XP-Off Battleground Exploit Needs Fixing

I’m sadly starting to see more of  a pretty simple exploit that has been around for a while. It’s usable in any of the leveling brackets, but appears to be most common in the 10-14 and 75-79 brackets – anywhere gear differences are potentially very pronounced.

The exploit allows someone to turn off XP while queuing for a regular battleground. Normally, turning off experience places a character in an xp-off battleground with other characters who have done the same. Gear is assumed to be of very high quality in these brackets, and players are assumed to know how to play both their class and the battlegrounds with skill. The exploit allows them to queue with leveling characters, giving them a serious advantage.

The advantage isn’t the problem; any player can choose to lock XP for a while, gear up, farm consumables, get great enchants, and then go to town in a normal battleground. You can do this with disposable heroes, you can do it to learn your class better, you can do it because you like winning in PvP. Warcraft PvP is, in many cases, a game of gear. Locking to gear up and unlocking to PvP is part of that game.

No, the problem is that the exploit deliberately sidesteps the XP lock to allow characters to enter a leveling battleground but avoid gaining experience. It’s cheating. It takes advantage of a delay between turning XP off and queuing for a battleground to get a twink into a leveling bracket. They become immune to the experience gain, even accidental experience gain, that moves people along in these brackets. There’s a level 10 toon on my Alliance server with “of the Alliance” – 100k Honorable Kills – who got it entirely by farming battlegrounds with this exploit. It’s one thing to AFK out of a battleground before each flag cap to avoid experience gains. It’s another thing entirely to cheat so you can cap and win as many BGs as you like because you’re immune to experience.

This exploit is in the same category as the Arathi Basin Fast Start exploit from a while ago – deliberately circumventing the explicit rules of the game. There’s not even a gray area here about how everyone can do it – you need to download an add-on for it, and no, you can google it yourself, I’m not linking to it.

But I hate when things like this happen – it’s bad for leveling PvPers, it’s bad for twink brackets, it’s bad for everyone – but the folks who are cheating. There are a lot of good players in the twink community, players who enjoy the thrill of competing with the best gear you can get for a bracket. I find higher quality battlegrounds in the 19s and 70s and 80s than I ever do at 85.

Yeah, I get it. I get that it’s fun to take a geared toon into a 10-14 bracket and rock it. I get that it’s fun to deck yourself out in Cata greens and kick ass in the 75-79 bracket. It’s fun winning. It’s fun being overpowered.

But play by the same rules as everyone else, for pity’s sake.

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16 Comments

Filed under Cynwise's Warcraft Manual, Green Tinted Goggles

16 responses to “XP-Off Battleground Exploit Needs Fixing

  1. Personally, being OP gets old quick. I just dont find much enjoyment after doing that for a bit.

  2. Now you’ve gone and made me sad. =/

    Not too long ago, I started a mage alt and went into a couple lowbie BGs to stock a little honor to buy leveling gear. We had an obviously twinked-out hunter in WSG who refused to work with the team, just sitting in front of our base one-shotting horde and gloating about his damage.

    I called him on his adult-in-the-playground antics, saying he just didn’t have the balls to play with the big boys at higher levels, and proceeded to repeatedly cap the flag while cackling in glee at the prospect of either forcing him to /afk (which he didn’t) or eat up the experience that would push him out of the overpowered bracket…

    …but now I’m afraid my effort may have been for naught, as he could have been one of these stinking cheaters and, who knows, is still spoiling lowbie bgs for all the new players.

    Here’s hoping Blizzard will eventually turn an eye to the crappy state lowbie BGs have been for a very long time, because right now they’re ludicrously unbalanced. This cheat is just icing on the cake.

  3. dakotarick

    I did not realize that this is being done. I have run into some really OP players in the 15-19 bracket so this makes sense. I am guessing that this would cost 10G per BG?

    Every time I get involved in the 19s bracket I am reminded why I quickly move on.

  4. Lowbie pvp has always been one of my favorite things while leveling alts, but I haven’t started a new toon in quite a while and thus haven’t experienced how unbalanced it’s been lately.

    I did a bit of Google searching after reading your post and found that there are actually guilds full of these kinds of low-level exploiters. I didn’t know that there would be so many…very disappointing! :(

  5. Daken

    You’re not on the Medivh server by any chance? Run into a bunch of Alliance side exploiters from Medivh that were all from the same guild last time I passed through the 10-14 bracket.There was a uber twinked lvl10 shadow priest that was borderline untouchable.

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/Medivh/Skope/simple

    This guy currently has 175,211 hks and is level 10. I had the misfortune of running into him in 3 consecutive games one night (all XP on games). Needless to say his team won 3-0 in WG. Majority of them ended with him holding the flag camping the graveyard spawn killing anyone that didn’t know any better not to res. So yeah, I’m sure he has fun spawn killing either bots or people that are legitimately new to WoW (and keep ressing cause they don’t know any better).
    Hunters, rogues and priests in BoA gear are hard enough to deal with in that bracket as it is without throwing in the exploiters. I’d laugh if all this level 10 “twinks” suddenly woke up and found they were capped at level 85 or something.

    • I am playing on Medivh now, and yes, I know the guild and toons you’re talking about. They’re a visible part of a larger problem.

  6. I actually just got into doing low-level battlegrounds as a way to level a rogue alt that I’ve been bored with, and I think I met one of these exploiters– a level 10 priest from Medivh– in an AB the other night. It would have been infuriating if I hadn’t been with an observant group of PuGs who identified said priest and let everyone know what was up and didn’t just give up on the game.

    That attitude helped, but I hate that it was necessary at all. Low-level battlegrounds are imbalanced enough as is without running into assholes not content with twinkling as fits the standard of non-XP-locked pvp. I really hope Blizzard does something about this soon, because it kind of makes mockery of what XP-locking was supposed to have achieved. Not that XP-locking is actually enough to keep gear disparities from being a serious issue at lower levels, but hey.

    • pickles2010

      I’m guessing he/she was from this guild?:

      http://us.battle.net/wow/en/guild/medivh/Beats_on_Fourteens/

      So many post Shattering level 10 toons with ridiculous honorable kill numbers it’s mind blowing. A few with over 100k. At what point will blizz stop and take a look. It’s my understanding you can wait hours for an xp off queue to pop in 10-14s. Don’t see how anyone could reach 100k hks in the 10-14 xp off bracket if that’s the case? Safe to say blizzard doesn’t care at this point. Letting it go on as long as it apparently has is just passive endorsement. So easy to fix, make it so you can only toggle xp once every three days or something and it’d lose the thrill.

      • Tyson

        Gotta give that Druid in that guild props though. 3355 achievement points on a lv 10.

        • Oh, no denying that. I think there’s a lot of skilled twinks doing this. It’s just sad that instead of building a locked 10-14 bracket, they’re using an exploit.

  7. NetherLands

    The most startling thing about this is that it has been going on for over a year and Blizzard has been informed often enough about it.

    Something that strikes me is how disposable (or downright crappy) Geared the toons in question often are, and almost invariably they’re post-Shattering, creating the impression they’re specifically made with the intention to abuse the lag. It does underscore why Twink-grade Gear should be hard to come by instead of coming from a mailbox, for starters because people are less likely to risk their well-crafted characters with shenannigans.

    Best solution I see is to put a Daily or Weekly CD on the XP-On/Off function, that way legitimate and/or completely harmless (PvE) uses of the function wouldn’t be impaired but this abuse would basically be stopped.

    (and of course the idiot who created Heirlooms should be fired but that’s been crystal clear for so long it’s hardly worth mentioning)

    • The CD is an interesting and viable solution. I know this has been going on for some time – its one reason there really isn’t a true twink 10-14 bracket. I’ve made level 10 twinks and waited hours for a pop that never came.

  8. Garrett

    Or they could just do away with the separation. Honestly twinks were the best encouragement when I first started to level up. Twinks should be a less shunned thing. it tells you “listen this is an MMO there will always be some one with better gear. and you’re only going to enjoy it if you take it with a grain of salt and work hard.” Which is what am MMO should be about. None of this “Waaaaa you’re gear is better and you aren’t leveling. CHEATER!”

    • I think the XP lock is actually a really positive change for the game, both for PvP and for PvE. With leveling going so fast there are times which I have really wanted to just stop and absorb a class before learning anything new. (Warrior was a good example of this; too many abilities too quickly.) Being able to enjoy the game without worrying about leveling at times has been really nice.

      That said, my objection is not that these people are twinking. I support that, I have been active in several twinking brackets throughout my pvp career. What I object to is taking advantage of a bug for personal gain at the expense of others.

      Gear up a level 10 and /afk before the flag caps? Just fine by me. There’s already a default “twink” class in the leveling bracket – folks in heirlooms and hand-me-downs. There’s no need to exploit.

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