i see. im still relatively new to creating handpainted textures so i just wanna verify: is it common/efficient to handpaint highlights in diffuse AND emphasize them in specular/gloss maps? because i feel like that would be overkill opposed to just having "fake lighting" in the diffuse.
no, you dont want to paint highlights because the spec map will create them for you. if your dealing with lowpolys (Wow, Torchlight etc) you would paint in the lighting to "fake it" it usually one or the other. hope that made sense