D fans):

  • Swords of Quickess (+haste “explanation” or use of Slice and Dice)
  • Using a Loot Card item from the collectible card game as a prop to do a spell- but that can be expensive.
  • For Warlocks, Shaman and Shadow Priests a [Laughing Skull Orb] can be a device used for some of the nastier spells.

You get the idea. It adds “flavor” to your adventures and role-playing.

The main things to keep in mind when “tinkering” with your abilities are these:

  • Don’t use anything to metagame.
  • Don’t God-mode or ruin people’s roleplaying.
  • Do be creative and have fun!
  • Don’t overdo it or really showy things, use sparingly – spamming an effect is just plain annoying and can disrupt RP in a group.

So it’s all limited to your imagination what props you can use and how you “rationalize” or make them fit the game world and your role-playing. See what’s around in your MMORPG of choice and try to spin it a different way. See what could work for your character and have fun.

I hope this gives you some ideas to use on a character you have or on a future one.

Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.
- Dr. Emmett Brown

Until next, keep RPing!