Tuesday, December 23, 2008

RAF Update

So a while back I RAF-ed myself a second account, and played it a bit, then kinda let it slide as I became more comfortable with my warlock's playstyle. Recently, though, we're suffering from a severe lack of healers (who isn't, right?), and I've kinda taken up the reigns again in earnest. There's a blog called Alt Fanatic that I've been reading for a while, headed up by David Victor, another 'MMO nut living in Japan'. He keeps about eleven toons going strong, all at once, just swapping in and out for rested XP to maximize effective leveling time, and break the monotony of single class tunnel vision. With the Recruit a Friend triple XP bonus, my characters are always 'super rested' though, and it's a bit overwhelming sometimes to pop back and forth.

As of this writing, I'm riding my own accounts out as follows:

Account A (the recruited)
Ixxobelle - 80 warlock
Icsobelle - 58 DK
Ixobelle - 40 priest
Isobelle - 40 rogue
Issobelle - 26 druid

Account B (the recruiter)
Ixoubelle - 7 mage
Izobelle - 40 warrior
(the 80 lock originally came from here)

I also have access to a friend's account with a 78 ret paladin that has been powerleveling my alts on ridiculous single-pull dungeon runs. As long as the 'recruiting' and 'recruited' accounts are within 4 levels of one another, they earn 3x XP for anything. I had initially assumed this applied only to quest turn-ins, but once I realized it applied to farming mobs as well, I basically started just smashing SFK over and over. I would zone the warrior and priest into SFK, sit them down right at the entrance, and go run straight to Fenrus' room in Arugal's tower. I would kite everything all the way back to the entrance, pop ret aura, consecration, and just plow everthing down on the paly while the noobs were AFK. Arugal himself is past a gate where Fenrus resides, and every mob up until Fenrus was a good enough chunk to not bother running back after nuking everything down. Each run like this would take a little over seven minutes, at which point I'd zone everyone out, reset the instance, zone back in, and repeat the process.

I would easily ding the two alts each pull, from level 18 or so till around the late twenties where it started taking two or three runs to ding them. RFK was no go, as those mobs wear plate and have stuns and knockdowns that killed the paly. At that point I tried Scarlet Monastery's Graveyard, Armory, and Library, until I realized that dicking around in the other wings was stupid, as Cath was the easiest to pull in a clump... zone in, run straight to the Cathedral itself, open the doors, and aggro Mograine. He automatically pulls everyone in that room with him (no need to individually aggro the siderooms). Run out of the cathedral, jump down the fountain, heal heal, continue grabbing the mobs on the sides of the fountain, run them back into the first corridor and pew pew pew. Mograine would die, but wouldn't be lootable until I went back and grabbed Whitemaine (ARISE MY CHAMPION... AT YOUR SIDE M'LADY!), and killed her too at the entrance. Cath runs go 6 minutes flat, the biggest lump of dead time being drinking after each run, and eventually running into the brick wall of 'you have entered too many instances recently'.

After hitting 40 on the warrior priest combo, buying mounts for them, and training a ton of skills for the priest I have no clue how to use (I'm familiar with warriors up until 70), I shelved them and tried to think about what to do next.

Here's where it gets kinda weird... The recruited can grant levels back to the recruiter, but only one level per two gained, and only if the toon being granted to is lower than the one granting. I felt like it would be stupid to grant level 1-10, since those are so easy to get anyway, so I rolled the mage/druid combo and started trying to figure out how to plow through the first few levels. The problem here is that a level 78 paladin grants like 6 xp to level one alts (2 XP * 3 = 6), so it's actually better to level them the real way, but working together among themselves. I repeated the same process I originally started with for the warrior/priest combo... using KeyClone to replicate keystrokes across two copies of WoW. Whenever I'd cast Wrath on the druid (the "4" key), the mage activated a macro:

/assist Issobelle
/cast Firebolt

Then sometimes I'd need to pilot the mage to loot wolves for their paws, at which point pushing "5" on my keyboard on the mage's screen would cast Fireball, having the druid activate a similar macro:

/assist Ixoubelle
/cast wrath

I didn't get too in depth with the macros past that point, because two DPS classes burning mobs in tandem is usually enough to get by with. Plus they're both casters, so there's no need to worry about melee range or anything stupid. Just two 800x600 windows running side by side on my main desktop monitor. When controlling the mage, I'd spam 5; when controlling the druid, I'd spam 4.


I got to level 7 with both of them in about an hour, just putzing around the UD starting zone, and as soon as I was sent to Brill, I took the blimp to Ogr instead and tried to zone into Ragefire Chasm to begin The Big Easy with the paladin. Turns out I forgot RFC is level 8 to zone in, so I instead spammed my earned level grants to the druid (from the warrior), getting her up to 26. Now the druid is 'ready for SFK or SM', but has no one in the same level range to act as the 300% XP bonus. I could continue to powerlevel the warrior/priest, until they can grant the druid to 40, then work the rogue into the picture... but that would require moving the rogue back over to the other account... bleh, I kinda shot myself in the foot granting the druid up past the mage so quickly.

The other thing that comes into light is thinking about which classes I actually want to play. My original (now banned) account had a combat rogue, resto druid, and prot warrior. I've got DPS covered with my lock, a tank would be fun again on the warrior (although we have good tanks in the guild), and heals are needed the most... I reckon I'll continue grinding the warrior/priest combo through Maradon or whatever up until 60 when the bonus wears off, and I'll actually need to sit down and figure out how the priest actually works to level it in Outlands (another thing I'm not really looking forward to).

While I can look at a site like Alt Fanatic, and wonder how they do it, the entire process for me personally boils down to finding ways around the system. I've done it so many times now that I've refined the system down to the bare minimum required to cut the chaff and accelerate the whole process to "Zone In, Pull Cath, Kite to Entrance, AoE, Zone Out, Reset Instance, Repeat". It's kinda gross when viewed in that light, but the old continents are so devoid of anything that trying to get out of them, and go to the places where the game is actually being played becomes the top priority.

Bleh. I need a new hobby.


David said...

Thanks for the huge mention of my little blog. Perhaps someone else will take a look and double my readership overnight :)

I have to set the record straight for your readers, lest they get the wrong impression:

1. I only have 9 characters I play anymore; my first mage and warrior are retired from my pre-BC days.

2. The priest is on hiatus because he is stuck on the Dark Iron server and I'm too cheap to transfer him to an Oceanic server. So really I am at 8 characters with any level of activity at the moment. (Yes, that's still a lot)

3. Since Wrath came out, 90% of my play time had been on my druid, but now that I finally got the heirloom shoulder (10% xp bonus, shareable by all characters on account) I feel like I can get back in the swing of things with my Horde mage, paladin, hunter, and death knight. Alliance shaman, warrior, and rogue get a little less attention, but just the other day my rogue hit 71, so I play from time to time.

For me, the fun is in playing with a new class, even if the content is similar, if not exactly the same. I respec a lot and try everything out as I level. I'm not in a rush, but I try to maximize my gains. I only level on rested XP and I hardly run any dungeons. And, for wrath so far I sat on my alts pretty much until I got the heirloom shoulders.

There is so much spam in cities for people begging for runs through wailing caverns or whatever, but in the same amount of time you can gain twice as much XP or more by efficient questing or just grinding creatures. (My mage, paladin, and hunter have all leveled a couple levels as I tried AOE grinding specs.) Gear is a pretty much moot point as you level, especially with the new faster leveling curves.

Its very meditative and relaxing for me to level, I can afk any time I need to for real life duties, and also level in whatever chunk of time I have free. Of course, on some nights when I know I have a couple hours open, I'll still log onto my 80 druid and run a dungeon or two. Or three. yeah, I play too much WoW :)

Rich said...

Yeah, the ability to walk away from the screen at the drop of a hat is awesome, and was one of the big draws of Warhammer for my time with it.

1) I didn't go into Warhammer with a set of friends already established (made a few while playing though), so could bail without feeling like I was leaving someone to quest alone.

2) scenario madness meant you just logged in, queued up, and left after a BG was over

If you're into the single player element of WoW, then leveling each toon by hand is awesome. I've just done it so many times, and I personally am more interested in raiding (limited as my time is).

I also tend to get my guild invite out of the way within the first 5 levels or so, so I can listen in on guild chat or just hang out in Vent while I grind. For me, the social guild aspect of the game is one of the biggest draws (and my daily release of native spoken English), so I'm eager to get the leveling out of the way and dive into that aspect of the game sooner. If I had a good friend that was level 40 as well, it would be a different story probably.

Anonymous said...

I think you meant for Account A to the "the recruiter" and vice versa?

Rich said...

well, account A is the new one, so i didn't really have a choice. I wanted a clean account to activate wrath on (account B is still only good up to BC). I recruited account A from B, then moved the lock over. the problem with two accounts in the first place is that I have to move anything I level on B over to A at 25$ per move, so that's the price I'm paying for 300% XP. It's all rather silly.

Anonymous said...

u really need a new hobby ...

Anonymous said...

Why, whats wrong with his current hobby ?

anyway, the most effective way to use your granted levels is to get something to 31 and then zap it to 6 0 instantly. On top of that the most effective way to get to 31 is to dualbox as you have been doing.

Anonymous said...

Btw, the picture in this article is probably the scariest fucking picture i have seen on the internet since at least that guy who got burned alive, but even that wasnt as creepy.