Sunday, December 27, 2009

All About Battle.NET / RAF and Boosting.

So an anonymous user commented on my RAF post that it didn't contain enough information. I had a quick skim over what I had written and indeed it was very vague. I thought I would start a new post and put in alot more detail incase people come accross my blog via google or it is linked somewhere.

RAF or Refer-A-Friend is a Service provided by Blizzard for WoW Accounts. It allows you to refer a friend and when you are in the same party and between the levels of 1-60 you will gain 300% XP and be able to summon the referred player once per hour. You will also be able to grant levels to the person who referred you as a reward.

There are two common ways multi-boxers use RAF. They use it to level several teams up very very quickly or they use it to level one team up and then usually xfer the characters off to their main accounts. Here is an example of the two ways:

A -> B -> C -> D -> E.
This method allows you to use a Level 80 Character on Account A and 'boost' the other 4 accounts up in instances. It also allows you to summon B who then summons C who then summons D who then summons E to an instance location. Useful for boosting in places like Scholomance at 45, or Sunken Temple at 40 where your lowbies who are usually naked with no flightpaths would not survive the trip. The reason why you can use a Level 80 on Account A is because the RAF relationship between B -> C remains true even if A -> B should cancel it out.

This method is normally used where you are going to level up a team from scratch and not use a Level 80. If you attempt to use a character on Acccount A that is 4 levels higher than any of the others in the party the RAF will break in this scenario. However if you want to generate the most level 60 characters by granting levels this is one of the best ways. If your starting from scratch on a new server this is the way I would do it.

You CAN use RAF within the same B.Net Account or outside it. However on the secondary account be warned that you cannot transfer characters out of a newly created account for 30 days. This means if you have and that if you want to xfer the characters off the RAF accounts and onto say your WOTLK accounts then you will need to wait 30 days.

You can also only have EIGHT Warcraft Accounts linked to one account. Keep this in mind when doing RAF as for most people they are throw away accounts that you will never upgrade to TBC/Wrath/Catalcysm.

I used a Protection Paladin for my boosting. Here is the dungeons I ran.

1-10: Quested on 4 Slaves.
10-15 Deadmines (Alliance)/RFC(Horde)
15-22 Shadowfang Keep
22-40 Stockades(Alliance till 27)/SM Armory/Cath (Alliance/Horde)
40-45 Sunken Temple
45 -60 Scholomance

So to summarize:
8 WoW Accounts per Battle.Net Account
The positive RAF relationship will always override a condition that would otherwise break it.
30 Day Transfer between newly created Battle.Net Accounts which have the same Last Name.

Hope this helps some people out that stumble accross my blog!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Tis the Busy Season

Sorry for the lack of updates on my adventures. I've recently expanded my team a little by having the option of swapping my Warlock or Druid into the 4th and 5th slot replacing Slatzc or Slatzd if I choose too. This has been great for generating extra Emblems of Frost which I'm using to deck out my tank in the new crafted gear which is VERY expensive.

Absolutely loving Patch 3.3. The new random dungeon system is incredible. I had a few interesting bugs the first few days where I had dungeons with 1 or 3 bosses out of 5 availible but I've geared up quite a bit on my Shamans and I probably have another 70 or so badges before I'm done with Triumph PvE gear.

After reading alot of Team Skekraft's blog and decided I loved the idea of multiple Retribution Paladins. I already have a large amount of weapons and armour on my main Slatters but I really never play Retribution. I've always loved tanking and thats how I gear him. With my shamans getting very close to being as geared as they can from badges I think I will be focusing on collecting up some BoA Gear and making myself a DK + 4 Ret Team. If I decide I find 5 Paladins easier to play dropping in my main will be quite easy thanks to ISBoxer.

I've decided I'm not going to use RAF I'm simple going to stick to BoA Items. Using the DK for PvE/PvP might work out very well or it might just end up being too complex as I've never really done melee classes. At either rate I have another month or so before I get back to work so have plenty of time to experiment.

My new routine in WoW (and to-do list) should look something like this:

1x Prot Pally/4x Shamans. Do one Random Dungeon for Frost Badges.
1x Prot Pally/2x Shaman, Warlock Druid: Do one random dungeon for frost badges.
JC/Mining x 2/Alchemy/Tailor x2/Inscription - do daily/weekly x-mutes if can be bothered.
Do weekly Wintergrasp Quests on Paladin/Shaman. I love Wintergrasp!
Do weekly Karazhan Speed Clear for Mount if I can be bothered.

Focus on levelling my Ret / DK Team. Take it nice and slow and enjoy the levelling process before it all changes in Cataclysm.

This should give me plenty of options for things to do and maybe a new focus in Cataclysm. I know that my 'main' will never change - he simple has too much time/blood/sweat/tears invested into him.

So Slatsdk/Slatspa/Slatspb/Slatspc/Slatspd are born. Horrible names. Perhaps I should rethink a new naming convention?

A safe and merry Christmas to everyone.

Friday, December 4, 2009

3.3 Next Week? Here is hoping!

So all the various data mining and news sites for WoW are reporting that 3.3 is most likely next week. With no maint. window this week and the Release Build being pushed to the PTR from all the other major content patches I've experienced I'd say we are very likely.

This means a few great things for my Paladin and Shaman. Divine Guardian is changing so that with the right talents will now reduce all damage my party takes by 20% for 6 seconds as well as redirected all damage up to a total of 40% x 5 (or number of party members.)

Fire Elemental has also had its CD lowered to 10 minutes. Last I checked the PTR Glyphed this is down ot 5 minutes! Amazing for WG and Battlegrounds especially x 4. To add to the AoE explosions Fire Nova Totem has been removed and replaced with a spell called Fire Nova. This allows you to aoe out of any fire totem you have down. So technically you can cast Fire Elemental and then every 10, 6 or 3 seconds (depending on Talents and Glyphs) cast Fire Nova.

This will be amazing for AoEing down heroics and just random mobs. It also means if my Shamans pull some aggro I can reduce the damage they are taking also.

Not to mention 3 new 5 man dungeons, Ice Crown Raid, and all heroics dropping Triumph Badges.

Oh and not to mention a Guild Bank full of materials to make some serious cash the first few weeks of launch. :D

Time to farm a bunch more Abyss Crystals and stock up on Dream Shards. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Money, Money, Money & Some PTR Notes

Well as I stated in my previous post I have been in the process of putting every tradeskill bar Herbalism onto my team. I have just recently finished of Engineering and made a Jeeves repair bot. Today I got my Blacksmithing to around 425. This allows me to make alot of cheap goods that I can disenchant. It also means I can make Eternal Belt Buckles.

So since I've been stockpiling a huge amount of Saronite Ore I decided to generate some Dream Shards. I made 300 Deadly Saronite Dirks and used most of the Dream Shards to buy up every recipe on the Shard Trader for my Enchanter. I then sold a large portion of the shards which are now starting to rake me in a tidy sum of cash.

Eternal Belt Buckles are selling nicely too - but quite slowly. Lets hope that the new 5 man instances next patch drop alot of awesome new belts for people. Large Prismatic Shards are also selling excellent as I can generate these very quickly with a speed clear of Kharazan and Heroic MgT. These two are only going to get much much easier next patch as it looks like we are going to ahve the new Fire Nova spell which lets you burst out the same AoE damage as a fire Nova Totem would have done prior to the patch.

And even better, Fire Elemental Totem is getting reduced to a 10 minute cooldown and Glyphed at the moment on the PTR its 2 minutes! Going to be very crazy for BG PvP, Wintergrasp and Instance Farming!

I've decided to completly pull out of the Glyph Market. I will keep learning all of the new Glyph's that I can but I might look more into it again come the expansion. With all the other markets I am investing in on the AH Glyphs just seem like far too much work for so little profit - sure its steady and if it was the only thing you did you would get very rich over a long period of time - but at the end of the day I'd like to play the game and not just live for crafting and selling things on the AH.

Oh and to top it off, as well as acquiring Jeeves I decided to buy the Travelling Tundra Mammoth today on a spur of the moment because I couldn't find some Enchanted Vials I needed before a raid its very useful!

Just Skinning/Leatherworking Alchemy/Tailoring to go. I'm thinking I might leave Skinning/Leatherworking till last - some of the AoE changes come up will make it heaps faster and I'm in no rush.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One man army... or trade union?

So after hitting 80 I toyed around with what trade skills my shamans should have. My paladin was already a miner/JC and I had found it very profitable and of great benefit with the prismatic gems.

I had a think about it and realized I had two paths to go down:
  • Min/Max: I could take all the same tradeskills simple for their added benefits. I think at the moment the best combination would be JC/Blacksmith. This would give you 3x Prismatic Gems as well as 2 additional gem slots for epic gems.
  • Self-sufficient: Cover all tradeskills to have access to all cooldowns and special items as well as more utility.
While min/maxing would be insanely expensive if skilling up simple using the auction house, I did have access to a miner so if I wanted to farm the materials I could have. I did some calculations and worked out I would need something to the tune of 4000 thorium ore alone which sort of blew my mind.

I decided to leave it for awhile and I did a bit of PvP and Heroics. I leveled Enchanting and Inscription on Slatza - who always seems to get the best of all the drops - I figured if I ever had to just take my tank and one shaman specced Resto with me somewhere it would most likely be Slatza. After doing a whole bunch of old world instances and filling up my bags I realized that giving one of my characters Engineering would give me access to Jeeves - a 1 hour cooldown repair and reagent bot.

On another note - I had started to get into playing the auction house quite heavily, you may notice alot of my other blogs I read are about the wow economy and people blogging about hitting the gold cap. With access to every tradeskill I could easily play many markets at once and buy raw materials to convert cheaply into enchanting materials or resale.

So I worked out who was going to get what tradeskill:

Slatters - JC / Mining
Slatza - Enchanting / Inscription
Slatzb - Engineering / Blacksmith
Slatzc - Leatherworking/ Skinning
Slatzd - Tailor / Alchemy

 So far I have completed JC/Mining/Inscription/Enchanting/Engineering all to 450. My next focus is going to be to finish up Blacksmith and then probably Tailoring and Alchemy. I think I'll leave Skinning to last because its going to be the most time consuming and I have a few days off coming up soon where I can sit and AoE some low level mobs.

I'm curious as to which path other boxers take and why?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Plantronics Voyager Pro - Freedom and Peace & Quiet

So I've been using a Logitech Desktop Microphone for some time now every since my son was born. This replaced my very chunky headphones that blocked out alot of noise. While I really liked them I cant afford to miss him waking up or if my wife needs me.

I've been thinking of getting a wireless headset for sometime now and I finally started investigating this. I also was keen to find something that would cancel out surrounding noise - as much as I have gotten used to the Lion King on repeat and going to bed dreaming of Hakuna Matata - my Guild Mates might not necessarily enjoy this as well.

So after looking at the Jawbone Prime Bluetooth Headset which I saw a blue poster talk about on the WoW Forums - I found a CNET Review. They commented that they still preferred the Plantronics Voyager Pro over any other bluetooth headset out there so I checked out the video review.

I was pretty impressed by what I saw so I ordered one from AusPCMarket. It arrived today and I charged it and hooked it up to my mobile phone. I called my wife and one of the first things she asked me was where I was because it was so quiet. I told her the headset had come and she was very impressed - alot of my work colleges where talking loudly and the general buzz of the office floor is usually quite loud and she couldn't hear any of it.

So I walked down the street - and I work on a major road - usually she wouldn't be able to hear anything but loud trucks going by or trams. She once again couldn't hear a thing but my voice. I was coming through nice and clear and I could also hear her very well.

I'm looking forward to going home tonight and giving it a try with Ventrilo - but so far it charged by micro-USB (note this is slightly smaller than mini-usb which is whatt 2.5" portable hard disks use) and it comes with a power adapter and a bunch of different ear pieces. The buttons and call answering are all easy to use and so far I'm very happy with it!

I'll be sure to update my post if I have any issues with my PC using it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Changing from Keyclone to Innerspace

So after 3 missed Wintergrasps due to Keyclone simple forgetting to pass keys to my slaves I was fed up. I've loved this software for a long time - but for one reason or the other I need more out of it now. I find the PiP sluggish, its bugging out on me alot more than it ever did and it feels like updates are months and months apart.

After seeing people rave about Innerspace on the forums I decided to look into it again. I had already had a play previously but back then it was quite difficult to setup although very powerful.

I now have multiple teams setup that I can select with ease. It does everything KC did and much more. My PiP swapping is instant, setting up macros for new spells or ideas I have is incredible easy thanks to the in-game addon that pushes macros out to your characters. The GUI interface was very confusing at first but after a lot of playing I feel that I have gotten the hang of it and implementing or fixing issues I had took less and less time.

I've moved away from focus target and switched to a FTL setup. I have to say its incredible. I can play any of my characters solo or in a team. I can slot in and out different team members and my macros all build correctly and cope.

I have also built up a 'general' group of macros and binds that any team can use. Class Specific or Role Specific macros I've put into another group. This means I can say build a new team of 5 warlocks and my group setup, my big button macro, spread out, follow, assist and dps macros all work from the get go - no other setup required except for Jamba. :)

So to put my new solution to use after a day of fiddling and experimenting I decided to run Normal ToC. I've had little success with this before and this time I destroyed it. I still lost a few shamans, my DPS is simple not high enough and I'm not really stopping to heal much at all so I'm attempting to brute force my way through with 4 DPS and a tank - and its working well enough.

I'm now farming ToC reguarly for Abyss Crystals to build up a supply of enchanting materials and hoping to get a few nice upgrades in terms of PvE gear on my Shaman.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A new server and a new faction

So after having alot of my friends decide to try out Aion or simple just take a break from World Of Warcraft it was pretty clear that things where no longer going to work out all that well on the server I was on. After finding out who was still interested in playing and who was moving on, I decided it was time to find a new home.

After a bit of research on the WoW Realm Forums and some discussion in the multi-boxing community over at d-b I decided that the Guild Southern Armada and the server Caelestraez would be a good fit. The guild seemed very casual and relaxed and consisted of mature gamers. They still did 10 man and 25 man raiding but there was no pressure and after having a chat with a few people it definetly seemed like the right fit for me.

Two other boxers where also on the server - Ooga and Astrid/Simulacra. This was a huge bonus as well as playing with other boxers is always great fun, especially in PvP.

So a large amount of money later and I am now Slatters the Blood Elf Paladin, and Slatza - d Orc Shamans. I must say I have really missed horde and have loved revisting the capital citieis and the atmosphere that is the Horde faction.

To top it all off, my Nvidia GTX 280 started having pink screens upon booting which gradually got worse and worse. I ended up grabbing a Powercolor ATI Radeon 5870 which is a very impressive card and I have noticed a very large performance increase over the 280.

I steered clear of the 295 simple because its a dual-gpu solution on one card and this doesn't really give any performance boost in WoW.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Symlinks, SSD's and Windows 7

So while I had been testing out software solutions to multibox with, back on Windows Vista, I ran into a great thread on the d-b forums. The thread was talking about saving large amounts of hard drive space and making your hard drive thrash about less by using symlinks.

To do that you needed to install a product called powershell which is provided by microsoft and adds alot of features to the command prompt and lets you run scripts - similar to a unix enviroment.

One of the forums users, Chorizotarian, posted up a guide on how to get this working and true it worked great on my single 7200rpm WD hard disk - it saved me some space and made it do a lot less work.

This has come in even more handy since I moved to using Solid State Disks - as they have a much lower capacity than the huge drives we are seeing these days. I had purchased a 120GB SSD for my shiny new Windows 7 install and my other applications and a 60GB SSD just for my WoW folders.

I discovered after a little bit of searching that Windows 7 natively comes with Powershell which saved me a step or two in cloning my WoW folder. Frustratingly I discovered that a few of the steps in the thread no longer worked - Windows 7 is a bit more anal about script security.

So my main WoW folder was called WoWMain. I made a copy of this folder and called it Clone1. So now I had used 30GB of hard drive space. I then installed the 'new-wow' powershell script into my system32 directory under the windows folder and ran the command prompt and ran powershell by typing 'ps'.

To let me run the script I had to turn of some security features that required the script to be signed. The command to do this under Windows 7 is:

Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass
This command assumes you are running the command prompt as administrator which you can by right clicking the icon and choosing 'run as administrator' or you can simple disable the ever annoying User Access Control in Control Panel - which stops all those annoying popup boxes everytime you do something and most likely protects you from evil internet villians.

So now that I had turned of script protection temporarily (for this ps session only) I could run is command:

new-wow d:\Clone1 -sourcePath "D:\WoWMain
"I repeated the command for Clone2, Clone 3 and finally Clone 4. The only folders and files that are not linked to Clone 1 are the WTF/WDB folders. Even the Interface\Addons folder points to Clone1 meaning that all I have to do is manage the patches and addons for two folders and this will update everything.

Since I am a Curse Premium member I loaded up my client and asked it to manage two copies of World of Warcraft - one called Main and one called Clones. I set the game directories to respectivly match the folders above and automatically update. Now I can easily add and remove addons for either my main or my clones.

Now all I have left to do is to setup keyclone and my in-game macros and interface and I'm good to go and on my journey to 80.

Refer-A-Friend - or refer yourself

So things have changed a bit on the account front since I last multiboxed. And things have only gotten easier! For signing in I can link all my accounts with my e-mail address on and I can now use the refer-a-friend feature to give my 4 lowbies 300% xp bonus!

So I logged into my account and referred myself. I made a new account and thanks to being a customer on Shattered Crystal getting 4 new account codes and 4 new bc codes was almost instant. Sadly as now I am alliance if I want to level up shaman I will need TBC on these accounts as well.

So Main refers A refers B refers C refers D. With all my accounts upgraded and ready to go I just need to setup my WoW installation as well as my macros and keyclone.

A new journey

So after hardware multiboxing for quite some time in TBC then taking a long break and dabbling in Age of Conan and Warhammer Online, I've come full circle.

A few things have changed however, I no longer have 5 PC's and look like I could command NASA in my study. This has appeased my fiance greatly. I also dont have an insane power bill - nor require the AC on in the middle of winter as my room got so warm.

After playing around with a few different software options like Innerspace and Keyclone - I have settled on using Keyclone. The support the author gives over at has always been excellent. So before I could seriously get started I needed to make a few upgrades to my machine and ended up picking up some solid state disks and another 4GB of RAM.

This puts my system at the following specs:
Intel Q9550
Asus P5Q Motherboard
8GB OCZ Reaper DDR2 8500
Asus GTX280 1GB
120GB OCZ Summit SSD (for OS/Applications)
60GB OCZ Summit SSD (for WoW)
320G WD HDD (For Movies/Music/Photos)
Creative X-Fi Extreme Audio PCI-Ex

I am using a Dell 27" Display as my main monitor and a Dell 24" Display as my secondary. Both have a native resolution of 1920x1200.

I reformatted my PC and loaded up Windows 7 RC 7100. I am extremely impressed. It is rock solid stable - all my drivers loaded correctly. Initially I had a few crashes but I worked out that I needed to load the X-Fi drivers and not just use the default MS ones and the crashing went away.

I also discovered that my sound defaulted to 7.1 Surround Sound which made for some interesting in-game sound at first as I only have a standard 2 speaker system.

So now I had a decent system, I had my software picked out and my OS installed with all my drivers up to date - I just needed to setup and get started.