Twinks are player characters below the level cap who have gained the best powerful gear for their level with enhancements such as expensive weapon enchants, leg patches and BoE/BoP greens, blues or epics. Twinks are mainly used in PvP fighting and Battlegrounds. Twinks obtain their items through rare drops, drops off of bosses in instances, rewards from quests that are difficult to complete at their level, and from the Auction House. Twink items on the Auction House can be expensive and twink enchantments can only be performed by high-level characters. Therefore, twinking usually requires significant assistance from high-level alts, friends, and/or guild members. However, there are examples of self-made twinks that generate the necessary gold from Auction House trading or other in-game methods.
Twinking is common in MMORPGs, including World of Warcraft, though many mechanisms are in place that limit a player's ability to equip a character with gear beyond its level. Although Blizzard remains neutral on the subject and has confirmed that they neither endorse nor oppose twinking, the topic continues to be very controversial in the game. While some argue that twinking a character requires considerable effort and is a legitimate goal and facet of game-play, others argue that twinking is an inappropriate use of gold, and that they have an unfair advantage against regular players in PVP. Levels of twinks and "twinking" in World of Warcraft are commonly associated with PVP brackets for battlegrounds. One common rationalization is that "they just stop leveling", while another states that twinks have essentially finished the game because they have the best gear possible for their level and no longer need to worry about such things as raids and end-game content.
- Examples of twinking include
- Having a high-level character provide uncommon, rare, or epic Bind on Equip items to a low level character, or the gold to purchase those items,
- Having a high-level character farm an instance or accomplish high level quest chains with a lower-level character for the sole purpose of getting some items; The higher level character has no need for the gear, leaving all gear up for grabs by the lower level character, who can grab the best pieces for the battlegrounds and sell what he doesn't need.
- Enchanting or applying arcana to a low-level character's equipment with bonuses that require large amounts of gold or high-level materials.
- Sending massive bulks of ingredients to a low level character so it can power level its professions, in particular Engineering, Blacksmithing or Mining, which allows the creation and use of equipment without level requirements, or in the case of levelling mining by smelting ore, access to the stamina bonus provided by the profession.
- Using the Fishing profession to acquire the from the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza. Fishing schools of fish no longer requires a high level of fishing skill, as all that is required to successfully fish from schools, is a skill of 1 (which allows you to equip a fishing rod and use the fishing ability).
Twinking is most often done in order for a character to compete in a certain battleground bracket. Two popular classes for twinks in World of Warcraft are rogues and hunters. Hunters do well in battlegrounds, especially at low levels since many melee classes have no way to stop a hunter who can kite. Their damage is largely affected by the gear they have, so they can go above and beyond what other classes could twink to.
World of Warcraft has several mechanisms in place to reduce twinking, including:
- Minimum level requirements to use or equip items.
- Minimum level requirements to do quests and thus receive quest reward items.
- Minimum level requirements for potions, buffs and healing spells.
- Minimum level requirements to advance in professions.
- Minimum level requirements on enchantments in the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansion (new enchants have an item level requirement of 35/60 respectivley).
- Binding of items on pickup or use to prevent "hand-me-downs."
Noticeably absent from this list is a minimum level requirement for pre-Burning Crusade enchantments and Arcana, with the exception of librams formerly used to give a head (or leg) enchant which now have a level 55 minimum limit placed upon them in order to function.
On the flip side, patch 2.3 was arguably the best pro-twink patch in WoW history, encouraging players to solo level (by reducing the experience needed to do so) and increasing experience awarded, while at the same time upgrading most or all dungeon loot and even adding in an epic ring requiring level 29, the high end of one of the popular twink brackets.
In patch 2.2, Blizzard made gear a factor in matching BG groups/players, so twinked players are more likely to face twinks and characters passing through a given level are more likely to face others like themselves. Also, max level raid geared players will tend to get opponents in epics and casual players in green/blue gear will face gear similar to their own.
In patch 3.2.0, a feature was introduced that allowed players to disable experience gains in exchange for 10g. Battlegrounds were then altered to force xp-off characters to face only other xp-off characters. Battleground XP was enabled for all other characters.
In patch 4.0.3 all battlegroups were merged into one large region wide battlegroup (US and Oceanic servers are in the same region). This means that battlegrounds will launch for all brackets regardless of your server.
Patch 5.2 changed battleground brackets so that a character’s effective level is scaled up to the top of the bracket; health, attributes and heirloom items are normalized to the maximum level of the bracket. This means a twink does not have the same mechanical advantage against the weakest characters in the bracket anymore; e.g. level 19 versus 15, although lower level characters can still be weaker because of inferior gear and less abilities and talents at their disposal.
A player without one or more expansions will be level-capped by their client (as opposed to the "no-xp" option). They will remain at 60 (for a classic WoW account), 70 (with Burning Crusade), or 80 (with Wrath of the Lich King) until further expansions are added to their account.
As of patch 4.0.1, expansion capped players are moved into the same bracket as those with XP disabled.
- Druid twinking guide
- Hunter twinking guide
- Mage twinking guide
- Paladin twinking guide
- Priest twinking guide
- Rogue twinking guide
- Grudge's 19 Rogue
- Shaman twinking guide
- Warlock twinking guide
- Warrior twinking guide
General or topic-based
- Healer twinking guide
- Teebu's Twinking guide
- Twinking for battlegrounds
- Level 1 twink
- Level 5 twinks
- Level 19 twink