Thursday, November 1, 2007

Taurens Vs. Orcs Vs. Trolls

Well, I got Maximizer working last night, and it's fantastic. I'll go over my equipment spec in another entry, for now, I have a pressing issue I need help with.

I need to choose the race of my team.

If you're first thought is Draenei, I will kindly ask you to leave. Alliance are evil. They are a blight upon our imaginary world and must be wiped out... that leaves the Glorious Horde.

Because I'm going to run all Shammies, my choice is limited to the Taurens, Orcs and Trolls. Here's a quick rundown of their racial benefits:

War Stomp (lots of potential)
Activate to stun opponents - Stuns up to 5 enemies within the area for 2 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.

Endurance (lots of potential)
Max Health increased by 5%.

Cultivation (n/a)
15 point skill bonus to Herbalism

Nature Resistance (n/a)
Increase Nature Resistance by 10.

Blood Fury (wow... this would rock)
Activate to increase attack power and spell damage/healing by an amount based on level/class for 15 seconds, and decreases healing done to the user by 50% for 25 seconds. The cooldown is 2 minutes.

Hardiness (great for pvp)
Increase resistance to stun effects by 15%.

Command (n/a)
Pet melee damage increased by 5%.

Axe Specialization (n/a)
Increase Axe skill by 5.

Berserking (not bad at all.)
Activate to increase attack and casting speed for 10 seconds. Speed is raised by 10% at full health, increasing as health is lost to a maximum bonus of 30%. 3 minute cooldown.Costs 10 Energy, 5 Rage, or 7% of base mana.

Regeneration (wow, not bad either. Depends on regen gear)
Increase health regeneration bonus by 10%. Also allows 10% of normal health regen during combat.

Beast Slaying (n/a)
5% damage bonus to Beasts.

Throwing Weapon Specialization (lol)
Increase Throwing Weapon skill by 5.

Bow Specialization (more lol)
Increase Bow skill by 5.

Now, I thought about making a mixed team... but I can't do that if I plan to compete in Arenas. Part of the benefit of running a team of all shammies, is that when your opponets sees you, they yell "get the shammie!". Then when they realize you're all shammies, they say "Get Thundah!". That's why I named my shammies:

  • Thundah
  • Thunduh
  • Thundoh
  • Thundeh
  • Thnudeh

At first glance, not only do they look the same, but they all seemed to be pronounced the same. This confusion makes it very difficult for your opponent to focus fire, which is critical for success.

Back on topic, this means I need to choose one race and stick with it. I'm leaning towards the Taurens, purely for the +health and 5xWarstomp. With the right macro, I can keep a peskey rogue busy for quite a while.

But the DPS buff from both the Orc's Bloodfury and the Troll's Berzerking is tempting too. A Shammie PvP team is all about burst damage.

Last thing to consider, is pure entertainment. There's nothing cooler than seeing a group ride into town, dismounting, then splitting into formation. This would look incredibly cool with 5 humungous Taurens, with huge shoulder gear and weapons due to scaling.

I'm using Taurens right now on my test setup. I'm still borrowing accounts for now, but I have my last three copies of WoW purchased, and on their way. (ordered online in order to use a gift card) When they get here, I'll be ready to start with a clean slate, and need to have my racial choice ready.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hardware or Software

There are two ways to multibox. You can either run multiple instances of WoW on a single machine, or run a single copy on multiple machines. (or a crazy combination of both) While the obvious advantage to software is the cost, (1 machine cheaper than 5 machines) the disadvantage is in performance. Unless you have a screaming quadcore beast (which I don't) then running multiple instances can slow you down. And any slow down is bad when trying to manage multiple toons.

I originally ran three instances on my main machine, and was disappointed in how difficult it was to manage toons by tabbing through instances. (macros can't make your toon loot, you have to right click) So I decided to try hardware.

I have a stellar game machine, and two decent workstations I bought for my old company, which isn't using them anymore. That gives me three great machines for WoW. I setup the three boxes and used a modified version of Synergy to broadcast my keystrokes. It worked GREAT. Using Synergy meant I could simply slide my mouse to the screen of another toon, click to loot and slide back.

Feeling so good about hardware multiboxing, I started digging around for a few more machines. I found two more that used to be gaming machines (about 4 years ago) that had thier video cards removed. So I called a buddy with more pc parts than God, and he hooked me up with some ram, a couple powersupplies and two AGP video cards that would get the job done.

Last night I took apart the first box, got it all put back together, only to discover it has a fresh install of Windows Server 2003. Ugh. I forgot at one point this machine was going to be a "development" server. I don't know anything about managing WS03, so I coudln't get it to see the other machines (which I need for broadcasting). And of course my MS Action Pack was at work, so I couldn't put XP on there anyways, so I let it sit another night.

Today, while trolling my favorite multibox forums ( I learned some more about a great little program that would allow me to launch multiple instances of WoW, in custom resolutions called Maximizer. Better yet, I found Keyclone, which not only includes Maximizer, but also will allow me to broadcast keystrokes from one machine to multiple instances on another machine.

A pic of Maximizer at work
Maximizer at work

So here's the new plan. Tonight I'm going to install Keyclone on my three best machines. On pc2 and pc3 I'm going to run two instances of WoW each, in 1280x512 resolution. (a horizontal screen split) If this works, it will mean I can run 5 accounts on 3 machines, and 3 monitors, and easily be able to slide my mouse to any screen for looting.... sounds too good to be true. :)

We'll see.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One man... Five boxes... What now?

Ok I'm going to get this out of the way first. Who am I, what exactly am I doing, and of course... why? First, the who. My name is Boom. For the last several years I've enjoyed playing a few MMOs, most recently, World of Warcraft. I play a Tauren Warrior named Boom, and run a guild full of amazing people, called For Horde.

I've played just about every class to at least 40, and have spent alot of time learning the ins and outs of both PvE and PvP. But recently I've been looking for something more. And I think I found it, in Multiboxing. Multiboxing is the act of playing multiple charaters at one time, either using software or hardware duplication. How did I stumble on to this? Well, it happend VERY fast.

I was playing another round of Arathi Basin (a WoW Battleground) and ended up alone at a flag, when I was jumped by 3 Alliance jerks. (they're all jerks) This normally spells instant and complete doom, and this time seemed to be no different than any other.

But just as the group of aggressors were about to finish me off, a priest came riding up on a wolf, followed by what looked like a crowd of players running in unison. The priest dismounted, and the group behind him promptly followed. Then the most amazing thing happended. The group came to a stop, split up into a diamond formation, then all proceeded to cast a Pyroblast at the same time.

In a matter of seconds, this perfectly syncronized group wiped out every Alliance player, and I was at full health. That's when I noticed the names. It was the Zins. I had read about them... or should I say, Him. These five toons were all controlled by one guy, using five computers, five accounts, and one brilliant mind. I was hooked. I had to try this.

So here I am.

Searching for information on Zin lead me to a wonderful website called Dual Boxing. There is a wonderful group of multiboxers sharing ideas, solutions, stories and more, all in the name of furthering this "Hobby". If you're interested in Multiboxing, I highly recommend you start there.

Over the next two weeks, I'll be posting images, movies and documenting my adventure in multiboxing. I hope you come back and follow along.

Am I nuts, lonely, living in my parents basement, girlfriendless, ugly etc? These are all things Multiboxers are assumed to be by those who can't afford to share our hobby. For now, I can claim none of these names, and I hope I stay that way. (don't think my GF is too fond of my 5 gaming machines keeping my attention, but we'll work it out.) :)

See you on Argent Dawn.