Last month, I took a few hours to put together a care package in Ultima Online for Eliot – a bag of gear, potions, bandages, money, that sort of thing. As someone who’s played it off and on since the beginning, I know better than anyone how rough it is to start there fresh, and I wanted to twink him a bit so he’d have an easier time with his Choose My Adventure and not completely hate the experience. And in doing so, I started thinking about the very concept of twinking and wondering whether it’s on the wane.
For starters, I seldom see anyone use the term anymore; maybe it’s the word that’s fallen out of fashion, or maybe its non-gaming meaning has cost it some luster. But then I wondered whether it’s more that modern MMOs and their nearest online game neighbors simply embrace the “account-wide” nature of play, from account achievements to shared banks, such that people don’t even consider swapping gear between toons that didn’t technically earn it to be twinking at all.
Over the years, I have never felt bad even for a second about twinking my own alts or those of my friends; in my mind, twinking makes an MMO game more an RPG about roleplaying than a survival game about surviving, but I know others disagree and will rant about heirlooms or battleground twinks indefinitely if prompted. Do you still twink your MMORPG characters? Are you a fan of the practice, and do you think it’s slowly being phased out as a necessity in MMOs?