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.