Until now, Twinking people in online RPGs has been a reward in and of itself.
You familiar with the term “Twinking?” Yeah, that’s me. I’m a twinker. It’s where you give a bunch of high-powered high-level stuff to a low-level character in an online Roleplaying game. You know. You Twink ‘em. That’s me. Mr. Twink. The Twinkster. Robin Twink: I l3wt from the rich and give to the p00r. Whenever you see a guy in leather pants hanging outside the Newbie Dungeon killing rats with a +47 sword of Armageddon, wearing a full-mithril breastplate and an enchanted Crown of the Kings – yeah, you’re probably looking at my handiwork.
It works like this: Some first level guy comes up to me and I’m like, “Dude, what is that? Is that a wooden training sword you’re using? You’ll never succeed without right equipment. Here, have my Double-Bladed Vorpal Sword of Maiming. That’s okay, take it – I have a couple more back at my villa. What? You didn’t know players could own Villas in this game? Yeah, you can! In fact, here, let me give you entry access, you can go check it out. If you find anything in there you like, you can keep it. Mi Casa, Su Casa! And here, he’s a full set of Bonemail armor, to help you make the journey. Cheers, man!”
I don’t know why I do it. I just love the looks on their young little faces. Later on – when they’re a respectable level 20 or something – sometimes I’ll run across them and they’ll thank me. That’s a good feeling.
One such encounter ended unexpectedly.
It was in the old Tavern by Halvershand, a favorite online hangout of mine. A bunch of Dwarves were in the corner planning to assault an Orc stronghold once the rest of their buddies logged in. The NPC bartender was standing there scrubbing the same glass he’s been scrubbing since the beta test. And suddenly in walked two powerful adventurers.
One was wearing a full set of enchanted glass armor that I recognized as having once been mine. The other hovered a foot off the ground thanks to an amulet of levitation that also seemed familiar. His robes – Crookshank Hide, no doubt – shimmered with unearthly power. The two of them were battle-hardened but not super-powerful. I figured they were maybe level 20 or 25 or so.
They recognized me immediately. “Mr. Twink!!” They called out, respectfully. The guy in the glass armor immediately saluted me on bent knee while his wizard partner floated over to the bar to buy me a drink. “Dude, you hooked us up with some great stuff,” the fighter told me.
The wizard floated back while I waved my hand dismissively, savoring the moment. “‘Twas nothing!” I said. “Kindness to strangers is all! I’m glad to see you’ve done well for yourselves.”
The wizard set down our drinks. “No, seriously man, we’d like to thank you in person. Where do you live?” By eerie coincidence, these two fine adventurers lived (in real life) in Boston as well.
And so that very weekend I found myself on a subway rumbling into town. Pretty exciting stuff! Well, that is to say, I don’t get out a whole lot. In order to pay for classes I take during the day I have to work in the student computer center at night, which pretty much renders me both dirt-poor and sans social life. I share a tiny dorm apartment with three other students. No wonder I spend so much time collecting lewt in the game. So, yah, even though I expected these guys to be a couple of loser geeks like myself, it was cool to get off campus, even for an afternoon. It would be fun.
I was taking the subway because I don’t own a car, but the nearest stop was a few blocks away so (lacking cab money) I starting hiking it. I was right in the middle of the commercial district, scraping elbows with people rushing around. Huge skyscrapers loomed all around me, all glass and shining chrome.
I had to double-check the address when I arrived. Before me towered the enormous offices of some sort of banking institution or something. I stood in an immense cement courtyard next to a giant curvy bronze modern-art statue/fountain. Clouds overhead were reflected in the featureless, mirror-like windows of the office tower. But, according to the crumpled yellow piece of paper in my hands, this was the place.
I stepped inside the marble foyer and a man in a suit behind a large black desk stopped me and asked to search my bookbag. All he found was a peanut-butter sandwich, some dice, and a Star Wars thermos. I told him I was here to see “James Butterfield,” the name scribbled on my piece of paper, and the security guard consulted his flatscreen computer terminal. “And you are … Mister … Mr. Twinker? That’s an unusual name sir.”
“That’s me,” I said, my voice cracking. “Mr. Twinker.”
The elevator leading up to the 36th floor was larger than my ratty dormatory bedroom, and I was the only one in it. I stood in the center listening to a muzak version of Aerosmith wondering what in the hell I’d gotten myself into.
The polished stainless steel doors of the elevator opened onto a giant office suite packed with carpeted cubicles and potted plants. Nobody was there for the weekend except one assistant clerk. Her long curly dark hair fell in soft tresses over her shoulders and maroon sweater, and she looked up from her work with warm green eyes and smiled at me with full lips. I stammered, uncomfortably. “Uh – Butterfield?” I asked, feeling underdressed in my ragged jeans. She pointed me in the right direction.
I wandered among the empty work areas and followed the sounds of orcs getting killed. I found Butterfield inside of a gigantic glass-lined corner office with leather furniture and no less than two workstations arranged near a small conference table.
Butterfield was a tall man in his early 30s wearing a pressed Oxford shirt and loosened tie. He stood up to greet me. “Mr. Twinker! The Twinker is here!” He grinned broadly and warmly shook my hand, introducing himself. Another fellow with rolled-up shirt sleeves turned around in his leather chair to wave at me. I assumed he was the wizard I’d given the amulet and robe to. “We just can’t thank you enough,” Butterfield said.
“Sorry I’m late,” I replied. “The subway was running slow, and then I didn’t have cab money–”
“You don’t have a car?” the man seated at the table exclaimed. He and Butterfield exchanged shocked glances. Then he reached into his pocket and handed me a set of keys. “Take these,” he said. “It’s the Green Jaguar in level two of the parking garage. Just beep the thingie to deactivate the security alarm.”
“It’s the least we could do,” nodded Butterfield.
“You’re giving me your car?” I sputtered.
“It’s no biggie. I have like three or something. I can always get more.”
Butterfield laughed. “Yeah, we can’t expect the man who gave us so much lewt to not have a car to pick up his girlfriend in.”
I laughed nervously. “Oh, I don’t really have a girlfri-“
I hadn’t even finished my sentence before Butterfield’s friend stood up. “No girlfriend!” he boomed. “We gotta set you up with the basics, man!”
Butterfield made a few notes on his pocket PC. “Let me set you up with the clerk you met out front. Her name’s Claire. She’s a recent grad, your age, really bright.” He finished making notes and handed me the device. “This is her phone number, and there’s a four-star restaurant you can take her to tonight. I know she’s free, I’ll talk you up and work it all out. Just put the restaurant bill on my tab. Oh, and keep the PDA. I have others.”
Butterfield’s friend handed me a box. “Claire has a good eye for jewelry. Here, take this box. The turban and robe are from a Rajah we know in India. The jewelry used to be in his private collection, but we accepted it as payment after we bailed his family out of a bad business deal. You can keep it all – you know, to help you get started. You’ll never succeed without the right equipment.”
“And here’s one of Michel Jordan’s old jerseys,” Butterfield explained, handing me a folded up bundle.
I ogled the box in my hands. “Whoa, the guys at the dorm aren’t gonna believe THIS!”
Butterfield rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “You still live in a dorm? Wow, you’re more of a newb than I thought. Hey, listen, we owe you. Here’s the keys to my beach house, you know, in case things start going great with Claire. Oh, don’t worry – go ahead. I’ve got another in Maine, no biggie. In fact, I want to redecorate that place, so if you see anything you want in there, just take it. The big screen TV, the pool table, whatever. Mi Casa Su Casa!”
Half an hour later I was driving my Jaguar to the tailors to get fitted for my tuxedo.
I’d been twinked.
[Daily Victim idea submitted by GameSpy reader Ravus Caelum. Why can’t you guys be cool like Ravus?]
The question is, ‘Where do I put the helicopter when I’m not using it?’ Oh, I SEE, there’s a landing pad on the yacht. Cool, cool.
Score: 9.35; Total Votes: 5934 as of 2009-12-09.