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Posts with tag twinking

Warlords of Draenor: Low level PvP balance to be reviewed

PvPers rejoice! Blizzard Community Manager Bashiok has made a post today that is music to our ears. As ever, the whole lengthy ramble is after the break, but let's cherry-pick here for a second. What Bashiok is replying to is a perfectly reasonable post about PvP balance. He starts off with the same thing we're used to hearing, that WoW is a big game, and the devs have to focus their efforts on where the majority of players hang out, which, for PvP, is max level.

But then it gets interesting. He confirms that "some" low-level PvP balance will be addressed in Warlords. Some? What does he mean? Well, he continues on to explain that as a part of the ability removal that's going on, the devs are going to be looking at the ability acquisition pacing -- when you get stuff as you level up. At the same time as doing this, and the stat squish, they are going to be doing a pass on low-level balance, looking to ensure that ability damage is more even than it is now.

He does add that the lower brackets are inherently somewhat imbalanced, but that the devs' goal is to improve that as they work through the abilities. He also notes that they will be fixing "obvious tuning problems", and doing as much fine-tuning as possible. This is fantastic news for low-level PvPers everywhere! Hit the break for Bashiok's full post.

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Filed under: PvP

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

Will Patch 5.2 kill PvP twinking?

Will Patch 52 kill PvP twinking

If you weren't paying close attention to the most recent addition to the patch 5.2 PTR notes, you may have missed this little tidbit that was slipped in at the very end, under "Battlegrounds."

Blizzard
Players in low-level Battlegrounds will have their effective level raised to the maximum level allowed in that Battleground bracket. Players' base stats and spells are scaled accordingly, and are treated as the same level when determining hits, misses, and critical effect chance.


More clarity from Blizzard is definitely needed surrounding this change, and I for one am surprised this didn't make it into their recent PvP blog. It's a huge change, and blithely alters the scene of one small but much-loved section of the PvP game forever.

PvP twinking is essentially participating in the lower level brackets of battlegrounds and arenas, often with an XP-locked character, and gearing that character to the highest achievable standard for its level.

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Filed under: PvP, Mists of Pandaria

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

PvP twinking for dummies

WoW Insider covers the world of player vs. player action in Blood Sport for fans of Battleground, world PvP and Arena play. Steering you to victory is Olivia Grace, who spends most of her time in Azeroth making with the stabby and turning people into frogs.

So we're getting to that time in the expansion. People are winding down a bit, relaxing their playstyles, taking a break from raiding after getting their last targets down and killing a certain dragon on whatever mode takes their fancy.

So what do you do? Why, PvP! Of course, you can take your beloved max-level main, convert all that valor you don't need after completely gearing yourself in 397s or better into conquest, and get on the PvP train. Your justice points, of course, convert to honor (not at quite such a good rate), and that legendary staff you got when Firelands was still cool will do just fine. Better than fine, in fact. (Grumble, grumble.) But my residual bitterness about PvE gear in PvP is not what we're here to talk about today, nor is max-level PvP conversion. No, my lovely reader, we're here to talk about twinking.

What on earth is twinking? Well, it's when people level a character ... then stop. They might lock their XP or just not actively level at max speed for a level or two. In PvP, twinking centers around Battleground brackets and Arena levels, and it's really good fun!

First and foremost, you need to know how to lock XP, if you want to. Simply visit Behsten for Alliance or Slahtz for Horde. Bring 10 gold with you. It should be noted that locking XP is definitely not a requirement for twinked PvP! On certain battlegroups (my main battlegroup sadly included), XP-locked Battlegrounds leave you with a wait time that is "undetermined" -- you're not getting in any time soon. Exploits that get you around it are just that -- exploits. Blizzard may well borrow Adam Holisky's Ban Hammer!

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Twink Info giving away gifts for Winter Veil

Twink Info, a depository of great information and blogs for twinking out your characters at any level, is giving away some great prizes this season including a 7-inch touchscreen tablet. All you have to do to enter into the drawing is create an account for Twink Info's forums and post a minimum of 15 times before the new year. Learn about twinking out a new alt, how to survive in the Battleground brackets, the best transmog sets for your level, and more, while being entered in a cool competition.

Read all about the contest over on Twink Info, and then enter the contest.

Filed under: Contests

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

Tom Chilton talks about 3.2 and the future of World of Warcraft

Videogamer.com has a nice long interview with World of Warcraft Producer Tom Chilton about everything from patch 3.2 and the Argent Tournament to the future of the game at large. They caught up with him at the Warcraft Regional Finals 2009 tournament in Germany this past week, and in part one, he talks about the upcoming patch and what Blizzard is expecting to get out of it. He says the Isle of Conquest battleground is their most "epic-feeling" instanced PvP setting since Alterac Valley, and that they want it to feel nuts, with players fighting each other via air and land. He also mentions Arena, and says that it was originally designed to be "a fun side PvP activity" that they went a little overboard with during Burning Crusade. Finally, he talks about twinks, and says that neither Blizzard nor twinks, apparently, want to see other players crushed by those who have the time or money to max out their low level characters. Even twinks, says Chilton, want to see competition against each other, and the option to turn XP off will let them do that. I'm not sure I agree with that last one -- many twinks seem to beef their characters up just for the chance to lay waste to "normal" players, but Chilton says Blizzard believes otherwise.

The second part of the interview is more general -- he talks a little bit about the next expansion (with the same speculation we've already heard: Gilneas, the Maelstrom, the Emerald Dream), and says that designing a race is tougher on artists, but designing a class is tougher on designers. He admits that because we had a new class in Wrath, it's unlikely we'll see another class so soon in the next expansion, but "not impossible" of course. And he does note that Blizzard tries to "pre-seed" the races before they use them as playable races, so if they are adding in races, chances are we've already seen them (which, you may note, wasn't strictly true with the Draenei in BC). Finally, he talks about the future of Blizzard's MMO in general, and says it's still wide open to them: they plan for the game to last for years, and what they do between now and then, whether that be more expansions, microtransactions, or even a free-to-play model, will have to depend on what they want to do at the time.

Very interesting interview. Chilton doesn't really reveal anything, but you do get the sense that save for a very skeleton plan of one or two years in the future, Blizzard is really playing it fast and loose with World of Warcraft. Even he admits that the game may look very different, depending on how things go, in another four years from now.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds

Twinking post patch 3.1

The twinks were a little doom-and-gloom before the patch, but it seems like the end of the world has come and gone, and they're still interested in twinking. As Drayner over at Twinkinfo predicted, all of the changes on the PTR went live: enchants have level requirements, as did profession buffs, and those aren't scaling either. At this point, it sounds like the only way to twink out your character (which means make it super powerful at a certain low level) is to fit them out in the best gear you can find for the level.

If you can keep them at that level, that is -- apparently there's a bug in the game with queuing up for BGs where you are sometimes accidentally transported to a graveyard when you queue. And for some twinks sitting just on the brink of leveling, that extra few points of exploration XP could ruin everything. Be careful with that, though we're sure a hotfix is incoming soon.

But nevertheless, people apparently still twinking -- while there are good numbers of people ready to leave twinking (or even the game), the majority of answers on their poll over there say that people are still going to try ruling the lower level battlegrounds. Which is about what we expected before the patch: these people live to bend the rules as far as they'll go, and a few more probably won't stop them.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling, Buffs

The state of twinking pre-3.1

Our friend Drayner has posted an open letter to Blizzard over at Twinkinfo.com in which he basically laments the breaking of WoW's twinking game. We've covered twinking quite a few times before here -- it's the game-within-a-game of beefing up lower-level characters to their maximum power using enchants, low-level items, or whatever else they can find. Officially, Blizzard hasn't endorsed or condoned twinking -- if you want to do it, you're free to, but you've got to live with the rules they set on items and enchants, and so forth.

And that seems to be Drayner's main issue with Blizzard: they aren't consistent on twinking. They'll make changes that level the twink field, and then they'll ignore bugs that almost completely break it. They kept the latest enchants off of players below level 60, but then they grandfathered in players with the 450 profession buffs. He's got a whole list of changes they've made for and against twinking, and basically asks Blizzard to either support twinking, or (and obviously he's less happy with this decision) end it for good.

Unfortunately for him, he probably won't get an answer. There are plenty of players twinking, but not nearly enough for Blizzard to consider making changes based on twinks alone (and while twinks are howling at some of the changes, the rest of the player population either dislikes the whole idea of twinking, or couldn't care either way). And considering that twinking does draw some players into the game, it's not likely Blizzard will ditch it anytime either. Twinks, they would likely say, are playing a meta game already based on made-up rules, so why should it matter that they've also got to abide by other inconsistent rules? Based on what we've heard from them in the past, it seems twinking is a player creation, not a Blizzard creation, so it's up to players to deal with the issues, not Blizzard.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Classes, Enchants

Mysterious twink rends worlds [UPDATED]

Our inbox has been absolutely flooded with reports of this mysterious twink, Aigni of Ner'zhul, that appeared on the official forums in the last 24 hours. If you look closely at his Armory, you'll notice some pretty big oddities. For one, the character is wielding a weapon he really shouldn't be able to have. Two, the character has some other items equipped that are normally far out of the reach of a level 10, such as the Violet Badge. Three, he has the achievement for downing Gruul the Dragonslayer.

A lot of people have called 'hax' on it, but how it went down was probably more innocent than that. Not completely, entirely innocent, but more innocent than hacking Blizzard's Gibson. Our first instinct when looking at the items is that he must have simply completed a few bugged quests that had no minimum level requirement. Looking at his achievements killed that theory pretty quickly, though. The sword he's wielding, the Combatant Greatsword, is from a quest in the Borean Tundra. According to his achievements, he's never been to the Borean Tundra.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Humor

Insider Trader: Twink gathering controversy, updated

icanhascheezburger.com
Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Back in patch 3.0.3, you might have missed one of the changes. This one line in the patch notes informed us that leveling requirements to train gathering professions had been removed. The reasoning seemed to be that they are self-restricted, as you can't exactly go romping around Northrend at level 15.

The problem with this logic is that you can, in fact, with some help, and this change definitely did not go unnoticed in the twink community. With a little patience and some dedicated high level friends, you too could become a level 19 PvP terror with two of the following buffs; 32 critical strike rating, 500 stamina, and/or an instant cast self-heal for 2000 health over 5 seconds every 3 minutes.

The critical strike buff would vary depending on your class, but as an example, a level 19 rogue would gain 10.8% critical strike chance.

Understandably, some members of the twink community are none too happy about this development, and would like to see it corrected.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Features, Buffs, Alts, Insider Trader (Professions), Forums, Battlegrounds

Survey reveals what twinks are all about

This is interesting -- our friend Drayner over at Twinkinfo.com recently took a survey of his site's readers, and after picking up almost 1,000 replies, he's posted the results. They show a little bit of insight into the kind of person that plays a twink (a character maxed out at a certain level before 80, usually to run around in PvP battlegrounds). Specifically, they're male, under 21, play for 21-30 hours a week, think their gear rates a 5 out of 5, and are probably level 19 and in Warsong Gulch capturing flags. I'm not sure if that's suprising or not, but those are pretty safe majority votes, even given the smaller sample size of the poll.

Twink players are also more likely to not have more than one account, which kind of makes sense -- they only need one account and just have lots of characters on them. 66% of twinks are actually in twink guilds, and most have at least more than one twink to play around with. Hunters and Rogues top the class choices (though not with a clear majority at all). And perhaps most interesting, over 50% of twinks say Blizzard is serving them just fine -- they're not ignoring them, and they're not giving them any more love than other players. Still, as Drayner pointed out to us, about 36% of twinks said they'd leave the game if Blizzard shut them down with an additional 30% saying Maybe, so Blizzard does have a little incentive there to keep twinking happening.

Quite interesting -- twinks might be one of the only groups of players who are completely fine with how they're being handled in game. 2.3 obviously gave them lots of new items to play with, and while there is some frustration from other players, Blizzard has made it so easy to level that if you don't want to play with the twinks at 19, you can move on pretty quickly.

Filed under: Hunter, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Alts

Holy Paladin goggles added in patch 3.0.8

Holy Paladin Engineers can finally rejoice, because patch 3.0.8 is bringing them the goggles that have been oddly missing from Wrath thus far. The highly anticipated Unbreakable Healing Amplifiers are pretty good, and just like the other Northrend goggles, they only require level 72 to wear. While many peoples' mains will outgrow these goggles in 10-man raids, they're perfect for breaking into raids or twinking out an Engineering alt. Along with all the usual Engineering sorts of things, the stats are:
  • Unbreakable Healing Goggles
    1821 Armor
    55 Stamina, 60 Intellect
    1 meta socket, 1 yellow socket
    87 spell power, 73 crit rating
So they're pretty good! But they don't really hold up to raid gear. As for our Feral Druid buddies who also happen to be missing some goggles, I'm not 100% sure if they've opened up the Leather goggles to you yet, but if it hasn't happened yet it probably will. The addition of these goggles shows that they're aware of the problem, at least. If I had a Druid I would hop onto the PTR and take a look, but alas, I do not.

[via MMO-Champion]

Forum post of the day: Try a twinkie

Seska of Ysondre has posed the challenge of twinking to players who hate this style of play. She stated that the joy of playing a twink is in planning how to get gear for the effort. To her twinking proves that gear is more important than skill. To do it right, twinking requires considerable time and effort (not to mention cash from higher level characters), but is a valuable experience. Seska is currently a level 16 Shaman, and plans to keep that character as a twink.

She was met with agreement by some other twinks, but also a lot of resistance and resentment. Some people say that they have tried twinking and gotten bored with it soon afterward, like playing any other video game with cheat codes. This practice can also be frustrating for other players who would like to battleground as they level up but become demoralized by twinks.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Alts, Forums, Battlegrounds, Forum Post of the Day

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