Tobold's Blog
Monday, May 17, 2010
Dual-boxing part II

My World of Warcraft dual-boxing experiment reached phase 2. In phase 1 I set up a refer-a-friend account, created a rogue on it, and leveled him together with a level 1 warrior bank alt from my original account to level 29. In phase 2 I'm getting to the real purpose of it all, grouping the rogue with level 29 druid I had on the old account, to level that druid faster.

On the technical side I have advanced a bit as well: I bought Keyclone for $20, so now when I press a key on my keyboard, the command goes to BOTH windows of World of Warcraft. That was still a bit fiddly while I was using the warrior / rogue combo, because it is tricky to get both characters in melee range. But with some practice I even managed to get the reliably lined up so that the warrior was tanking from the front, while the rogue was backstabbing from behind. Now that I'm on rogue / druid, it is the rogue who is doing the tanking, while the druid is in the back, healing and casting damage spells. That is a lot easier to control, I just had to write a bunch of macros with all the spells, either targeting my rogue or his target first.

With both of these setups it turns out that the damage output of the second character isn't great, less than half of what the main character dishes out. So I'm happy that I'm past the warrior / rogue combo, because there the second character really didn't add all that much. The rogue / druid combo is a lot more interesting, because the rogue is by itself quite good at dealing damage, and with a dedicated healer as backup is nearly impossible to kill. The druid buffs don't hurt either. In principle I could even stealth both characters, the druid in cat form, but in practice I just don't bother and rather fight my way through the mobs for the xp.

So how much faster is leveling at triple xp? The obvious answer, "three times as fast", is wrong. The triple xp is not cumulative with rest xp, so for killing mobs you get triple xp instead of double xp, only 50% more. But the triple xp bonus also counts for quest xp, and doesn't run out until level 60. So overall I'd say I'm leveling at about twice the usual speed. Which is still rather fast: When my rogue got to level 29 and switched teams he had less than 1 day of /played time, thus less than 1 hour per level.

Teamed up with my druid a new problem turned up: The druid is wearing heirloom chest and shoulders for 20% xp bonus, and it turns out that this *is* cumulative with the triple xp, so he is at 360% of normal xp, while the rogue is at 300%, and is slowly falling behind. I'm solving that problem by occasionally accepting "collect ten foozle ears" quests, and only doing the quest with the rogue. Normally collect quests aren't good for dual-boxing, because you'll need to kill twice as many mobs to get the parts for both characters and looting with the second character is slow. So I'm mostly doing kill quests, and only do the occasional collect quest with the rogue for him to keep up with the druid's heirloom xp bonus.

Getting to level 60 before the summer holidays should be no problem at this speed. I'm just not totally sure what to do then. Even without triple xp, a rogue with a druid healing him is obviously superior to just a rogue. So I might keep the team together beyond level 60, at least until level 65, which is currently the level needed to learn crafting skills to the maximum. Alts with maxed out tradeskills are nice to have. But then of course if I want to keep the rogue, I'll need to pay for a transfer from the second account to the main one. Well, I'll see how it goes and whether I like him so much that I'm willing to pay to keep him.
I'm fairly sure the bonus experience is additive so you are getting 320%, not 360% experience.
As I got xp point display on in the chat window, with two characters in a group killing the same mob, I'm fairly sure it's 360%. Or rather, if my rogue gets 300 xp for a kill, my druid gets 360 xp.
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Have you considered that since you have to do some soloing with the rogue to catch up, it might be more efficient to stop using the heirlooms altogether? I mean, the rogue kinda "drags down" the druid to his own speed.
A question concerning your earlier statement about 'Last Chance To See' the old world of Azeroth: how does this speed levelling relate to that?

Especially when you are 'forced' to faster levelling speed exactly in the area which IS the old Azeroth, this seems very much contradictory to that aim...

C out
One method is to level up three toons, switching your main account toons to keep them all within three levels of each other. You can also use the "twink" feature of disabling XP gain for 10g to still let one toon get the RAF bonus', without having the other toon outlevel the other one. I would level my main account to 3 level past the RAF account, then switch to my other toon on the main account. Then grant levels to within 3 levels of the RAF, then commence dungeon grinding again. Worked for me, and ended up with 3 level 60 toons with just over 2 days played time.
Why you would buy a 20$ software to do what AutoHotKey does for free boggles me...
Why you would buy a 20$ software to do what AutoHotKey does for free boggles me...

Because one of my readers, who is far more of a multi-boxing expert than I am, mailed me a list of helpful advice, which included avoiding AutoHotKey because it was so difficult to set up, and recommended Keyclone instead. YMMV
20% XP comes from 2 heirloom items. Could you share the items between the rogue and druid? I doubt the rogue would be slowed much by wearing spell leather if that is what would hhappen.
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@Vyaaren: the rogue is on his second account, which is used only for that character, and heirlooms are bound to account.

Tobold, I'm levelling a character with a friend using the RAF bonus xp, and my character has heirlooms while his does not - also rogue/druid combination.

I've come to the conclusion that we decide when it's time to move to the next zone based on my friend's character's level, and ignore the extra xp I'm getting on my druid.

Essentially the heirlooms provide stat bonuses to me, but the extra levels will make it easier to do some of the more difficult quests.

It's not like you're slowed down particularly by going at the speed of the second character without heirlooms - you're still a hell of a lot faster than normal with the RAF 300%.
I'm not sure if you are aware of this little trick Tobold, but it helps to have your 'Interact With Target' ability bound to the same key on both toons. Go to Key Bindings and scroll down to Targeting Functions, you'll find it in there.

What this does with a melee slave is essential force it to start hitting the target, even if it has it's back to the target your master is hitting.

If you are using the addon Jamba, this trick comes in so handy getting both toons talking to quest givers and flight masters at the same time.
If you are serious about multiboxing and not just usinng it to push through old content then you should look at pwnboxer. It is a full software package that does what keyclone does and more. Also for getting 2 melee toons in place turn on click to move in your mouse settings and then go into keybinding under the targeting header and bind "interact with target" to a keystroke. Trust me makes life a lot easier.

If you do pick up pwnboxer let em know illtree sent ya
One big word of advice, Tobold. Get your main account character to level 59.9. Then let your RAF character ding 60 and grant a free level to your main at 59.9. Voila, you have a level 60.9 main character 5 outland kills from 61.
@Vredesbyrd. Take the point about heirlooms being bound on account. Rats, was hoping for a simple solution!
If you are willing to spend money on "fixing" the heirloom problem, take one of the toons from your main account, get rogue heirlooms (or whatever your second account is), and pay to transfer the toon to your other account.

Drawbacks: it costs money. You need to make a new toon and level it to 10 before it can transfer, or transfer an existing toon of level 10 or more that you will either lose or have to transfer back if you ever give up on having two accounts.

Advantages: your seconds toon will level faster. You can claim to be a hardcore multiboxer :-)
You're still going at 3x speed without the double rested XP (you're characters are building 2.5 levels of rested xp :) )

Unless you really love doing quests, I'd log onto your wife's toon (if she has a high level on that server) and just hang out in instances.

30-40 SM
40-50 ZF
50-60 Scholo

Can be slightly boring, but a few hours in one of those instances at the levels listed and you'll speed up your leveling.
n1ck is almost right about the instances.

For the fastest leveling with RAF the path goes like this.

1-15 quest
15-20 Stocks
20-45 SM (12 min run resets)
45-55 Strat dead (gate to mailboxes)
55-60 Ramparts

1-8 Quest
8-20 RFC
20-60 same as ally.

with a feral druid or a pally its quite simple to get from 15-60 in about 8 hours of work.
Is it just me or did I understand that your collection quests are still done with the druid tagging along and getting kill XP but your rogue is the only one accepting the collect quest.
Is it just me or did I understand that your collection quests are still done with the druid tagging along and getting kill XP but your rogue is the only one accepting the collect quest.

That's right. Thus the druid gets 360% of kill xp, while the rogue gets 300% of kill xp plus the quest xp to catch up with the druid.

Unless you really love doing quests, I'd log onto your wife's toon (if she has a high level on that server) and just hang out in instances.

I do that from time to time, with my wife running my duo through a dungeon, but mostly for the gear. Running the same dungeon ten times in a row is a bit too boring for me. And I still want to see a bit of Old Azeroth before it goes boom.
Didn't read all the comments so someone may have mentioned this already, but there's no need to purposely try to keep your druid from getting too far ahead. When you're druid reaches 4 levels ahead, it will stop getting the triple XP, but the rogue will continue getting triple (as long as the mobs you're killing are "green" to the druid). Thus you're rogue will hover at roughly 3.1 levels behind your druid.
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