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 Notum Wars Guides from the gods – Maista’s Twinking Guide

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Goddess of BBQ

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Join date : 2010-06-13
Location : Following something shiny

PostSubject: Notum Wars Guides from the gods – Maista’s Twinking Guide   Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:41 pm

Hey hey, all! Seen a lot of renewed interest in twinks lately, so I figured I'd throw up a quick-start guide for those of you who haven't twinked in a while and\or never twinked before. Please note that I'm by no means a God of teh Twink, and I'd love some feedback\corrections if you have any.

So you wanna be uber?
Welcome to the wonderful world of twinking! Here you'll learn some of the basic steps and requirements of twinking.

Now, the purpose of a twink is to BE ALL YOU CAN BE. This means you'll want your basic skills as high as you can get them, the best weapon around and AS MUCH NCU AS POSSIBLE. No matter how good your twinking is, most fights are decided by what outside buffs (OSBs) you bring to battle.

Table of Contents
1. Implants
1.1 Comp Lit implants and NCU
1.2 Final implants
1.3 Sample layouts
1.4 Example
2. Weapons
2.1 Choosing your weapon
2.2 Supplementing your weapon
3. Armor
3.1 Armor suggestions
4. Perks
5. Useful links

1. Implants

I usually find the cheapest and most important part of making your twink superior is getting good implants. Some people skimp on implants, finding them a nuisance and figuring they can make up for it with good OSBing. But implants are EASY! After making a few sets and installing them, you'll do it without even thinking about it. Good imps are a baseline for a good twink. The lower your level, the better your imps\level ratio will be, because ability buffs will count for so much more. Now, the first thing I do before installing the final set of implants on my twinks is to take care of all the "small things" first.. resetting skills is one of them. Sometimes during my leveling, I tend to overspend or just misspend my IP and I end up short. But since this is a twink who I'm never going to level, I can burn some IPRs! Remember to calculate veeery carefully if you're gonna reset and re-IP a core skill like some nanoskill. Enforcers and fixers, for example, have very expensive nanoskills and they can usually afford to shave some points off after getting their final implants in. But before the final imps, we need to polish off those nifty extra skills. I make Map Nav imps to get the best upgrades I can, and sometimes NP\Psych imps to place higher QL towers (not as important, as towers come and go).

1.1 Comp Lit implants and NCU

Implanting CL as high as you can to get the most NCU is VITAL! The best way to make CL imps is to make them Agi based (Shining CL, Bright CL and AssaultRifle, Faded CL). And since they're agi based, we may have to step our Agi up a bit with these Stam based Agi imps (Shining Agi, Bright Agi and Faded Agi). Treatment will usually be the limiting factor here, as treat clashes with CL in all spots. If you're really dedicated tho, you can imp treatment as high as you can FIRST, then remove them as you work your way down (replace treat head with optimal CL head, eye with better CL eye and finally the right hand since it's got the smallest bonus). Other things you can do if you're short on CL include implanting FA\Burst and equipping a ql44 Beyer (two if you can get the MultiWield, otherwise use a low QL int pistol in offhand (A Bazzit if you're a trader)), getting a CL hat from Zoftig Blimp in Hope (5 CL), using a Pioneer Backpack and a Tutoring Device, making Control Crepescule Pants, implanting Intelligence in Ear, getting Neuronal Stimulator and finally by perking.

Once you've pimped your CL as far as you can go, you'll have to install the best NCU you can get. However, FC borked rolling NCU (takes aaages) so you may be out of luck for these. If you're dedicated, you can roll missions at the QL you need and have a mezzer calm through them, looting chests and boxes for NCU. Otherwise you could try playershops, or if you're crazy enough you can Clicksave for an evening or two

However, it might be easier and quicker to just settle for QL125 NCUs (highest shop-bought, requires a little camping and\or luck). I've done this for most of my twinks, and I find myself with ample NCU most of the time, thanks in part to those nifty NCU buffs from my friendly neighbourhood fixer.

1.2 Final implants

For your final implants, sit down with SkillEmu and NanoNanny to fiddle around. The best way is usually to make them Agi\Stam based, based on location. I'll give some examples of this in a walkthough below. I design all my implant sets the same way these days. I usually keep Faded Treatment in right-hand, Faded Sense in head, Shiny Agility, Bright Stamina and Max Health\Body Dev in leg and Faded Stamina or Agility in Waist (depending on profession and other implants). This might seem a bit lazy, keeping what most people consider stepping implants in a finished twink.. but I do this for a reason. Firstly, most of my twinks equip armor requiring at least Agility (Carbonum, Mantis, Supple or Combined) and sometimes Stamina (CAS for looks, or Strong\Combined). Secondly, these both trickle to some sweet skills and give better bonuses than other skills I could have imped there. The exception would be an evade-pimped twink, where I might considering using an alternate Leg imp (Shiny Dodge-Rng, Bright Evade-ClsC). Thirdly, replacing them with other imps would invariably result in the implant being of lower QL, which Maista does not approve of!

If your twink is based on the Notum Repulsor perks, implants get a lot easier as you can twink into really high QL Treatment implants and just leave them there, since they don't clash with anything vital to you.

1.3 Sample twinking layouts per profession - removed – never completed.

1.4 Example

Here's a fairly detailed example of how I'd go about installing my implants. For the purpose of this demonstration I'll be making a level 60 enforcer, as that was my most recent twink.

First things first! Perks are in First Aid (1), Enhance DNA (2) and Combat Knowledge (2). I've cleaned out the character, stripped him of everything and IPR'd where I had overspent or misspent any IP. With this done, I made sure I had maxed out the vitals for twinking: Agility, Stamina, Intelligence, Comp Lit and Treatment. Maxed Strength too since this is an enforcer after all. Next I equipped a good ol' Med Suit, a Ring of Presence, a Platinum Filigree Ring with a Perfectly Cut Ruby Pearl, a Quartz and a Physician's Cap. I also equipped a QL52 Treatment Library, keeping in mind I had to upgrade it later in the process anyway. Now I slapped on a temporary belt so I could get 3-4 NCUs in to hold my first buffs. Now I get SFA, IC, Behe and FG to get some stepping ability imps on. Needless to say, I'll have Comp Attributes and Treatment Expertise running AT ALL TIMES. Now first I'll equip some 125ish Treatment imps, then some 135ish+ stepping imps. Sense+2HB in Chest, Agility in Waist, Agility and Stamina in Leg, Agility in Foot and Intelligence+Concealment in Ear. All of these trickle to Treatment, and Agility\Stamina will be the reqs on my final imps as well.

Now I need more Comp Lit to get a 6-slot belt and some decent NCUs on before I do anything else. So now I step into some 135+ Comp Lit imps in Head, Eye and Right-Hand which is pretty easy now that I have all these buffs going for me. Oh nice, I end up at 460ish Comp Lit now.. this is good enough for me, so I start the long, arduous process of unequipping my NCUs and Belt to replace it with final QL stuff. I had some 150ish NCUs ready, so I'll go with those.. not QUITE optimal, but close enough for government work. Rolling the best QL NCUs would have taken me longer than all the other twinking combined, so I'll settle here. Now, after getting all my NCUs in I notice two things: First, I can change my Treatment Library now that my CL is decent. Second, I'm short about 20 points to equip my Silken Legchopper Gloves.

Time to pull some tricks! Since the Treatment Library is easiest, I throw together a 110ish one from Shop parts. If I was really hurting for Treatment I'd hunt down and build a QL120 one for 12 points instead of 11, but I'll be fine with this one for now. Now, 20 CL short I have two options off the top of my head. I can either implant FullAuto and equip a Beyer (would make me chase down Soldiers, Engis and Traders) or I can trickle it and go for a Pioneer Backpack and Tutoring Device. I choose the second, as a Pioneer Backpack will come in handy for a little extra abilities later on. I get NS and equip some low QL +Int Pistols, and now I'm just 10 points shy. Pretty perfect, as that's about the bonus I'll get from a 35-40ish Tutoring Device! I find this after checking 3-4 shops, and my Silken Legchoppers go on without a hitch. In retrospect, I could have camped some Smuggler's armor if I really needed more Comp Lit, made some Control Crepescule Pants or equipped a Beyer in addition to trickling\tutoring.

Now that I'm finally done with my Comp Lit imps, I can just remove them. But before I step into a set of Treatment imps, I remember that Map Upgrades = sweetness. I make a quick set of 125ish Map Nav imps for Eye, Head and Ear and proceed to check out the map booth. I end up with about 200 Map Nav, which is enough for all upgrades except Side. I also fill up on all the maps, making sure I cover the areas where I'll be fighting the most.. Pleasant Meadows, Stret West and East Bank, 2 Holes, 4HO and Broken Shores. I didn't reach the requirement on Broken Shores, but I won't spend IPs or twink into another 50-60 Map Nav just for that so I forget about it.

Having finished with the Map Nav imps, I dump them in the nearest booth to make phat creds. Time to really get busy! This is the gnarly part, as I get really involved when I build imps.. since Maista can clean and build imps, I can customize my implants on the fly, getting the exact QL I want in a minute or two. Keep this in mind for the next part.

First, I'll step into some decent 135+ish Treatment implants. I'll get SFA, FG, ES and NS for this to help me out. Having done this, I'll go get IC and Behe (if Behe has run out already, 2 hour duration is sweet) and start stepping my ability imps again. You thought I was content with having 135ish stepping imps? Think again, buster. I'll step those up to about 150+ for now. All those Agility imps are especially nice, since they let me keep the treatment rifle on instead of swapping to a Tsakachumi. Now that I've got THOSE in place I'll make some final stepping imps for Treatment. You sick of stepping yet? I settle for 150+ish in Head and Eye, but a 145ish in Right Hand. w00t, this lands me at 760ish Treatment! Now I can build my final imps, and actually take some liberties with my treatment suit and\or rifle since my Abilities will be the limit now. I start with the non-clashing imps, like both wrists, left hand and both arms. I also do the Ear, even though it loses me ~15 points of Int for trickledown. With the kind of stats I have, I squeeze into QL157 imps for the aforementioned spots. Arf, now all I have left are clashing spots.. since my final Leg imp will be pretty identical to the stepping imp I'm already wearing, I'll just step that first. But it requires Stamina, and buffs Stamina too! What ever shall I do!

I simply replace my Agility buffing Waist imp with a Stamina buffing Waist imp first. It requires Stamina too, but it doesn't buff Stamina yet so it'll be easier. At this point I see that Stamina will be more limiting that Treatment, so I switch to Cushions. I don't clean out the Agi Waist to make the Stam, as I know I'll want the Agi later. I build a new one, pop it in and proceed to rebuild the leg into my final imp. Agility and Stamina just like the stepper, but with added Body Dev so it's not quite as gimpy.

At this point I still have stepping imps in Head, Eye, Right Hand, Chest, Waist and Feet. Looking at my setup, I find that my final Right Hand imp also has treatment in it so I can do that one first. I put the Agility Waist back in, which is easy with my new Leg imp, and I replace the Cushions with my trusty Quartz rifle. Right-Hand goes out, and I still have enough Treatment to get a good QL final imp in there. Ends up at 153, I believe. Now.. that Chest isn't very vital anymore, it only buffs Sense to trickle to my Treatment. My new Right Hand will have covered for some of that, so I decide to replace it with a final imp now. Since it requires Stamina, I'll swap the Agi Waist back out for a Stam Waist for this imp. Goes in without any hassle, and now I'm left with stepping imps in only four locations.

But hey, what's this! My final Foot imp also works as a stepping implant! My, how clever I am. I swap the Agility Waist back in, because removing this Foot will cost me ~22 Agility. Not to worry! Since I'm still a little over the reqs on Treatment, I decide to equip a Tsakachumi rifle to make up for the loss. This imp was a bit of a tight fit, but it was manageable enough and now I've got my final QL156 implant in there. Only 3 more spots to go...

Next I'll go for the Waist. The Waist is an important Implant for my Enforcer, since it has Faded 2HE.. but it's just Faded, so making it a few QLs lower won't cost me more than 1-2 points tops. This is also the last imp I install that requires Stamina, but it also buffs Stamina.. no problem! I replace that Tsakachumi with some Cushions and I'm good to go. It ends up at about QL153, which is JUST high enough to get me one more point of 2HE than a QL152. Perfectly calculated or what?

Now we're left with my Eye and Head implants. None of my final QL imps for these feature Treatment, so I'll have to accept lower QLs here... bah. I make the Eye first, and that ends up at an acceptable 147! I could have implanted Treatment permanently in Eye, but I would have lost out on Psycho Modi and my IP costs would go up and the small boost to head QL just wouldn't make up for that. This was a mistake I made with my last Enforcer, so I saw it coming this time. We can all be noobs the first time around, but learning from it makes it worthwhile.

Phew! The final head implant will have to accept being a little gimpier than it's neighbours, and ends up at QL135. But now we're done! sit back, have a cold beer (or a soda, if you're underaged) and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

High QL implants will pay off!

Quick list of tips:

* Always implant Faded Sense in your head imp. It'll give you that extra little trickle to Treatment you'll so sorely need.
* Stepping implants is hard to figure out at first, but practise makes perfect! When you build and step imps to perfection without even thinking about it, you have attained Mastery.
* Make a "twink bag" that holds all your nifty low level twinking gear! I have a few floating around, and they all hold a full Med Suit, a Treatment Rifle, an Agi Rifle (or two, a QL80 for 5 more points), a pair of Cushions, a Ring of the Nucleus Basalis, a Ring of Presence, a Physician's Cap (or two, so I can keep one at QL15 forever), some Extruder Bars and maybe some Nova Dillon to top it all off.

2. Weapons

Now, when it comes to weaponry SL usually has the best stuff around for twinks. While there are exceptions, we can't ignore that Perennium weapons are great, the JAME is great and Cleavers are great and the JGCPP\JEPP are great. The Kyr'Ozch weapons generally don't make for great twink weapons, as they have rather high requirements and tight damage ranges. RK has some good weapons as well, like the Pump Trainee\Master, the Crypt of Home weapons (Chiroptera, Panther, Howlet and Blackbird), X-3s and probably many others. Experimenting can be very fun, but I wouldn't build a twink unless I had a steady backup to fall back on. (IE. don't make a soldier twink just to find out of the upgraded Flamethrowers MIGHT be all-right without having a backup)

I usually prefer to equip a weapon I can keep out of OE selfbuffed. This comes in handy if I ever want to duel someone (very rare) or if the buffs I need just AREN'T AVAILABLE no matter how many times I run through OA (not quite so rare). However, for ubah damage you may have to go with a higher weapon and rely on OSBs. This can be okay for Agents with high-ass Perenniums, for example, as they'll usually want TTS to speed up AS recharge and getting a UA with that requires no extra effort. For others it's just not possible to get OSBs for their primary weaponskill (fixers come to mind) and they have to choose their weapon accordingly.

2.1 Choosing your weapon

Here are some suggestions for each of the professions:

Adventurer - Adventurers usually have the choice of 1HE or Pistol, at least from TL3 where their profession-specific weapon buffs come into play. In TL1-2 I suppose you can choose whatever weapon you feel like, the only boost you'll lose is from perks. The CDRs are still popular for level 41-60, and for higher levels the JSPP\JEPP come into play. Kyr'Ozch Pistols may seem like a good idea, but consider the slow special recharges before you go shopping.

Agent - No real competition here, Perennium Sniper beats 'em all. 1\1 attackspeed means excellent AS recharge, and damage is pretty damn good too! Get a good VE, AS is your friend.

Bureaucrat - Bureaucrats don't have any particular weapon preferences beyond Pistol, like all of the support professions. CDRs are good, just like for Adventurers. If you go Rifle to get AS, the Zastaba and the Alsaqri both have good AS recharge. The Alsaqri is tradeskillable and looks pretty unique.

Doctor - Doctors, like Bureaucrats, don't have any particular weapon preferences beyond Pistol, like all of the support professions. CDRs are good, just like for Adventurers. If you go Rifle to get AS, the Zastaba and the Alsaqri both have good AS recharge. Some Doctors go with a JAME blaster in TL3- 4, but I hardly think their attackrating will allow them to hit very well.

Engineer - Engineers seem to like Pistols too, but they don't get to cast EP untill high TL3 or low TL4 so their advantage is about the same as the support-oriented professions in that respect. Going Rifle for AS can help, consider the Zastaba and Alsaqri or even the X-3 if all you need are BIG AimedShots.

Enforcer - Oh, the choices! For 1HB, the ToTW skulls\melee smith weapons appear popular but only in TL2, after which you'll want some Mortiig Beaters. Don't know much about 1HB after level 60. For 1HE, Chef Cleavers and the lower QL Chief Cook Cleavers are very viable choices with their fast speeds and high minimum damage. Some choose to pair a Cleaver with a chiroptera to gain SneakAttack as well. For 2HB, we've got the Icebreakers for TL1-twinks and the Howlet for TL3 but I don't really know any options for TL2. Perhaps the melee smith can help you. Last but not least, we have 2HE. This is a very popular choice for many reasons, and they become viable from TL2s Frost Scythe of the Legionnaire and the Stygian Desolator, TL3s Panther and Corpse Cutter. NOTE that 1HE\2HE Enforcers should consider the bonus from Silken Legchopper Gloves when choosing their breed, as Atrox enforcers with these will have a major AR advantage.

Fixer - Fixers mostly go with SMG, as their self-only buffs help their AR out. Perennium Beamers are a good option, as are Syndicate Messenger Guns in TL4. However, the SMG route only offers Burst as a special and this won't be enough to kill many professions fast enough.. so some fixers choose to go for a Rifle with AS. Zastaba, Alsaqri and X-3 all work here.

Keeper - Keepers are almost just like 2HE Enforcers, except they don't have access to Panthers. BUT they have access to the Longsword\Sword of the Illuminated, which is a great weapon in TL3, and the Copy of the Excalibur for TL4.

Martial Artist - MAs are not very strong in TL1-3 due to the way MA damage scales with skill. They come into their own in TL4 though, where the fists can really pack a punch and they can find IP to max Bow and AS to use a Superior Sapphistic Bow.

Meta-Physicist - We've seen some new MP setups in TL4 lately, built around the AddAllDef from Shield of Asmodian and Jobe imps.. they're rather efficient, as evidenced by Kingzmp's infamous MP video. However, for lower levels where AddAllDef is harder to twink you might be better off with an AS weapon like the rest of the bunch. Don't forget your nukes though, they pack quite a punch!

Nano Technician - The Cyberdeck is a viable choice here, but only for the bonus to nanoskills. Decknukes are just too slow, even for killing NR twinked chars. If your NT is level 75 or above, remember to get an anti-GA nuke. If you decide to go Rifle, the Zastaba\Alsaqri\X-3 choice rises again.

Soldier - Ah, the soldiers! Soldiers generally go with AssaultRifle-based weaponry, like Perennium Blasters\Mortiig Blasters or JAME Blasters. For AS, they either max RangedEnergy to use a Supernova (guaranteed big hits) or just get a Kalinkalov (100% AssaultRifle, needs luck\buffs for good AS)

Trader - Traders are very very versatile at lower levels, their drains giving them superior AttackRatings with just about any weapon they choose. Levels 21 and below usually sport Pump Trainee\Masters, 30ish and up have been seen using everything from the Stygian to JAME Blasters.

2.2 Supplementing your weapon Some weapons need a little help to reach their maximum potential, so I'll suggest some additions for them. The most popular supplements are Vision Enhancers for +crit and AS and the TIM scope for +ranged init and some +crit. If you're a melee profession, you can slap on a Range Meter for an easy +1% Crit. The Globe of Clarity is another good one, adding both 10 AddAllOff and 1% Crit.

3. Armor

When it comes to armor, I have certain priorities. Here's a little list:

Weaponskill\nanoskill (depending on need and amount)
Nano (if your profession uses a lot of it)
Other bonuses

I always prioritize weaponskill, as it will allow me to hit better and thus kill my opponent faster. Health is nice, as it helps keep the other bastard from killing YOU faster. NCU is a no-brainer, as more buffs will help either of the above to some degree. Nano comes in real handy for those nano-intensive professions (trader, enforcer, NT) and evades are just cream topping in my eyes. I don't even bother looking at ACs, as they've never made much difference on any of my twinks. Keeping armor out of OE isn't as important either, since it appears only ACs go 75%/50%/25%.

3.1 Armor suggestions

Don't underestimate Carbonum! It's very good armor for all sorts of reasons: it's quick! You can get the sheets you need and find someone to build them in just about no time at all. It's cheap! It's got good bonuses! NCU is your twinks best friend, and that nano never hurt nobody! If you add Clanalizers, it'll even help your NR!

Predator Armor is pretty popular for TL3 twinks, and I can certainly see why! All parts add Body Dev, Nanopool, Evades and inits! The Circlet even adds +crit, making it viable all the way to TL7. The sense reqs might have you spending a little more IP than you'd normally afford, but since this adds to so many skills maybe you can shave a few points off those? Nanopool first, perhaps? All over a very good choice.

Mantis Armor is still popular for professions dealing Energy or Projectile Damage, and it has some other decent modifiers too. FirstAid, RangedInit, Runspeed, HP and nano all come in handy for a twink.

First Tier Armor can have its advantages, but I don't much care for it myself. I don't rate ACs highly, and the mods are not consistent at all.

Alien Armor will be out of most people's leagues, but if you can get some it's usually TEH UBAH! One small problem here is that AI armor above QL75 will require the AITech 2 perk, which isn't available until level 75.

4. Perks

Perks are usually easy to figure out, so I'll leave this section empty untill I get some suggestions. Resetting perks to twink is relatively quick and easy with the 24 hour timer.

5. Useful links

Search the official forums - Holds the answers to most of your questions
Jayde's - I have much love for this database [Update – sadly this database is no longer available.]
SkillEmu v3 - Excellent tool for planning your twink! Note: Needs the .Net Framework
NanoNanny - The first tool I ever downloaded for AO. I can't decide if I use this or ClickSaver more often
Clicksaver - If it's rollable, you need ClickSaver
AO Tradeskills - Wonderful guides for tradeskills
Unity of the Rose Agg/Def Calculator - Helpful when considering your weapon choices
Shadowlands Library - Our favourite SL resource
Alien Invasion Library - Our favourite AI resource

BBQ'ing - it's not a skill. It's my superpower!
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