As you may have read in my post yesterday, I regret how much time I spent twinking on my previous server. But, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing it, just that I’m not going to do it as much. Case in point:
He’s still a work in progress as he isn’t even leveled up all the way yet, but there’s a link to Killutiludie’s armory page that will continue to update itself as I progress with him. Most of his gear has been obtained, save for one piece from The Deadmines and three pieces from Wailing Caverns. All of the rare (blue) gear and enchants have been found, purchased, or produced by myself (at level 12, he’s not wearing any of those items yet).
I haven’t taken him into the twink BGs yet since he’s still leveling, so what he’s managed to do isn’t nearly as spectacular as it would be otherwise, but to give you an idea of how he’s doing so far he has ended every battleground so far with 35 – 131 honor kills, and has only been beneath top 5 in the battleground once, and generally places within the top three. Part of that is strictly due to the fact that I’m a hunter and the way that my class works, how much damage I can do, and how easily I can spread that damage out across several players spread throughout the battlefield.
Leveling a Twink
Leveling a twink is really no different than leveling any other character these days. Previously you had to be real careful to do only what was absolutely necessary so that you never went over the level 19 experience cap, but since you can turn off your experience these days that’s really a non-issue.
I prefer to level up my twinks today as I would any other character, doing quests and grouping for instances while accepting runs from guildmembers and such along the way as well. I also like to gain a few levels worth strictly from PVP.
But the challenge for a twink was never really in the process of leveling anyway. For a twink, it’s all about the gear.
Gearing a Twink
Gearing a twink is somewhat different than gearing other characters as the process involves getting the best that the game has to offer for your class and your chosen build. Some things remain static across the board, such as Stamina being a key stat for every class, while others change somewhat depending on how you spend your talent points or which direction you take your hybrid (Holy Paladin vs Retribution Paladin, etc).
An easy fix for some of the gearing up of a twink comes in the form of BoA items. These almost always include the shoulders and weapon(s), and often the chest piece as well. It’s not uncommon to find people with multiple BoA Trinkets these days either, though the tried and true trinkets often perform just as well or even better. For some reason I always end up rolling my twinks on servers that I don’t have an 80 on, so none of my characters end up with BoA gear.
One thing that you find universally across the twinking classes are rare drops, both BoE and BoP. You will find gear from either Wailing Caverns or Deadmines on pretty well every twink in the game, with many of them having gear that comes from both. Casters generally include the bracers found in Ragefire Chasm as well, though they are somewhat less common on Alliance than Horde since the instance just happens to be find right in the middle of Horde capital of Orgrimmar. Shadowfang Keep and Blackfathom Deeps also contain gear that is often used by twinks, but many of the drops from those two require level 20 or higher, so they aren’t as common.
The rarest of the twink gear is the BoE blue items which are primarily world drops with horrendously low drop rates. Some of those items you can “farm” by fighting mobs of a certain level or ones found in a specific location (looking at you here, SFK and BFD). Other’s have such a low drop rate, like 1 in every 478,395 mobs, that farming pretty well out of the question and you instead focus on camping the auction house instead.
Right now there are four items that I am camping the auction house for, though two of them I am also farming mobs for as I do know where their best drop rates are and the mobs that you grind for them have a chance to drop other items that either sell very well on the auction house, items I need for an alt’s professions, or that can be used for other twinks.
Playing a Twink
Playing a twink is serious business.
It can be as hard and stressful, or as careless and crazy as you want to be. There is a mindset that comes from serious twink players that relates closely to those who are serious raiders though. Some of them like to keep stress out so they’ll joke around when something goes wrong, and some will go absolutely crazy when someone makes the smallest mistake, even if their “mistake” wasn’t a mistake at all.
Twinking takes more conscious effort than most other aspects of the game because you aren’t fighting a programmed AI, you’re fighting against other people who are capable of making their own choices and who can completely throw you for a loop at any time. You can expect a hunter to shoot you in the face, but you never know whether he’s going to just run right up to do it, try to circle around to snipe you from behind, or if he’s going to throw you the odd curve ball and come bash you in the face with a melee weapon instead.
Doing the unexpected can give you a big advantage, or it can completely backfire and cost you the match. In the end, it’s important to remember that the old saying “it’s just a game” really is true, no matter how serious it seems. Every loss is a chance to find a way to improve what you are doing yourself, even if you don’t think the loss is directly related to your performance in any way. The same is true for victories too though, find out what everyone did right and try to expand on it.
As I bring this article to a close, I’ll leave you with just a few tips to use for your low level battlegrounds, particularly Warsong Gulch in the level 19 bracket as it is by far my favorite bracket for twinking.
Team Mindset: Whether the other players on your side suck, or their the greatest group of players you’ve ever seen in your life, remember that they’re still part of your team. Don’t talk crap to your teammates. If someone’s screwing up, try to offer them some advice and preferably in whispers rather than open chat. If you know something they don’t, then chances are they’re going to listen and try to improve. If you’re wrong, then you might very well learn something yourself when they school you instead.
You’ll often find that the person who talks the most crap in chat is the one that’s doing the absolute least to help your team succeed.
Also remember that a good way to build trust and a sense of teamwork is to take the time to actually acknowledge the actions of others. Thank your healers, congratulate your flag carriers, and give the team some props as a whole as well. And yes, even take the time to tell that stupidly overpowered hunter that his sniping skills are unmatched. If it helps the team succeed, then it’s a good thing. If it brings people down or breaks the group apart, then it has no purpose in a battleground.
Emotes: One of the things you’ll get a lot of advice on is whether or not to use emotes to taunt your opponents. The best example is probably going to be /spit. Some will tell you to use it because it will infuriate your opponents and by so doing cause them to make stupid mistakes, and others will tell you to never do it at all. If you want to use them, then use them; if you don’t, then don’t. Personally, the only emote I ever use in a BG in relation to my opponents is /hug, and even then only to get the achievement.
If you feel that taunting the opponent is going to make them screw things up then that’s your call. I will say though, that when I see someone doing it excessively, or without any reasoning I lose respect for you whether you’re on my team or the opponent’s. I like to think that the twinks deserve a bit more respect for the time and effort that they are dedicating, so I shake my head every time I see someone doing it. If there’s one guy that’s just kicking the crap out of everyone and his first death comes after 20 minutes of failed attempts, then I can see someone doing something to express their emotion at finally overcoming him, but once is enough.
Defense: When you’re playing the defensive role, take note of where your opponents are at, and be proactive in engaging them. If you know that you have someone coming up the tunnel, then meet them in the tunnel, not the flag room. If you kill him before he gets the flag then congratulations, you just did your job. If you end up being the one that dies though, then you at least have a chance of catching him again when you resurrect, before he can manage to make his getaway with your flag. The tactic is somewhat more useful as a rogue or hunter, but it’s applicable to anyone.
Take note of the fact that your enemy can use this against you though, especially if you see them running back out of the tunnel when they see you. If they pull you farther down the tunnel, then they may very well be leading you away while their buddy drops down from your roof and then takes off with the flag.
Offense: Kill the healers. Kill the flag carrier. If there aren’t any healers and nobody has your flag, then kill anything that has crowd control (warlock, mage) or big burst damage (hunter, rogue). And remember another old saying “there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team'”. You’re part of a team, so don’t try taking everyone on by yourself. You’ll have a better chance of winning if you fight in groups than if you go do everything by yourself.
Use your crowd control, and use it correctly. For instance, rooting a hunter or a caster doesn’t really help you much unless you do it while they are in pursuit of a flag carrier Unless you have the Glyph of Polymorph, then you probably shouldn’t be sheeping anyone when a Warlock is around unless you’re going to tell them what you’re doing. Druids in their animal forms are considered beasts, and as such can be put to sleep or scared by class abilities that only affect beasts.