A neutral hero available to all players at the Tavern, in the Frozen Throne, the 2003 expansion set to Warcraft III.
Background: The Goblin Tinker (referred to in-game as only the "Tinker") was originally an April Fool's Day joke. On April 1, 2004, Blizzard Entertainment posted an update on www.battle.net regarding a new Hero called the Goblin Tinker, who would be added to the game in the next patch. On April 2, 2004, Blizzard posted another update revealing the Tinker to be merely a joke. However... this wasn't especially funny to WarCraft players. They wanted to play with the Tinker and they wanted it badly. Many rants and an enormous petition on the Battle.net message boards erupted. And much to the joy of many people (including me), on April 14, 2004, Blizzard announced that the joke was, in fact, not a joke. The Goblin Tinker is in the 1.15 patch! Furthermore, Blizzard decided to have an open beta of the patch on its own battle.net server, allowing me the information needed for this write-up.
Important Note: The following information is current as of May 10, 2004, patch version 1.15.
Physical Description: A little goblin with a big mechanical backpack (complete with little smokestacks). The Tinker attacks with large robotic arms mounted on his backpack. His eyes are obscured by a round helmet.
Strengths: The Goblin Tinker is an oddball hero. He is the only Intelligence hero with a melee attack (although he starts with as much Strength as he does Intelligence, 20 each). However, he ends up with great damage and extremely high movement speed due to his passive Engineering Upgrade skill, making him a decent candidate for a hero-killer. He is also small in size, making him easier to maneuver and less vulnerable than larger heroes. Finally, two of the Tinker's basic skills have area effects that only affect enemy units, making him a useful hero in large battles, such as in team games.
Weaknesses: The Tinker is less durable than other melee Heroes, as he lacks both Strength and a strong defensive ability. However, his speed allows him to simply run from most threats; this requires a good degree of micromanagement. Without items, a level 10 Tinker has only 41 Strength and 43 Intelligence (compare to the Crypt Lord's 54 Strength, and the Lich's 50 Intelligence).
Spells and Abilities:
- Pocket Factory: For 125 mana, the Tinker throws a tiny box onto the battlefield. When it hits the ground, it erupts into a 300-hitpoint factory which immediately starts cranking out Clockwerk Goblins. These are little, 125-hitpoint mechanical units that automatically attack enemy units for 8-9 damage. They last for only 8 seconds. However, when they die, they explode, dealing (30/50/80) damage to all nearby enemy units. Pocket Factory is greatly improved by points in Engineering Upgrade, which increases the rate of Clockwerk Goblin production. (The Pocket Factory always lasts 40 seconds, regardless of level.) An important thing to consider when using Pocket Factory is that when attacked by a Clockwerk Goblin, the game AI will consider the Factory to be the source of damage. Basically, whenever a unit is attacked by a Clockwerk Goblin, the attacked unit will go after the Pocket Factory.
- Cluster Rockets:The Tinker sprouts a missile pack and launches a salvo of rockets. The rockets deal (30/55/80) damage to all enemy units within a certain radius, and also stun them for 1 second. This skill is mediocre on its own, but when combined with higher levels of Engineering Upgrade, it becomes a menace - particularly because it only affects enemy units. You can freely bombard an entire battlefield with Cluster Rockets, disrupting your opponent's micromanagement and wearing down his troops. With a low mana cost (only 80 mana) and quick cooldown, Cluster Rockets is also a viable option for stopping channeling spells like Starfall or Tranquility.
- Engineering Upgrade:This is perhaps the Tinker's coolest skill. By itself, Engineering Upgrade is a passive skill that gives the Tinker (2/4/6) extra attack damage, and (10%/20%/30%) increase to movement speed. A Tinker with level 3 Engineering Upgrade is surprisingly quick, but that's not the biggest benefit of the skill. The Upgrade also affects other skills; the Pocket Factory receives increased production rate, while the Cluster Rockets receive additional radius. The Robo-Goblin gains even more Strength and armor, and a bonus increase to the Demolish ability.
- Ultimate Skill - Robo-Goblin: When used, this skill permanently transforms the Tinker into a giant tank. While in Robo-Goblin mode, the Tinker gains additional armor and Strength, and becomes a mechanical unit, granting it immunity from many negative abilities (including stun) and some positive abilities. The Tinker can switch between regular and Robo-Goblin modes at will (much like a Druid of the Claw), for a mere 25 mana. The Engineering Upgrade skill increases the Strength and armor of the Robo-Goblin even more! When in Robo-Goblin mode, the Tinker can be repaired by peon units; keep this in mind after a long fight.
- Demolish: Robo-Goblin mode also offers the Demolish ability, which gives additional attack damage against buildings. Demolish's damage factor increases with points in Engineering Upgrade, up to 3 1/2 times damage to buildings. This makes a Tinker a good choice to supplement a siege-heavy army.
Gameplay: The Tinker can fill many different roles well, provided he has the right items. Combine his speed and attack power with some Claws of Attack, an Orb of Frost, and perhaps a Kelen's Dagger of Escape, for a potent hero-killer. Give the Tinker Rings of Protection, Strength/Agility enhancing items, an Orb of Fire, and a Cloak of Flames to make him a more effective tank (no pun intended). With Boots of Speed, the Tinker can also pop into an opponent's base to drop a Pocket Factory next to his gold mine, and with some skill, can stick around to help kill peons. In most cases, you will want to augment his Intelligence while compensating for his lack of durability; the ideal item for this purpose would be a Medallion of Courage.
Like most neutral heroes, the Tinker is best used as a supplement to your regular forces. He can be a good starting hero if you are aggressive in leveling him up, or you have teammates to support you. When carefully micromanaged, he makes an excellent second hero. Because of his relative fragility (he is about as sturdy as a Dreadlord), you will probably want to use him with other melee units. Always be ready to run the Tinker out of battle, and if you have Cluster Rockets, you can use it to make an escape.
Copyrighted information is the property of their respective owners. This write-up was created in the style of Kalon's Undead hero write-ups for consistency's sake. Do not eat this write-up.