Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Amava Knows Box, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my three part series on munching box. In Part 1, I covered what I think is the simplest boxing concepts that I started out with, and progressed into gradual tweaks to the level of integration and synergy between the two toons. Today's edition goes in a different direction and explores using a high level toon to boost lowbies and grind out XP.

Ok, so there was a small delay in the posting of this second article. One could blame that delay on the WotLK. Or, better yet, one could blame it on Death Knights, which have become my go-to whipping boys for anything that's wrong or inconvenient with the game, or with life in general. Or, even better still, one could blame one's self, and take personal responsibility. Pish posh. I'll blame Blizzard. I wanted to include example macros in these articles as much as I could. When patch 3.0.2 hit, they moved macros onto the server. In the process, they dropped many existing macros. My fancy boxing macros are gone :-( So, I'll apologize on behalf of Blizzard (*) for the lack of substantial macro examples in the next two articles.

  1. Part 1: Two toons, one healbot

  2. Part 2: Three toons, one lvl 70, two babies along for the XP ride

  3. Part 3: Two toons, seamlessly joined up and working together as if two humans were playing

Three toons, one lvl 70, two babies along for the XP ride

Pretty basic situation here, play your level 70, put your babies on /follow, and go to town. This is only really useful for power leveling. Doing this technique, I had babies following for 60 levels, without even allocating their talents or giving them action bars. I'd put both their mounts on one action button, /follow Amava macro on another button, and maybe drag a heal onto the action bar if they were a healing class. Obviously, the toons weren't in very playable shape during this process, but whatever, they were only grinding XP not actually playing.

As the dungeons got tougher, I added in some macros to easily buff my pet, since she was tanking lots and lots of mobs. BRD has some 7-pulls that were dicey at times because lowbies pull aggro by simply showing up in the room, and a Mark of the Wild, Thorns, and Blessing of Might thrown on Condoleezza (and then Bubbles after the patch) made a nice little boost to her ability to hold aggro and consequently, allow me to burn them down fast enough for her to survive the pull.

I've done this on one computer/one monitor, two computers/two monitors, and two computers/three monitors.

Playing three WoW's on a single 24 inch monitor was kinda brutal. Using keyclone's maximizer, I setup Amava's window to be most of the viewable screen, and each baby would have her own small window along the right hand side of the screen. Eye strain was bad. However, my little mule of a PC easily handled all three versions fully maxed out on visual and sfx settings.

So, then I put the two babies on the laptop, next to the main computer.

Much easier on the eyes, and a little simpler, since I didn't use any keyclone on the main computer at all. Keyclone was used on the laptop to allow for single button /follow or mounting for both babies.

On the laptop, I use keyclone, but I don't use the maximizer feature for this, I simply start up WOW and allow keyclone to recognize the program name (wow.exe) and spray key presses out to both wow's.

For true fun, and nerdy paradise, I also rigged up another monitor to the laptop. Windows Vista easily allows you to expand your desktop to span across both monitors, so I'd fire up one WoW in windowed mode, drag it to the other monitor, and then fire up the second WoW and leave it in place on the laptop's native display.

Having all three large screen monitors next to eachother, each with its own toon running is quite a sight to behold. Especially when one of the toons shows up naked for no reason.

Standard disclaimer applies: those baby toons were useless other than for following and leeching up all available XP. Most of the talent points and class training was totally ignored up until level 50 or so, unless there was a specific spell I was going for (rez, ftw). Managing quests was a little bit of a pain in that I'd have to use the baby toons for looting quest items. I only did that during some of the dungeon runs, but generally just got the 300% XP from the RAF bonus, rather than doing too much questing.

Note about following

Picture this. A level 70 with two level 30's following. Mounted.

Unless you want to leave the babies far behind in the dust, you better remember to mount up on your non-epic land mount, which prior to patch 3.0.2, you had to search your bank bags unti you actually found your non-epic mount.

And, make sure you don't install your Riding Crop, which Outfitter is setup to do automatically.

I didn't want to fiddle with Outfitter, since I wanted to ensure my Riding Crop was properly equipped while I was playing without the babies. However, it became royally tedious to remember to unequip the damn crop every time I mounted, so I wrote a macro to make the process easier. Hit it once to mount up (at which point Outfitter will automatically don the crop), and once mounted, hit it again to equip the Bloodlust Brooch which will doff the crop and allow you to run with your babies.

If you find yourself slowly pulling away from your babies while traveling mounted, first check your trinkets to be sure you don't accidentally have a crop or a carrot equipped, and then if you're still pulling away, check your talents. You might have a talent that gives a slight boost to mounted travel speed. Pain in the tush to keep stopping every 30 yards or so to let the babies catch up.

That wraps up Part 2 of the series.

In the next installment, I'll go back to the world of playing two toons, of equal level, but instead of pure healbot, the secondary toon gets much more fully integrated into the action.

(*) Editor's Note: The author of this blog has no authority what-so-ever to make any statements on behalf of Blizzard, or any corporation for that matter. If you've got time to kill, go scour Blizzard's various websited to read for yourself about their official policy regarding Amava's qualifications to make statements on their behalf. Let me know if you find anything.

No comments: