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Author Topic: 3 boxing need assistance  (Read 11105 times)

Offline Mardag

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3 boxing need assistance
« on: June 26, 2010, 11:32:13 pm »
I am in the process of installing EQ on a second computer so I can play Necro and Druid on that one and Beastlord on my primary PC.  Is there an easier way other then alt/tab to go back and forth between the two characters as this would serious nerf my dps and healing?  Is there a way to just split screen them so I can just move my mouse back and forth between the instances?  I have a 19" monitor but I can get a 24" from Bestbuy for 240 bucks so if it's possible to split screen them I can have 12" of space on each one that way.  My computer desk isn't big enough for a 3rd monitor nor is the computer powerful enough to support two.  The second PC has 1GB of RAM running XP while my main box has 6GB of RAM running Win7 64bit.  I have more memory for the second computer somewhere in my room which should get it to 2GB.

Offline Blarp

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Re: 3 boxing need assistance
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2010, 12:00:31 am »
i run Bst ( my main) ench and shammy as box's

 i run all 3 on 1 screen on 1 pc. i alt tab but i been doing it for years so its  just like breathing to me.

Offline Mardag

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Re: 3 boxing need assistance
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2010, 12:12:42 am »
Are they full screen or window mode?  Are they side by side if in window?  Goal is to get beastlord to tank and dps, druid to heal, damage shield, atk debuff and wave and necro to send pet and dot.  I would rather not sacrifice my necro dps or my druid wave and ds dps in order to keep healing up.

I got the 2 computers setup now, will add more memory to 2nd comp once eq finished updating, and looking for a way to split screen somehow if its possible.  If it isn't I can alt tab and just use merc cleric till I get hang of it.

Offline Khauruk

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Re: 3 boxing need assistance
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2010, 01:07:45 am »
You can do windows that don't fill the screen readily, and I believe w/ WinEQ or ISBoxer you can alter the resolution more than from w/in the game.  Just running EQ you won't be able to get it to work how you're looking though.  When I was boxing on one comp, I had partial windows that were overlapping.  Main one had target stuff/group/spellcasting box/spellbars on the left side, and 2ndary one had all that stuff on the right side, so I had a bit more situational awareness.  It also works well then for people who are mouse-happy (I use keyboard for almost everything).

Another option is a Nostromo N52 or similar gamepad - they make things more useful.  Also there's a feature in ISBoxer I believe that will pass commands to another program...i.e. hit ctrl-alt-1 to assist and cast spell gem one on the background window, rahter than alt-tabbing over to do it.  I'm sure macroquest has this ability for free, but with more stigma and more userability required afaiu.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!  Tank mercs are getting better soon, so they might be best option for tanking, and I can't understate the beauty of cleric mercs for lazy boxing :)
TURNCOAT!!!!!

Offline Inphared

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Re: 3 boxing need assistance
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2010, 05:56:56 am »
This is obviously probably more info than you're looking for, but for a long time I've seen a lot of info going around about "how to box" and "what's the best way to do it" and all sorts of questions like that, and while I've never responded to these posts, I've always found myself to be a very avid boxer (if I'm online, I'm never playing JUST one character), and often times if I do anything, it is with more than one extension of me participating.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEIUaUEP4EI - Example video.

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of how I like to play EverQuest, let's go over the software+hardware that I'm using.

Hardware:

Two Computers - neither are particularly beefy. The most important thing is having enough RAM to support the EQ sessions that you want to play. For boxing, I would highly suggest a minimum of 4gigs of RAM in each computer, if not more. I personally am running 6gig and 4gig.

Monitors - Left is 25.5 (native reso 1900x1200) inches, right is 22 (native reso 1600x1050). Resolutions for each instance of EQ (both left and right) are 1280x1024. The smaller resolution is important, because it allows you to spread your boxes across your screen, so they're not ENTIRELY overlapping, but you have some visual sanity as to where they are placed so that you can immediately look in that direction when you need to, and know that it will be there.

And, of course - Speakers.

Software:

Operating Systems - Vista64 (Left), XP32 (Right) - this isn't as important as people make it out to be. As long as you have appropriate hardware, your OS will not significantly impact your gameplay.

EQ User Interfaces - Find one you like, and then make it EXACTLY THE SAME for every character. Zero deviation. The only things that should be different are the hotkeys, which you should have MEMORIZED for every character. I know that if I tab to my tank and push 2, it will activate Bazu Bluster, and then if I tab immediately to my healer and push 3, it will activate her epic.

WinEQ - I use this. Religiously. I realize that some people have conflicting views about the origins and/or uses of this program. I use this program to change how EverQuest interacts with my PCs hardware and Software, and NOT to alter my gameplay. It changes how EQ interacts with my processor, and lets me use custom resolutions (not shown), FPS limiters (not visible), and many other things that do not directly impact how the game of EverQuest is played.

Now, let's get to work:

Muscle Memory

One of the more critical parts of learning how to box efficiently is learning how to let things become habitual. The very first thing you should learn is that you cannot get confused when you're looking for your tank/healer/whatever in the alt-tab menu. The remedy to this is to load up your characters in the same order, the same way, every time. Put your main character as your first box - you know how to play it, you know what buttons are where, you already HAVE the muscle memory for what to do with that character. Keep it there. He's #1.

Then you have to teach yourself about where you place everybody else, and thus prioritize how to tab to them.

Tabbing

Obviously the first thing that jumps out at anybody multiboxing is that you have to access all of your characters within reasonable time. You cannot expect your tank to live taking 10k hits from a named if you do not move to your healer quickly enough to heal, right? This is where the shining jewel of WinEQ comes into play - Global Activation Hotkeys.

In my video, you can see that when I switch to a box, it pops up immediately - it's because I know exactly what I'm looking for, and I've used a custom hotkey from WinEQ to let me go there at the push of a button (my personal hotkeys are ALT+1, 2, or 3). I push that combination of buttons, and that window is in my face and active. THAT is what's important. I know that when an egg spawns (ex: video, 2min47sec), my audio trigger will fire, and I need to start killing that egg and immediately get back to crowd control before something bad happens. In combination with muscle memory and tabbing, you learn to know WHERE your characters are on your screen, as opposed to where they are in some alt-tab menu. My personal preference is as follows:


Computer 1                Computer 2
Main---ALT+1---Support/DPS
Tank---ALT+2---Healer
Support/DS---ALT+3---Support

This allows me to react to what happens (tank takes a bad round, HEAL IMMEDIATELY) with a very reasonable amount of reaction time, and still be able to function on anything else that I should be doing at the time. This is the hardest part, is teaching yourself where everything goes, and wiring it into your brain so that you don't mess up.

I still do mess up. All the time. I'll go to pull something and forget that I have to heal. It happens. The point is to bring those types of incidents down to a minimum.

Functioning

Once you're up and running, the first thing that you will learn about multiboxing is that movement and execution are going to be your biggest obstacles. Autofollow is worthless, and if you're going to be doing ANYTHING, you will have to move your characters appropriately to do these things. This mostly pertains to melee characters, but even something as simple as running through Brell's Rest is more difficult than you want it to be. Movement should be controlled with one hand. If you're right handed, use your left hand for movement. Bind Forward/Backward/Left/Right to something like WSAD (SZXC is also an option) - keep that separated with one hand.

The reason for binding movement with your left hand is that you also activate all of your important abilities with your left hand. For a warrior, your agro abilities should be on hotkeys 1, 2, and 3. For a beastlord, Harrow/Feral Swipe/Assist should be 1, 2, and 3. Clerics - Arb, Epic, Burst of Life - any class defining REPETETIVE ability should be on those easy-access hotspots. This is so that you do not hinder yourself while moving around, and do not spend time searching your hotbars for that ability that you're supposed to be hitting.

So now you've covered movement and basic class abilities with your left hand. Obviously you have two hands, so you need to cover something more important with the right. That would be spellcasting.

Very few people I know use the number pad, and it's effectively an "unexplored region" of the keyboard. I use it for spellcasting. Keys 1 through 0 are all spells, and I'll leave it up to you to determine where you want to put spells 11 and 12 (although my recommendation is that you make them low-priority spells like buffs or evacs). That alone will keep your right hand busy, and again will not hinder your movement from your left hand.

The objective here is to be anti-mouse. If you're a very big mouse user, this will not work well for you and will be a hard habit to break. The reasoning behind this is because your mouse has a set location on your screen, and so do your EQ boxes. If you click a hotkey on your far left box, and then tab to another and want to click a key there, that's more movement that you have to do with your mouse, and thus time wasted. when in theory you're supposed to be reacting just like a real player would. A keyboard has no set place. It is already plugged in to every aspect of your UI that you could need. There is immediate reaction time, and you don't have to search for anything to click it. Muscle memory. Use it. :-)

******************


That's basically the very big meat and potatoes of everything I've accumulated over the years. Muscle memory helps a lot, and generally knowing more about the game gives you a big advantage. Personally, if I were you, I wouldn't use two computers. If you're just going to be 3boxing, it's much easier not to have to deal with the second keyboard. The reason you make all of your UIs/hotkey shortcuts the same is to eliminate the need to furiously move your hands in order to accomplish what you're doing. Upgrade your current computer to something that you feel is reasonable, and go with that. Another thing to keep in mind is that settings do not have to be displayed at maximum. Use stick figures if you want - that's a GREAT way to cut down on memory.

I've succesfully written a short novel on how I play EverQuest. I'm sorry if I've hijacked your thread, and again, this is probably more information than you were looking for (maybe this can be made into a new post idk), but if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 08:02:05 am by Inphared »

Offline Blarp

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Re: 3 boxing need assistance
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2010, 06:07:21 am »
Kick ass set up. i like mine as is my Pc can  handle eqX6 accunts up. lol i only use a few at  a time load up  more if needed when i PL friends.


Offline Old Keg

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Re: 3 boxing need assistance
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2010, 10:41:02 pm »
The objective here is to be anti-mouse. If you're a very big mouse user, this will not work well for you and will be a hard habit to break. The reasoning behind this is because your mouse has a set location on your screen, and so do your EQ boxes. If you click a hotkey on your far left box, and then tab to another and want to click a key there, that's more movement that you have to do with your mouse, and thus time wasted. when in theory you're supposed to be reacting just like a real player would. A keyboard has no set place. It is already plugged in to every aspect of your UI that you could need. There is immediate reaction time, and you don't have to search for anything to click it. Muscle memory. Use it. smiley

When I start two boxing, my plan will be to run each instance windowed, with a vertical button layout.  Have the buttons on the right side of the screen on my left monitor, and on the left for my right monitor, so everything is close for easier mouse navigation. 

Either that, or have one character with all the hotkeys on odd pages, and the 2nd charcter with even pages.  And just use the relevant shift-#.

I suppose if I get serious, I might get one of those keyboards with F13-F24, and just map stuff there for further accessibility.

Offline Blarp

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Re: 3 boxing need assistance
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2010, 11:06:32 pm »
sounds way to much work alt tab works so much better for me.

Offline bobokatt1970

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Re: 3 boxing need assistance
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2010, 09:23:37 pm »
Aye I run 3 chars... my necro is on my second computer by itself.  I use a Belkin Nostromo gamepad.  I created a macro for it that essentially spams dots from my necro.. and FD's every so often and then keeps going. One KEY, that's it.  Thus the second comp is pretty self sufficient. However if things go freaking bad, it's a pain to break the macro etc.  On my main system I run my BST that tanks and is the main and then a second account which is my chanter... I play windowed mode expanded to cover everything but the task bar.  I alt tab or at times use the mouse to change tab LOL.  Been working well for years.  However 5 or 6 accounts... you guys are something else.

Offline bradam

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Re: 3 boxing need assistance
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2010, 02:10:10 am »
man it's cool to see how you guys do it  =)

I four box and use 3 pc's.  I'm more the avid mouse user and have the extra mouse buttons mapped to various hotkeys.  But I'll bet Inphared's non mouse method is much faster.  I'm just to brain-wired into using a mouse lol

I have a corner desk, main pc in the middle runs beast full screen. pc to my right runs my warrior full screen.  Pc to my left runs wiz and chanter in windowed mode.  My main reason for liking mulitple pc's is I can do 2 things at the same time.  Like say I can pull a mob with slow on beast and be backing him up while spamming the ae mez button on chanter.  Warrior I like because it's pretty much assist, taunt, jeer, bazu and ignore the rest of the fight.  Love those boommerrang hate augs  =)    Once stuffs locked down with chanter alt tab to wiz, assist mind freeze chain ethereals till dead.  All whilest trying to mash dps buttons on beast and keep the mob from rollar skating around.  What normally seems to kill me most is the random add mid fight that I'm never fast enough to react to. 

Mistake wise... phew been there..   Like hitting assist and nuking the incoming mob train on the wiz instead of ae mez on the chanter..  or the mob is just not dieing fast enough because the chanter is chainng slow/cripple instead of wiz chaing ethereals..

I'd agree the hardest part of boxing by far is moving all the toons around..  Running them all to Coverteum from the lobby is always a fun chore..  But with atleast 3 you can always make a campfire and port in the slow one   8-)

I still wanna one group Vish..     Hopefully level 90 will make it easier, thats one of my goals before retiring from EQ

Offline nedoirah

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Re: 3 boxing need assistance
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2010, 03:54:19 am »
I have a question about WinEQ2.

For some reason after I loaded EQ and WinEQ2 on my new harddrive in the same comp I've been using, If I alt tab to a window where a toon is zoning, that window crashes. It has never done that before. It used to only just tab back to the original window (the one I tabbed over from) and act slow until I tabbed back to it.

Really it's more of an annoyance than anything since I often get impatient when I wait for toons to zone.


Now back to the original purpose of this thread.

I use WinEQ2 when I box my shaman and bst on my laptop and when I 3-box, I use a second comp to play the third toon. I haven't done it in a while but when I did, I used my shaman for debuffs and assist healing while my cleric merc did the main healing. My bst tanked while the rogue merc would add dps. My third toon is either a mage or a wizard. I would single hand nuke and assist with a pet (on mage). I had hotkeys set up for the casters to auto assist and nuke.

Offline Inphared

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Re: 3 boxing need assistance
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2010, 05:07:48 am »
I have a question about WinEQ2.

For some reason after I loaded EQ and WinEQ2 on my new harddrive in the same comp I've been using, If I alt tab to a window where a toon is zoning, that window crashes. It has never done that before. It used to only just tab back to the original window (the one I tabbed over from) and act slow until I tabbed back to it.

Really it's more of an annoyance than anything since I often get impatient when I wait for toons to zone.

Try setting your Compatability for both EQ and WinEQ2 to XP Service Pack 2.

Offline nedoirah

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Re: 3 boxing need assistance
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2010, 08:08:17 pm »
Ok I'll try that thanks.

Offline Inphared

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Re: 3 boxing need assistance
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2010, 08:02:34 am »
Updated my original post in this thread with a (slightly) more descriptive video to show how I manage my EQ sessions.