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Posts with tag twinks

Breakfast topic: Are you going to turn off XP gain in battlegrounds?


The PTR is an exciting place and there are plenty of fascinating little changes. One of the smallest is also the most important - at least is if you have a twink and a PvP addiction. Once patch 3.2 goes live your beloved twink will finally be able to battle to your heart's content, to slaughter the opposing faction and steal flags/bases without fear of gaining even one tinsy little experience point.

It costs gold of course but it's something which is sure to delight anyone who spends their days in battlegrounds. Twinks get their own special battleground and they can only play against other twinks who've visited Behsten in Stormwind or his colleague in Orgrimmar. It certainly validates twinkdom and a lot of people are going to be very happy.

However not me, of course, my dislike of PvP is almost legendary. But that's not the point. So, twinks everywhere, when patch 3.2 eventually hits are you going to part with your gold, borrowed from your sugar daddy main? Will it make you more likely to spend more time in PvP? Do you wish this lack of XP was extended to leveling in general, not just PvP activities? Speak up, constant readers, and drop your thoughts in the comments box.

Filed under: Patches, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Battlegrounds

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

Twinked-out NPCs in patch 3.2 thrill twinks

As expected, the twink enthusiasts over at TwinkInfo are supremely excited about that experience switch coming in patch 3.2 -- not only are they finally getting to stop XP gains on demand, but Blizzard has given them their own little easter egg in the game. We already knew the two NPCs with the switch for each faction were called Behsten in Stormwin and Slahtz in Orgrimmar (get it? "Best in slots?"), but now that the PTR is open, they've discovered something else: the NPCs themselves are twinked out with classic Rogue twink gear. From the Blackened Defias Chest to the Feet of the Lynx (and dual Assassin's Blades with Lifestealing), Blizzard went all out on these guys. As Drayner says, the only thing missing is a 'chanted Fishing Hat.

Not everybody is big on twinking -- lots of people think it's annoying to duck into the BGs for the first time and get rolled by an alt who's got a lot of money and time behind them. Fortunately, though, this XP change will not only legitimize twinking even more, but it'll get it out of our way as well, as players with XP turned off will only face other players with XP turned off (other twinks, essentially). Throw in that it's something twinks have been asking for a long time, and it's a win-win for everybody.
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, NPCs

Battleground leveling and experience changes in Patch 3.2: Twinks v. Twinks


There was a big announcement today on upcoming Battleground changes. However there are two critical pieces of PvP information that people everywhere, especially twinks, are going to go crazy over.
  • You will be able to level through PvP Battlegrounds
  • You will be able to turn off experience gains
This means that you'll be able to level your character simply by competing in PvP in battlegrounds and completing objectives, such as capturing the flag in WSG or securing resources in AB. Not from killing other players. This opens up a whole new way of playing the game at the earlier levels, one that will add a significant dynamic to it.

The second major change is the ability to turn off this experience gain in Battlegrounds and the rest of WoW (at a cost of 10g). This means that twinks are a viable and supported option in WoW, and lets those players who want to sit in the 30s bracket enjoy it to their heart's content.

Additionally, if you have turned off experience gains, you'll be placed in separate battlegrounds from those that have them turned on. That means that twinks will play against other twinks, and not against those players who are just interested in the bracket from a more casual perspective.

The floodgates of Patch 3.2 are wide open now. Enjoying it?
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: News items, PvP, 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.

Read more →

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

Insider Trader: Twink gathering controversy, updated

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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.

Read more →

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

Twinking for my own sanity

I have a lot of alts. Not as many as some, but more than most. I have five level 70s, two characters over 50, and two others that sort of float around depending on what I feel like playing that week. Needless to say, I'm pretty sick of the lower level content. I've done it so many times by now that I'll be very, very happy when I never need to see it again.

Until Blizzard decides to let us take a character straight from level 1 to level 70, I'm pretty much stuck going through that content. I enjoy learning to play new characters, but I don't think just grinding out quests does that for you. I would really like a 70 of each class so I can learn how to play them in dungeons and eventually the lower tier raids like Karazhan. Since I can't skip all of that content I've done endlessly already, I try to make my trip to 70 as easy as possible.

It was when I started levelling my Frost Mage that I realized just how far I will go to speed up those early levels. About 5 minutes after I rolled that Mage, I equipped her with a set of pre-enchanted gear that gave her just under 100 Frost Damage, and roughly an extra 400 hit points. I was basically invincible, and I loved it. It was expensive, but so worth it to blaze through those first few levels. Taking out moonkin in two Frostbolts was strangely soothing.

That's the most money I've put into a brand new character so far, but I would probably do it again in the future just to bypass that really early stuff. My question for all of you is: What's the most you've put into a twink that fresh, just for levelling and not stomping WSG?

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Leveling

Insider Trader: Wrath alpha edition

As Wrath information is leaking from the alpha testing, we are seeing more and more glimpses into the expansion than ever before. This week, Insider Trader will be analyzing some of the changes and new abilities on the horizon for craftsmen.

Because some people would really rather not know this information, I'm placing all of it beyond the break. It should be noted that none of these details are set in stone, and in fact, many will never make the actual expansion, or change significantly before it.

Still, it is interesting to look into Blizzard's process, as they expand and evolve the professions, and create a new one. A few of the changes indicate that they are indeed listening to some of the ideas craftsmen have put forth for what they'd like to see, and I think we should be excited about some of the developments on the horizon.

Read more →

Filed under: Mining, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Burning Crusade, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions), Rumors

15 Minutes of Fame: Inside PvP twinking

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – both the renowned and the relatively anonymous. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.

Despite grumbles from some players, PvP twinking – playing at max level of a particular PvP battlegrounds bracket, with the best available gear and enchants for that level – has been legitimized by Blizzard as a valid meta-game within WoW. While most players I've spoken with don't seem to have strong feelings about twinking one way or the other, neither do they seem to understand why someone would be interested in getting into it. What's the attraction?

We at 15 Minutes of Fame have an undeniable curiosity when it comes to meta-gamers and players who've carved out their own niches in the immense world that is World of Warcraft. That's how we came across Angrenous of Shadow Council, a PvP-aholic who runs warriors in almost every PvP bracket. Here's a player with his eyes wide open to all the various restrictions and limitations of WoW's PvP experience – and having a blast careening around in it.

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Filed under: Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

The Art of War(craft): Twinkage part II


Last week, we discussed the matter of twinks and PvP. In many occasions, twinks exist purely to PvP, dominating lower-bracket Battlegrounds with their über-gear. In fact, there is no shortage of twink complaint threads on the World of Warcraft forums. Whatever one might feel about twinks, it's an ongoing phenomenon that shows no signs of letting up. I'm not a big fan of twinkage myself, but it's such a distinct subset of the PvP crowd that I feel compelled to write about it. Twice. Oh, and for the record, I am quite aware that 'twink' is a homosexual slang term. I prefer to think of the Hostess snack, though.

So here we go, the second part of our look at twink PvP. Last week we discussed an overview of the potential items that twinks can obtain... I didn't make a comprehensive list since that's a considerable task. I did, however, give some pointers in the right direction. Considering that Resilience does not exist in lower level PvP, the key stat is Stamina, so get gear with loads of it. There are also ways to improve on gear, particularly using permanent item enchants. The most notorious of these is probably the Nethercleft Leg Armor, which requires Level 60 to apply, but has no item restriction. It might cost a bit of gold because it requires Primal Nether to craft, but the +40 Stamina is well worth it for twinks. Patch 2.4 also promises removing binding on nethers, which may or may not lower prices. For casters, the tailoring equivalents of Golden and Runic Spellthreads are also good investments, despite the 20 stamina hit.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

The Art of War(craft): Twinkage Part I


In the wild and wooly world of WoW PvP, there's one interesting subcategory that deserves mention -- the twinks. Defined as characters who are disproportionately powerful for their level, twinks are either loved or hated. On one hand, if you have a Level 70 character (or a few max-level friends), it's rather easy to 'twink up' another toon. On the other hand, many players who are leveling for the first time may find their Battlegrounds experience diminish when they encounter (and consequently have their faces smashed in by) ridiculously-geared and enchanted opponents on the field. In fact, twinks are a subculture of their own, with more than a few guilds set up exclusively for twink PvP.

Love them or hate them, twinks are here to stay. In fact, in response to a question at last year's Blizzcon, Blizzard responded that they were actually considering Arenas for characters Levels 19 and 29 (the common twink level limits). The problem, they said, was designing rewards for them and if there was sufficient player demand. Designing rewards for twinks seems to be a hyperbolic response considering that it's likely that the only characters that will excel in those low levels are already well-geared. That said, there is a small subculture of players who enjoy PvP at low levels to the point of wanting an experience toggle to keep their toons at a comfortably low level.

The reasons why people twink up toons varies, although most of these players have one or more Level 70 toons and want to have a little fun being overpowered in the Battlegrounds. Personally, I enjoy PvP at max level because it affords me the greatest challenge and gives me the most skills to work with. At lower levels, all classes have a limited number of skills and -- here's the important part -- not all classes will be good to PvP with because not all classes have access to key PvP skills yet. However, I'm sure a lot of people find twink PvP a lot of fun, even if they eventually plan to level past the twink stage. For purposes of this article, we'll take a look at Level 29 twinkage... it's not too low to have extremely limited skills, yet not too high so as to have too much of a skill discrepancy between classes.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Battlegrounds

What is the definition of cheating in WoW?

Michael Zenke, the blogger behind MMOG Nation and regular contributor to our sister site Massively, has posted an article covering the latest dust up over gold selling.

The interesting part about this latest debate is that it has become a larger discussion about what is considered cheating. Most people would probably say that cheating is breaking the rules. Paying someone else to level your character or to give you gold for RL money is currently viewed as "unfair."

But if receiving money you didn't earn is in-game is cheating, does that extend to farming for gold with your main to give to your alt? What about having your higher level friends run you through a loweer level dungeon quicker? Isn't that powerleveling? What about twinking? Did your alt "earn" those items?

For many, I think the distinction is whether RL money is involved. It's acceptable to send gold to your alt because you main earned it, but it's not fair to buy gold because you are using your RL cash to get ahead in a game.

So if using RL resources to get ahead is cheating, what about people who are rich with time? After all, the principal mechanic for MMO progression is time spent playing the game. Aren't people with enormous amounts of free time using their RL resources to gain an unfair advantage of those who have limited play time?

Where is the line between cheating and working within the game rules to get the most out of your game time? And how much RL can developers expect to keep out of their games in the interest of "fairness"?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Leveling, Alts

Fishing etiquette



The weekly fishing tournament is taking place this afternoon in Stranglethorn Vale, and I'll probably be in attendance, hoping desperately to catch the last rare fish I need. I'm often intrigued by the etiquette that comes into play in different parts of the game where people are thrust into close contact with one another, and the fishing contest is one of the more interesting examples. For instance, in my experience, most other players will leave you alone if you're fishing from a school, such as the Highland Mixed Schools in Terokkar Forest. I've often seen fellow crawdad seekers flying low overhead, but they have always moved to the next spot once they noticed my presence. On the other hand, the weekly contest seems to be a no-holds-barred match, with people fishing wherever they can, whether or not you claimed the spot first. Personally, I try to avoid fishing in the same school as other people as much as possible, even during the contest. How about you?

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Filed under: Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Events

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