Posted by: Kro | July 30, 2010

Gearing down for Cataclysm

I just cancelled my auxiliary account for WoW. With that in mind I thought I’d go over some of the benefits to having a second account now that they are painted in sharper relief for me.

Dual boxing is something I’ve quite enjoyed over the last two years. It all started with Recruit-a-Friend bonuses and then followed into maintenance and convenience.

My first dabble was a mage/paladin leveling combo. At the time I was considering playing main paladin after several years as a druid in vanilla and shaman in BC. It didn’t end up that way after I created my first DK but in the end I was a paladin healing main from ToGC onward. To complement my paladin I thought a mage would do the best.

I didn’t want to get to deep into dual boxing. I chose not to get or use software to control multi actions or anything that fancy. The biggest technical thing I used was two monitors. (Dual monitors are essential for anything for me now. If you’ve ever gone double down on monitors then it’s hard to ever go back.) It was a bit of an easy transition just having a windowed/maximized wow screen on each monitor.

Housekeeping items to make things a bit smoother included a “/follow kro” macro on all my toons hotkeyed. This makes it so any time I am on both accounts and in proximity with both characters I can just tap this on whatever character I’m currently on and switch to the other screen and scoot off to wherever I’m going.

I also stick mostly to channeled spells or AoE ground effects. Being able to swap from paladin consecrate / blizzard / consecrate /blizzard meant that I could grab a huge pack of mobs and take care other random spells in the other 6.5 seconds before I had to swap back. I could consecrate, then toss a heal or two, change my aura, bop my mage, or any number of things and still get back in time to refresh blizzard without clipping.

Sometimes this would get boring so I would use one toon with the other mounted/following.

You’ll want to have free for all loot on always and choose one character to be the mule. Collect all items on the character you consider master (for me paladin) and then dump all vendorables onto your mule character (mage) when you start getting full. This is nice for staying out to grind a bit longer before you need to hit a town to unload your phat grey items. I’d suggest doing mob dropped quest items on one toon at a time and just play your mule as primary once your true primary has all the rewards. I skipped a lot of these quests as well just to avoid the situation altogether.

Once you are max level there is still plenty of reason to keep your second account. I decided to keep my second account initially for the mage portals. I can’t praise enough the benefits of having a mage on your second account that will send you off on your way to any city with food/drink if you want it. (No tips required either, unless you have multiple personality disorder).

After the RAF bonuses dry up either because you hit 60 or you ran out of time it may be a pain to level up your mule. Still worth it though to get your mage up to 74 so you can create Dalaran portals. For this I decided I couldn’t stand to level again so I transferred my 71 druid (my enchanter) to my 2nd account.

This transfer did a few things. It allowed me to bring over some Bind on Account items including 10% experience armor, (did this before the 2nd item came out) and Northrend flying at level 70. I couldn’t purchase them with the druid but I did grab them on my (at the time) 80 DK and Paladin. These two upgrades are pretty much essential for me to even want to level. I used these upgrades to get my druid and mage to 80 (eventually) and benefited from their chanting/porting skills.

My last benefit I want to talk about is a bit specific and may not apply to most people. This is dual boxing Molten Core for old world legendaries. I’ve dual boxed MC as both DK/balance druid and as Paladin/Mage

The dual boxing isn’t necessary because you can solo most of the instance with the two tanking classes (generally as dps spec with a few tanking pieces or maybe just frost presence/seal of light now and then to get topped off). I solo’d Thunderfury on my DK in Ulduar gear but I didn’t even bother trying the rest of the instance because I didn’t think I could do Gehennas (that the name of the healing curse one?) or Rag. The real magic of dual boxing with these classes is decursing. There are a few 5 minute curses that make some fights very difficult or very annoying. Just getting rid of these will increase your “solo” clears by 10 minutes or more.

I’m justifying the loss of my decurse/ extra damage buddy in my dual box MC clears because I’m comfortable as ret through most of MC solo and I can just bubble off the curses. I’m no longer running two MC runs a week because my DK already has Thunderfury and with Shadowmourne just around the corner (7 shards to go) I’m more interested in Hand o Rag on my Paladin. It will be nice to retire Krodiak on his ZG Raptor with Hand o Rag as a dwarf in a quiet corner of Ironforge for the rest of his dwarf days. Yes of course I’m making a Duthan clone by design, not happenstance! Who else would I want to be… Tweezy? (Just kidding tweez you are a great dwarf role model too however you didn’t have the raptor mount or Hand o Rag did ya?)

With that all said I also used RAF in a slightly different way my second time around. There was a deal on Christmas Eve last year to grab a wow account for 5 bucks. The other nice perk to RAF is when you buy the account you get a free month to play, then when you pay for your first month on the new account, your main account is credited with a free month. Essentially this means your first two months are free so you don’t need to spend too much time on this side project all at once.

I used this RAF session similar to my first go around in that I did it to continue a healer main trend. At the end of BC it was to have a Paladin healer for Wotlk and towards the middle/end of Wrath it was to level a Priest for Cataclysm main healing. The similarity stops there because this time I had 3 accounts! I planned my accounts ahead of time to have my priest on my main account, and my RAF 3rd account had a hunter. (Hunter just because I didn’t have a hunter) My mage on my mule account remained free to clear/reset/repeat all the lower end dungeons. This was especially amazing for stockades where my mage (in a funky fire – blazing speed spec [perma sprint]) could pull the entire stockades and aoe them down at the door where my priest/hunter were chilling and they would jump up 2-3 levels a clear. When my hunter hit 60 I used the free level granting to ding my 20 something Warlock up to 46ish to become my lowest level class. I then cancelled my hunters account and for 5 bucks had a 60 priest in a couple hours of work. The rest of the level grind was not quite so fast but it was nice to skip the early stuff since I had done it 7 times before.

I could probably have left a lot of backstory out of this post and just bullet pointed the benefits but then it wouldn’t have been as much fun to write.

I thought perhaps that making this post would persuade me to reactivate my second account. StarCraft 2 being released this week (OMG Campaign is so much fun but I can’t wait to finish and move back to multiplayer) and CoD:MW2 taking up a lot of my time these days in the calm before the Cataclysm has left me feeling like two accounts is a bit of a waste. My only remaining WoW goals before Cataclysm are to finish off my two legendaries which I can accomplish without my 2nd account. I feel I’m in decent shape to say goodbye to my druid and mage for awhile. I’ll have to remember to log them out someplace peaceful though, just in case I never reactivate them.

Goodbye Krolore and Kroast! Thanks for the memories.

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