Tuesday, December 25, 2007

5 Shaman, 5 Wolves, Mountacular (that's a word)

It is a word... Mountacular. It has to be. It's the first thing that came out of my mouth when I saw all five of the Shaman on their wolves. Bam. There it was. And no one in the room complained. Has to be real.

When I got the kids to 40, I realized they were all dirt poor. I haven't been questing, or gathering anything to sell. The money I get from vendoring the many, many, many blue items I get, barely covered the training costs.

So I took a break for two days, and used my limited playing time to run dailies with Boom. I also sold a world drop epic that we found on High Inquisitor Whitemane after one of our 4 billion SM runs. The glorious Fiery War Axe. Gained us a quick 200g, and the dailies did the rest.

The mounts are already proving a time saver in Zul'Farrak. Woot for instances you can mount in!

Boom fortunately had the Mallet of Zul'Farrak, which is used to summon Gahz'rilla. Getting the hammer is a HUGE pain, so it was nice to already have it. This allowed me to quickly finish the quest "Gahz'rilla" so each of my boys is now sporting the Carrot on a Stick... high speed fun! Now to get some glove enchants and spurs...

Multiboxing Zul'Farrak, full of useful win.

As I explained before, Uldaman was great fun, but way too low on the XP meter. So I called Boom back in, and he took the boys to the great city of the Sand Trolls. Win was all over the place.

Boom is still entirely overpowered in there, and didn't even require healing from the Shaman. So I just had them stay back, and drop 4 simultaneous CLs whenever it seemed cool. (this was rather often as it turns out) The totems didn't hurt either. :)

The XP was fantastic, and remains so at level 42. The best burst comes from the infamous Divino-matic Rod event.

For those not familiar with the nightmare that is the Divino-matic Rod, it's a quest/event that places your party at the top of a pyramid, where you free a band of NPCs from their cages, only to turn around and find a small army of trolls at the bottom of the pyramid. Over time, they all end up rushing up the stairs in your direction.

While this sucks huge in a low level pickup group, a level 70 tank and 4 highly focused Shaman just end up having fun. The XP flows, the Trolls die, fun is had by all.

The rest of the bosses are quite trivial. I have to admit, more than once I made the same mistake here that I originally did in SM, I pulled too many mobs. Once I worked that out, I didn't need to heal, and I kept a good pace.

I figure I'll end up here until the boys hit 46, where they'll finally match the level of my fifth Shaman, Thunduh. Who know what I'll be doing then... maybe quests... >.<

Thrall help me.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

$2.50 per day

I loved the Holidays... in the past. These days they just keep me from multiboxing. I have images of my boys in Zul'Farrak, on their new mounts, and even running around doing some pvp. But I can't find the hour it takes to get them organized and write a worthwhile post. So I haven't.

As it sits today, I haven't had a moment to even log in to see the boys for almost a week. And its killing me. It's not just the holidays, but my job too. We've got something huge brewing, and I'm in charge of it.

So the terrible truth is, I won't be able to log in again until next Wednesday, December 26th. But when I do, I'll be sure to take the time to get caught up here, and continue to bring you guys with me on my trip to 70.

Thanks so much for the emails. I'm not missing, I'm just missing WoW! :)

See you all shortly.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Into Uldaman

I got a bit tired of SM... go figure. And now that the boys are getting closer together in level (4x39 and one 46) I decided I wanted to take all 5 into an instance and try to CC mobs. So what better place, then Uldaman.

The great Dwarven city of the Titans, where the very origins of the Dwarves is kept secretly away, under the guard of the mighty Archaedas. This should be fun.

Mind you, with the new patch, the last boss tops out at level 40. So with a level 46 Enhancement Shaman leading 4 39 Elemental Shamans, I was hardly in over my head. (or heads) :)

But the experience was worth the effort. I had a great time!

My first challence was taking down Ironaya, the giant guardian of Uldaman, who's widely known as the "Indiana Jones Boss" due to the clever way you summon her. (no spoilers here! Get in there yourself and see!)

I got my boys setup, and planned to use my 46 as a tank, which worked perfectly. She went down without a problem, and I paused for my first group "kill shot"... but the guys were a bit excited with their first kill, and couldn't stop dancing, and the only shot I got off had Thunduh (their fearless leader) in a less-than-flattering position. >.<

Once we tackled her, I figured the rest of the instance would be cake, and it was... right up until Archaedas himself. Arch (we're on a nickname basis) is a giant stone guardian (like half the other bosses in this instance) who likes to talk alot of talk... but as soon as you start kicking his butt, he chickens out and starts summoning friends... LOTS of them.

My goal was to hammer him as hard as I could, and try to beat out his adds. I setup a separate button just to summon more Stoneclaw Totems, so as the adds came, I could hopefully keep them busy with Totems instead of beating on my casters. As it turned out, this worked great! By the time we dropped him, there were a PILE of mobs on the screen, and no one from my group was in danger of death.

After a more civilized kill shot, I decided to take inventory of the experience. Great fun. Great loot. Great Experience... wait. Never mind. My guys only averaged 6k xp per hour. (yikes) I'm sure I could boost that now that I know what I'm doing. But not by much. At that rate, I'll need 10-12 hours to get another level! Screw that.

So what do I do now? Take Boom with them to Uldaman and speed things up? Is that the right instance... wait a tick. What about Zul'Farrak? Dare I enter the great city of the Sandfury Trolls? At this level? /evilgrin

Stay tuned.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Ding! (39)

I can't believe how fast this is going. Thanks to the new XP curve (patch 2.3) and a 70 Warrior, I've pushed the boys to 39. That allowed them to equip all the cool new gear they got from SM. Go ahead... try to tell me they don't look like the coolest thugs you've ever seen. :)


The Saber Squadron

My "second main" toon, back in the first year of WoW, was a hunter. I loved Tuc. I love him because I've always loved to play with pets. So you'll understand why I paused to read the entire blog over at The Saber Squadron. This guy is Five Boxing a group of Nelf Hunters!

Throughout his blog he shares his experiences both in multiboxing, and the social issues that pop up for multiboxers. He's leveling his hunters on a PvP server, which I still think is nuts. :)

Anyways, if you like Twenty Totems, I think you'll love his site.


Into the Monestary

I decided it was time we headed into Scarlet Monestary. Home of the infamous Scarlet Crusade. (Excellent history by the way. Worth the read.)

I tried to take my boys there at level 20, but didn't have much success with my 70 Warrior. I found myself pulling large groups (Like I have so far in other instances) and being beat into the ground. I got frustrated and left, only to return again now that my kids are 33. I hoped they could keep my warrior healed this time. Turns out, they didn't have to.

The problem before, was that I was simply pulling too many at a time. Instead, I'd pull maybe 6-8, and quickly burn them down. This meant I hardly ever took damage, and never needed to stop. Before I knew it, I was averaging over 30k xp per hour with NO sleep xp! The Dings just kept coming.

Sure, it was a blast tearing into Scarlet Commander Mograine with 4 Chain Lightnings, but it got boring. Very quickly. But thanks to a Tivo full of old Simpsons episodes, the time passed.

When you're in there that long, you end up collecting just about every blue you want. Before I knew it, each of my 4 Shaman had a Triune Amulet, Whitemane's Chapeau, Aegis of the Scarlet Commander, and my personal favorite (though pointless for an Elemental Shammie) Mograine's Might! Arguably one of the best looking 2h Maces in the game! Don't they look pimp on my boys?

And then there were Twenty...

I finally took the time to finish the Air Totem Quest... why didn't anyone tell me that the devs put as much time into this as they did the "Mount Quests" for Pallies and Warlocks? As in... you talk to an NPC, and you get your totem. lol

Anyways, when I did this, I realized I could finally live up to my name, and drop Twenty Totems at once! Of course, I promptly headed to Thrall's throne room, and entertained him with a bit of theatrics. :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Ding! (33) and some fun in Orgrimmar

Hate Mail is something every boxer has to live with. PvP is of course the most obvious source, as no one likes to be killed by another player with NO hope of winning. But we also get /reported all the time, assumed to be gold farmers, assumed to be cheating etc., but it's something you live with.

It's worth it, for those moments when someone says "COOL! How are you doing that?"

Over on my favorite forums, someone recently suggested a solution to some of the bashing we take... show off. He said he found that when he strolled into Org/IF and started to do formations, buffs, etc., that he made a ton of friends. So when folks started bashing him in /general, there were always several folks who would step in to explain what he was doing, and defend him!

I took this to heart last night, while hearthing into Org to get some training. A group of players (all from the same guild) all came running to see what was up. I had just hit 33, so I had equiped my guys in their Robes and sweet shoulder pads from Doan in SM. Wow, what a visual!

I noticed them all staring, and one suddenly said in /say "This is the coolest thing I've ever seen."

I decided to put on a show... I pulled my guys out of the inn, got into formation, buffed myself with lightning shields, and dropped 15 Totems on the ground (I still have to go get their wind totem. They LOVED it.

Folks from all over Org came running, and it turned into a huge dancefest. Everyone was really nice. Several had questions, which I answered in /say for all to read, and it couldn't of gone any better.

I've used this "PR" tactic with my guild, For Horde. When we were still young, I forced all of our raiders to start each raid in Orgrimmar in a huge circle of 40 mounted players, then yelled out "FOR HORDE! THRALL HAS ASKED US TO TAKE THE MOLTEN CORE FOR THE GLORY OF THE HORDE!" They would all scream back, and we'd head out to our raid. Every time we got a flood of tells asking about our guild, and how they could apply.

This just might work for Twenty Totems. I plan to put on a play each time I head back for training, in hopes of building a healty reputation with my server. (it helps that I'm Boom... Most people know me and my guild, and think highly of us.)

I'll let you know how it goes...

Now to think up some cool macros for these "plays". Maybe a single button script that goes through a funny dialog between the 5!


Laying Waste...

I know I started carebearing... then felt I was missing out, so I started questing with all five Shammies, including my 46... but something happend when I got to the Salt Flats. I took 6-8 new quests, and every dang one of them were collection quests. (ok maybe not every one, but close!)

When a quest tells you to collect 10 Boar Bawls, that really means you need to collect 50. And if there were 50 Boars in the same area, and they dropped their Bawls every time, this wouldn't be bad at all... but that's never the case.

Sometimes you're lucky to have 10 mobs to kill, before you have to wait for respawn. And even then, sometimes only 2 of those 10 will drop their Bawls. This makes collection quests an incredible pain for Boxers.

So I decided to log out of my 46, get Boom back (a well geared 70 Fury Warrior) and take my boys (at 28) into Razorfen Downs. The loot was cool (high 30s stuff), the layout was quick and fun, and most importantly, the XP was flowing.

Before I knew it, my boys were 32. CHAIN LIGHTNING TIME!

I read some more about carebearing, and I think I have a good leveling schedule. I'll stay in RFD until 36... then off the the SM till 43... then Zul'Farrak! Soon after that, my 4 lowbies will catch up with my 46 Shaman, and I'll start questing again. (along with some challenging instances)

I'm still really digging this. I was worried I would never make it to 20, and now I'm 32. I'm on my way.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My First Totem Macro

Twenty Totems... think of it... in 5 more levels, I'll be able to live up to the name, and drop 20 of the little buggers at a time. Besides the useful game mechanics involved with that many Totems, just think of how pretty it will be! lol

But how do I manage 20 totems at once? In a word, macros. Well, two words.. macros and Keyclone. As I've stated before, Keyclone is so far, my Boxing Killer App. I bought a copy ($10) for each of my 3 machines. This allows me to use my main keyboard, which broadcasts to Keyclone on my 2 other machines, which then broadcasts them to the two instances of WoW running on each.

So each time I hit a button on my keyboard, I can drop a totem on each toon. But I don't have enough buttons to assign one to each type of Totem, nor would I want to have to hunt through that many buttons knowing I have a set of Totems I use 99% of the time. That's where macros come in.

If you don't know how to use macros at all, spend some time here: WoWWiki Macro Guide

Assuming you do, lets talk about /Castsequence. This script allows us to "queue" up several different spells, and execute them in order, one key press at a time. Here's an example:

/castsequence Tremor Totem, Searing Totem, Mana Spring Totem

When you drag this macro to a button, it will first cast a Tremor Totem with the first button press, then Searing with the next, and finally Mana Spring with the last. Hit it again, and it would start all over in the cycle.

Knowing I can drop one Totem of each element on each toon, I can write a custom macro for each Shaman, and end up dropping a wide variety of Totems with one key. For Fire, I might want all Searing, so I add Searing to every toon's macro. But because some Totems don't stack, I might want a variety. Earth as an example. I currently drop one Stoneskin, one Earthbind, one Tremor and two Stoneclaws (for CC). So each toon's macro will have a different Earth Totem in it, but they all drop together.

The other feature of /Castsequence, is the Reset. You have many options to choose from, when it comes to resetting the sequence. The options are:
  • Number of seconds: literally choose a number of seconds after the first keypress before it resets. This works great for spells with specific cooldowns
  • Change Target: Reset the sequence each time you change targets
  • Combat: Reset the sequence each time you leave combat
  • Shift/alt/ctrl: Reset the sequence each time you press the macro button while holding shift, alt or ctrl.

The cool thing is, you can stack these veriables. Here's what I ended up with:

/castsequence Reset=combat Searing Totem, Healing Stream Totem, Tremor Totem, Grounding Totem

Of course, each toon is slightly different. They all drop the same Fire Totem right now, but they drop different Earth Totems. As I gain more spells, I'll have to constantly re-evaluate. I then place the macro on the same action bar (which is tied to a button on my Nostromo) and it becomes my "PvE Totem Button".

When I get ready to enter combat, I simply hit this button 3 times, and all my totems are down. In case I end up hitting it again during combat, the Reset=combat will always reset the button on each toon as soon as I leave combat. It's pretty sweet.

Let me know if you're using any specific macros for multiboxing!


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ding! (25)

We're moving on up! This is starting to feel a bit more Galvanized. (see: HomeStar Runner) My boys hit 25 last night, and are currently sitting just under 26. I stopped power leveling them with Boom, and instead teamed them up with the 5th and last member of the group, my 46 Shaman, Pugh.

Last night I paid the $10 to have Pugh's name changed to Thunduh. So now he's matching his brothers.

I spent some time writing my first totem macros, so I now use one button to drop 15 totems. (3 hits) It took some time to get it just right, but I'm thrilled with the results. I can't wait to get them to 30 where they'll get their Air Totem, and I can finally live up to the name of the guild.... Twenty Totems.

I'll try to post tonight with the details of my first Totem Macro.


Stackable Totems (A Guide)

Multiboxing with all Shammies is fun. Period. Why? Because Shammies get so many cool tools and toys, meant to buff a group of other classes. So when you stack those buffs with muiltiple Shaman, it gets really fun. (not to mention cool to see!)

I've been digging for a while to figure out exactly what totems stack, and which don't. I finally found the info I was looking for, where else, but at Dual-Boxing.com.

My favorite Shammieboxer™, (that's right, I coined a phrase!) Ellay, who runs Dual-Boxing.com, clarified most of the Totem details in a post. Here's a visually pleasing summary. (as I know you kids love to be pleased visually.)

Earth Totems
Earthbind Totem
Slows enemies
Does Not Stack
Stoneskin Totem
Reduce melee damage taken
Does Not Stack
Stoneclaw Totem
Taunts mobs
Dropping multiples does wonders for CC. After one dies, the next will grab the mob.
Strength of Earth Totem
Increase Strength
Does Not Stack

Tremor Totem
Remove Fear, Charm and Sleep effects

Each totem "pings" at a given rate, so when you stagger your drops, you end up with more coverage.
Earth Elemental Totem
Summon Tank-like Earth Elemental
Not really a "stack", but 5 x Tanking Elemental = AwesomeSauce™
Fire Totems
Searing Totem
Shoots fireballs at enemies
They each do their own damage, so they stack just fine!
Fire Nova Totem
Single AoE explosion after a few seconds
Same as Searing above
Magma Totem
AoE / DoT
Same as Searing and Nova. Dropped close together, and you have some very decent AoE!
Frost Resistance Totem
+ Frost Resist
Does Not Stack
Flametongue Totem
Enchant weapons with +melee (fire) damage
Does Not Stack
Totem of Wrath
+3% to Spell Crit and Hit
5 totems = +15% crit AND +15% to hit. So just about no need to spend any item points on +spell hit gear.
Fire Elemental Totem
Summon DPS Elemental Pet
Not really a "Stack", but 5 x DPS Elemental pets. WOOT!
Water Totems
Healing Stream Totem
HoT to party
Drop 5 of these and you just about don't need to heal your group.
Mana Spring Totem
MoT to party
Does Not Stack
Poison Cleansing Totem
Remove 1 poison every 5 seconds
Can "stack" if you stagger your drops.
Disease Cleansing Totem
Remove 1 disease every 5 seconds
Same as Poison
Mana Tide Totem
+ 6% of total mana every 4 seconds for 12 seconds
Fire Resistance Totem
+Fire Resist
Does Not Stack
Air Totems
Grace of Air Totem
+Agility to party
Does Not Stack
Windfury Totem
Enchant Weapon to recieve chance of extra hits
Does Not Stack
Grounding Totem
Immune to next spell cast on player
This is incredibly powerful vs. caster opponents
Windwall Totem
Reduce Ranged Damage taken
Does Not Stack
Sentry Totem
Security camera you can place anywhere and view through
Utility totem. You can place them at different positions to watch over a flag in pvp.
Nature Resistance Totem
+Nature Resist
Does Not Stack
Tranquil Air Totem
Reduce threat by 20%
Does Not Stack
Wrath of Air Totem
+101 to Healing and Spell Damage
Does Not Stack

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ding! (20)

The boys just wanted to show off the new guild tabard, and of course, celebrate hitting 20!

Twenty Totems meets Thrall

As I've mentioned before, I do love to Role-play. I enjoy setting a story behind the characters I play, and the Twenty Totems would be no different. I just finished reading Rise of the Horde, by Christie Golden. And excellent story about the downfall of the Orcs, as told by a "present day" Thrall. It's entertaining, and inspiring.

The book does an excellent job of conveying Thrall's regret for the choices his people made, even before he was born. It also shows the true "spirit" behind both Shamanism, and the terrible Warlocks they became. These days, Warlocks are kept around out of nessesity, while Thrall's true wish would be that every Orc would seek the ways of the Shaman. So there's my story.

The Twenty Totems are an elite group of young Shaman, who were trained in the Shamanistic Arts by Thrall himself. They were put together, and charged by Thrall to be an inspiration to the Orc race. A group the Orcish children could aspire to be. Heros.

In the tradition of Orcish Brotherhood, Thrall didn't want any member of Twenty Totems to stand out, so he gave them new names, all very similar. (heh)

Anyways, tonight I finally created their guild, (Twenty Totems of course), and celebrated by taking a moment to meet Thrall. It was good fun, and I drew a small crowd in the process.

Another player had just turned in the Outland quest that causes Thrall to animate, walking down from his thrown and kneeling. I used the opportunity to get this excellent screenshot of Thrall Kneeling before the Twenty Totems. We kneeled back of course. :)

We then followed Thrall up to his throne to recieve our orders, then headed out to spread the Shamanistic Arts.

It feels official now that we're wearing our guild tag. So far this multiboxing thing has been incredibly fun. I just can't wait to get them to 45, where they'll join the 5th Shaman, and we'll finally be a pvp team.