Tobold's Blog
Monday, June 22, 2009
 
The future of WoW twinks

Twinks used to be a general term for second characters in a MMORPG being overly well equipped thanks to the help of the first character. But in World of Warcraft the term is more often used for a particular narrow sub-group, second characters of level 19 or 29 using their uber gear to PvP in battlegrounds. While that is certainly a fun thing for the person playing the twink, it is obviously less fun if you happen to be a "real" untwinked character and face unbeatable opponents in a battleground.

So when Blizzard announced plans to make character gain xp in battlegrounds, a first common reaction was that this would be the end of BG twinks. By winning battlegrounds due to twinking, you'd gain xp, thus eventually leveling up to 20 or 30, and falling out of the BG bracket. Cheers from the people who didn't like BG twinks, loud protests from those who played them.

In the end Blizzard went for a compromise: You will now be able to pay 10 gold to turn off xp gains. So everything is back to how it was before? Not quite! Because if you turn off xp, you'll only be paired against other people who did the same in battlegrounds. Thus the twinks will have the choice of either turning xp off and only facing other twinks, or leaving xp on until they are ejected by leveling. Subtle! Because of course the twinks can't admit that they had fun ganking less equipped players, and always claimed it was all about the skill and challenge of PvP. So they can't possibly complain about being forced to face only other twinks. We'll see if this new system leads to BG twinks dying out, or becoming a major sub-game of World of Warcraft.
Comments:
... and there was much rejoicing.
 
I think it's a very clever move by Blizzard. What will be interesting is which one has the longest queue...
 
Queue problems asside this is a welcome and smart change in the BG scene.

I bet any money that at least half of the twinks out there proudly thanking Blizzard for letting them participate in "serious" BGs died a little inside when they realised they wont be able to gang ppl. Well guys with no xp gains you can always gang in world PvP.

All due respect to the twink population you are not all idiots.
 
Will you be able to reenable your levelling for another 10g when you get tired of your BG bracket?
 
Ahahaha, that is a great move by Blizzard. It's always entertaining to listen to people talk about how amazing they are at PvP, yet refuse to fight anyone who has a chance of actually beating them.
 
I have to admit I absolutely love this change. It solves everyone's complaints, and best of all, it does so in a way that completely spites the people who were abusing the current system in a that they can't really argue about without looking like the griefers they are. It's probably the simplest and most beautiful resolution to a problem I've seen, even if it's long in coming.
 
It always made we laugh how twinks claimed it's all about the challenge as they spawn camped the graveyards. Twinks have ruined the low level battlegrounds ever since the cross-servers were introduced so this is long long overdue. But the real WoW pvp story is the Wintergrasp nerf to 100 v 100!
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
I'm amazed people didn't openly admit they enjoyed this practice because it's fun to win and to know you're going to win.

If Blizzard were really clever, they'd implement a system where every participant in every fight wins. After all, they control the data.
 
I've always had the plan to make a twink, but never had the cash or the time to mess around getting people to take me through quest chains and instances a dozen levels early, being very careful that I don't level up to much etc. Now I can just level to 19 and switch off XP, it's probably the first character I'll create after 3.2 goes live (I've already created my PvP only character, who I plan on leveling to 80 purely from BG XP.
 
Finally!

This is about the first intelligent thing I've seen them do in ages. Sadly it's several years too late.

The majority of people who would have enjoyed this change have long since given up.

Great idea... way too late.

I am however going to enjoy the hot, angry tears of all the twinks complaining about how this breaks BGs. Thanks for ruining a cool aspect of the game for the longest time, jerks.
 
(Reposted to clean up garbage at the end]

This still sounds a bit illogical to a non-WOW player like myself. The root of the problem was that there was an unbridgeable gap between the ungeared level 20 and the twinked level 29. Instead of fixing the root cause Blizzard have introduced a new complication involving levlelling and then in order to appease those who want to dally in the low level battle grounds they had to allow a buy out. It sounds like a sticking plaster on sticking plaster.

Battlegrounds are instanced. Why on Earth didn't Blizzard just tackle the root cause by standardising gear and level in battlegrounds?
 
I'm 99% sure this will kill twinking. I simply don't think there are the numbers of twinks to keep bgs open with any regularity especially since half the twinks probably won't want to play with no untwinked players around.

I do expect do see a kind of semi-twink metagame arise where you basically twink a level 16 to the max and get a week or two of complete pwnage before he hits 20 and you make your new uber level 16. (Or possibly some other bracket, a level 35 twink will destroy untwinked 39s and will probably be a long time levelling to 40).
 
If Blizzard were really clever, they'd implement a system where every participant in every fight wins. After all, they control the data.

They already did. It's called the PvE leveling game. In PvP it would be impossible to have both sides winning at the same time, although both sides *do* already get rewards.
 
"Will you be able to reenable your levelling for another 10g when you get tired of your BG bracket?"

Yes, at the same guy in SW/Org.

"The root of the problem was that there was an unbridgeable gap between the ungeared level 20 and the twinked level 29"

The base problem is that there are two types of low-level BGers: "I'm bored while leveling. Oooh! BG daily. This'll be a fun distraction" and "OMG, twinking is srs bzns, must gank". Anywhere you have players competing and one takes it much more seriously, that guy is gonna trounce the other guy. Pre-70 BGs right now are twinks and people who don't know to avoid them.

Another funny thing about this is that it actually makes twinking easier. You can get as many instance runs as needed without worrying about accidentally leveling.
 
It sounds like a sticking plaster on sticking plaster.

Of course it is. But then the same can be said about the whole PvP system in WoW. It's a PvP system applied to a PvE game and because of that it suffers.
 
Hehe. I really love twinks when they're on my team. I've gotten a lot of pvp acheivements because of them. Whenever I am leveling a new character I usually stop at level 19,29 ... etc to dabble in some battlegrounds for a while. With my non-twinked characters I still won the BG's about 50% of the time (due to even amount of twinks on both sides). Still you kind of feel like a bystander watching the twinks battle it out sometimes.

In level 80 BG's (where I think most of the players are pvp'ing) there are players that are much better geared than others. How is blizzard going to combat those twinks?
 
a good move, but it amazes me how long it took to do it
 
The current complaint by the twinks is "The queue times will be horrible!" for the twinks.

Though if you think about it, that's silly. If the queue times are horrible, then there aren't many twinks and they shouldn't bother to support that gameplay style since there are so few of them.

--Rawr
 
I saw someone else comment that this will be a boon to all the retro-raiders that want to redo the level 60 raiding without needing a separate non-expansion account. I may need a new alt just for this reason.
 
It'll be nice for people to be able to twink without needing to be "boosted" by a higher level character to get instance drops. Really, my only potential complaint would be that this'll kill any demand for doing 10v10 premades, since you can just queue up and play against 10 twinks now.

As a twink, I hate to admit it, but this'll probably cause a huge flourishing in low level (non-twink) bgs. Though there's also now a chance that some people who were previously uninterested may find some interest in making a twink since it is ceasing to be a "dishonorable pursuit."
 
Twinks make up a major portion of the 1-59 BGs. Don't believe me? Go take a look at your battlegroup's WoW forums. It is dominated by the twinks you all so much loathe and hate. Turning off XP may not "fix" the "problem" as much as you hope. I'll get to that. But first, take a look at the battlegroup forums often dominated by twinks.

Do some of them brag about how they owned some level 20 as a level 29? Sure, just like the asshats on PvP servers do daily while ganking a lower level player. Do a lot of them enjoy fighting other twinks in BGs? Absolutely.

I made a twink a few years ago for the fun of it, with a few friends. I didn't play it for very long as I have multiple level-capped toons and find the PvP with more than 6 abilities a little more fun. But when I twinked my character, I chased down the other faction's paladin who I met up with a lot. I ignored the guy with 700 hitpoints and went after the other team's twink. You can pretend that this doesn't happen, but its what a large chunk of twinks do in BGs.

Twinks have beat the WoW grind! NERF EM!!

Twinks are often in the best possible gear (for their bracket). They don't have to worry about new gear being released every 3 months and starting a new grind. They don't have to worry about reputation grinds, or profession grinds, etc. But of course the only reason someone makes a twink is to dominate some level 22 who has no idea what is going on. Get a clue.
Twinks are just a specific personification of this game. Blizzard decides that battlegrounds will be made up of 10-19, 20-29, 30-39 players, and the players, not Blizzard, do the logical thing and reach the bracket's level cap, get the best gear (all possible by every player) and play PvP.

Funny things about twinks:

1. You will never hear them crying in a BG to just "let the other side win" so they can get their mark. You only hear that in level 80 BGs.

2. BG queues will likely go way up for every bracket of low-level BGs. If you aren't a god damn twink, how long do you actually sit between the levels of 20-29, and decide ever so whimsically that you want to do a few BGs for the hell of it? No, you level as fast as you can. Twinks own the BGs, why should they be tailored for a player who might do 1 BG before leveling out of the bracket?

3. Twinks actually use a lot of pre-BC game. Whether it is making a trek out to WSG in Ashenvale, or getting low level enchants, twinks are the last vestage of players who permanently use pre-BC content.

4. Every single level 80 player in a BG, who is wearing the top of the line BG and Arena gear...drum roll please...is a twink. Twinks are level capped characters in the best possible gear, with the best possible item enchantments, with maxed out professions and reputation. You fight twinks every time, as a level 80, you enter WSG, AB, etc. And trust me, I can 3 shot a freshly dinged level 80 as fast as a twink can 3 shot a player 4 levels lower than they are, without gear. Whats the difference? Nothing.

You all can complain about twinks as if they are evil and ruin low level BGs. But when the queue for the XP BGs takes 2x as long (probably 40 minutes or more on some battlegroups), then Blizzard has basically killed off BGs for low level non-twinks. I'm pretty sure most twinks will keep their twinks and still do BGs like they do now. I know a lot of you aren't big into PvP and thereby assume that people only PvP when they know they will dominate the other player, and twinks seem to fit that assumption well. But making that assumption is still extremely naive and foolish.
 
I'd rather wait longer for a fair balanced battle then quickly get into a BG and get steamrollered by twinks.

In the good old days you'd join the queue in a capital and then go out leveling while waiting for the battle to start, so that whole argument is a nonsense.
 
You'd go out leveling?

So, you were only going to do a few BGs before moving out of the bracket, leaving the twinks to their nefarious immoral deeds?

So, you need to have a whole segment of PvP players wiped out for your 3 WSGs per bracket before leveling out of it?

You're whole argument is nonsense. Enjoy queueing from anywhere, waiting for 40+ minutes for a BG, popping out of it marked and getting ganked by a high level.

But at least your under-leveled, undergeared character wasn't killed by a twink!

They've fixed BGs for low levels!

Hallelujah!
 
I think this is a great change. I had a level 29 twink for awhile, and I didn't have that character to steamroll others. I just wanted to play lower level BGs with some good gear. The BG game at the level cap is dominated by people in purple gear.

So when this patch goes live, I'll probably resubscribe for awhile and level my 71 warlock to 79.9 and then turn off XP and twink him.

Anyway, aren't most of the players doing BGs at the level cap essentially "twinked" by raid gear or arena gear? Believe me, you play BGs at level 80 in blues and you get steamrolled harder than you do if you go up against twinks in lower level BGs.

This is a good change, and it also makes leveling more fun for those of us who enjoy BGs.
 
The one thing I have not seen mentioned is twinks are an awsome scape goat for lack of success. Who will people blame for their failure? surely not themselves?!?
 
It will definately be interesting to see how this will pan out. I can see lot of people (myself included) that are tired of leveling alts via questing/PvE that will now try and level their low level alts via PvP.

Sounds like a good plan to me. Level up your alt via PvP and when you're done, not only are you level 80, but you have oodles of honor/marks to purchase pvp reward gear which is great as entry gear into Naxx/Uludar.

Maybe the queues will be better than before?
 
My money is on Twinks "becoming a major sub-game". Remember, the direct ancestor of the WoW twinking scene is the Diablo II "Low Level Duelling" scene, where people would carefully collect outrageously uber gearsets for low level characters, and then use them solely for duelling other such enthusiasts. Couldn't play the PvE content of the game or you'd level. Couldn't thrash weak opposition because the only people interested in low level duelling were other twinks. It was all about the competition.

Seems to me a lot of people who think twinks are only interested in walking over opponents who have no chance against them overlook this history.
 
I think what Zigabob said bears some thought:

"In level 80 BG's (where I think most of the players are pvp'ing) there are players that are much better geared than others. How is blizzard going to combat those twinks?"

The same difference - people who take PvP very seriously and people who are just messing around - exists at level 80 too, and this solution does nothing to solve that. Should we keep matching 5/5 Furious people up against the raiders just popping in to do the daily in assorted Naxx10 gear?

I guess at the moment the level 80 battlegrounds are less about competition and more about grinding honor, so maybe things are fine as they are.
 
This change may also liven up low level dungeons. Since now, if someone were to ask my twink if she wanted to heal SM, I'd probably say yes, just because sometimes it's fun to run low instances as a twink. It's another side to it: I'd be curious to see if my lvl 39 priest could heal a Sunken Temple run. =D
 
No one is stopping people from twinking n1ck, only the rubbish they talk about it being all about the challenge, all about having the best possible gear and that they aren't there just to gank easy meat will be shown up for the transparent lies it's always been.

Now for the first time we will have twinks v twinks and normals v normals, the way it should always have been from the start. Just be glad of the fun that was had in the "good old days/bad old days" (delete as applicable) when WoW was run by a raider who didn't care much for PvP.
 
99% of non-twink PvP'ers hope the same: to get honor by killing less geared players. So, nothing interesting with twinks, who were/are just more lazy and want to do that at level 19 :)
 
The truth is I "twinked" my first character, a hunter, in the 19 and 29 brackets to get the PvP blue items, and with careful selection of gear and a bit of gold I made trading on the AH I was competitive with other, "real" twinks, and had a lot of fun fighting them (there was this tauren hunter that always beat me with around a hundred HP left, the amount of the Tauren racial bonus at the time :-) )
 
No, SmokY, didn't you read what Renko wrote? Renko is an absolute Soothsayer.

Anyone who says that twinks try to fight other twinks is just telling a transparent lie.

You know, because Renko knows all, and you and I are just liars.
 
I love this idea! It's too hard for a casual gamer like me to make a serious twink, but I still love BG action.

Normally, if I run a few instances, I can gear up a toon to be somewhat competitive in BG, but too many twinks can ruin the experience. Now I can just see how well I do against people my own "level".

My only concern is that queues will take too long.
 
I've never been a dedicated twinker, but I do love low-level PvP. I tend to get tired of leveling quickly, and enjoy hitting up the queues for long, several hour BG sessions with whatever PvE character I'm using at the time. Okay, so it isn't low-level PvP I love specifically, but with my leveling habits, that tends to be where I play. Since I like to play my "distraction" more than the actual leveling game, it'll be nice to make progress while doing that.

Still, I'm curious to see just how fast XP comes. Is an "all PvP" leveled character feasible? If it levels too slow, the new non-twink twink will be the guy who lives in the BG, swimming in so much honor he can be persistently draped in all of the newest PvP blues. At the same time, I don't want it so fast it becomes the fast-track to 80.

I'm personally hoping its a healthy enough balance to keep the queues filling up. Twinks live in the BGs and as much as it blows getting pinned against a whole team of them, they keep the game going. With them pushed off to their own side of the fence, the reward needs to be incentive enough to bring in more casuals and non-twink regulars, without leveling them right on out of the brackets faster than they get tehre. And, on the reverse side, here's hoping the new ease of making your very own twink keeps their queues filling up too. For what it's worth, I'll miss you guys. Those matches with one or two twinks on either side were actually pretty fun, when they happened. I'd come join you, but while I love PvP, twinking is too much non-PvP homework on the side.
 
This is a good move by Blizzard and allows them to improve an aspect of the game that, frankly, generates a lot of money for them. I can't imagine any serious twink spending all their time gearing up and writing macros/changing their UI just to steamroll a low level player. When I login to a BG I immediately scan for names I recognize to determine if there are worthy foes. The best games are the closest and I play with dozens of other twinks who all agree.

Blizzard also slyly introduced another feature which will ensure that twinks are merrily buying their expansion packs...BoA gear. If you really want to be a competitive twink you're going to need to keep grinding out quests/instances with your top level main.
 
I'm totally up for twinking and fighting other twinks. I got plenty of otyher characters and throughly learnt loads abotu gearing the best yo ucan ofr the level you are at. Yes, I enjoyed downing the lower players because I was sick at that, and yes I even was aghast when the twink troll rogue would down my rogue and this made me more persistant to find that twink and get them, sometimes I won sometimes I failed but it was fun all the same.

As for queueing I have been waiting for up to an hour whilst I farmed or something but it's getting worse and you're right there's clearly a lot of 'brave twinks' out there who just dont want to meet there match - for me though, it's about understand the rogue, how it plays and I have a poor grasp of the twink. It would be a shame to uncap the level and get ot levelling, so I will keep hanging on a while in case it cmes back - I'm in no rush.

Lashar, Runetotem EU.
 
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