Five WoW accounts, one keyboard broadcaster and me.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Headless Horseman

Die he shall! Again! And again! And some more! Why does the bastard not cough up his mount for me already! Every day I go and visit the Scarlet Monastery graveyard for another chance to try my luck. So far, my luck has been rotten. I got loads of Squashlings, cloth helms and a bunch of swords, but did not get to see a single mount. I understand it is the lowest dropchance item of the lot, but I really want it! For this week, I have been doing 13 attempts by myself per day, using the tankadin and three sets of four chars to summon and dps. I also did another 3-6 attempts per day with the kind help of guild mates.

A guild mate of mine and and the half dozen other people on my server that I saw on the mount clearly show that it does drop - just not for me! Ah well. Tomorrow will be the last chance to get one, Hallows End is over at 4:00am on Sunday.

Besides my obsession with the Horseman's mount and keeping up my tries in ZG, I have been rather busy raiding with my guild in Black Temple and doing all the ZA's that the dungeon lockout timers allow for a chance of getting rid of my engineering tank headpiece. I do have engineering on my warrior tank Ivl as well, but I want to drop it on my tankadin.

The Hunter and Druid team is now on the edge of level 65/66 since the last weekend. That is just enough to give me four additional summons of the Horseman per day. My last real leveling action on them has been to complete the Hemet Nersingway chain in Nagrand and upgrade the Hunter's weapons with the quest reward.

My first exotic pet was the white core hound from Azuremyst Isle, but the constant screen bouncing was just too annoying, so I set out to tame Silithids in Silithus instead. I am really enjoying the Silithids as pets. I like their animations and looks. Silithids are cunning pets, making them all-round pets with a couple of abilities that are neat in PvP. Such as netting enemies - something the spider family non-exotic pets can do as well, and increasing their damage output if they or their target is low on health. I look forward to pushing the hunters some more on the weekend.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

DingDingDing - You have reached level 60!

As promised by Blizzard, the granting of levels earned within the RAF scheme is now working again. My druid Ægis and my fifth shaman Æteam are now 15% away from level 61! Yay!

To complete my personal RAF project, I now need to transfer these two chars to my main account, and two druids from the RAF accounts to two of my secondary accounts. Unfortunately, the paid character transfer is down for maintainance at the moment. According to an announcement on the 'Website and Forum' section of Blizzard's EU forums normal service is expected to resume tomorrow. Yay again!

For leveling, I will group the Shaman with the Moonkin Druids and the Druid with the Beastmaster Hunters. The Shaman is going to be elemental to help with the lovely caster totems, while the Druid is going to be Resto instead of the target purpose feral tanking, to supply the hunter group with heals and resses. There is a handy tool to consider group and raid buffs supplied by different classes and specs provided by MMO-Champion.

Funny side-note. After having an instant level 60, it cost me 925g to buy 75 and 150 riding skill, a fast mount and all spells at the trainer. The Trainer alone took 225g.

Monday, October 20, 2008

RAF goodness and patch 3.0.2

The WoW 3.0.2 patch that hit the servers last Wednesday has such a wide range of changes that I won't even try to touch upon them. I am very happy with the changes for my tankadin. While Wednesday was a bit too shaky to raid, Thursday it was on. My guild went back to the Black Temple and we were giggling at the fast pace and the sudden power boost we received. The upgrade in DPS combined with the -30% HP nerf for the mobs makes the dungeon fly by. Before the patch, my guild was at MH 5/5 BT 5/9 and our best shot at RoS, the 6th BT boss was getting to the 3rd of three phases. Including a 40 minute server downtime and a late start, we dropped five bosses we already had conquered and one-shotted the RoS in two hours flat. Then, on Sunday, we killed Mother Shahraz and the Illidari Council and thereby not only gained six T6 tokens, but also access to Illidan himself. Being out of time, we left him for the following week. In a nutshell, for my guild this is a chance to see a number of encounters that we had not gotten to yet and great fun. I like it!

I also had a giggle with exotic pets on my hunters. I tamed the white core hound on Azuremyst Isle for them. Being fed up with the bouncing and the hounds stopping to use their breath before they tear into mobs, I shelved them and got myself Silithids from Silithus instead. These beasties nail down mobs with webs for four seconds. There are next to no mobs outside instances that live longer than four seconds against my four hunters. And for those, I can still use the net on a rotation. Good times ahead!

But there is not only sunshine. Elemental shamans have not been buffed like other classes. The new damage spell requires level 75, lightning damage has been nerfed a bit with reference to other classes debuffs now affecting and increasing the shaman damage in raids. Which is great for PvE, but for PvP it just means a flat damage reduction. Of course this is a temporary situation between the 3.0 patch and the expansion, so no need to get too worked up about it! =]

Also, the arena system is FUBAR at the moment. I don't even mean the retribution pallies being temporarily overpowered to a silly extend, I am sure that even without changes that would be ok at 80. My first arena after the patch saw one of my four chars unable to enter. Then lag in the arena that was sufficient to make it pure guesswork. Then both teams lost points. I decided then and there that I can spent my time this week in a better way then doing arena.

The most annoying thing after the patch for me was that all of my many characters required some time spent on the talents, keybinds and macros. Besides my main I made the Druid, Hunter and Shaman quads combat ready.

The Druids were level 50 when the patch hit. I pushed them to 60 over the weekend, using different zones past 50 to avoid doing the exact same quests as I hit with the Hunters recently. From Un-goro I went to Felwood, then Winterspring. With only a quarter level to go I headed over to the Eastern Plaguelands to hand in a bunch of quests from Winterspring there. Ding 60 for another four 60s!

Then, when I brought the Druids to Ironforge to use the accrued RAF levels to boost my fifth Shaman and the fifth Druid to 60, I was up for some frustration. I had read already about this, but was still disappointed to see it confirmed. Instead of being able to grant 29 levels, the Druids were only able to grant 5 levels. Blizzard lost the data regarding the granting levels earned in the patch, leaving me with only the levels earned after the patch to grant. This is a bit of a bummer, because my plan was to level the Druids and the Hunters from level 60 to level 70 together with one of these two chars before the expansion is available. While there were no news on this from Blizzard, and already a "sorry, deal with it" post from the US community managers, yesterday Blizzard announced that this issue will be fixed with the weekly maintainance. That gives me a warm fuzzy feeling and the confidence that I can resume my original plan and shrug off the little delay in timeline. =]

Monday, October 13, 2008

Leveling Ðøøm

After the Nightelf starting zones Disneyland and Disney World, I could not stomach their 3rd zone Eurodisney anymore. I share the take that Gianna Masetti, creator of 'The Noob' webcomic has on elves: "Elves are slender and beautiful as well as annoying. They live in forests where they molest small animals and play boring music all night long.", quoted from Episode 2 of currently 324. A recommended fun read - unless you have never played an MMO. =]

I continued to the Wetlands, zipped through the kill quests in Duskwood to hit 30. Then entered Stranglethorn. When I had only collection quests and a few level 40 quests left, I went to Theramore for a spell, then back to STV to hit 40. Now I am in Tanaris at level 43. I am quite happy with my pace so far. My 10 RAF days plus the 30 days you get with the WoW box will last till November 5th, so I am well ahead of the payment enrage timer.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


With the four goat riders at level 60, I reached the halfway milestone for my RAF project. This gives me two times 29 levels to grant. Once I finished the RAF project by leveling another four chars, I will have the same again for a total of 58 levels to grant for each veteran account.

This is an important part of my plan. The fifth Æteam and my only druid were stuck close to level 20 on my main account. Leveling a single char feels like slow motion after being used to the killing power of the boxing team. When I raid with just one char, the pace is fast. But solo play on a single char is just underwhelming.

To take advantage of the level granting, I deleted the two lowbie characters on the main account and recreated one of them on each veteran account used in the RAF project and played them a bit until they were close to, but not yet at level 3. After granting the first 29 levels, they are at level 31. With the second 29 levels granted, they will be at level 60, with only minimal XP to go till level 61.

One decision I had to make, was what class between balance druids and gnome mages I should pick for my next RAF group. Among my current level 70 chars, there is one mage. I have another one at 60 from vanilla WoW times. One of the level 20+ chars was my only druid ever. Considering this, druids are the choice to make. However, the idea of having four female gnomes with pink bobtails bounce through BGs spamming Arcane Explosion has a certain appeal as well. On the other hand, druids have a bunch of things they can spec for and having five druids to play with, I could do interesting things with stealth.

I choose druids. They are now level 10. To make things a bit smoother flowing, I got them a [Simple Black Dress] enchanted with 6mp5. This chest is level 37, so it can take BC-enchants. I also got them vendor bought white bracers and boots enchanted with +7int and minor speed respectively and tux pants with +25dmg+15sta. I was not very imaginative with names. Meet Ðøøm, Ðoøm, Ðøom and Ðøðm.

Monday, October 6, 2008

1652 rating - Guardian Ring is mine!

After playing three late games we won 9, 8 and 17 points respectively, bumping my personal rating to 1652. A quick trip to Stormwind later, I bought and equipped the [Guardian's Band of Dominance] on my four Shaman. This replaces the
[Violet Signet of the Archmage] and bumps my resilience to 440. /dances the happy dance.

The four Goatmen of Nuking

Less than two weeks after starting the hunter team and with just over two days /played I hit my target of level 60. With the x3 RAF XP bonus, the leveling was surprisingly easy. By just doing the quests that I remembered and was willing to go for, I usually outleveled zones pretty quickly.

I quested in Dun Morgoth, Loch Modan, Duskwood, the Wetlands, Arathi, Stranglethrone, Theramore, Tanaris, Un-goro and in the Plaguelands. I went for training only every 10 levels or when I was out of ammo. The killing power made things go really quickly, allowing me to plow through the zones and not even flinch from the devilsaurs in Un-goro. The only time I entered an instance was to get the armor plated boars in Razorfen Kraul. No boosting, no instances.

Now I need to do it again to have enough levels to grant for two chars. =] I am still debating what I will go for. Either four gnome mages or a bunch of druids. Druids would make more sense to round out my character selection, but I like the idea of four female gnomes with pink bobtails bouncing through battlegrounds while spamming arcane explosion. We'll see. =]

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Spec improved Recruit a Friend!

Looking at my accounts, one thing is certain: Not enough characters! When one is used to playing five chars, then leveling a single char feels like slow-motion. In anticipation of the expansion being launched in November, I therefore decided to get two additional four char teams up to 60 and at the same time collect gift levels to boost two chars I had idle for a good while.

To do this effectively, I created two new accounts using the RAF program and started playing four dwarf hunters. With only a few hours spent, I am almost level 30 now, which is where 60% speed mount is now available.

I decided not to bother with any gear and created non-binding uniforms instead. Happily enough, Beerfest is up at the moment! This allowed me to round out my character's outfit with the groovy hats you see in the picture. =]

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Great Brewfest Kodo

Today, on my 8th private try, I got lucky! Coren realized that I wouldn't give him any peace unless he coughs up the kodo. And so he submitted! yay!

I also got a bunch of the 45 stamina trinkets, both in the healing over time and damage over time version and all the trinkets I could use. Considering that one can not sell unwanted trinkets to vendors, the yield per time is not that high - without the lure of the mount. =]

I also bagged two Direbrew's Remote. Those do have a one hour cooldown, but are basically like a mage gate to the Grim Guzzler in BRD. They can be used anywhere. In instances, in battlegrounds. Fun! 18 players have left the battleground. Ooops! =]

Sunday, September 21, 2008

1609 - S4 chest here I come!

In the past month I have been between 1500 and 1600 rating. Whatever points we won was lost not soon afterwards. Often to teams which by their gear, with S4 head or S3 shoulders clearly show that they reformed, dropped their team rating to 1500 and then go and steamroll the people who are actually at that range. I had that happen a lot to me. Looking at the timeline, of me hitting 70 just ahead of the season 4 start and needing a while to get geared with pvp gear. At first everyone was at 1500, and by the time I learned enough and gathered enough kit, people were reforming. This gives the impression of treating water with no end in sight.

If that wouldn't be bad enough, my healing buddy will not have the time to play with me or much at all past next week, so I was looking at finding a new arena buddy in short order. Then, we got pushed back all the way to 1500 in a streak of losses last week. Doom! Black doom!

But! Alas, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Light in the shape of a paladin whom I talked to about the matter previously. 11 games played and won later, the 1600 line was crossed. Funny enough, the 10th game found us looking in a bit of confusing at a warrior running in all alone and being fried. Then a mage did the same. On investigation I found what looked like three boxed shaman in the other team's starting room. I guess control trouble. That won us 3 points and brought me to 1598. I couldn't say anything for fear of jinxing our luck, but we won the next game, which turned out to be a real fight.

/dances the happy dance!

Mount Mount mount mount! mount! waaaaah

You will never guess it, but I have not been lucky so far and am therefore still searching for that special mount for my main tankadin.

I diligently go and kill both the Bloodlord Mandokir and the tiger boss in Zul'Gurub every 3 days, but besides some improvements in the total time to do so, there have not been any occasions to celebrate. My best time for both of them is 21 minutes, from the entrance to looting the second boss. That is of course with dodging basically all trash mobs.

I also have gone after Coren Direbrew in the Grim Guzzler. He already tried to bribe me with a bunch of stuff, including the Coren's Lucky Coin and 3x Dark Iron Smoking Pipe. I could of course have bought the badge equivalent of those, but I didn't really feel the need for them, considering that my current trinkets are better for my primary use of the respective characters.

Admittedly, I can see a giggle effect in having 4x Balebrew Charm. But what I really want, is of course the Great Brewfest Kodo. So of course that is what I am missing so far. I got one Swift Brewfest Ram, but considering that I play alliance and can easily get the PvP Ram or one of the Dwarven Rams, that is more a teaser price than any consolation.

On the good side, I have 9 tries per day, using my main and nine of my multibox chars. We'll see how my luck goes during the few days that brewfest lasts!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Zul'Gurub fun

Today, I went back to Zul'Gurub. I have always wanted the raptor mount that the Bloodlord can drop. I have seen both the tiger and the raptor drop back in the day of vanilla WoW and level 60 raiding, but alas - the dice were not with me.

Of course the dice situation is a bit more sunny when there are just five characters instead of 20. Of course, the difference between 20 players and one player is even more helpful in helping me rig the outcome for the loot distribution. =]

Other Multiboxers have successfully done both the tiger and the bloodlord bosses in ZG, and reported about it in blogs, posts and with youtube movies. So there was absolutely no question if it was possible. It is.

However, I have previously tried going after the Bloodlord, augumenting my Tankadin with my Priest, two Warlocks and one Mage. Back then I was using the same tactics as we used back in the day. And it went badly. Since then I have been mostly boxing my four Shaman, therefore I decided to take the Tankadin and the four Shaman.

Today, I dropped the Bloodlord without any problem on the first go. I also went for the Tiger boss just after it. Here I ran out of mana due to not countering the healing done by one of the adds effectively. Luckily the encounter can be reset by running out of his immediate area. On the second go, I made it. =]

Alas, no mount. Lucky enough ZG resets tonight, so I can go again tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

1598 Rating, 5 arena points left

after spending 1875 points on [Brutal Gladiator's Mail Leggings], that is! =]

I was tempted to play a few more games to get the rating past 1600 to buy the [Brutal Gladiator's Mail Armor] instead. However, since Sunday I have been sick as a wet kitten. Too sick to play WoW seriously. The only thing keeping me sane is 'The West Wing'.

Monday, August 18, 2008


During the weekend, I pushed the honor farming hard. For Belgium, the last weekend was a three day weekend. I pulled over 10k honor each day by chain queuing for AV. In doing so I met Spud, a shammy fiveboxer in my battlegroup, twice. We defended Balinda together in one game, something that I usually do not do. Quite fun to imagine these non-plussed faces on the other side when seeing 36 totems and 9 shaman!

The reason why I was trying hard to reach 40k honor was to finally buy a pvp trinket. Until now I scraped by with staggered tremor totems and just endured the fear or whatnot when I was hit on the run. That however, could clearly not last. I did not want to waste honor on the 5 minute cooldown trinket or the cheap 2 minute one, but instead wanted to go directly for [Medallion of the Alliance]. Which is 40k. Ouch! I got it just in time to before the Sunday evening raid. =]

While I was busy hoarding the honor, I had a little setback. Hitting sufficient rating last week, I bought [Guardian's Mail Bracers] for 11794 Honor. The Warsong marks are for me the hardest one to get, as I can't really seem to enjoy that battleground. A guildmate joined me for some late WSGs and made the 2nd half of the marks really more pleasurable to get. Thanks buddy!

That leaves two upgrades to buy for honor: S4 ring and S4 boots. I am still a bit short on rating for both, but that will come. Until then, the S2 versions will do fine.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Platform!

When I started Multi-boxing, I did not want to spent any money on hardware. I did not know how long I would have fun with it. Now a few things have changed. Firstly, the prices for hardware have gone down. Secondly, a bunch of elaborate Multi-boxing software solutions were created after I started boxing. Last and most importantly however - I know that I have fun with boxing and expect to continue doing so in the foreseeable future.

My original platform for boxing were five Sony VAIO computers. My home PC, notebook, previous notebook and two more notebooks that I set up for this project. While three of the notebooks were borderline WoW-capable, they did the job. Together with two pieces of software, a proprietary software multiplexer written by Micah of the forums and Multiplicity by Stardock this allowed me to box.

At least for PvE, this was fine. In the past months however, my boxing focus has shifted to my shaman team and PvP. While in PvE, a dead tank usually means a wipe which does not really matter since you are by yourself, the situation in PvP is totally different. A battleground or arena game does not allow you to do a graveyard run while everyone waits for your pleasure, to the contrary - time is ticking.

For a while now I have been tinkering with my new PC and wasted a lot of time due to a problem between ATI/AMD's 4800 graphics chipset and Intel's P45 mainboard chipset. The problem is not resolved yet, but I can now at least run one graphics card without having system stability problems.

The new hardware platform for my multiboxing and WoW in general is made up as follows: Intel Quadcore Q6700, MSI P45 Ultimate, 8GB, 2x ATI Radeon 4850. My old primary, now auxiliary, PC is much weaker: Intel P-D820, 2GB, nVidia GeForce 6600. As you can see, it has been a while since I upgraded! =]

To make the two PCs integrate as a single desktop, I still use Multiplicity. To allow me to broadcast keystrokes to all WoW windows, resize and position them and also to swap them on the fly I use Keyclone.

The major improvement for me is now one of convenience as well as combat effectiveness. It is possible to configure Keyclone to start all WoW sessions and uses WoW's to adjust screen resolution and pre-fill the account names. That is very handy, making the whole thing much smoother to start up.

The real key difference however is that I was previously unable to make any char that I wanted leader of the pack in my setup while keeping the ability to move that char individually and broadcast commands to the other characters at the same time. That is something that I can do now. Keyclone's picture in picture function swaps the primary WoW window with one of the secondary windows on the press of a hotkey. Using the same hotkey in game to change the /focus for all characters allows me to change the leader of the pack on the fly, even while running without loosing more than a step or two.

I can't wait for the weekend this week. The good thing is: I don't really have to, since Belgium has a public holiday this Friday. =]

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Step by step

Slowly but surely my team's kit and my play improves. As gear goes , I currently stand at 10199 Hitpoints, 373 Resilience, 11694 Armor unbuffed. 874 bonus damage (+55 from [Totem of the Void]), 32.8% crit with talents.

After last week, the 60 badges for [Cloak of Subjugated Power] were sorted. With this week's farming, 20 more badges are in stock on each shaman. I am saving Honor points for [Medallion of the Alliance]. 40k honor takes a bit of time, but I think it is worth it.

In the arena, I am currently focusing on learning from my opponents, my arena buddies and of course from my own mistakes. I played over 50 games so far this week, sitting at 1565 rating at the moment.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Player reactions to M-boxing in BGs

Initially I intended to include another aspect of Battlegrounds and Multi-boxing in the previous post, but looking at the length, I decided against doing so. The previous post is focussed on a tactical and effectiveness level of what I do in battlegrounds. Now I am looking at the reactions of other players to me being in the battleground with them.

To start with, players do notice my charaters often before the battle even starts and comment on me being there. The reaction is often confusion: "How can you clone yourself?", "How did you hack this?", "WTF?!" and "How?" are quotes that come to my mind to respresent those reactions. My personal least favorite are people that ride after me, totally ignoring the ongoing fight and contributing nothing to the game, going into specator and quizz mode at the same time. "Google multi-boxing later, fight the Horde now please." is the gist of my usual reply to that. Flagging them as inactive is another response, but I do not like doing that.

Another kind of peril are people who see me, know what multi-boxing is and expect me and every other boxer to totally pwn the Horde without any action being required of the other players. A permutation of this attitude is people who consider me their personal bodyguard, pet, peon or pawn and start giving me orders. If their expectations are then not met, the blame for any adverse turn the game takes is laid at my door. I think everyone knows that it's the people who are afk, fighting over a patch of ground in the middle of nowhere instead of for an objective of the game at hand who are letting the team down, but still feel happier blaming someone who sticks out of the crowd like I and other boxers do.

Which also brings me to the more vocal reactions. Firstly, people see my characters and are puzzeled by what they behold. Besides the already mentioned examples, there is one general trend. People believe that there must be a trick, a cheat, a hack or similar. The idea that all my characters are created and developed just like any other escapes them. Maybe that is a sign of me being very crazy, or them being a bit guillible, but hey one thing they are sure of is that this must be foul play. The best known methods of foul play in WoW are commonly thrown as accusations while the accuser tries to grasp what is actually going on and ignores all indications to the contrary. I have stopped responding to these cries of foul beyond any short correction, such as "I am multiboxing, not botting.". Often I do not need to do that, because some other player will answer "Multi-boxing", "It's allowed" or "It's legal".

Another type of response comes from players who do know what multiboxing is and do not like it. These range from straight outbursts with the generic message of lamer, cheater, looser, no-lifer to outright hartred expressed with comments such as "You/This should be banned". I respect that a small but vocal minority hates multi-boxing, but their pleasure is not on the top of my priority list. This group is also most likely to turn the battleground chat that should be used for "3 inc GM" or "SH bunker, quick" to a live chat version of the very popular WoW forum QQing and trolling. Just like on the forums, the same already discussed and dealt-with arguments are dragged forth, ignoring the official responses from Blizzard staff that should close the discussion. This group is also likely to predict utter failure and ruin for our side due to me being there and boxing. My usual answer for that is "hehe, check the stats later" and of course winning the game.

Naturally, not necessarily pleasant assumptions regarding the motivation of the QQers come to mind, but I don't really want to dewell on that. My reasoning is rather straightforward and pragmatic. I contribute to the team's goal, often more than my fair share. I can do that because inherent in boxing is focus of power. By taking four slots instead of three, I can focus 10% of the firepower in Altherac Valley where I want it. The frustration of convincing people to go for an strategically important objective and the huge benefit associated with pre-made group where people are expected to work together illustrate how important this is. Coordination is the source of me being more effective than average in battlegrounds. I am absolutely certain that an equal amount of characters controlled by one person per character, working together and knowing what they are doing will always outperform me, but that just is not the case in the average battleground. Compared to the average benefit for the group by slot, I deliver more. Yet, I am working to improve my play and come up with countermoves for coordinated groups of opponents as far as possible.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Battlegrounds and Multi-boxing

After hitting level 70 in June, I have done quite a bunch of hours in battlegrounds. I wrote before about the woes of being forced to go and get a number of marks, what I want to focus on now is actually the game play itself.

For me personally, my favorite battleground for my quad boxing is Alterac Valley, followed by Eye of the Storm. Arathi Basin is ok-ish, but Warsong Gulch is my bane.

AV has the perfect group and map size for my taste. Me bringing four characters out of forty is just 10%, yet I can have a significant influence on the game result. Holding the Alliance bunkers in mid-field or retaking Dun Baldar's graveyards and then wiping the horde attack, as well as blasting through horde defense at Galvan or just going to push the graveyards in the attack - all of these are things that I can do with a good success rate. Usually I just look at the distribution of the Alliance team on the map to decide between attack and defense after Galvan. Good times.

For EotS and AB, a team of fifteen players has me taking 26% of the slots. In EotS I usually go for the attack on the southern part of the map and then jump bases as needed. The thing that I love about EotS is that what matters is who is left standing, with no flag tagging or interrupting at the bases themselves. That also prevents ninja-flagtagging and interrupt games and is more forgiving for PuG base guards. Also, jumping the enemy flag carrier and then returning the flag to your own base is good fun, but that is something that I don't actively go looking for.

Arathi Basin can be good fun, but most of the time it is just horrible. Nearly all my positive experiences in AB were the occasional premades. Usually I can take any base that I want - unless it is defended by 2/3rds or more of the opposing team. The trouble in PuGs is that I can count on nobody actually bothering to defend bases. Even if there are 2-3 people from my team at a base when the minute of taking it is over, I can be nearly certain that these will run off to die in some god-forsaken hill or on the road to nowhere rather than guard the base or call incoming attacks. Another bane in this battleground is that bases can shift owner rather quickly. If that happens when I am dying, I risk having my characters split between graveyards all over the map, wasting time until I am back to full fighting strength. My best role in AB is to be the flying company and come fast and hard to the defense of any node that needs it. Shock army indeed.

Warsong. Oh dear. About the only thing I can really do in PuGs is go after the enemy flag carrier and hope for the best. In this battleground, death is the worst out of all battlegrounds, because the timings are so close and I loose a lot of time regrouping. However, I can not really deal damage on the move, and the flag carrier and his escort are usually in a hurry. Suffice to say that the only reason that gets me into Warsong is a guild pre-made or marks that I have to collect.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Kara - Part 2

After previously clearing the first half of Kara with Attumen, Moroes, Maiden, R&J, Nightbane and the Curator yesterday, we cleared to the Shade and gave that a few goes. However we forgot to use dampen magic and I had to struggle with the fight. Let me just mention that moving four chars in flame wreath is an instant wipe =]

Tonight, I went back, with the two healers from the previous night, one hunter, one mage and another healer. We worked through the annoying magic immune wyrms, then got the Shade down on the first go. That was a very long attempt though, almost getting to a second sheep&pryo, with two reincarnations and two battleresses. Then we killed Illhoof, taking two attempts, played some chess and then dropped the prince.

All in all, I must say that with five people that know what they are doing to go along and help with things such as being the focus for the shaman in a fight like Nightbane, Karazhan is absolutely doable! I am now at 31 Badge of Justice and confident that I will get more this way.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

WIM and what it can do for you

WoW Instant Messenger is a chat addon that I really like and can only recommend. To explain what it does, I want to use two simple pictures. The first one here shows regular chat.

The second one shows the WIM window, which can hold several conversations, each in it's own tab. This is very helpful to keep track of different conversations. Of course there are some conversations that one can just ignore, but hey, at least there is the choice. =]

You can find the mod at

5-boxing in Kara with guild mates

As already mentioned, I planned to find out how doable Kara is for badge farming for my shaman. After asking for interest on the guild forums we went for it tonight. Two mages, one hunter, one resto druid and one resto shaman joined my shaman and my tankadin for this trial run. For the maiden, the druid swapped to a paladin for reliable cleansing of her DoT.

We dropped Attumen, Moroes, Maiden, Crone, Nightbane and Curator. Then we worked up to the shade and Illhoof. Due to time running out we just gave Illhoof two tries and then called time. We had one silly wipe on attumen trash, plus the two on Illhoof. I had a few silly shaman deaths due to carelessly overnuking as well.

Overall I dare call this a qualified success and proof that this is a viable option. That Kara can be boxed is nothing new, other boxers have done 2x5 or even 1x10. What I did is easy by comparison, in particular because fully half of the raid completely outgears Kara. I had a lot of fun on this run and we had a couple of WOW moments. For example the Curator trash mobs did not have the time to teleport to the healers.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Oh woe, marks...

After finishing a project on Friday, I had some time to play again. My first move was to go after WSG marks for the [Merciless Gladiator's Mail Leggings]. After getting that and buying up primal mana between BGs for the [Runic Spellthread]. I got those nailed in time for a trip to my family and then set out on Sunday to work on the AB marks for my [Merciless Gladiator's Mail Armor]. Over the Sunday morning, I suffered horribly there, reminding me of something a guild mate posted a while ago: PvP Lemmings.

Then, in the afternoon, my luck seemed to change - or just different sorts of people were playing. First one, then another PuG win. I was already missing the green guild chat when PvPing. On an impulse, I dropped [Pony Slaystation] on a bank alt and put my pony's back into my actual guild.

In a few games together with a few guild mates I got my remaining AB marks to the 30 needed for the chest piece. I ended up with 8k honor to go when I stopped playing 1.5h before raid time.

I am looking forward to the chest for two reasons. Firstly, the 4/4 piece gladiator set bonus: 50% less spell pushback due to damage. Secondly, getting rid of the grey skirt looks. With this weeks arena points I will be able to buy the [Brutal Gladiator's Mail Gauntlets]. So the big question is: what will come first: 8k more honor or Wednesday? =]

Shopping list

After the S2 chest, I am left with four equipment slots that cry for an update: Cloak, Wrists, Boots and a second ring. That would be all fine and dandy, except for a little hick-up. Three of the four bits require arena rating, and the fourth slot is best filled for 60 Badges of Justice. Further, there is also the matter of the shield, but that is less urgent. Playing conservatively and not expecting too much in the way of arena rating, I need to plan ahead and consider my options for these slots.

[Cloak of Subjugated Power] 60x Badge of Justice
[Sergeant's Heavy Cape] 7,548H 20AB
I plan to have a go at Kara with the help of some guild mates and see how it goes to evaluate the badge option.

[Guardian's Mail Bracers] 11794 Honor, 20 WSG, 1575R
[Vindicator's Mail Bracers] 9199H 20WSG

[Guardian's Mail Sabatons] 17850 Honor, 40 EotS, 1700R
[Vindicator's Mail Sabatons] 13,923H 40EotS

[Guardian's Band of Dominance] 15,300H 10AV, 1650 Rating
[No alternative noob! Get rating]
It's a pity that I did not have the presence of mind to buy the Veteran's Band of Dominance, before it was no longer available! Hindsight is a beautiful thing. At the moment I use [Vindicator's Band of Dominance] and [Burning Blade Cultist Band].
The Auchindoun PvP rings do have resilience, but due to their low ilvl, I prefer to go for a straight damage item there. Easy options there would be the [Dreamcrystal Band], which is BoE and comes from a charged depleted ring, or maybe the Kara rep rings, from [Violet Signet] for friendly rep to [Violet Signet of the Archmage] at exalted rep.

[Vengeful Gladiator's Barrier] 1500AP 1800R?
[Merciless Gladiator's Barrier] 15,000H 20EotS
At the moment I still use [Spellbreaker's Buckler] which has nice stats for PvP, which put it far behind a bunch of weaker items in the replacement priority. I fear I will never qualify for [Brutal Gladiator's Barrier], a truly beautiful shield.

WoWwiki has a very handy reference for all arena gear cost and requirements. It's only failing is that it isn't the first article that pops up when you search for it. =]

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

For Pony!

After ring, weapon, necklace, belt and helmet, I got myself the S2 shoulders today. After plundering the AH for Scryer rep items, I got enough tomes for eight tokens per char, and enough rings to bring two chars to exalted and one just shy of exalted. I guess I will have to wait a bit for the AH to recover from my shopping spree. I will also need some time to recover from the AB torture and have a nap. =]

Oh, due to some anti-boxing comments and someone connecting my guild's name to that, I preferred to stick a purely decorative guild name on my team. It is not my idea, I saw it first in AV on a tauren warrior and found it quite funny. It also nicely dovetails with Richard's battlecry "For Pony!".

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Conjured Biscuits

Every time that I started playing with my shaman team, I first logged in with my mage Alaire to make a mage table and stock up on biscuits. Usually I would use only very few of them and have the rest decay when logging out.

Yesterday I decided to change that. I gave the daily quests on the isle a whirl and did the same today, giving me friendly reputation with the Shattered Sun Offensive and access to the non-decaying [Naaru Ration]. Yummy!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shopping list woes

With the purchase of [Merciless Gladiator's Gavel] I have now spent 40k honor. At the time that I am typing this I have 12k honor and 650 arena points. Now, I figure the first thing to buy with arena points would be [Brutal Gladiator's Mail Gauntlets], which require no rating. Easy. But what about the honor?

[Guardian's Mail Girdle] 17850 Honor, 40 AB, no rating requirement.
[Guardian's Mail Bracers] 11794 Honor, 20 WSG, 1575 Rating.
[Guardian's Mail Sabatons] 17850 Honor, 40 EotS, 1700 Rating.

I think we have a clear winner here also. These bits are so awesome that I will worry later about the other slots. =]

Monday, June 23, 2008

Seasonal Eye-candy

At first glance at the quests available in town for the seasonal flavor, I was shocked at how fiddly they are. A quest item with a cast time 0.1 seconds shorter than the target stays up with a constantly changing target. Tossing torches that doesn't work well with the wow camera to track it. Add someone else doing the same quests at the same time and it is pure chaos.

BUT! there is a component to this that is similar to looking up the elders all over the world, but gives you not only tokens but also gold. 6g and 5 tokens for visiting bonfire of your own faction, 12g and 10 tokens for visiting one of the opposite faction. Making a trip to around those bonfires nets you around 500g and enough tokens to buy some eye candy.

So I took my shamans around the game world, bagged the gold and got the eye candy going: [Brazier of Dancing Flames].

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Honor Shopping

Closing in on 25.200 honor and 20 EotS tokens, I knew I had to do something about temptation. The Season 1 [Gladiator's Gavel] provides 199 spellpower, is worth an enchant which gives another 40 spellpower and allows me to equip a shield. I already have a quest shield bagged on all characters, the [Spellbreaker's Buckler] with 29 spell damage. Compared to the [Battle Mage's Baton] from the Ring of Blood in Nagrand, that is a significant upgrade. The S1 Gavel and Shield combo gives 268 spell damage. the staff gives 85 spell damage - and some crit. 183 more spelldamage is huge - considering that I am currently at 470 odd total and just short of 1k is full S3 kit.

Now, the problem with that is that it is very attractive but in seven days there will be Season 4 starting and bumping the S2 [Merciless Gladiator's Gavel] down to honor - supposedly for the same price. The S2 gavel gives 26 more spell damage and just over 1% spell hit. So it is quite sensible to wait for this.

To avoid that I succumbed to this temptation, I went and spent my honor on the [Vindicator's Band of Dominance]. That is 15k honor and 10 AV marks, and more importantly, still part of the honor kit after S4 hits, since people usually use the current season's honor ring along with the previous season's honor ring.

Now I can PvP my heart out to get honor together for the next two bits to buy after Wednesday: [Merciless Gladiator's Gavel] and [Merciless Gladiator's Barrier]. That should cost me 25.200 honor for the gavel and 15.000 honor for the shield, plus 20 EoTs tokens for each. I can't wait, but I'll have to! =]

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A bridge too far

Oh. My. God. I love quad shaman pvp. Even with my 'of the noob' gear I am able to strike decisively. When I start defending on the bridge, I almost pity the attacking horde.

After my first PvP weekend I have 13.5k honor and am supposed to get 350ish arena points. I also had 51 AV marks. These are typically decaying in the mailbox of a PvP char. That fact, combined with my strong dislike of the Elephant mount motivated me to blow them on the Stormpike goat, which I promptly did. Time for bed now. =]

Saturday, June 14, 2008

First steps in PvP

After reaching 70 on Thursday night, I could finally equip the blues that I had waiting in the shaman backpacks. Yet, the preparations were not complete. I was still short of Sha'tar revered reputation and all the fancy and expensive metagems had requirements that I could not fulfill. A couple of quests and Arcatraz finished my Sha'tar rep grind and after collecting a few more spirit shards I bought the Auchenai caster metagems.

Then I headed out and hit Alterac Valley again and also Eye of the Storm. I must say it was a very positive experience and great fun. While my individual characters are very weak, the combination is quite devastating.

I met a hunter at the Relief Hut that happened to be from my server, we got talking and decided on the fly to do some arenas for giggles. The hunter brought his main to battle for this, a rather well PvE geared resto shaman. We started out with a used team just under 1500 and played ten games, loosing 7, but winning 3. There was nobody as badly geared as my characters, by far. In some of our losses we lost 6 points, or 7, making the teams that opposed us quite a bit higher rated then us. This resulted in the rating not moving much.

Besides being very entertaining, the setup shows a lot of promise. Bad gear, me as arena noob, not having all my spells set up for ready use and a bunch of other things are all things that can be improved for sure, given time.

Playing with lighting is immensely entertaining. I am enjoying pvping with the shamans very much! Oh. AV is up. Laters =]

Thursday, June 12, 2008


After 10 days /played over an extended period of time, my four shamans hit 70 tonight. That brought a lot of fetching, carrying and running with itself, but seeing the four of them lined up in noob pvp gear uniform with four baby elephants to accompany them just had me grinning without even hitting a key.

After a bit of messing around with gems, a few enchants and respecting to cover up some blunders I made on the way to 70, I stuck my toe into the water of Alterac Valley. I just played twice. The very first bit of text that greeted me when I entered was some random player from another server recognize me as multiboxer and show a positive reaction. That is a good omen as far as I am concerned.

Considering that I have not done any pvp setup for my controls, was using a pve geared tank totally superflous just because I did not want to set things up fully yet and that my resilience is just as low as my spelldamage, I was positively surprised what I could do already.

I look with anticipation to the weekend! Time for bed, work and then pvp! Yay.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

To-do list

Right, things that I need to get for my team are:

3900 Sha'tar Rep With the help of the WoW Reputation Calculator, it is a breeze to find some quest chains to help out with that. Due to the Mechanar farming for the totem, I don't really want to use instances. ;]
The Journal of Val'zareq: Portends of War 150rep+500 rep for follow up battle.
Akama's Promise Chain 1012rep and a temporary shield
Harbringer of Doom Chain 2000rep temp neck and belt but 3 dungeon runs for the 2nd half.

400k xp looking at the above quest chains, that will take care of itself.

Enchants There is an awesome post by Boylston here, but it does not link to the materials needed. So I looked up that information to tally them up for my shopping list:
Formula: Enchant Chest - Major Resilience 4gpe 10ad
Formula: Enchant Bracer - Spellpower 6lps 6pf 6pw
Formula: Enchant Gloves - Major Spellpower 6gpe 6lps 6pm
Mystic Spellthread 5pm 1rt or Runic Spellthread 10pm 1pn 1rt
Formula: Enchant Boots - Fortitude 12ad
Formula: Enchant Shield - Major Stamina 15ad
Formula: Enchant Cloak - Spell Penetration 2gpe 6ad 2pm

gpe 4+6+2=12x4=48
ad 10+12+15+6=43x4=172
lps 6+6=12x4=48
pf 6x4=24
pw 6x4=24
pm 6+5+2=13x4=52

uh-oh. This is going to be expensive!

Next I need to figure out the most sensible honor and arena point allocation.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Level 69 - 4/4 Totem of the Void

When I finally got the fourth totem, I was happy to turn my back on Mechanar indeed. I ended up at 8162/12000 towards revered with the Sha'tar and 230k/770k towards level 70.

Now it is time to seriously look for enchanting materials and maybe already put a shopping list or better priority order together for honor bits and pieces.

But I will leave that for another day.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Name Change Woes

For the shaman team I originally picked names that were individual and loosely based on the five elements: earth, water, fire, air and void. That was all good and well, but did not really work as intended. Maybe if I had gone straight with the element names, using replacement letters where they were taken it would have been ok, but as it was, it has been annoying me for a while. No longer though!

Saturday around noon I decided to change the names of the shamans. I had a silly idea, played around with it a bit and liked it. After a look at the account management, I was not too sure how long the name changes would take and how long the characters would be not available for playing. So I went and tested it with the low level shaman Aethera that I had left aside to boost the other four. The name change went through smoothly and instantly. Yay!

I changed the names of Firma and Flama next, again instant service, everything was going well. Then I hit a serious bump in the road. Payment problem. A quick call to my bank gave me my credit card contact and this again gave me the information that there was no problem from the Credit Card company's side. So it had to be Blizzard. Who are available for Billing problems Monday to Friday. Great news for me with the weekend just starting.

So I made a character each on the accounts with Lavia and Venta to sit on the names that I wanted. And waited. And waited. My first guess was 24h cooldown after the third payment. No joy.

Next stop, Monday morning. I called the toll free number listed on the wow website and spoke to a friendly female agent at billing. I explained my problem, she sorted it with the payment department, and I could change the 4th name. Yay! When I tried to change the fifth name - blocked again. ARRGH! Another call, another agent, another time on hold. And I could change the 5th name. Finally!

Now, what is the whole thing about? Meet Æteam, Ætèam, Ætéam, Ætëam and Ætêam! I remember the A-Team on TV when I was a kid. How they amazingly built a tank from cardboard and vegetables before battle, each episode. That is very much like me putting down a forest of totems when fighting. I used Æ instead of A because it seperates itself a bit from the T - and seriously cuts down on random whispers. ;]

This is a portrait of my four shamans standing on top of each other after I renamed them. Yay!

Having virtually identical names is a tactical advantage in BGs for a multiboxer. If the characters are perfectly stacked on top of each other, dissimilar names leaves you with a blob of text. With very similar names, it looks like just one name. Devious, I know. Also calling focus fire is more difficult: 'all on... never mind!'.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Level 68 - Totem of Void 1/4

After making the last post, my next boxing time was spent trying the Black Morass. However, that was a bit too hectic for my taste. I did Old Hillsbarad two more times for decent xp and CoT rep. Bringing me to 4/5 of the Seer's Mail set and three quarters of the way to level 68.

After that I picked up the gryphon points north of Zangermarsh and did a few quests to get to get to level 68. After training up, I headed to Tempest Keep. Using my first multiboxing team, I gave my shaman's a leg up into the Mechanar by summoning them into the instance.

A quick test run showed that I can get the key to the cache of the legion quickly and without much hassle. Naturally, there is always the luck of getting the drop, but its definitely doable.

After the Sunday raid, I went for a couple more casual attempts, putting me halfway to level 69 and 3000 rep short of honored with the Sha'tar. I also got one Totem of the Void so far. At this rate, I should have all four by the time I reach 70.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


This morning I took my four shamans to Old Hillsbarad. My objective was to complete the quests in the instance to collect the reputation. I plan to have the five bits of baby-pvp rep armor ready to equip by the time the shamans reach 70. Getting 3000 more CoT reputation will see my shamans honored with the faction and 4/5 done for the set. Leaving only Sha'tar rep to do.

I sailed through the first part of the instance. Breaking Trall out was a bit tighter, because I rely on mana biscuits to regain mana on Steph. On the gauntlet from the keep to the gate I intentionally stopped damage while hanging in there with judgement and seal of wisdom, which - combined with a pot or two - did the trick.

Then at the battle in Tarren mill, my shamans were dying left and right, like flies. If not faster. Add to that that the epoch hunter dispells buffs. Like seals. Doh. Clearly I needed a new plan. I stuck the shamans into Tabetha's house's lobby and brought the waves of dragonkin into the house, breaking line of sight on those pesky caster mobs that like to hang back cleanly. This worked like a charm and left me with the team upright at the end of the fight and all that rep nicely bagged.

Time to do some shopping before I try my hand at the follow up Black Morass. I don't know yet if I will be able to do that place with my 4x67 noob elemental shamans and my tank, but I will know this afternoon. If the answer should be 'nope', I can go and do Durnholde twice more or so to get the rep I need.

We'll see. =]

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sethekk Halls and 67!

After finishing Nagrand with Durn the Hungerer, I was left with Viktor half a box and the four shamans 12 boxes short of level 67. I did all the group quests with these five chars, with the exception of Durn, for which a guildmate gave me a hand, and of course the Ring of Blood, for which another guildmate did the same, tanking out of the party.

While I fully plan to go for shield and 1h mace at 70, I took the Battle Mage-Baton from the Ring of Blood for all five characters. It has just the right stats and is a serious improvement. I can level without the armor provided by a shield.

One thing that I keep an eye on while leveling these characters is rep. Rep with Honor Hold, Cenarion Expedition, Lower City, Caverns of Time and the Sha'tar. Passing through the Hellfire Peninsula and doing the Ramparts boss kill quest, Zangermarsh and locating the lost expedition members in the Slave Pens and the Underbog and doing a couple of quests in Terrokar allowed me to get halfway to my target. That means it left me honored with Honor Hold and the Cenarion Expedition, and on the way to honored with the Lower City.

Looking at the shamans being half a level behind Viktor and them needing more Lower City rep, I parked Viktor and headed to Sethekk halls to get some instance xp. I made a mage table with Alaire, then logged her and grabbed biscuits with the shamans and my tankadin Stephanius. That saw me ready for the dungeon.

The way I went about it was to just tank and dps. My tank is sufficiently geared that no healing is needed in the time until a group of mobs is put down. The only time I healed was at about 30% of the first bosses health. One thing that is very nasty in this place are the mind control totems dropped by the Time Lost Controllers. However, the combination of taking this mob as first target, opening fire on it before it reached the tank and stunning it if still alive when it arrives at the tank did the trick nicely.

I completed Sethekk halls the first time on Monday, taking the last boss in the first go. It also brought me to honored with the Lower City! Then I fell out of bed early today. Too early to head to work, by enough of a margin to clear the dungoen again. That took me to level 67 on the shamans. All shamans had rested XP saved up and were bagging about 1500xp per trash mob kill, adding up very quickly.

I will definitely do some more dungeons for leveling purposes - not just in the Caverns of time for that rep, but also in Mechanar for the Lightning Totem. I have not tried yet, but aparently it is possible to summon people into Mechanar with a warlock, which allows character that do not have a flying mount or are not even 70 to get in there. Considering that I really need that lightning totem drop for all four shamans from the Mechanar Chest and that I plan to PvP with these shamans - making a flying mount totally unnecessary, that is awesome. I have three level 70 warlocks, so with a bit of fiddling I can get my characters into Mechanar and set to go by myself. I can hardly wait. =]

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Ghost wolf sideeffects

After killing 2143235213452 wolves, if not more I was able to gather 60 wolf tails. Another moment where you wonder how many WoW critters manager to get around without ears, teeth, tails or other default parts of their anatomy. Talking xp boxes, it took me eight boxes to get all of them. Anyway, level 64 now, and the cloth spellpower quest reward headpiece looks kinda neat with the drenai horns. Neat enough to make me take a screenshot. =]

Monday, May 12, 2008


17:03[Loórd]: ha i reported you! injoy your ban
17:03[Viktor]: Multiboxing is legit, and fine with Blizzard.
17:03[Loórd]: haha you havre been reported enjoy ban
17:03[Viktor]: sorry for wasting your time and that of the GM
17:03[Loórd]: haha
17:03[Loórd]: haha enjoy ban
17:03[Loórd]: ha!
17:03[Viktor]: seriously, search the customer service forums for multiboxing
17:04[Loórd]: how do u feel? ass

This is a level one alt that a horde rogue named Króul made just to gloat about just reporting me.
Then he logged back to his character and laughed and spat at me.

Unfortunately, I expect that the poor guy will not get any more educated and remain active faithfully as an unwanted and cluesless deputy-GM. ;-]

Who knows, maybe he even did report me and I might have a GM talk to me for the first time about multiboxing.

Anyway, level 63.5 and ticking.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Welcome to Hellfire Peninsula!

After leaving the pack at 56.5, I pushed my quests a bit to 57 and then nuked Stratholme for the remainder to 58. Time to rejoice and enjoy the sudden availability of useful quest rewards multiplying the spellpower on the shaman gear significantly. Instead of using a warlock or my tankadin as before, I now used a shadow specced priest that I had left at level 60 for ages with the shamans. My choice for level 60s to dust off was between a rogue, a mage or this priest. I have Alaire geared and working as waitress mage. Captn is healing, but a shadow priest might be interesting. A rogue, melee when multiboxing just causes headaches. So, Viktor the shadowpriest is the choice.

After milking the quests in eastern Hellfire, the team dinged 60. I hopped over to buy the epic land mounts and riding skill. For the moment, the mounts are as shown here, but I want to get rid of those. I like the idea of going for goats, which would also consume my surplus runecloth for Ironforge reputation, or alternatively could be sorted with spare PvP tokens - but that is a bit down the line.

Time for the daily quest 'hug thy pillow'.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Today, I had a bunch of hours available to play, and I decided to really push hard on the shamans. I was annoyed with being stuck in the old lands. I started the day at level 52. I ended it at level 56, with half of the next level sorted. That means that I will hit the magic level 58 tomorrow. Yay!

To do that, I did quests in the Western and Eastern Plaguelands, as well as in Felwood and Winterspring. After leveling a bunch of times to 60 and later to 70, I know the juicy quest chains like the back of my hand - no, I don't study them, I just have good memory - and made good use of that.

A funny incident occurred when I followed up on the satyr chain in Felwood with the escort quest for Arei. After doing the patrol through the area with the ironwood treants, the escort leads up to the road, where an ambush is spawned. On the last two dozen yards to the road, I noticed a tauren druid in his spiffy lion form prance about.

Now, I play sissy PvE mode, so we are both not flagged. Knowing spoilsport behavior, I expected the druid to try to interfere with my escort quest in a critical moment. As expected, the tauren druid turned pvp-enabled a few seconds after the ambush when he attacked the alliance NPC - to kill him and make me fail the quest. This was not a good moral call. It was also a bit stupid, considering that the druid himself was level 55ish, and I had four level 55 shamans as well as a level 70 warlock there. Rest in peace, dear Wixzen, pity you had to leave us. On another note, I am not sure if this poor guy is aware of it, but his character name is just one additional letter away from the German term for 'to jerk off'. Either way, the whole thing just took a few seconds, but it contributed to my entertainment, so I hope the same is true for you.

Cheers, Steph.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Must resist the temptation to loot, must resist the temptation to loot, must...oh, sorry about that. It is absolutely ineffective to give in to the temptation and click all the sparkling piles. While doing the five levels from 45 to 50 in Stratholme's entrance area, I used to loot all the mobs while my tankadin was drinking. Then I realized how much time I was wasting that could be better spent by doing dailies, which net me more than the three truckloads of runecloth, level 55 blue BoE's, tons of greens and one world drop epic would net me. But! the main thing is: Hello level 50! Hello Totem of Wrath. Hello +12% crit and hit for the party. Yay!

Next up, plaguelands quests. I am a bit fed up with this nuking. =]

Cheers, Steph.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Welcome to Stratholme!

As soon as I got my baby shaman pack to level 45, it was time to test how nuking a level 60 instance works. As the pile of glittering corpses attests, it goes quite well. I am too lazy at the moment to work out the formula to see how much the xp per kill are currently reduced due to the level difference being too great. I prefer to just wait and see how the numbers run along.

Nuking a bunch of packs in Stratholme with my my tankadin does result in a significant amount of spam on the screen, as you can see here. I am not sure yet how I will proceed once my shaman pack hits the magic level 58, but I am content to milk this at the moment. We will see.

Cheers, Steph.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Gearing up

I have spent considerable gold and time on getting some gear for my minions in the past weeks. Previously, I had done only shadoweave tailoring on my three warlocks and after being fed up with loosing 5v5 arena games due to fear bought the S2 shoulders to blow my arena points.

Now, my generic party setup has changed by shelfing Elaire and adding Stephanius, to do PvE and quest content. I have since then gotten Captn 2/2 Whitemend and 3/3 Primal Mooncloth, Alaire 2/2 Spellstrike and 3/3 Spellfire, Dlaire and Blaire 2/2 Spellstrike to keep the Frozen Shadoweave company and just this week I spent some badges on vortexes and got Blaire and Dlaire a Belt of Blasting each.

While I do spent a lot of time raiding, I do not raid with my minions or even with Captn. What I do at the top end of the line is heroic 5 man instances. The big question is now for me: how much I can follow the magic dps guidelines for raids for that?

Cheers, Steph.

More screenspace!

On request of someone who was dissatisfied with the setup picture below, here is a new one. I have in the meantime added another monitor and use two desktops and three notebooks, instead of one desktop and four notebooks now.

Cheers, Captn.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Heroic Botanica cleared!

With a very happy grin on my face I can now report that I have made some definite progress with my five-boxing: I cleared Botanica in Heroic mode with my characters Stephanius, Captn, Alaire, Blaire and Dlaire.

After clearing the Steamvaults a couple of times, I went for other instances and cleared Mechanar, Botanica and Arcatraz as well as Shattered Halls several times each in normal mode. I spent considerable time in Botanica to practice, get Scryer tokens, Sha'tar rep and the Bangle of Endless Blessings for Captn.

After responding to someone's desperate cry for a healer yesterday night, and ending up in a pug with an ill-equipped tank, I was painfully forced to acknowledge that the only thing holding my team back from doing heroics was myself. So I went for it. It took me a while and cost me half a dozen stupid wipes, but I bagged 25 badges in Botanica today.

I will defenitely now look out for the daily heroics, not just for the daily normal!

On a pure eyecandy level, I have now started to use 'Parrot' with a little modification as suggested on the forums, showing my party's damage in the HUD, like shown here. Besides neat looks, this also organizes the combat log information into groups by type and time. Thereby AoE attacks show as one big number, even combined into one number if its a seed from each warlock, like in this screenshot.

Cheers, Steph.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Back in the saddle again!

After spending almost a month criss-crossing Europe on behalf of my job and then attending a RL guild meeting, I am back home and on holiday. Today I did my first multiboxing for a dog's age and cleared the Steamvaults. This was using my tankadin Stephanius, Blaire, Dlaire, Alaire and Captn. And no, it was not heroic mode. My objective was to remind myself of what I learned before and to get back in the groove.

I am quite satisfied with the result. No useful drops, but loads of armaments, ore, herbs and a couple of shards came my way. =]

Not too shabby for my first day's worth of holiday!

Cheers, Captn.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Level 40-43 - Where to?

After getting my shamans mounted on Elekks, I went immediately to Zul'Farrak to test the water there. It being an outdoor dungeon means being able to pull mounted, yeah baby! Now, there is slight problem with Zul'Farrak, and that is the blasted shaman mobs or more specifically their tendency to instantly replace destroyed totems. This combined with the fact that they are evil hackers that made their totems stack for the whole mob rather than just their group of five is a major headache for my pally. A bunch of these healing totems being up means that all mobs are receiving healing that is close to the reflected damage of my paladin.

While I thought about using my own shamans to counter this with a /target healing totem /castsequence lightning bolt (rank1),,, macro that makes the baby shamans cast in turn, I was so annoyed with the time it took to whittle the mobs down that I decided to go elsewhere.

I did Uldaman with its very xp-lucrative quest chains, but did not really fancy doing this over and over, the xp/h from kills alone is too low.

That elswhere is the Sunken Temple. This does the job in an awesome way. The dragonkin mobs on the top floor are just shy of level 50 and yield up to 400xp per head, non-rested. I do the big circular room in one pull after mopping up the two groups that guard the entrance to it. The turn around time and xp/h rate is quite to my liking this way.

Cheers, Captn.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Level 39 - Saying goodbye to the Cathdral

It is always good to have a short term goal, for me that was level 39 requirement of the blue drops from Mr Morgaine and Mrs Whitemane. It took quite a lot of runs until I had Whitemane's Chapeau, the Triune Amulet, the Inquisitor's Shawl, the Hand of the Righteousness and the Aegis of the Scarlet Commander on all four Shamans. But, on the bright side, the levels literally just flew by. Spending an hour here and two there while not neglecting work, sleep or raids, I made very quick progress. Now however, it is time to say goodbye to the Cathedral, the xp per mob has dropped below 100. It is time to look for greener grazing grounds elsewhere.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Back from RL

After a number of weeks with barely enough time to attend my guild's raids, not to mention any solo play or multi-boxing, I am back and the thirsty period is at end!

It took me a while to get everything patched up again and make slight changes to my platform. I have added a 22" screen and another desktop. The 22" is now for my primary character, and one of the 19" screens is for the spare desktop that I now use instead of the fourth notebook.

The bigger change in comfort though is the decision to spent $50 on Multiplicity Pro from Stardock Corp. This product works similar to the free open source Synergy. It allows me now to move my mouse cursor freely over all screens and use just one mouse and one keyboard to type on all of them separately. The big advantage of Multiplicity over Synergy is that it can be used normally with WoW and does not suffer from the head spinning problem on mouse look. $50 may sound like money, but with the Euro/Dollar rate these days it is more like monopoly money. In any case, it was well spent, I am very happy with how smooth and reliable it works. Being able to use it to log into windows and copy pasting between machines is an additional bonus.

In actual multiboxing, I have focussed on pushing my shamans up some levels. At about level 23.5 I let them just sit there. Looking at the pack, I decided to use one 70 and boost four of them rather than play five. That was on Sunday. As of yesterday night, they are level 32 and enjoy chain lightning.

The way I did this was using my protection pally's reflective damage to repeatedly annihilate the Stockades, using 3-5 pulls for the whole place. Then I did Gnomeregan and finally a couple of times the Scarlet Monastery Cathedral yesterday evening after raid time. It is a bit tricky to get it right so that no XP is wasted by mobs dying too far away from the boostees and that also there is no chance that the boostees get killed by wandering mobs, weird aggro behavior or similar nuisances. Once that is sorted, I can only recommend this. While not hurrying, playing with my shamam's macros and my system in general and even looting the tons of corpses that this piles up, I easily averaged a level gained per hour spent. There is loads of room for improvement on that figure.

If I find the time, I will fraps a cathedral run swapping between the paladin and one of the boostees point of view to show how well it works. After killing the first five mobs, one pull sorts everything outside the cathedral walls. The next pull goes straight from the door to the boss and back since I leave my shamans outside. Each mob gives about 120xp, non rested.

Cheers, Captn.