Five WoW accounts, one keyboard broadcaster and me.

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!".