Five WoW accounts, one keyboard broadcaster and me.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Desk cleanup

When I started fiveboxing, I was very lazy in setting things up. Unlike many other multiboxers I am using notebooks for my secondary characters. Not just because I happened to have them at hand, but also because they just take less space and energy than desktops, come with displays, keyboard and touchpad and also do not produce as much heat as desktops would.

Now, I ended up scattering the notebooks left and right of my keyboard which ended up to be a very wide setup. effectively the three notebooks were barely in my peripheral vision.

Today I got out of my chair and went shopping for some DIY supplies. I ended up spending 20 Euro for a 30cmx250cm board that was cut to a 160cm length and had the remaining bit cut in half to serve as legs. That makes it as wide as my desk, and just high enough to clear my 19" TFTs and the desktop that I have on my table.

The nice thing about this is that the shelf is exactly horizontal in my field of view, just like the base of the notebooks that are on top of it. Sure, its a 2" gap in total, but lightyears better than the previous blind spot situation.

Cheers, Captn.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tankadin goodness

It has been a while since I did anything with Team Minion or my little wolves that would be worth mentioning. I had good times playing on my tank warrior main in raids for the most part, but I was really held back from doing something more worthwhile with the team by two things, firstly not having a control setup that includes a tank and secondly haveing a mixed keyboard hammering/mouse clicking tanking habbit that does not mix well at all with doing other things at the side.

First, I had to re-think and re-do my entire key mapping. When playing with the all squishy 1xpriest/3xwarlock/1xmage combo, I had the priest as my primary character, used Clique to heal and so forth by clicking the party portraits and used the action bars for attack spells on the warlocks and mage.

Adding a tank to that mix does not work so very well. With the tank being the puller and providing the usual focus point of a group, i.e. dps the mob the tank designated as kill target, heal the tank and so on, there is no question that the tank needs to be the primary character. I use my warrior tank as my primary character on raids, so doing anything with the way I control the character that jeopardizes that is totally out of the question. That again means that I have to rework my controls to make the healer work as secondary character.

What I did not notice when I looked for it the first time was that the keybindings in WoW list the primary and secondary action bar, then a load of other stuff and then, after three or so pages of scrolling, the remaining action bars. They are there! Which means that I can set up a non-primary action bar to sort the healing and assign key combinations to it that are most likely never going to be used by accident.

For my trial run for this concept I programmed the lowermost six programmeable buttons on my Logitech G15 with simple macros each containing only one key stroke, for example CTRL+SHIFT+J. That again is bound to Captn's action bar 4, slot 1, where the macro /cast [target=player1] greater heal is placed. The same for player2..5 and prayer of healing and rudimentary healing via a secondary character is sorted. I must say it worked amazingly well. Greater heals are mana efficient and effecive. I will play with using ALT as additional modifier in the macro to squeeze another spell in, but mostly that is what I need.

The second thing is the tanking style. A warrior needs to work for his threat on every single target. The multimob abilities are not really great, doing not much threat, bring on long or longish cooldowns or just limited to four mobs. With trash pulls of up to eight mobs that is a bit of a bother.

As it happens, I had this paladin just sitting there somewhere halfway to 70. I used to raid with him back in the Molten Core days and a paladin was actually my first WoW character. In any case, I decided to try out paladin tanking. What I read up front and what I found in practice is that a paladin makes an simply amazing tank for multiple mobs with very little attention needed. Pull, then you can mostly just hit the holy shield and consecration buttons every couple of seconds and you are good to go. It is only a question of healing how many mobs you can hold. Simply amazing and extremely useful if you have something else to do as well, such as hit the greater heal button or the nuke focus target button!

I cleared the Slave Pens when testing and then started doing the Mana Tombs. Nothing special in those places, but I still had quests open with my paladin for them. Anyway, I am reasonably happy with the result and have leveled my paladin to 70 now. I am sure the fact that I now have a control setup that accommodates the paladin and a tank that requires much less micro management will be good. I am eager to see how far I can take it.

Cheers, Captn.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Ghost wolf pack!

Just a little snapshot after gaining 40% run speed at level 20. /dances

Cheers, Captn.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Fire and lightning!

After seeing a number of videos from XboxGorefiend with his 5xShammy team, I decided to give that a go myself. I created a bunch of drenai shamans and played them up to level 18 in the last four days. It was the first time for me in the Drenai starter zones and I can only recommend that you try them. There is not only nice scenery, but also nice special effects to some quests. Definitely worth a look and entertaining, unlike doing the other starter zones another time.

Shock and loot. That is how it is looking at the moment. I am eager to get to level 20 and have ghost wolf to help me get around. I was aiming at that yesterday but got delayed by talking to people going WTF?!? every couple of minutes. Shammy spells are more flashy than that of my primary team, from direct casts to selfbuffs like lightning shield and rockbiter.

This definitely motivates me to make a 'Multibox FAQ' youtube clip to save me a lot of typing =]

Cheers, Captn.

About that 'WTS dreadsteed boost'

I neglected to comment on that bit on the end of the clip. Considering that my team is still stuck on slow gryphons and the difference to my netherdrake is quite striking, I am interested in getting swift mounts. The problem is that since that is 5200g per head, the total is 26000g.

My team gives me a lot of grinding power, but I hardly ever use it, preferring to do something more fun instead. Then the raids are taking a lot of time. That combined with the boosts that I did for a number of guildmates made me consider the option of selling boosts for the dreadsteed or pally charger quests. The cost of the mats/payments to npcs would be still below the price of a regular mount, even if I demand a fee of 150g or so for the hour of work.

Anyway, I am not going to post this offer anywhere really, but if you want to take it me up on it, we can see what we can do. =]

Cheers, Captn.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Mission: Dreadsteed

Since reaching 70, I have at a number of occasions helped guildmates with their warlock or paladin epic mount quests. These days to get a group together to head to Scholomance or Dire Maul for these quests or otherwise. However, the class specific mounts are both nicer and cheaper than the generic racial mounts and riding skill purchase. Naturally the person who wants the mount is sufficiently motivated, but what about the others?

If these others is just me, that impact can be minimized and getting the group to be a go is much easier.

To illustrate how this works, I captured a bit of the action with fraps and cut it together to a youtube clip. Considering that the amount of subtitles or titles would have just been silly, I went for a narrative voice-over this time, even though I don't have an exceptional microphone or English as my mother tongue. =]

Anyway, here it is:


Cheers, Captn.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Mission: Terminate Sons of Gruul

After being done with the Netherwing on my main and being not yet eligible to do it with Team Minion, I was a bit unsure what to target next. I have not yet touched the Ogri'la quests with any character but have helped others to do the last few bits before the actual Ogri'la quests.

When I went for Grulloc, I got swashed. He does too much damage for the felguards to keep up in threat with the healing that they need. Luckily the quest item can be picked up wether you are in the party with the looting rights or not, so I could be a bit creative. I asked nicely and found a druid guildmate who was willing to lend me a paw on this mission. A short while later Grulloc, Maggoc and Slaag were down and I went back to the Ring of Blood to turn in the completed quests.

Next up where the quests that I had already helped with as tank. The summoning of the ogre warlock Vim'gol and afterwards the final son of gruul, Skulloc. The fight with Vim'gul is a bit tricky. Five players have to be in fiery circles around the altar to summon him and to interrupt his power-up at 50% health. The warlock does damage to all present players and pets, and the circles are further apart than casting or Prayer of Healing range. I put one character into each circle, with the toes as close to the altar as possible. As soon as the summon was complete, I ran forward to the center with Captn to be able to heal all chars with Prayer of Healing. At 50% I had to spring back to be in position to interrupt his power-up. Then I could finish him. For Skulloc I had a guildmate help again to work around the threat issue and viola, Orgi'la here I come!

The ogres gave a party to mark the occasion. =]

Cheers, Captn.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Not dead!

While I have been playing as much as before, I have been focussing on playing my warrior Ivl rather than Team Minion. You can see one rather graphic archivement in the picture here. What you can not see directly is all the goodies I collected and the stack of heroic badges being almost tall enough to reach the Gnomeregan Auto-Blocker 600.

As I type this, Team Minion is en-route with the team to Cosmowrench to utterly annihilate some quest mobs though, so its not like I gave up on the project, I just gave it a break while doing many other things in game.

Cheers, Captn.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Altherac Valley here I come!

'Amazing, absolutely amazing!' is the summary I can give for the expedition I made to Altherac Valley on Thursday evening. Xzin mentioned the other day that 'there is allways AV' which made me consider this destination again for my team. Sure, you can not longer join AV as a group, but if you join the queue at the same moment your chances of getting into the same battleground are good. So far I have not had any chars left to sit one out.

How often have you wished that anyone in AV would just come over to where they are needed to take a graveyard, tower or whatever? With five chars at my disposal, I do no longer need to worry about that part. Since AV is huge and people tend to scatter all over, having focussed killing power is a definite advantage. Nowhere as good as when doing the same thing with the guild's PvP group (which I should have remembered without Xzin's reminder) but then considering the difference between able PvPers at each char coordinating over TS and me playing my five chars by myself, that should not be any surprise.

It gave me a very welcome and needed relief from a a very tough couple of days at work where I needed to rush to meet a couple of deadlines and could do little else but work and sleep. Horray for the deadlines being archived and the weekend being here!

/goes to queue for AV

Captn out.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Battle of the Crimson Watch

After I made that last post here things definitely looked better. Someone asked me if I could help with Ruul the Darkener. I used my warrior instead of Elaire and did that. Then we went on to the Cipher of damnation and I literally had my commands crossed and messed up big time. Then I swapped back to the usual team setup without my warrior and everything went peachy. Kinda nice to know that I can do the Cipher of Damnation finish by myself on the fly now.

After that someone asked in guild chat for the Battle of the Crimson Watch, a demon showdown that follows a drop of the nuisance named patrol through the Path of Conquest in Shadowmoon Valley. I needed that quest done for my team, but had learned to take the 'recommended players: 4' as a practical joke from Blizzard. We gathered a party of guildies plus my team as second party and did it twice, with the only casualty being one of my felguards. I guess average itemization has improved since I did it back in January. Anyway, nice to have the fancy tabards and to bag the 25g each.

I did not bother to reform 'Team Minion' before doing my 10 5v5 rated arena games. In the whole ten games I made about 10 kills. My best game this time around was with a -4 rating. Ah well. I will see how many points I loose due to my lower rating and then consider if I just spent 200g each week to get me closer to the Gladiator's War Staff.

Captn out.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

EU-GM Eilanai on Multi-Boxing

It has been a few days since I had time to play. Too much work at the moment. On the good side, its not going to stay that way for ever, in fact things should be back to normal in about two weeks for me.

After being told 'I will lol when you get banned for that' shortly after I logged in, I did a bit forum browsing on the EU WoW forums and found THIS THREAD. In this thread a fellow multi boxer asks for clarification after being suspended after botting accusations.

GM Eilanai responds:
Hi Franchesca,

From what I can see the initial suspension was due to suspicion that you may have been using a third party program to control your characters, not for the multi-boxing itself. Since then, the matter was investigated by our Account Administration team and you should have access to your accounts again.

There is no problem with you playing multiple characters, as long as you are the owner of the accounts and are in control of them (i.e. no third party programs, and no macro-usage that is not normally possible in-game).

Have fun playing ;) Eilanai
Game Master // CS Forum Representative - EN

"The pen is mightier than the sword, and considerably easier to write with.."


Nice one!

Just because posts on the offical forums have a habbit of decaying and I do not expect anyone who is sceptic to take my word on the matter, I added a screenshot.

I hope to have something worth reporting again soon =]

Cheers, Captn.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Oh right, pictures!

I will add a couple of pictures to the previous posts when I get home. I urgently need to return my attention to the real life meeting of my guild now which some kind Belgian members organized for the guild. /raises pint in salute

Captn out.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Teron Gorefiend

While running about in Shadowmoon Vally with the one or other objective, I was allways looking for ash to pick up. Collecting 15 of these per character was not so easy since they are not merrily spawning or concentrated in any one place. So I went after the few bits of ash that I was still missing and then started the actual quest chain. Naturally, killing the 15 Shadowmoon Harbringers took me no time at all, which sent me right on my way to do the bidding of the ancient shadowmoon spirit.

Getting the Gorefiend's Cloak and Gorefiend's Truncheon is fairly easy, I fumbled dismounting my dps chars for the ghost knights with the truncheon, but still made it without casualties on my side. Much more interesting is the encounter to recover Gorefiend's Armor.

Vhel'kur, spawn of Deathwing, who is in turn the big bad daddy to his cute dragon cubs Nefarian and Onyxia has Gorefiend's Armor. His ghost circles above the Netherwing Ridge. Standing on the tallest peak of the tallest hill on Netherwing Ridge, you have to ranged pull the dragon's ghost towards the hill's summit. On the first try I messed up the pull and got eaten before I could do anything dps wise. On the next pull I overnuked and my warlocks got shredded by the dragon's 3.5k hits faster than I could heal. On the third try however, I pulled him as intended, then sent in the felguards and gave them time to get a lead in threat. I had dished out two greater heals when I started attacking with my warlocks and the mage. This time everything went peachy. I got him down loosing only one of my three felguards in the process. Considering that the felguards do not have hit points exceeding two of his hits, that wasn't too bad really.

The reward for me on this chain was Evoker's Helmet of Second Sight, which is a very nice hat as far as spell crit and spell damage goes. Naturally I still have a better healing oriented green for Captn, but for the mage and the warlocks this is a clear improvement.

Captn out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Team Minion

After giving all the nifty gladiator's gear a longing look I decided to see what I could do in arena's. I formed a 5v5 arena team for my five characters called 'Team Minion'. After forming it at the Nagrand arena, I entered an skirmish arena. Let it be said, that I was slaughtered very quickly. Not being arena experienced at all, I had left my corner on foot instead of mounted and faced an Al-Akkir pre-made that looked at me a bit puzzeled and then took my chars apart.

I will need to look at strategies that may give me some success chances, one thing certainly is improving the location of my mounting and dismounting macros. Tripple Seed of Corruption and three Shadow Burns and the one Fire Blast should be a nice welcome for any team, but I will have to see how things go.

On leaving my skirmish round, I got hammered by a horde team at the arena master in Nagrand. Arena noob that I am I wasnt aware yet of this being expected. Upon returning to my corpses and ressing outside the walls of the little enclosure, I had an undead shadow priest start attacking captn. I guess the rest of the pack was outside of his tab or V-healthbar range. I hit fel-domination, summoned felguards in 0.5 seconds and smoshed him flat in less time than it takes to read this sentence.

Then I made sure I got the hell out of dodge city.

I will see how it goes later in actual matches after I adjusted a bit to the rush situation and will of course let you know. =]

Captn out.

Cipher of Dammnation, 2nd Attempt

This week I spent some time working on the Cipher of Damnation and the Theron Gorefiend chains. My motivation to continue the Cipher of Damnation chain for it's own sake was not so high after the frustration I had met earlier with the earlier parts of the chain, the tubers in particular. Now, I have to say that the tubers must have been the absolute worst of the chain. The originally very horrible looking part with the naga's chests was not so hard after all. The keys are bind on pickup, but one can unlock a box without looting it, so I could just kill and loot the nagas and open all the boxes with Captn for the rest of the team.

The part with the blood eleves was relatively easy, with the rotten egg having a good droprate. I did of course make it more difficult for myself by heading over to the path of conquest and killing groups of blood elves there instead of going to the quest fortification as intended where the type of elves that drop the quest armor scraps are abundant. Ruul the Darkener slaughtered me in no time. I put that aside for later and did the next cipher part instead. I met no trouble at all with the demons guarding the next part.

As luck would have it, the guild's main tank was willing and available to help me with Ruul and the fire lord, so I could bag my fancy Staff of the Redeemer and Oronok's Ancient Scepter. An for me unexpected benefit were the nifty arcanist looking and stat wise better than my boring previous shoulderpieces that you get during the chain as well: Spaulders of the Torn-heart.

Captn out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

We are airborne!

After a bit more than three hours of questing in southern Netherstorm, the time had come to take a trip down to Shadowmoon Valley and get the fifth gryphon. Now I can move the team around with less hassle withhin zones.

Of course it is still a long way to swift gryphons - 26k gold do not just fall from the sky and maybe I will stop saving for it before I am a fifth of the way towards that goal, but hey, who knows. I had a look at the arena vendor today. I will see if I give it a go. With there being not much arena queue time, I think I can dare to field my chars as a 5v5 team. But that is for another day.

Captn out.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Level 70 - Gryphon time!

/dances with happiness. After completing nearly all Blade's Edge quests, I headed over to Netherstorm. There I worked the Scryer mana-forge chain, various quests around Area 52 and then the Kirin-Tor, where the last three team-members hit 70 when handing in one of the ghost-town quests. Captn was a bit ahead since I handed in the Nagrand dust for bags with him, netting XP each time.

I have to say that I wish that was all there was to it, but unfortunately I know now that I could have been at 70 much earlier, if I had stayed on track as noted above. I went to Shadowmoon Valley on Sunday morning and did the Path of Conquest chain. That worked beautifully. Then I started the Cipher to Dammnation quest chain. The first part was no problem, trapping the souls of the elementals actually does work for each char in one go. Then came the horror. The quest with the tuber roots, the pigs and the rock flayers. Not only do I need 50 roots, but the quest is just too frustrating. Uneven terrain. Spawn of attackable pigs next to agressive flayers. The range of the whistle for the pigs being allmost allways just too short to call a surviving pig. The pig spawn rate...ARGH. The next part was winning the key lottery among the naga five times in a row. That is the point where I said...some other time and moved back to Netherstorm.

If you have keen eyes or click on the thumbnail to see the full size picture you will notice that something is wrong there. I did not have enough gold to buy five gryphons. Even after a bit of scratching the coins among my other chars, I could find only enough for four gryphons. To avoid that I reinforce the impression that I would be discriminating Dlaire as with the XP in Searing Gorge, this time Blaire needs to be patient. I figure it wont be too long, since I can not finish the 20g quests in northern Netherstorm.

Cheers, Captn.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Level 68 - Finally!

The title says it all. I have not been making much progress in the last few days. Partly due to limited time. I could not play as much as I wanted, and I did actually go and do some other in game things besides leveling team Minion.

For a while I entertained the notion to save all the quest-xp money from now on. I started grinding around the Mana Forges in Netherstorm. On the bright side, I got my main's Scryer rep maxed out, grinding rep items worth 20k scryer rep in just over six hours. While that is quite nice, I did not make any noticeable progress regarding XP. 160xp per kill is just horrible, not matter how fast you kill.

So I forgot about the idea of trying to maximise quest xp gold. I will bag what remains, but until then I will use quest xp as primary xp source again.

Again, it is too late. Captn out.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Hellfire Citadel & Coilfang Reservoir

For a while now I wanted to re-visit the Hellfire Citadel's first wing, the Ramparts. I had tried this dungeon before with discouraging results. While I did manage to clear all the trash in about two hours and drop the first and second bosses I was not really happy with this. Firstly, I took about twice as long as the average group in their low 60s should take. Next, I had problems with the second boss and dropped him only after asking a friendly druid to replace one of my chars. The druid told me later that he didnt do that much, two or three decurses and a self heal, but still, I did not do it by myself. The final boss was just a mess with me being unable to dodge the fire. I am convinced that this was mostly due to my characters gear not yet being any good. While leveling to 66 the hitpoints of my characters and felguards has doubled and my spell damage has increased a great deal.

So I decided it would be time to give it another shot. I cleared the way to the second and third boss in about 50 minutes without any wipes and leaving Watchkeeper Gargolmar crushed under my collective heels. After carefully arranging my party in a semi-circle out of Omor the Unscarred's aggro range, I attacked. Two or three decurses done with Alaire by single clicking the respective healthbar did the decursing thanks to a nice add-on called Clique. The same add-on also makes healing using the mouse and passive targetting very convinient for me on Captn.

Then it was time to move on to our pals Vazruden and Nazan. While Vazruden did not have much time to be rude to anyone his steed and lord Nazan saw to having my party for dinner well done instead of rare. I litterally got roasted by his fire pits. Not allowing him to discourage me that easily, I went in for another try. This time I dropped Vazruden without any healing being done by Captn and had spread my team up front. When Nazan landed I sent the felguards to him and ran the party through him. Then I continued to hammer him with salvo's while pressing CTRL-2 in between to make the felguards move slightly before attacking again. It was not pretty. I lost two chars and two felguards, but put Nazan down.

After some rejoicing that I could finally get rid of the quest items hogging bagspace I went for the next wing of the instance. I found it to be actually easier on the micro-management, the hardest fight being the second boss with this four waves of pawns before he enters the fray. The trash and the last boss were comaritively easy. The last boss presented me with the Raiments of Divine Authority. Not that these robes would look very good, but hey, they are better for healing than the Goldwave Tunic that everyone gets as soon as they set foot into Outland.

Not being easily sated, I then entered the Slave Pens in the Coilfang Reservoir. Here I had more trouble. Mennu the Betrayer, the first boss in this instance is a totem hugging shaman. It took me three tries to get him down. The key was to give the felguards some lead time and only then gradually start to nuke as well as making sure that lava and healing totems were hit with Smite Rank 1 by Captn. The big lobster also known as Rokmar the Crackler presented me with less trouble by comparison, but also took me three tries.

At that point it was quite late and my concentration was waning. I decided to leave the rest of the Coilfang Reservoir for another day.

Captn out.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Level 66 - Blade's Edge Mountains

After completing reaching level 65, I had only very few quests left in Terrokar Forest and Nagrand. I completed the ones that were feasible and got a couple of boxes worth of XP together. Instead of then going for annoying collection quests, I took to the air with the public transport to the Orebor Harborage. From there I headed north to Sylvanaar.

The Blade's Edge Mountains are famous for being almost as horrible in terrain design as Azshara. People love to have a zone cut into little bits between which they can not easily move! I know I do. Anyway, I grabbed all the quests at Sylvanaar and directed my attention to the birdies, wolves and ogres in the area. This with quite a bit of random slaughter of anything that crossed my path brought me up to level 66.

Looking at the way I was playing my team, I decided to make some changes in the warlock spec. Simply put, I dropped all Affliction points and put them into Destruction instead. With my shadow bolt salvo's I recon I will get more out of having the improved shadow bolt giving the next five direct shadow damage spells 20% damage bonus after a crit. Especially since my warlock's crit rate is getting in a range where this is a worthwhile consideration. I have 22.22% now, but since one warlock triggering the effect does the trick for the others as well, its quite nice.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Piggy Bank Massacre!

Yesterday night someone was talking about the need to get another fast gryphon since the slow one just does not do the trick anymore once you know the fast one's speed. That got me thinking. Well, counting actually. I had taken approx 1k from my main when getting elite mounts for the team. Now each team character had around 800g from questing 60 to 65. Right on!

A couple of minutes later I could fly around giddy with joy at the speed. I put the speed to good use right away and did some night mining until I really needed to head to bed.

Captn, out.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Level 65 - The Ring of Blood

Even before reaching 64, reaching 65 was the real milestone that I had in mind. Not just because its a nice number, but because it is the minimum level requirement for the Ring of Blood in Nagrand. Admittedly, the amount of XP you get in these fighting rounds converted to gold at max level in addition to the 11g or so that you get regularly is appealing, but the weapons that the quest offers are awesome as well. And I wanted that set of [Battle Mage's Baton] very much.

Upon arriving in Nagrand on Sunday morning I first did the hunters quests. Then I did them again. I realized only when picking up the boss drops from Gutripper that I had forgotten to share the quest with my minions. ARGH! Anyway, I got over it and took it as a refresher to make sure there is a [4] in the quest log ahead of the quest I am doing before doing it. After the hunters quest, I picked up what I could from the Kurenai and the Throne of the Elements. I finished the Ogre chain, need to face Gorok the Usurper now and need to free Corki one last time. All that combined did it and brought to 65.

It was after 1am though so I was not too sure if I would find a friendly guild tank for the arena bouts. I could have messed about trying to make do with the felguards, but from tanking the arena fights myself on my warrior I do know that these guys hit nasty, so my hope on the felguards making it was low. In any case, a friendly feral druid from my guild was willing to help me out after his last BG for the day.

We did the five bouts without fail. Blaire got killed by the warmaul champion, but besides that everything went picture perfect. For constant DPS and constant healing using 'Clique' was awesome. I could click the tank's bar for greater heal while hammering the keyboard for dps. Then I got my new fancy staves as shown in the picture above.

Anyway, time to hit the sack.

Captn, out.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Level 64 - Terrokar Forest and the Bone Wastes

Disguised as orc cultists, I infiltrated the cultist camp just south of Shattrath City. After some spywork utter destruction followed, for the camp, not for me. The most difficult part of the mission was to skirt all wolves and lizards on the way to the camp since all combat action break the disguise. Some horrified cultists escaped, mostly because I could not be bothered to chase them down after my mission was accomplished. The scattered throughout Terrokar Forest, but their warnings were ignored by the minions of Terrok and the blood elves.

I have been massively enjoying my setup while questing in Terrokar. I skipped a number of collection quests, but followed quest chains like the Skettis chain dilligently. The mana bomb thread has been eliminated. The warped peons were spanked. The Bone wastes hold a number of interesting quests, with a high number of kill quests to my delight! The picture here shows the bone dragon after I was done with him. I also dropped the bone worm.

Alas! I no longer 'have' to wear the [Wanderer's Stiched Trousers] as seen on this picture which I took when hearthing back to Shattrath City. I say 'have to' because a quest reward from the Allerian Stronghold has better stats. Which leaves my party looking like shown here. For some reason I really liked the semi-naked looks that the Wanderer's Trousers gave my minions. Maybe the reason has something to do with insufficient fresh air, insufficient cold showers or similar. In any case, the new flashy red pants with white stripes are not bad looking and certainly better in stats. Pants! But I disgress, I shall wrench myself away from this topic to avoid that I look like a child who has just been deprived of his favorite toy.


After all these quests I was level 64! Time to get new spells and grimoires. The pet ability training is also the reason why I have for once no felguards out.
Ready for the hunter quests in Nagrand!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Level 62 - Shrooms!

Giant mushrooms in fact. Zangermarsh has many of those. The quests from Honor Hold, The Temple, the Cenarion Expedition and the Longbears in the Hellfire Peninsula are done. I was not idle in Zangermarsh either, completing all quests with the exception of the eel fillet ones, and the western Cenarion watcher, Sporegar and northern Broken quests.

Just now I got Fel Armor and Molten Armor respectively as well as a new rank in shadow bolt and fire bolt. That should certainly increase the amount of targets that I can insta-gib with one salvo to 98% of my level range.

The quest rewards are equipping my team nicely. If you check the Armory link you will see that most of my crappy items are history now, replaced with Outland quest rewards. Some of these substitutions were gigantic upgrades since I had not worked on improving my characters gear in a focussed way. Knowing that I am trying to level anyway and that the yummy Outland quest items are on the menu made me rather lazy with gear.

Captn out.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Mission: Dreadsteed Accomplished!

"Use: Summons three Dreadsteeds, one Elekk and one Horse. These are very fast mounts." I have to plead guilty to riding about town unnecessarily enjoying the motion. I will post a bit more later, now its dinnertime.

Captn out.

Level 60!

While this exclamation does not carry the weight it did before, I am still happy of having reached this milestone. The very first thing I did was grab an elite elekk for Captn and an elite horse for Alaire and start the Dreadsteed quest for Elaire, Blaire and Dlaire. The picture shows me ready to lay waste to the owl beast population in Winterspring. Not that I have anything against owl beasts, but I need their blood for the quest chain.

I can not wait for the whole party to be elite mount equipped. A whole new cursing speed experience!

In other news, I changed my macro setup from /cast [target=party1target] shadow bolt to [target=focustarget] style. The motivation to finally get this done was a guildmate who wanted to do a Zul'Gurub run for giggles. We could have juggled the groups, but since I will have the same problem with not being able to depend on the group setup for targeting in PvP, I got it done and over with. ZG was fun. there were 11 chars including my five, some of the other six 70. It was past 3am in the morning when we finished, so I ask for your forgiveness for not making any fancy videos or remembering to snap nice pictures. Bat and Snake died.

Back to the Dreadsteed quest now

Captn out.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Level 58 - Outland here I come!

I was literally out of quests. Well, there were a few left, but they were the 'pay this' or 'find me this thing on the other side of the world' or '42232 rare drops on the double types'. So, I headed through the dark portal into the XP rich desolation of the Hellfire Peninsula.

Having already made it to 70 on my warrior and having past the first couple of zones with my hunter the zones themselves were no news to me. However, my warrior was wearing T2 raiding gear and the hunt PvP epics. Doing even the first couple of quests in the eastern part of the Hellfire Peninsula with the mostly green equipped caster team was very rewarding by comparison. New Hat. New Chest. New Staff. New Legs. New neck. New wand. But I am sure I missed something. Oops, yes I did, the overlord trinket. Awesome rewards for me, most of them significant upgrades.

The XP pours in at a faster pace than in the old lands and I am closing the gap from 58 to 60 fast.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

New movie clips!

After playing around with them on the weekend, I uploaded two new videos to YouTube today. The first is a collection of things that I did in the Blackrock Depths, with a goof in the fight in the chamber of the Seven and Jailbreak.



The second clip is composed out of a number of nice takedowns with affliction and with demonology after reaching level 50.



Cheers, Captn.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Level 56.2 - Jailbreak!

After the previous attempt at conquering the Blackrock Depths ended at General Angerforge, this time I scored much better. I went in the party a couple of boxes into level 56 with Captn in the lead. What I did accomplish the last time, was getting the Shadowforge Key.

Heading in, I picked up the 'Attunement to the Core' quest and went directly through the garrison to the General's Hangout. It was not much later that I was happy to have survived pulling a bigger corner group with a runner. I need to mention that my Hellfire AoE is not very suited to dealing with Fire Elementals. Luckily enough banish evens the odds, even though I was not prepared to apply it as comfortly in combat as sheep. While there was no single wipe, I did see Captn's 'Spirit of Redemption' too frequently, but I did drop General Angerforge as well as Golem Lord Angelmach on the first go.

Since it did go so well, I did not return to Winsor immediately, but put down Ribbley, the Flame Ambassador and the Spirits of the Seven as well. Then I strolled over the bridge making good use of 'banish' and picked up the core fragements needed for 'Attunement to the Core'.

Then I turned on my collective heels, and started clearing the way around the Ring of Law, then the entry hall, the storage room and the way down to Windsor's cell. After this extensive preparation I revisited Winsor. Unlike the last 3563 times when I was helping others with their Onyxia chain in BRD, I did not have to explain anything, which was just as well. Suffice to say, that the actual Jailbreak escort quest went off without a hitch. Even my trio of felguards kept Winsor's buff until the escort was finished to my joy.

I am now off to Winterspring with a brief stop to do the 'First and the Last' Blightcaller prequest in the Plaguelands.

I did hit the screenshot and fraps buttons and will review the results shortly.

Captn out.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Level 56 - Arcane Brilliance

No longer do I need to use Alaire for four Arcane Intellect buffs, use Evocation and then do the last one. Arcane Brilliance does it all in one go, conveniently with the same one hour running time as Captn's Prayer of Fortitude. Also like the Prayer, it also affects the active pets. Which gives my felguards more stamina and more mana. I am relatively sure that the Demonic Knowledge talent which I have on 3/3 with the effect: 'Increases your spell damage by an amount equal to 15% of the total of your active demons stamina plus intellect.' is not taking into account the active buffs. Pity, but it may have been over the top.

Another nice thing that came my way at level 56 is Demonic Frenzy. This beauty of a felguard ability is described as: 'The Felguard's damaging melee attacks cause a demonic frenzy, increasing attack power by 5% for 10 sec. This effect can stack up to 10 times.' I expected a 5% or 10% effect on average and was already happy. When I tested this, and moused over the buffs the felguards had up, I saw 50% right away. I kinda wish I had that on my warrior!

As for my XP grazing area, I am pretty much done with Winterspring now. High Chief Winterfall bit the dust not just in a random act of rep grinding but as a quest objective. The frost giants in the south for 'Lucky be with you' were a challenge, but no real problem if you watch out. Due to me being sloppy with the soulstones I had a total of two corpse runs while collecting the 50 frostmaul shards for my party. I have not touched the Yeti chain yet, but I fully expect that area to have more bots than mobs, so I am a bit reluctant to start this quest item collection grind fest in competition with Wfkasd, Ekflak, Alkjwe and their pets boat, cat and owl.

In any case, level 56 was well worth it, nice abilities and the tranquility in Winterspring made it a pleasant day.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Level 54 - Where to go?

The quest 'Petty Squabbles' from the Blasted Lands leads to the 'Fallen Hero of the Horde' sponsored demon Razelikh quest chain. After the steps in the Blasted Lands I moved to Azshara and did the a couple of steps there. Then comes the moment where you need to collect 20 Azsharite shards from the cliffs of southern Azshara. For me that meant 100 shards. I bit my teeth together and collected them, got the weapons made by Galvan the Ancient in Stranglethorn and then got my teeth kicked in by Grol. After I had prepared all five anti-demon weapons to be ready for use I overcame him - but not his sister conspirateur Sevine.



While in Azshara, I heard a taunt from Avalanchion, the Earth part of the Elemental invasions that targets Azshara, Winterspring, Un-goro and...no idea. Anyway, I went to go and look for him. It brought a smile to me when I dropped him and his sidekicks. I waited a bit with healing, just doing salvos on him and ignoring his three adds, then kicked in a prayer of healing and AoE nuked the adds quickly, then continued to drop him. Good times.



In a moment of 'what now?' I strolled into the Military Ward and signed up for Warsong and Alterac Basin. To make a long story short, I did some instant kills and provided cheap kill points as soon as Captn was down. A valliant defender of the horde named 'Graagh' which reminds me of the warrior video Brutal Fury 2: Graagh is back specialized in dropping Captn whenever possible. This Graagh is a level 59 elemental Shaman, and looking at his armory profile I guess it is fair to say he is twinked out as well: Graagh's Armory profile. On the good side, I did get approx 30 kills. Hitting AB, I was totally lost, since my macros all require Captn as party leader to do the targetting and I did not end up being party leader in AB. The game was almost over anyway the horde having rushed and bottled up the Alliance at their entry point, so it was over quick enough. I would have to re-do the macro setup using /focus as target instead, but since I do not really want to PvP I wont bother.

Right, where to now? A look at my quest log showed me a number of quests in the Blackrock Depths. So I headed there, dropped Pyron, greeted Marshal Windsor and got the follow up quest and the fake quest chain end respectively at Morgan's Virgil. Then I went back, suicided my party, grabbed the Shadowforge Key quest in the tomb on the way down. After passing the Ring of Law, I moved through the domicile and past the vault and reclaimed Ironfoe. For completeness sake I also extinguished Incendius at the same time. On the way back I stopped at the vault, and used the ten or so keys I found. Funny enough the 'Heart of the Mountain' quest gem can be picked up if you look from a below the waist angle through the wall rather than through the door, so I grabbed that for my party. The dark keeper was hiding in the Grim Guzzler. Right. After getting my Shadowforge Keys I was slightly grumpled. A couple of blue drops, and all of them mail, great! I did get the Crumpled Note though, which continues the Onyxia chain. I found General Angerforge to be a bit brutal.

In those moments I really regret not being affliction based anymore. While it wastes mana on trash, I am certain that it is way superior damage output on bosses. I dont claim this as well researched and universal level truth, just my subjective impression.

Ah well. Time to hit Silithus. Tomorrow. Well after sleeping anyway.

Captn out.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Level 53 - Party in Hearthglen

In the last few days I have not been able to focus on this project as much. For that reason the progress is slower and my playing bouts are little slivers rather than evenings. The team is now halfway to level 54, done with the western plaguelands fields quest chain, a good way along the Darrowshire chain. Heroes and Villains of Darrowshire are sorted. The toughest bit was getting Davil's Libram in Hearthglen. While I had little problems killing any of the mobs so far, the high protector level 61 elite who patrols there is a bit scary, since I couldnt really scratch him with my spells due to his level. No, I did not try, I knew from other higher level mobs.

Just as I was approaching the house with the Libram, there was a request for a tank in guild chat for Arcatraz key fragment. I agreed to help, and since I was not sure if I would be able to nuke the elite pallies and priests in the house I summoned a guild-rogue over. As it turned out, it was unnecessary. It was two mobs at most. While waiting for the Libram to respawn for the other chars, I took this picture.

I did not do anything worthwhile with the team, but our key fragment run became clearing the whole of Arcatraz and was rather enjoyable. =]

Today I have completed the kill quests that start off the Fordring quest chain. Unfortunately the third quest needed to continue is again a collection quest, and for me 15 quest drops means 75 quest drops. /sigh I am at 20/75 now.

On a hunch I HS'ed to Gadget and flew to Silithus, but all quests were still grey to me. One or two more levels I recon. I set my Hearthstone to Cenarion Hold now and portalled back to Ironforge.

Captn out.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Level 52 - Intercept!

It is really nice to have the felguards intercept the target, which not only looks nice and increases damage by wasting less time on them running, but also stuns the target and decreases damage taken. I like it!

Tonight I finished the Warlock, Priest and Mage level 50 class quests in the Sunken Temple. I had done the legwork for them in Felwood and Azshara respectively on the weekend, but did not set foot into the Sunken Temple yet.

While I was blasting my way to the actual instance, a hunter pulled a lot of mobs which not only attacked me for no reason I can fathom, but also turned out to be a bit too numerous for me. They started running home with about 10% health left.

Inside the instance I ignored the lower part and went straight up the stairs to the level with the six trolls that keep the shield for the prophet up. Since these are mandatory for the prophet and also drop the quest items for the warlocks, that was quite logical. I found the groups in the concourse more of a challenge than the troll mini bosses. My handling of the groups improved and I had less re-summons or resses to do, but I wasnt quite happy with it.

Once the shield was down, I went back down to the entrance level and then up the stairs to the upper boss floor. This floor contains the lost prophet and his flock of followers, the Hakkar event, the dreaming dragon Eranikus and about zillion dragonkin packs. Funny enough the dragonkin packs ended up to be easier for me than the troll packs I fought before. My strategy was to sent in the felguards and two salvos of shadow bolts, fire bolt and smite to kill one dragonkin and then AoE nuke the rest. It worked beautifully.

The prophets deathwalkers were a bit of a hassle as usual, but nothing major. The prophet and his sidekick dropped before they could do any real damage. I was lucky in getting the priest pants from him.

Next up where four dragons. They went down without incident, completing the mage and priest quests. My best attempt on Eranikus had him on 3%. If you have fought him before you know he is not that easy. He may be only level 55 elite, but with acid breath that DoTs you, the ability to sleep targets and relatively strong melee he was too much for my group.

I will return to the sunken temple to do the Hakkar and Eranikus events another day, it was getting too late. I had played around on the Onyxia chain some more before heading to the temple and am at the BRD part of the chain now.

Also, in other news: Captn is now holy/discipline spec. Compared to the damage output of the rest of the team Captn's contribution was really low, approx 8% of the total damage dealt by the team. While misery and co might be reasons to keep shadow spec, I have not really used these effects since level 50, with nearly everything being down either before or with the second salvo of direct damage spells.

Another day will tell if it was a good idea! =]

Captn out.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Level 50 - Summon Felguard Army

The 41st talent point is mine! This marks a departure from the dot'n drain method of killing things. Don't get me wrong, it works not only beautifully, it also looks great. The downside is that it is rather mana intensive and a lot of mobs die before the full dot damage can be unleashed. The affliction 41 point talent is very nice, but more interesting for PvP as far as I can see. I certainly dont need more DoTs. So I went and put all points into Demonology instead. This allows me to summon felguards and enjoy boni to my spell damage, stamina and intelligence at the same time. I put points on Dlaire into improved health stones and improved imp buff, just in case.

I did not know what the result would be. It is amazing. A salvo of shadow bolts with Alaire's fire bolt, Captn's holy fire and the three felguards insta-gibs mobs one or two levels ahead of me and makes short work of mobs five levels ahead of me. After that the resists start in earnest and make it not advisable to get more trigger-happy.

In any case, a new milestone is reached, and its awesome.

Captn out.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Quest Chains

There had been a confusing moment earlier during another chain. All of a sudden this squire started calling me master and had no use anymore for his pet reptile. He was a bit too quirky for my liking though and I declined his offer.

Rise Obsidion! Not that much. Down boy! Down! DOWN! /splat. Uhm, ok. I spot some opportunities for improvement there. After Obsidion did a bit of bashing on the day before, I cheekily asked a guildmate to sabotage his next go at smashing my party. Thereby the last chain in Searing Gorge was sorted. Having done all chains, including the dreaded Maltorius without help I did not feel too bad about not going for too many tries on Obisidon by myself.


After delivering that chain in Ironforge, I headed out to Zul'Farrak again. Time to succeed in the stair fight and get Nekrum's Medallion. Without that the Sharpbeak chain in the Hinterlands does not continue, and that would ruin my efficiency when going for the Ancient Egg. Previously, I had made two attempts on this fight. Both times I had run out of mana.


This time however, I managed. Barely, and using not only the Symbol of Hope, but also mana potions and Void Walkers, but manage I did. When Nekrum Gutchewer was down, I was totally out of mana and there was a dozen trolls running about. I looted the Medallion before dealing with them, hedging my efforts. Then I wanded the rest down. Sergant Bly was not really an obstacle. The chief of the troll clan and his sidekick were not a problem either.



Captn out.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Level 48 - Prayer of Fortitude

The first step away from the more elaborate individual buff session. Now, seeing as I already had a 60 mage you will probably find this as funny as I do. I learned Evocation from the trainer, but never actually used it until today. I kinda wondered...wait a minute, I should have that, shouldnt I? Well, I did. So while I know now that I wasted some time drinking, I am no longer going to continue this. Prayer of Fortitude and Evocation seriously reduce my buffing time.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Level 47 -The Thorium Brotherhood

HA! Now that I am closing in on the range where I do not really need it anymore, I got the [Robe of the Lich] from the Coldbringer in the Razorfen Downs. I visited him after seeing Tabetha in her swamp domicile to hand in the Tiara of the Deep quest. Oh yeah, I went to Zul'Farrak again and all quests except Nekrum's Medallion and the Divino-Matic Rod are done now. I would have these two sorted as well, if only I had not croaked on the stair fight again, this time a lot further into it, but still. I equipped the [Carrot on a Stick] for Alaire, Dlaire, Elaire and Blaire, but not for Captn, since I occasionally have issues with slight lag breaking /follow for longer distances. With the following characters being slightly faster, this should no longer happen. I hope so anyway.

In my quest to help Dlaire catch up on XP with the other characters, I went and dropped Mog'rash the giant at Janeiro's Point and did the follow up quest. Naturally, I did not keep any Buzzard Wings. I say naturally because the follow up quest requires them as ingredients to cook the bait for the next giant. Wondering where I could find Buzzard Wings I remembered the flock in the western Badlands around a dinosaur skeleton. A quick portal Ironforge and short gryphon ride to Searing Gorge later I stood in front of them. Now, some of you will know what happened next. Prize question. You kill 10 buzzards, with a total of 20 wings between them. How many wings to you have? Three. Thats right. Three. AARGH! So I merrily dilly-danced through the badlands being happy at the 45xp per kill and collected my ingredients.

On the plus side, I noticed at Thorium Point that the Thorium Brotherhood quest givers were ready to do business with me. Right after finishing Captain Smott's chain I headed back to Thorium Point and loaded up on quests. Then I did them all in one go. This finally brought Dlaire up to 47 with the rest, while Captn and Alaire are already halfway to 48. One interesting bit is that Overseer Maltorius got his due without calling in the cavallry as many people who play solo do. If you have quested there, you may remember this level 50 elite and his two elite guards giving you a headache. It was not really a pretty affair, but I had the last laugh and did it in the first go.

I have no real clue how I managed to neglect Dlaire that much, but I guess I will have to play her solo a bit to let her catch up and avoid multiple training stops. There are only two things left in Searing Gorge right now, the chain from the Blackrock Legion Ambassador and his sidekick and the Outhouse quest chain, for which the quest starter is not a multidrop by the way. I did get seven drops of the quest starting item, so that is no issue.

One thing that is a slight nuisance is that the Armory page has not been updated for any of my chars for a couple of days now, showing me still as level 42.

Captn out.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Level 46 - Misery!

Well, the debuff anyway. I should have put a talent point in Misery alsready at level 45, but I clicked Darkness before realizing that I could have taken Misery. Darkness gives Captn 2% more shadow damage for each point spent, max 5. Misery gives the target of Captn's shadow spells a debuff that makes it take 1% more spell damage from all sources, up to 5% with five points in it. Now, since I am using a party of five casters the later option obviously chucks out more damage. Anyway, misery is in the debuff list now. Since it did not grow for a while, this is quite nice.

I hit Zul'Farrak today. Dropping the troll packs was not as easy as taking out the trash mob packs in other instances, but doable. I worked my way to the fountain where the entrance road meets the dungeons circular main concourse and cleared that. Then I went to the right. I had to martyr the Martyr since he did not want to hand over the [First Mosh'Aru Tablet]. Then I proceeded to nuke the scarabs to fill the quota of uncracked scarab shells to 25/25.

A disappointment was that the witch doctor did not hand out the Vexing Crane staff, but rather dropped some green leather rubbish. Not a good omen that!

I cleared the area around the stairs and the executioneer. The stair fight went fairly well. Until it became obvious that I should have given all chars bread and water, instead of just water. Another try will be needed for that battle.

Captn out.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Level 44 - Curse of Shadow

Can I just say I love it? The awesomeness is simply amazing. Ok, Elaire's contribution in damage is further nerfed now. Not only does she use Curse of Shadows instead of Curse of Agony, but also continues to use the imp instead of a succubus. But hey, Dlaire, Blaire and Captn's damage and Captn's Vampiric Embrace healing has improved noticeably.

I have not played that much in the last few days, mostly because I was occupied with other stuff. Yes, stuff outside of World of Warcraft. Now however, I got a long weekend to nuke some stuff. I already used up the precious few rested XP that I had accumulated and am now closing in on level 45.

Proudly, I can hold the Mallet of Zul'Farrak high. Four of them in fact. Elaire was a bit too dead when it mattered, besides one of them does the trick already. Speaking of that, I am just en route to the racetrack in the Shimmering Flats to pick up the Carrot-onna-stick quest, which completes my ZF quest collection.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Surgeon General's Warning: Elekk riding causes hip damage!

Seriously. I was not happy with Alaire crowding the team's warlocks with her Elekk. Plus, the felsteed's fiery hooves made it look like the poor beast was being BBQ'ed at the same time. I had to do something.

Cosidering my options, I set my sights on a Black Stallion from the horse breeder of Menethil. Much to my disappointment the horse breeder was disinclined to do business with Alaire, since she is Draenei.

Alaire had already reached a surprising amount of reputation with the human capital Stormwind, roughly 16/21k on the last step, so only 5k of the 42k reputation total was missing. This is due to quest reputation rewards no longer being scaled by level, which results in more reputation points being awarded across the board. It also meant that I could do the quests in Elwyn forest that I had skipped to get the missing reputation. Besides being done rather quick, the usual path of going for the repeatable runecloth hand-in reputation quest is only available from level 50 onwards.

Happy to have reached the required exalted reputation with Stormwind, I got Alaire the Black Stallion. Only to find out what the wide back of the Elekk had concealed and done. I always thought Alaire was walking funny, but now it is certain. Alaire's hip has been permanently damaged by riding the Elekk, she is unable to bring her knees to the flanks of the stallion. As soon as she stops crying I will post a picture.

Captn out.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Captn - The Movie

The little incident with the Scarlet Monastry Cathedral encounter was sufficiently hilarious to make me look at the video captures that I made when playing. It is a pretty good example of what sucking the life out of mobs with this team is like.

This is my first ever web movie, so I hope it is not too horrible. Enjoy!



The addon that lets me see all the casts nicely on the party bars on the main screen and much more is X-Perl Unit Frames.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Level 41 - Oops!

In the Name of the Light! Whitemane, Mograine, Herod and Loksey need to die. After already having taken care of the later two, the former were still on my to do list. Proceeding with caution, I cleared everything outside the cathedral doors, then the guards inside.

The hour had come! I attacked Mograine and dropped him easily. High Inquisitor Whitemane followed the script and came to the rescue. I folled mine and attacked her. She sleept my party and started casting Resurrection on Mograine as she should. Then she droped dead from my DoT damage in mid-cast. The end.

This must be the new, abridged version, without the sleazy dialog. Unfortunately also with only half the loot and me missing out on the kill count for Mograine.

Right then, here we go again. At least the trash mobs give acceptable kill xp.

Captn out.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Level 40 - An ELEPPPHHAAANT!

Ok Elekk, whatever they call it. The really amazing thing is that the thing can jump up in the air as if it would be a horse! Speaking of horses, my dear Warlocks got the 'Summon Felsteed' spell with complimentary 75 riding skill directly from the Warlock trainer in Ironforge. Yay, no trip to god-forsaken Ratchet!

Alaire has learned to portal to Stormwind, Exodar and Ironforge. That should be a great help getting around. Clicking the gryphon master five times, then selecting a destination five times is not really the most fun thing you can do.

As I ducked out of Ironforge to take a lineup picture, I got the interest of some people who were hanging out there. The question in that moment is - run or stay? Running looks weird, staying means explaining what I am doing again. Also people end up in my picture. I elected to stay and had a little chat after this snapshot.

Dinnertime!

Captn out.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Level 38 - Herod down

After doing some Stranglethorn quests this afternoon including the Bloodsail quests with exception of the killing the captains of the Bloodsail fleet I made it to level 38 on Alaire. That in turn bagged me the next level for Arcane Explosion.

So armed and trained I headed back to the Scarlet Monastery. This time I noticed that I had an easier time with the trash. I also took down Herod, but messed it up so far that I did not get loot. Another time!

Level 37.8 - Herod the Bully

After sucking the life out of Arcanist Doan a few times, I decided it was probably time to head over to the armory. I made my way to Herod without too much difficulty, but had to control the Myrmidions to avoid that they take my squishy characters apart.

Herod on the other side, presented me with a problem. Not just his obnoxious nature, but his whirlwind. That forces me to do a little dance while I am attacking him. I gave it three tries, then decided to get training for my level 38 characters first.

Alaire still needed three and a half boxes to 38, but the others already hit 38. Now for Captn 38 just brings some wussy healing spells, but for my warlocks, aah! Curse of Agony, Drain Life and Siphon Life are all getting new ranks with an increase between 25% and 55% in damage. That for each warlock and of course for Drain Life amplified by my talent spec and the amount of affliction debuffs on the target should make a difference.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Level 37 - Arcanist Doan Down

After collecting my warlock quest staves tonight, I was a bit unsure of where to go, but then I decided to give the Scarlet Monastry a shot. For me the wing of choice is the Library. Not only are my characters with level 36 and 37 just in the right rage, but the Library is also the source for the key to the Armory and the Catheral and maybe even more importantly, the Library's boss drops nice caster loot. The lowest level mobs in the place are 33 or 34 elite, while the boss is 37 elite.

Working my way through the guards was done without much difficulty. For single guards I used my DoTs followed by drain life. Casting a volley of shadow bolts, fire bolts and holy fire or smite twice would also do the trick most of the time, but I just like the visuals and the healing of the dot and drain method.

For guard pairs, I used Alaire's polymorph. Alaire's sheeping macro is /cast [target=party1target] Polymorph. I have no action bound to the respective action bar button on the four other chars, so I can trigger her sheep for Captn's target safely. The only issue is that the update Captn's target is slower for my other characters than it looks on Captn's screen. The warlock's fears work the same way.

While I did not intend to AoE at all, I did end up AoEing more than once. Usually when 2-3 targets were close to me. I did not want to use fear in this dungeon since it does not offer the space to do so, unlike the new Burning Crusade dungeons. The highest amount of mobs that I AoE nuked on this run was seven elites.

I made a fraps video of the Doan kill, but still need to see if it is useable.

Anyway, I will be certainly doing the library again.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Level 34 - Down the Scarlet Path

Things are happening. I have done the warlock quests for the [Enchanted Gold Bloodrobe] and the Felhunter. I ran all over Kalimdor to get gryphon points. Azshara, Thalanaar, Nijl's Point and Gadgetzan are now on my travel routes.

One thing has become abundantly clear in the quests I have done by now: I love 'kill x mob type A' quests. I hate 'collect X 5% drop rate quest items from rare mob type B' quests. I had a horrible time with the trolls in the Arathi Highlands. Admittedly, it was mostly bad for the trolls since what I did there is pretty much genocide, but it took me ages to get the drops from their witch doctors. The tougher follow up quest with the ogres I did in minutes. Joy and pain of sorting five chars. I disgress.

I have made good headway in the Stranglethorn quests, doing half a dozen for Booty Bay, and being mostly through with the hunter camp quest chains. As it should be for my level, the raptors and the king cat are missing.

Nothing major is happening with abilities at the moment, but I can almost feel the mounts comming my way. Two elephants and three burning horses please, on the double!

I removed Captn from my project guild < Minion > and put him into my actual guild. I could not stand the absence of the guild chat anymore.

Captn, out.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Level 30 - the 21st talent point

The team is level 30 now, which means that 21 talent points are at my disposal for each team member. There are several nice talents that require 20 points to be spent in a talent tree. The noteable new talents for the team are now 'Vampiric Embrace' on Captn, 'Siphon Life' on Blaire, Dlaire and Elaire and Blast wave on Alaire.

My warlocks are all Affliction specced, including 2/2 Soul Siphon, which increases the effect of 'Drain Life' by 5% for each affliction debuff on the target up to a maximum of 60% bonus damage dealt and life leeched. That means 12 debuffs are needed for maximal effect. Curse of Agony, Corruption and Drain Life itself makes for three per warlock. Adding Siphon Life for each warlock brings me up to maximal bonus damage when draining life or mana. That is extremely handy, because not only does it do wicked damage, it also keeps my warlock's health topped up.

Vampiric Embrace costs minimal mana but gives a percentage of all shadow damage dealt by the priest to the target as heal for each party member and each party members pet. This means I can nuke with all chars and provide group heals which will grow stronger with more talents and gear to the group. At level 30 a priest also learns 'Prayer of Healing' which is the priests heal for the whole party, and naturally because of this interesting for me with my targetting/focus challenge.

'Blast Wave' is a strong AoE fire damage and stun spell with a 30 second cooldown. I set it up so that I can use Blast Wave and start the warlocks using their Hellfire AoE when I hit ALT-7 and follow up with Arcane Explosion on pressing 7 while the Hellfire is running. I experimented with Prayer of Healing also being party of it, but decided to do it manually to avoid waste in overhealing. At a certain point I will respec Alaire to Arcane for improved mana shield and a bigger Ooomph in the Arcane Explosions.

Stranglethorn vale, here I come!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Level 28 - The Witches of Eastwick

All that is really missing are a couple of brooms and I am set. The witch hats are actually [Dread Mage Hat]s. Available only to warlocks as follow up for a quest next to the warlock trainer in Stormwind. I left them displayed for giggles for a while, but have switched them to be hidden from view later. I made [Enchanter's Cowl]s for the poor discriminated priest and mage of my team. Filling up a slot with an item is certainly better than leaving it blank and not getting any benefit from them.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Level 26 - The Stockade Riots

Things are happening in Stormwind. I cleared the Stockades and finished all quests for the instance for all my characters.

One thing that may catch your eye is that the [Simple Black Dress] has been retired. Instead I am now using [Robes of Arcana] which do offer +8 int, +7 spirit by themselves rather than nothing at all but nice looks like the simple dress.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Level 25 - Duskwood saved!

After completing all quest chains in Duskwood and getting matching gloves, legs and shoulders for my team I though it was time to hit the printscreen button again. I was actually surprised that I could take down Morbent'Fel, Eliza and Stalvan by myself considering the level difference.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Level 20 - Succubi!

I found the warlock's voidwalker minion is a passable tank while I used it. However, now things are different. At level 20 a warlock has access to a quest for the next minion. That minion is a succubus, with high damage output but less of a damage soak than the voidwalker and without an area threat move. That however suits me just fine.

From using an imp and two voidwalkers I swappted to using an imp for his stamina buff and two succubi. Besides clearly better looks this demon's damage output is really noticeable. It is extremely rare that one of my succubi dies. With two of them going at a target and my team blasting the target to smithereens at the same time there is simply no time for the mobs to deal enough damage.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Level 18

The team is entering the goblin forge inside the Deadmines instance.

Instances are a bit different from doing quests in the respect that they are made for five people, while most quests are designed to be done solo or with minimal assistance. With my party's killing power being quite high, non-elite regular monsters are dead withhin seconds, often without a chance to even run to my party of casters. For that reason questing out in the game surface world offers little challenge. Instances on the other hand are designed to challenge five people who act indepentantly and generally have elite monsters. Elite monsters have approximately five times as many hit points as a non-elite version would have. Consequently they are not as easily put down and do have the time to cause trouble.

When I attempted the deadmines the first time, I was ill prepared. I had insufficent control over my mage and warlocks to use them efficiently in a more hectic or longer fight. I worked my action bar setup and the WoW macro's on there a bit and changed a number of key bindings to allow for a number of needed things. This way I was able to use ancient and proven military tactics: the feigned retreat.

I will leave the warlocks and mages where I want to fight, and then pull what I want to fight using the priest. I put a shield up before I pull and use either my wand or the instant Shadow Word: Pain to pull the mob. As I am running back to the other characters, I will already start attacking the mob or mobs I pulled with the damage dealing characters as soon as they are in sight. If there is an add, I am prepared to use the mages crowd control abilitiy to sheep it.

Using these tactics, I cleared the way to the mast room where I defeated lumbermaster Sneed and his buddies. The patrols that spawn as soon as a named boss has been killed are a real nuissance in this dungeon and made my life hard. Fighting on, I reached the forge, as shown in the picture above. I did manage to kill Gilnid. As it was getting rather late, my patience was sorely tested already and I really wanted the Staff of Westfall for my team I replaced Elaire with my level 60 mage and nuked the rest of the dungeon in a few minutes. Sweet sweet revenge!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Level 12

Entering Loch Modan. As a visible change you can note the fancy tabards. I picked a dark background and chose the borders as straight lines in the same color, hiding them. The symbol is something that after a lot of clicking through the available choices appealed to me. White was the logical color choice, as it does not only look awesome with the black clothes I tailored for matching looks, but also will not clash with colors of future gear.

Now, choosing your tabard design is only possible for a guild master and wearable only by guild members. So yes, I made a guild just for my team. Now each character has the guild tag underneath their name, as in Alarie < Minion >. This looks similar to the tags on pets that say < Blaire's Minion >. The apostrophe is not allowed for use in guild names though, so Minion was the next best choice.

Anyway, enough of looks and uniforms!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Level 1

The screenshot shows the team after I brought all characters together for the first time. This is in the human starting area, Northshire Abbey. From left to right you can see Dlaire, Elaire, Captn, Alaire and Blaire.

Before this, I had done a test run. Being satisfied, I went about getting the required bits and pieces together. These are primarily five computers and five World of Warcraft accounts.


The Platform

Blizzard has kept the minimum hardware requirements of WoW intentionally low, to avoid artifical shrinking of their potential customer base. I had three computers available already. All of them are Sony VAIO computers. I primarily use a VGC-RC102 desktop with two 19" displays and a VGN-C1Z/B notebook with a 13.3" widescreen display. Due to the low minimum spec requirements even my old PCG-V505CP with 32MB ATI Radeon 9200 graphics can run the game client. Not as nice as the RC102 or the C1S, both of them can run two clients at once, but it does the job. I needed two more units to complete my platform for five clients. Lucky enough I am in the sitation to have access to a large amount of Sony reference hardware.
Two PCG-V505DP notebooks from this pool are now temporarily the fourth and fifth in my setup. From left to right, C1Z, V505CP, RC102 displays, V505DP, V505DP, with the Logitech G15 keyboard and MX1000 in the front. Yeah baby!

Account management

Getting more WoW copies was mostly a question of 'am I really doing this?'. The price for the basic game had been dropped to 20 euro at the launch of the expansion. I already had my primary WoW/BC account and a secondary account for bank characters and such.

I picked up three copies of the original game and upgraded two of them with the expansion pack to give me the race/class mix that I wanted for my party setup. Only the drenai priest and mage accounts need the expansion, so I could have done with just one account upgrade, but I wanted to have a warlock on my primary account, so one more upgrade was needed.

Party setup

The setup I decided on is one priest, one mage and three warlocks. There are several reasons for this, both in game mechanics and a more simple one. The simple reason is that I have already played six of the nine avaialbe classes ad nauseam, while not really getting into druids or warlocks before. Even though it is possible now after the expansion for the Alliance, I am not really interested in playing a shaman. Or a druid for that matter. But warlocks do interest me, so here we go.

Game mechanics reasons include that none of the group buff abilities are wasted in this setup. The priest increases the warlocks damage as well as the whole parties health, can heal and remove diseases and magic effects. The warlocks provide self-resses, health stones as replacement for healing potions and can on top of that provide another health buff via their imp. The mage can increase the whole parties mana, remove curses, conjure water and bread as replacement for bought, collected or crafted consumeables and can portal the party to a number of handy locations.

As far balance goes, my party is overpowered in damage dealing capabilities, has sufficient healing, but lacks a real tank. More on that later.

Time to hit the pillow. Captn out.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What is MultiBoxing and why are you doing it?

MultiBoxing means simultaneously playing several characters in an MMORG where a typical player plays only one character at a time. This is a great challenge and great fun.

Before the Burning Crusades WoW expansion I have raided first with my paladin, and then extensively with my warrior as tank. Besides these characters I have a mage, priest, rogue and hunter as 60s, favoring the marksman hunter and the solo dungeon crawling rogue. When BC hit, I first leveled my tank to 70 in prot spec. I was unwilling to swap spec to arms or fury since I enjoyed tanking more than killing. I ended up getting most of my XP from guild instance runs, while doing some questing controlling a shadowpriest and my warrior at the same time. I have replaced my warrior's T2 set with level 70 dungeon pieces and played my hunter halfway to 70.

Yet, this was mostly rinse and repeat of the same old thing. I like the expansion and the new twist on more challenging dungeons, but I am also very frustrated with the lack of killing power on my protection warrior. Grinding gold or quests is tough. I dont want to cry for help all the time.

Out of this situation the idea to have my own private grinding army to support my warrior was born. I had read about Xzin and when doing some research found Ellay's site which offered some more info.

Now, when playing the team I get often stopped by players and queried what I am doing or why these characters are following that character. Usually the answer will be somewhere between 'awesome!' and 'omg! haxx, bots, account seller' with a clear majority on the side of the people who react positively.

In the interest of not wasting the time of the EU-Gamemasters unncessarily, let me address some of the false accusations:
Haxx! No sir. I did not change the WoW client in any way or run any programs that interferes with the client or it's communication with the WoW servers.
Bots! No. Botting means automation of a character so the character can kill and loot or whatever else without a player controlling the character. In essence a bot is a script playing the character instead of a player. None of my characters does anything unless I press a key or or click on anything, exactly like it is supposed to be.
Account Seller All accounts are registered in my name and run on my credit card. I have no intention of violating the ToS by selling any of my accounts.

I do this for my own entertainment, not to impair the entertainment of anyone else.

The interest by the players who observed me prompted me to write down what I encounter. That made my start this blog.

Cheers, Captn.