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Posts with tag low-level

The fine art of PvE twinking from level 1-35

TDQ Call To Arms
I'm sure most of you are familiar with the concept of "twinking" in WoW for PvP. It generally entails decking a low-level character out with all the best possible gear available to them and then tearing up the battlefields. In these post-experience locking days twinking is more straightforward than ever, and our own Olivia Grace has already covered a lot of the gearing aspects of twinking, for both PvE and PvP.

PvE twinking is a bit of an unusual idea. Mostly it refers to locking experience at one of the former level caps - 60, 70, 80, or 85 - in order to enjoy the challenges of old raids or to accomplish something limited to players of a certain level, such as the Herald of the Titans title. These are fun and interesting ways to spend time in the game, but what about PvE twinking at even lower levels? Say, level 20? Or 40? Why on earth would anyone want to do that?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Cataclysm

Four simple steps to get started with twinking in PvE or PvP

Five simple steps to get started with twinking
Twinking doesn't have to be about PvP. This common misconception likely emerges because a lot of twinking information sites focus on PvP. But, twinking, while definitely great fun in a PvP context, is prevalent in PvE too. What is twinking? Well, it's simply focusing your gameplay and gearing efforts on a different level than the maximum. Popular PvP twinking levels are based around arena brackets, which are only accessible at certain levels. 70, 80-84 and 85 are the brackets as they stand for arena, and PvE twinking largely follows these brackets. For PvP, there is also the level 19 "bracket", which is hugely active thanks to the free-play accounts.

Turning off your XP

While not strictly necessary if you're only planning to twink temporarily, this is really important if you want to take your twinking seriously. If you accidentally ding, you're going to bump yourself out of your bracket, and there's no going back. To turn off your XP gains, visit Slahtz for the Horde and Behsten for the Alliance. They're located in Orgrimmar and Stormwind respectively, and will stop you earning XP. Don't worry, though, you can turn XP back on if you change your mind for a few gold. Another approach some might take is to simply not upgrade their account to the next expansion. Since Blizzard changed their character policy to allow players to play any race, not owning expansions beyond Wrath is less restrictive than it used to be, although the monk class will still be unavailable. Edit: Cynwise enlightened us that a recent change means you need XP on for arenas. Don't forget to switch it off again afterwards! Thanks Cynwise!

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Filed under: PvP, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

15 Minutes of Fame: PvE twinks turn lowbie instances devilishly difficult

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

PvP twinking is a fairly well-known, widespread phenomenon in World of Warcraft. The idea is that players stop leveling at the very top of a particular PvP level range bracket, dig in with all the mix-maxed gear and enchants they can muster, and proceed to mop up the battleground kills. Anyone who's run a few battlegrounds on the way up through the levels has encountered that shockingly strong player who tears him a new one. We've even profiled a prolific, multi-level twinker (twinkie?) right here on 15 Minutes of Fame.

What you might not be as familiar with -- we weren't! -- is the idea of PvE twinking. Allow us to introduce a hardy band of adventurers on Blackwater Raiders (US-H) that's running each and every instance at the bare minimum level that players are eligible to enter. Ragefire Chasm at level 8? You got it. Deadmines at level 10? Aggro Magnet Central -- but yeah, you got that, too.

"It's surprisingly fun playing these classic instances that we've all done hundreds of times at such a low level compared to the mobs," gushes party leader Gilgalad. "It can take hours to clear an instance that typically takes 20 to 30 minutes for an appropriately leveled party. Some of the boss mechanics that are typically a trifle to a normal party become incredibly difficult to deal with when you are 10 levels below the boss. Arugal in Shadowfang Keep was particularly tough and required quite a few attempts before we came up with a strategy that worked."

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Patch 3.3: Helpful rewards for low-level dungeon runs

We've been talking a lot about Patch 3.3's new Dungeon Finder feature lately, and for good reason -- it's leaps and bounds better than the LFG tool we've been dealing with for the past several years. One of the features that's caught everyone's attention is the great reward that level 80 players get for completing random WotLK Heroic dungeons. Well, if you're a lower-level player using the tool to run random dungeons at your level, it turns out you get something too.

The Satchel of Helpful Goods is a level-scaling bag o' rewards, which EU Community Manager Wryxian says will contain one piece each from two sets of loot rewards. Quoth the crocolisk:

...these satchels are rewards from doing a random dungeon through the LFG tool at lower levels. There's two groups of items that can be inside them. One includes bracers, rings, necklaces and cloaks. The other has belts, boots, gloves and shoulder items. What you'll find in the satchel is one item from each group, and this is also further influenced by a ten level range. So for example, what is in a satchel received for completing a dungeon between levels 20 and 30 might be a nice necklace and some gloves, but from a dungeon between 50 and 60 you might get a ring and some new boots.

The level ranges he refers to are 5-15, 15-25, 24-34, 35-45, 46-55, 56-60, 60-64, and 65-70. Wryxian indicates that the two item groups are set up so as not to trivialize quest rewards from the zones in your level range, and to make sure that you're always receiving a variety of gear. It's unknown at this time whether these'll be blues we've seen before, a la Elven Spirit Claws, or whether they're newly-created blues with the express purpose of being Satchel rewards. Still, pretty cool. Oh, and you get money too.


Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, News items

A bag for Cooking

Profession bags are a godsend for almost anyone leveling up a profession -- while the loss of bag space in favor of specialty slots can be a problem sometimes at the lower levels, almost all high level characters can definitely make use of at least one profession bag, to hold all of the extra ore, or gems, or leather, or whatever else you're hauling around all the time. But Natalia over on WoW LJ makes an excellent point: just where is our cooking bag? And how about a fishing bag? You might argue that only the gathering professions are meant to have bags (the Blacksmithing bag is actually a Mining bag, so even Engineers can make use of it), but that's not quite true: Engineering does have its own bags, as does Inscription. Cooking and/or Fishing, you'd think, should both have their own profession bags.

Of course, they are both secondary professions, so maybe Blizzard believes that because they're more or less optional, you should be able to carry around all of your food and spices and lures in your regular bags. But cooking especially has gotten pretty complicated lately (there are a few foods that you've got to have in your bags regularly to do the daily quests, especially Chilled Meat), and so a lot of players would definitely find a use for a dedicated bag. First Aid, probably not, but Cooking and Fishing? Definitely.

And if you want to really dream, maybe food could actually get a bonus from being kept in a special "refridgerated" bag -- nothing big, just maybe a few extra points of the bonus stat or a little longer duration when you actually take care of your food rather than just tossing it in with all of the Kobold eyeballs and oily swords and cloth that you're also carrying around. But that would be extra -- for now, just a bigger bag meant for cooking and fishing utensils would be fine, thanks.

Filed under: Fishing, Cooking, Items, Analysis / Opinion

Will Ulduar break your guild?

Dueg is the first blogger I've seen to suggest this, but I feel like it's an undercurrent that's been going around since the 3.1 release last week (and we'll probably find out more when Guildwatch comes out later tonight). He suggests that Ulduar might be, of all things, a guildbreaker. Now certainly it won't be nearly as much of a roadblock as Karazhan -- not only was that a tough instance, but it was also the first one we came across in Burning Crusade, and guilds who couldn't make it in Kara had no place to turn back to (at least guilds that can't make it in Ulduar can fall back on Naxx farming). But there's no question that Ulduar requires some excellent gear and some serious tactics, and if your guild has people raiding who are missing either one of those, you're going to be hitting your head on the wall quite a bit in there.

That's not to say that it's super hard -- it's not, especially if you know not to stand in the fire and you've got the kind of gear on that lets you conquer the Heroic achievements. A lot of guilds have 25 of those people, and they're doing very well in Ulduar so far. But as Dueg says, Naxx is a casual instance, and Ulduar is not. In Naxx, you can get away with losing a few people, or having a few folks in greens along. In Ulduar, you can't.

It's not the apocalypse for guilds -- most guilds will go back to Naxx if they have trouble in Ulduar, grab a few more epics and tier pieces, and try again later. And some probably won't bother with Ulduar at all -- my casual guild is having fun just taking our time finishing Naxx wing by wing. But Ulduar seems to be where the rubber meets the road with casual raiding. If there's a guild out there who has a few lesser raiders carried along by a few high-level veterans, Ulduar's likely to cause some friction.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Guilds, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

Illusionary Tactics: Tree's Company

Illusionary Tactics documents my perfectly reasonable preoccupation with items and quests that change your appearance. After all, how long can you really look at one character's back before you start getting tired of it? So much better to turn into a tree periodically. (No, I'm not talking about you, Druids; your column is that way.)

Blizzard must have really had a good time designing the Draenei and Blood Elf starting areas for Burning Crusade; there are a lot of great and frequently hilarious quests there, and this is one of them. The reason I'm talking about it here is because it's one of them that happens to turn you into a tree.

Although I find it unlikely that anyone would want to avoid spoilers for a level 8 quest chain, I'll put the rest of the discussion behind a cut just in case.

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Filed under: Quests, Features, Illusionary Tactics

Arcane Brilliance: Leveling your Mage, 1-20



Every Saturday, Arcane Brilliance freezes you in place, then Blinks behind a pillar and turns Invisible. You can look for Arcane Brilliance if you want to, but I can tell you that's a bad idea. You see, while you're looking, Arcane Brilliance is positioning itself behind you, cooking up a giant Pyroblast and aiming it up your tailpipe. You really only have a few options here. You can a.) cry, b.) curl into the fetal position and wait for the sweet embrace of death, or c.) distract Arcane Brilliance by quickly yelling "Spell damage is more important that spell hit rating, discuss!" and then log out while Arcane Brilliance is busy posting on the forums about what you just said. I'd go with c.), personally. Works every time.


Recently, I discovered that there seem to be leveling guides on this site for just about every class but Mages, so it's time I stepped up to the plate. The problem is, Mage was my very first class, on my very first character, on my very first foray into the World of Warcraft, which took place approximately forever ago. Ok, so it's only been about two-and-a-half years, but in WoW years, that's the rough equivalent of a million kajillion years ago. My memories of those first few levels are fuzzy at best, and I can condense what I remember learning into two statements: "Murlocs are evil," and "The only way out of Undercity is to use my Hearthstone." One of those statements eventually stopped being true for me, and the other one is "Murlocs are evil." Needless to say, I didn't feel entirely qualified to write a leveling guide for the first few levels of Magecraft.

To rectify the situation, I decided to roll a brand new Mage, so that I could experience those first few levels all over again. To ensure that the experience was as pure as I could make it, I created my Mage on a new server--the newest actually--Cairne. I knew nobody on that server, and had no alts there, so this Mage, a Human female I named Niwt, would be an entirely virgin Mage. I had never played an Alliance Mage before, and never leveled any character in the Human starting area, so the quests would be new to me, and the landscape foreign. I disabled all of my mods and dove in.

It was horrible.

I learned a lot though, or remembered learning a lot, depending on how you look at it. After the break, more text!

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Filed under: Human, Gnomes, Undead, Trolls, Mage, Mining, Tips, How-tos, Draenei, Blood Elves, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Making money, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Patch 2.3: Twinks become gods

As you know, in patch 2.3, many of the previously ho-hum mid-level dungeon drops are set to actually become useful, worth the trip you make to go get them in the dungeon (in most cases). Overall, this is a blessing for players everywhere, either starting out with their first characters, or leveling up long-forgotten alts.
Twinks, however, are going to become a much greater nuisance than they were before. Some of their old items are going to be upgraded by default as the new patch comes in and the old items all around the world get replaced with the new.

New twinks, however, will have the privilege of setting their sights on the best of the best items for their particular class and level bracket, putting an even further distance between them and other players who just want to enjoy a bit of PvP as they level up. This is particularly true with new low-level epics such as the Deadman's Hand which, at level 29, seems designed to be the pet dream of twinks everywhere, regardless of race or class.

Does Blizzard intend to support twinking? And what's the whole point of twinking anyway?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Leveling, Alts

Low level hunter pets to level faster... someday

So there you are, a proud hunter at level 70, and you suddenly realize that you absolutely must have a low-level pet, such as the famous translucent ghost saber? What do you do?

Up till now the conventional answer was: "suffer." Low level pets only gain experience when you kill something around your level range, not theirs, so the only choice is to just bear with it for a very long time while you try to kill high-level monsters with a low-level pet, or else just give up and not do it.

Well finally it looks like Blizzard has in mind something to do about it. Drysc tells us:
We have plans to adjust how quickly a hunter's pet will level if there's a large gap between it and the hunter's level. However, it's still just a plan and not something we've implemented and thus are not ready to discuss it.
Something's going to happen -- we just don't know what it is yet. But really, for hunters anything would be better than what it is now. It's always nice to remove needless tedium don't you think?

Filed under: Hunter, Leveling

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