Sunday, 16 March 2014

Multiboxing in World of Warcraft

I am writing a multiboxer, if you are interested, read the posts from all this week.

Donate using the PayPal links for exclusive early access, and discounts on the final software!

The project has tonight reaches a new level of performance and stability, literally rolling my four level 1 mages around with the paladin they've been stable in movement in and out of Stormwind and through Goldshire, they've taken on (and won) at level 1 level 9 mobs (the highest available) and have even started to make levels - even without being in a group - I can let the mages pull and they seem to take it in turns being the one to either hit first or get the first key stroke.

If I had full accounts I could of course just group them and everyone would share the rained down XP, and believe me it does rain down on you... playing solo you get about 120XP a mob when you start, so share that between 5 and you're getting only about 20-30XP... BUT... You kill 5-6x more mobs!

So what has this all got to do with multiboxing in general?  Well, multboxing in WoW is nothing new to me, I did it originally with a C# written key sender, but it was very primitive in comparison with this sender, and it was during the good old Vanilla days, so there were fewer group combinations you could use it for.

Now, I first became aware of multiboxing in 2004 when Southshore/Tarenmill world PVP was the only PVP, and this was on Thunderhorn EU server, which is a PVE server... Some knuckle head actually attacked southshore... and in Ironforge the commons between the bank and AH suddenly became a wash of people screaming to head North and defend the borders.  So it was about 65 various level (and PVP disabled) Alliance rattled into Southshore to see what was going on.  What met us was a level 60 undead warlock with four identically geared level 60 undead mages, and they moved in one fluid motion and owned any lone alliance who went PVP enabled to take them on.

They moved together, right with one another, they were the first Multibox I ever saw, and they started the first ever World PVP I saw, as more and more alliances then whole allliance level 60 groups came up and went PVP active and the war flowed.  The multiboxer disappeared soon, but I'd seen him and saw the power.

WSG was the first major location I saw PVP multiboxing take off, but vanilla PVP queues were hugely long on Thunderhorn, and the realm was PVE.  And I had a good guild around me working tier 0/1 gear, so just enjoyed the game.

Later when the guild had gone, when the groups became shit and when Burning Crusade gave us new instances, then my mind cast back to Multiboxing, and I wanted to do it to cover all the PVE content I'd no longer get to play because BC had totally devalued it.  I never ever got to play Nax properly... So I set about writing a key sending program in C# to run my own small group of level 70's through the content, I figured I could... Sure enough I could use my hunter, and a second account with a priest to run most of the content.

But I lost interest in the game and as wrath came along I just PVP'd more and more so lapsed the account and multiboxer.

It was only this year I realised I'd missed out on a big band wagon, I realised people were selling their Multiboxing set up, and that new rigs (PC's) could run multiple copies of the WoW client, so I could run group raids on my own single machine?... And then multiple groups of clients over the LAN!... WOW for WoW!

This project was then born, it soon was up to the old level, but its now oh so much more.  So much smoother, and with so much potential.  I've looked at, but not bought other multiboxers out there, because... Well I don't trust them, a multiboxer suite basically monitors your key strokes and transmits them around, what's to stop that strange multiboxer from transmitting my username and password as I type it in?.. NOTHING... Plus I'm a software engineer, why buy when I can write.

Features complete:
  • Launch multiple local clients
  • Use/save window positions for clients
  • Automatic login to accounts
  • Launch different games (WOW & RoM so far)
  • Configure source (input) keys to map to different receiving (output) key
  • Network (WAN & LAN) transmit of key strokes on a 1-to-1 pattern (1-to-many to come)
  • IPv4 & IPv6 suppport
  • Monitor mode to help configure the system
Development Items:
  • Transmit strings of commands/keys on a single key press
  • Manual select of target window preference (so you can set a specific client you opened to pull for instance - "CTRL+1" the next pull shot (action bar #1) will go to client 1 so that client gets the aggro)
  • ALT transmit - stops mapping keys and just sends the raw key strokes
  • Mouse click on screen location, you click on main client or one subclient and all the other clients do the same - allows you to talk to a quest giver and then accept the quest, or on your main get a quest and "share" it with your group and they can all accept it from your single mouse click
  • Select a certain character after logon - based on profile settings, e.g. Client 1 opens 3rd character down, Client 2 opens 1st... etc.  But this is an optional item, I think its too close to a bot feature, so the player may have to just select each too
  • DPS client switch - You can set in the profile which clients are DPS clients and so you use one set of key mappings for them
  • Healing Client Switch - You can set in the profile which clients are healers and so you use a different set of key mappings for them
  • Dynamic switch between key mapping sets as you use toggling keys - e.g. Hold CTRL - to switch between them
 Game Macro's
In Wow the key to getting the multiboxer to work is to use the macro command to call a single key on the receiving end, but that one key do multiple things, step up the Macro.

A feature built into the game, the two main macro's I'm using at the moment are:

/target <main toon name>

/target <main tool name>

With these to simple macros my gang can follow me, and then target my target, this is fine for nukers.... If one of my followers were a healer, I could make them /target <main toon> /heal...

And for a round robing "top up" I could have a macro to target each player in the group in turn and cast a top up heal... The Wow forums explain Macro's better than I can, but you get the idea I hope.

Planned Beta Release
The closed alpha is well advanced, the closed beta is therefore slated (very roughly) for the 21st March 2014.  If you want to get into the Beta now's the time to send a donation!

Send your donation, with a valid e-mail address and I'll be able to send you details of how to sign up.

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