Friday, November 9, 2007

The First Few Mods

As I mentioned before, my schedule is going to keep me from making any real progress with the TTs until Sunday, so I won't have much to report on. However, I figure I'll use this down time to discuss some other useful information for aspiring Boxers.

Basic Mods

Multiboxing creates many unique problems. As thanks to a matured community, there are plenty of options available for overcoming these problems. You just have to decide what works best for you, and your application.

I've found some incredibly useful WoW Mods, that are making these first few steps much easier. Here they are:

1. Bartender 3

Now I use this mod even on my main. It's a brilliant Bar mod that removes the standard WoW interface, and instead gives you access to all 12 action bars, allowing you to arrange, scale and place them wherever you want. Being a Nostromo user, this allows me to lay my buttons out on screen, in the same layout as my Nostromo (4 across, 3 down, 12 buttons).

For Multiboxing, this allows me to scale the buttons up to a huge size on my Alts, so I can easily see and use them on my Maximizer squished screens.

2. Improved Camera 2

Managing multiple toons in follow mode, is alot easier when you're camera is zoomed out. This beautiful mod allows you to extend your "max camera angle" out twice as far, so you can see your surroundings, and your team.

3. Twoboxtoolkit

Here's the first mod specifically for Multiboxing. This is an Ace Mod, so you'll need Ace to go with it. Ace is an excellent development platform for Mod Makers, so there are an excellent number of mods that take advantage of it. Grab it.

  • Messages relay: Able to relay messages the Bot gets in Whisper,Party,Guild,Raid and transfer them to your main via whisper.
  • Follow: The bot will follow you upon using the /followme emote on him.
  • Sticky Follow: Follow will be automatically resumed when the fight is over.
  • Follow warning: The bot will warn you if he stops following.
  • Pass Loot : The bot will auto pass on loot random window.
  • Buff Warning: The bot will warn you when he loses a buff. (Durration for a buff to be warn can be set in options).
  • Low Life Warning: The Bot will warn you when it health goes under a pre defined %.
  • Low mana warning: The bot will warn you when it mana goes under a pre defined %.
  • Mini map icon: With Options UI.
  • Fubar compatible.
  • Relay to channel : You can have the bot relay vis whispers or a defined channel
When you have 5 Shammies, and you're all pretty much named the same, any of them could get the hate tells and the "Woah!" whispers. So instead of watching all 5 screens, you can have your Alts forward any and all whispers to you. This is incredibly useful.

And then there's the /followme and Sticky Follow features. It's nice to spread your toons out before you attack your mob, but then you have to remember to ask your toons to follow you again, as moving breaks follow. With Sticky Follow, as soon as your toons drop combat, they follow you again. Very cool.

3. Automation

I'm still working with this mod, to figure out exactly what it can do for me, here's a list of what I'm using it for:
  • Automatically accept group invites
  • Automatically accept rez
There are a pile of other mods I'm looking to add when I have time to play again. Froolo's Autoaccept quest options appears to wipe out alot of my questing issues. I'm forced to right click on all NPCs with each toon in order to initiate conversation. This mod would automatically accept any new quests, and turn in any completed quests as long as I don't have to choose a reward. That would rock.

I'm learning really quickly that running around in a 5 man group doesn't dish out too much xp (I can't start the instance grind till level 8) but running level 11 quests when your group is only 7, wow... the quest turn in gives you almost half a level! I'm wondering if this will be true in the 40s.

Have a great weekend all.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

DING! (2)

And so it begins...

I arrived home to find my Amazon box unmolested by my two faithful readers. (thanks for not stealing it off my porch. lol) Rushed inside, and dove right into my Gruul raid. It went quick, and I couldn't be happier. I just wanted to bring my team of Orcs to life!

Here they are. The Twenty Totems.

Holy cow was it fun. It took a while to get buttons setup, and I haven't developed any macros yet, besides the standard /assist and /quest stuff. I use mods designed for multiboxing that assign a "leader" to the group, so when the leader says /followme everyone with the mod follows.

I ran around doing the starting area quests, and of course got several players who didn't want to say anything, but just followed me around for a while.

I finally stopped at midnight (I have to leave for work at 6:45am every morning) and parked the team in the nearest in to start building up sleep. :) As much as it kills me, I won't be able to play with them for a few days. My birthday is tomorrow, so there's a family party, then my girlfriend is taking me away for two days. (She won't tell me where we're going just yet.) So I won't be able to really sit down with the Orcs until Sunday. /ugh

But the point is, I've done it. I took the leap. I have five WoW accounts of my own, an excellent setup, a great community of Boxers to guide me, and a ton of fun ahead.

For Horde!


Wednesday, November 7, 2007


It's true. The boxes are sitting on my porch. Don't any of you dare run over and take them. They're mine! I can't wait to get home. :)


The future of

Besides an aspiring five-boxer, I'm also a graphic designer and webdeveloper. I threw together this blog when I first decided I would try Boxing, and now that I'm established, I decided to take a harder look at my blog, and where I want it to go.

I started by designing a proper logo for the group:

I'm currently working on a new theme for my blog that will match this new look, along with a eePanels skin for WoW, so I can sport my new logo and custom interface in my multibox movies.

The totem you see in the logo is a Totem of Wrath. At the suggestion of a buddy, I'm going to also design 3 friends for him (water air and earth) and use them throughout my interface for the site.

Let me know what you think! (I'm talking to Jon, because he's the only one reading this.) :)


Today is the day!

It's true gang... UPS has sent their fastest truck (seen below) to deliver my last three copies of WoW. Of course I won't be home to pick them up, so I'm hoping they slow down long enough to hide them on my porch.

You can track my package here! (no jokes Jon) It's fun to play along!

So tonight, after my Gruul's raid, I plan to get my new Orcs setup, and try to push to level 10! It all depends on how much time I have. I can finally stop playing at 4am. I was doing that so I could "borrow" three accounts for setup and testing.

I also plan to tell my guild what I'm up to, and link them to this blog finally. I haven't till now, because I know it will cause alot of hype, and I didn't want to do that until I was SURE I was going to five-box.


- Boom

The Equipment (Being a cheap boxer)

I'm not the cheapest guy around. I have nice toys, and I'm not afraid to spend money on quality stuff... but for some reason, I'm doing everything I can to spend as little as possible on this project. Why? Well, dispite the fact that most folks around here spend 7-12 bucks on lunch, when they hear I have 5 WoW accounts, they freak out. I freak a bit too.

$75 a month isn't much of an entertainment budget. (Let's not talk about how much my girlfriend costs.) :) So I don't know what the big deal is, yet, I can't help but shudder whenever someone says "Uh dude, that means you pay $75 a month for WoW." Then again, I also pay almost $20 a month for my guild website! /bah. Lets get on with it.

In an attempt to spend as little as possible, I've been experimenting with running 5 WoW's on 3 machines. As I mentioned before, I'm using Maximizer to "squish" the games vertically. Here it is at work on my setup:

This has worked fantastic. I have a beautiful 24" widscreen for may main toon, and the two 17s are just fine for when I need to mouse over and right click to loot quest items. (we'll talk about "gathering" quests while multiboxing, later. ugh.)

The two "sub" computers have AMD Athlon 64 3200+ processors, and one machine has 1gig of ram, while the other has 2gig. This was working fine, but the machine with 1gig was alot chunkier than the one with 2gig. (which was relatively smooth with all graphic options turned down)

But then I took my "Test Taurens" into Orgrimmar. Yikes. The lag on the 1gig machine was so bad, I would lose /follow, and had to go back and get a toon multiple times. That's bad. I can't have that. So after doing some research, I found out that RAM is by far the biggest player when running multiple instances of WoW on a machine.

So I'm going to push them both to 2gig, and when I'm ready to pvp, i'll push them both to 3.

I use a logitech G15 keyboard for my macro/broadcasting. See the 18 customizable buttons to the left of the main keys? They can all be assigned to a button on one of my 12 bars, and with two shifts, I actually have quick access to 54 extra buttons. To the left of the keyboard, you'll see my N52 Nostromo gaming pad. That's where my left hand sits while gaming.

The other two keyboards are there for when I screw up Synergy, and have to reset everything. Once I have more confidence, I'll move those to the floor.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Why I'm going with Orcs

Well, I've decided my team of five Shammies will be Orcs. And there are three reasons...

1. Blood Fury

This Racial ability is considered by most players to be an additional "Trinket". Why? Because there are a series of trinkets in WoW that essentially do the same thing. When you use them, you get a DPS buff that lasts 10-20secs, and then the trinket is on "cooldown" for 2-3mins before you can use it again.

In the past Blood Fury would only give you a Melee damage buff for 15 seconds, AND a 50% Healing DEBUFF for 25 seconds. In 25 seconds, I can loose a toon in PvP without good healing, so that would of been bad. Let alone the fact the DPS buff only effected Melee, which is something you just won't be doing with Elemental Shammies.

But Blood Fury has changed. It now offers +Spell Damage in addition to it's Melee buff, (282ish at level 70) and the debuff only lasts as long as the buff does now. (15 secs) This makes Blood Fury much more valuable to me as a PvP Elemental Shammie.

2. Carebearing
There is an excellent thread over at about Carebearing, which is the act of powerleveling lower level toons with a single level 70. (AKA Twinking) Folks have successfully used a single level 70 to power level 4 low level alts at a time. Their numbers are staggering. Enough so, that I'm considering it.

The problem then becomes my accounts. If I'm using a level 70 on my main account, that means I can never twink the shammie on that account. So I could powerlevel 4 toons, but the 5th would be left behind.

This process only really works up to level 45ish. I just so happen to have a level 47 Orc Shammie named Pugh. I've always wanted to get back to him, and this seemed like the perfect excuse. So I'll make 4 new shammies on my new accounts, use my 7o warrior to twink them up to the 40s, then drop Pugh in (with a paid name change) to start pushing them as a group to 70.

3. RP
Yes, I'm a role-player. I don't do it often, but I find I enjoy the game way more when I have a story behind my character. My 5 shammies are going to be an elite group formed by Thrall, quested with the goal of spreading Shamanism throughout the Horde. Can you tell I just finished reading "Rise of the Horde"? :)

I'll be talking about my equipment setup in my next post.

Till then... FOR HORDE!


Preparing to Box

I love multi boxing. I've finally got all three machines running, and got to level 5 test shammies up to lvl8. There are few things in WoW as satisfying as 1 shotting (with 5 earthshocks mind you) mobs while you are questing. It really is quite fun, and I see myself enjoying this for some time to come.

As previously mentioned, I have two WoW accounts already, and I'm borrowing 3 others while I tried it out. I didn't want to drop the cash on 3 more boxes until I got 5 toons running at once, and decided if it was worth it... ITS WORTH IT. :) at least so far it is.

I have 3 more accounts in the mail, and should arrive by the end of the week. And I just received 4 90-day account cards from a buddy for my birthday, as a way to help me get started in five boxing. I can't wait to get those last 3 accounts and get my team going!

Until they arrive, I still have plenty to do out of game. Five boxing is actually two hobbies in one. First, the obvious, is playing WoW a new and interesting way. The second, is the semantics involved in multi boxing. The hardware, the software, the macros, the timing... it's a game within the game.

I'm currently using an "original" G15 Logitech gaming keyboard. I have 18 macro keys to the left of the board, and three shifts, bringing them to a total of 54 customizable keys. So while I wait for my boxes to arrive, I'll be working on a long term strategy for assigning those keys, and writing my macros based on my recent in game experience.

I also have to decide on my race. I thought I had it figured out, but something else has come up... I'll talk about that next time.