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I've read about level locking on several websites (e.g. WoWWiki), however, they focus on how instead of why. What is the purpose? If I level a character straight to 90 do I miss something that is impossible to make up?

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Just as a non-relevant tip: Wowwiki is pretty outdated. Wowpedia.org is usually the better option for more up to date information. –  Ben Aug 14 '13 at 21:45

2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

People may want to lock a character into a specific PvP group. The PvP groups go from x0 - x4 or x5 - x9 (eg 10 - 14) so by locking to 10, 11, 12, 13, or 14 you stick in a particular group.

It's mostly done by people who are engaging in twinking, which is kitting a low level character out in the best, most expensive PvP gear available at that level and just playing a lot of PvP.

Taken from Nick Bayley's comment: Another reason why people level lock, although not as popular, is to do old dungeons/raids at the level they were meant to be done at. However, with the talent changes, glyphs and inflation of gear, they don't pose the same challenge as they did when they were current content.

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Another reason why people level lock, although not as popular, is to do old dungeons/raids at the level they were meant to be done at. However, with the talent changes, glyphs and inflation of gear, they don't pose the same challenge as they did when they were current content. –  Lyrical Aug 8 '13 at 9:29
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Brackets were changed to span 5 levels each. Source –  Dr. Spam Aug 8 '13 at 10:34
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Something else I forgot. Patch 5.2 brought the following: Players in low-level Battlegrounds will have their effective level raised to the maximum level allowed in that Battleground bracket. Players’ base stats and spells are scaled accordingly, and are treated as the same level when determining hits, misses, and critical effect chance. A very good article on what effects it has had on twinking can be read here –  Lyrical Aug 8 '13 at 11:09
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And a follow-up article to the one I posted, as Blizzard did hotfix some of the issues highlighted in the previous article. –  Lyrical Aug 8 '13 at 12:30
    
I've edited my answer to take into account these two things, thanks both. –  shanodin Aug 8 '13 at 17:03

The queue system doesn't allow you to sign up for random instance groups that are below your level. For example, if you want to get a specific item or get an achievement while in a group, you could freeze your level so that you can do it. This can be useful for more fully appreciating burning crusade and lich king heroics at the level they were designed for. It is possible to solo most instances and raids from previous expansions, but some of them are too hard, also, playing in a group can be more fun than playing alone.

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