I have been rethinking the need for actual players in my MMO experience. Yes, I am working on negating the “Massive” part of the MMO equation. Instead of moping about and joining a new guild to help my recent virtual depression, I have focused on inventing new ‘toons to fill the void. Two-boxing has become second nature, with my right hand often warding and healing with little thought to the left hand’s taunts and shield bashing. What next? A mezzer/damage toon.
I started playing a third toon, using my gaming rig to tank/chant with, and the laptop on my right hand side to ward/heal/buff. The setup is best when I use my second 21″ flatscreen display for the illusionist, playing the tank on my main display, and the mystic on the laptop as usual. Switching back and forth with the taskbar is also manageable, and allows me to still entertain the kids with movies and TV on the second screen. While not optimal, the configuration is playable if one pays attention. I should state that I do not use any software to run the three toons, except for ThorUI and the stock EQ2 macro system. The only macros I use directly connected to the three toons is a /target gaff, /follow gaff button. It makes autofollowing and retargeting for heals/wards, and attacks much easier. I have been told there is software available that allows you to control multiple computers from one mouse/keyboard, but I find the hotkeys work well enough if you map them effectively. I put the single target wards, group wards, heals, bolster, etc. in order down the numbers and just reach over and tap keys to keep the tank in the green.
Advantages of the three account experience:
- For most content with green/blue heroic encounters I do not need anyone else in my party. This may be due to the raid gear both my tank and mystic are wearing, or the nature of encounters in the game.
- Experience grinding is no longer an issue. I can go out and wade through blue/green/white heroic encounters with relative ease, providing I am paying attention. This includes named mobs.
- Mezzing–now that I have the damage (berserker) and the healing covered (mystic), I can add a mezzer to do a little crowd control. This was tricky at first, since I was learning a new class while trying to play two other toons.
- Family fun–once I set up the third account, I was able to send my son up to the old Viao I formerly gamed on and talk to him via Skype. Not only did he have a great time playing in another room, but he got to use the headset like Dad, and he has no “geek” value attached to that experience. In fact, he has watched me raid enough that he will call out “Incoming in five!” when I assign him to pull a particular mob. I plan to continue molding my homegrown farmer in the coming months–results will be posted.
- Another account gives me the fulfillment I’m always looking for–the need to level! I also have brought my guardian, Meclin, out of retirement to tank and to max out the leveling ladder.
- Money is an issue–well not really, but justifying $45 a month for EQ2 to the wife has been a bit tricky. I had to cancel WoW (yet again) and EVE Online (not so bad). I used the “look how much money we are saving by not playing these other games, dear” argument. You may want to try this, but results will vary.
- Manuevering three toons: the autofollow feature not withstanding, it is a pain sometimes to get all the toons to where you want to be, especially with zoning. Autofollow does not pick up after you zone, and it is easy to forget to refollow.
- Pathing in tight spots–I wrote about this some time ago. Pathing is never fail safe, and you have to constantly check your toons to see that they have followed. I am dreading KoS.
- Equipment and in game funds–with three (or more) toons running the same time, you have to keep them equipped. My cash flow was going well until some knucklehead decided to do the old one silver undercut game. I have dropped the price down almost a full gold on my xegonberry byproducts just to spite him.
- Mezzing causes aggro. If I am not careful, I forget that I mezzed something and the enchanter is quickly in trouble. A group ward, which I tend to spam, helps but it is no replacement for a single person playing a single mezzer. I am still learning in this area.
- To really give due attention to the new toon, I have to put the second EQ2 client on my second display, stopping me from watching TV. This is a real drawback when your not used to it.
So far I have only tackled fairly easy content. I hope with some levels and some practice to begin farming bigger instances for some AA and loot. I have also started a second three toon team, consisting of a warlock, inquisitor, and bruiser. They are on standby for the moment building vitality while the illusionist gets the call.