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.

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