Monday, March 23, 2009

We've Moved!

Good afternoon everyone. I have decided to take my blog to a self hosted provider.

You can now find me at NO DRAMA is Good Drama.

Please update your feeds.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Raid Report March 18, 2008: Busy Night

Last night was busy. The NO DRAMA raid team went 2 for 3 on the night. We also welcomed 2 new members, one of them an alt of an Alliance toon that we killed during the Great Stormwind Bank Heist.

During the night I also finished Team One’s trip to 60. This makes 4 alts at 60. In the process of finishing Koramiir and Koramaar’s time in RAF, Sukutamba, banker extraordinaire, was granted levels up to 40. Snowcrasher, Parsalian, and Fearandloath are sitting at 21.

Oh, we downed some bosses and got some loot too…

We started off downing an easy Sartharion + 0 to build our confidence before taking on the Big Blue. As every time before has gone, it was a free loot. There was a messy pull on Vesperon and we got the two Onyx Sanctum Guardians that patrol by him as well. This made the fight more interesting than usual. Being severely OP for the encounter we only lost our aggro-happy Retadin , however our MT did need a battle rez.

Sartharian was a pushover. We have done the encounter so many times that we all know to dodge the flame walls, pick up the adds, watch his enrage. Cakewalk.

For our efforts we got the following loot:

Our neighborhood Tree Druid picked up the Majestic Dragon Figurine.

The Elemental Shaman, and RL husband of the tree, picked up his Gloves of the Lost Protector.

Confidence boosted and pockets stuffed with Emblems we headed out to Colderra to face our arch-nemesis, Malygos. This was our second legit attempt at a progression run against the Blue Dragon Aspect. We did progress but it was accompanied by a side a fail.

This time around we brought one less healer, who brought his tank main, and our usual MT brought the aforementioned 3K+ DPS Ele-Shaman. This solved our lack of DPS for the previous night.

Our first attempt was very good. We made it into Phase three with three minutes to spare ( our first time we got there with an Enrage already waiting). However, once we were dragon-back no one really knew what to do. We had seen the videos, read the strats, and discussed it at length in Vent, but until you do the encounter almost nothing can prepare you.

We spent the three minutes figuring out our new powers and wiped.

Attempt number two we made it back to Phase Three and wiped again.

It was getting late and we were getting frustrated. We had multiple awful attempts afterwards, including one where I accidentally Lerroooooooooooooy’d it up.

Our final attempt on the night was another good one, but we could not bring him down. We left with instructions to practice with the Aces High! daily and a renewed hatred for the Big Blue.

A couple people logged at that time and a few others had come one so we got together another late-night 9 man Naxx group to raise our spirits and knocked out the Arachnid Quarter.

We went for the achievement on Grand Widow Faerlina but we did not kite her fair enough when we downed the adds so she got the embrace. After that we let her enrage and downed her without issue. Next time we’ll do it right and get it done. Maexxna was also quite easy.

During the loot parade we got:

Omen of Ruin also dropped twice in a row from trash mobs.
Naxx will get finished up before the reset again and we plan and giving Malygos and Sarth25 +1 another go as well.

That’s all for now, I am still working on part three of the Multi-Boxing guide, but it will be up soon. I am also reevaluating my UI. Look for postings about the redesign and addon recommendations in the near future.

Until then, have fun and remember that NO DRAMA is good drama.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Raid Report: March, 17 2009 - Malygos and 9 Man Naxx

Last night NO DRAMA started off the Raid week with our first real attempt at Malygos. The weekend was slow, with our Main Tank and his RL wife Raid Healer being out of town and me recovering from my account hacking drama, and the guildies were getting restless to smash some boss face.

I logged in after work and only two other folks were on and we were all working on alts. I just figured that RL and St. Patty's day had kept folks away. As the night wore on raiders trickled in and by 11:00 we were grouped up and heading to the Eye of Eternity.

While we were waiting for everyone to assemble and people finished up last minute preparations everyone alt-tabbed out to watch Ciderhelm's Malygos strat video. Once everyone Ready-Checked in I went through it again in Vent and clicked the Focusing Eye.

Malygos dropped and the MT engaged. DPS and Healers moved into position and started hammering away. Sparks were called out and managed pretty well, however ever a couple got through to Mal, damage was coming in and we wiped at 85%. Not a bad first go.
We discussed went down, went over tank movement an positioning and told everyone again to make sure to get the sparks. Attempt number two started up. Phase one went better. Sparks were grabbed, no one died, and we made it to phase two.

We all ran under the bubbles and began hammering the Nexus Lords. The Lords dropped, but in the meantime our OT DCed. We kept the toon alive and when he got back online he jumped right back in.
DPS took to the sky on the hoverboards and started to wail on the Scions. They all dropped, but it took a while. One of NO DRAMA's biggest gaps right now is the lack of ranged DPS.

We made into phase three and fell onto the backs of the Red Dragonflight. At this point we were at 10:15 minutes and Malygos enraged. We wiped right away. Again not bad. This was our first time making it to phase three. We were showing progression.

Attempt number 3, things go smoother, sparks fall, people learn to DPS during Vortex and we get to phase two. The Nexus Lords go down faster, but the Scions still take a long time. We get to phase 3 at 10:22 minutes. Malygos enrages and we wipe.

At this point we call Malygos for the night. We have the first two phases down but we have a DPS problem. The burn is not fast enough. The officers are looking into raid composition and we are going to try again tonight.

Afterwards, a few people log for the night and we take 9 toons to Naxx and knock out Instructor Razuvious and Gothik with no issue. We decide not to do 4 Horsemen with 9 and call Naxx for the night, walking away with a couple of new Epics and satisfied at that.

Tonight we have OS, Malygos again, and more Naxx. Sarth+1 and Malygos will both be progression and I hope we get them done. Stay tuned for updates as NO DRAMA continues the path to Conqueror of The Frozen Wastes.

And until then remember NO DRAMA is good drama.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Slow Monday and The Rise of Team Two...

Last night was slow one on Undermine-US. I ran a quick Heroic VH, did some banking and AH work, and then I logged on alts to wait and see if we would raid.

Alas raiding was not to be. However, I did manage to do a little work on the multi-box teams.

Soulsnatcher, sitting at 59 for the time being went out to Hillsbrad to level Skinning and Herbalism. For the record I do not really enjoy power-leveling trade skills, but for me it seems to work the best. The nodes were very slow to spawn and I think I was competing with a level 80 Alliance toon I saw everyone in a while.

Team one, with their new leader Morjiin, snuck inside Scholomance after camping the door and is waiting for the final runs there to go from 57 to 60.

Team two, Snowcrasher, Parsalian, and FearandLoath ran Shadowfang Keep a few times and is now level 16. I plan on leveling them tonight and maybe get a few more runs so I can head to Scarlet Monastery at 25. That's where the real power-leveling starts.

I am surprised with Snowcrasher, the warrior. I have avoided Warriors through all of WoW as I did not not think I would enjoy them. Like the Rogue I have found them much fun to play. I am not sure if it is because of the change of pace, or just my overall love of the game that I enjoy these classes, but I am sure I will explore this more later.

Stay tunes as tomorrow I plan on posting part three of the Laptop Multiboxing guide complete with Macros, Action Bars, Mods, and more.

Until then remember that NO DRAMA is good drama.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I've been looted: The aftermath...

The nightmare that was having my account hacked is now over and, for the most part, my items and gold have been returned.

The following is the time line of events for the past four days:

Thursday Noon: I receive two emails from Blizzard says that two of my accounts have had their passwords changed online.

Thursday 12:15: Call into Blizzard Customer Support. I speak with Erin, tell her my situation and she resets the passwords on all three accounts and tells me to open a ticket with a GM for restoration.

Thursday 12:30: I check Armory and see most everything is gone.

Thursday 12:31: Dread, panic, and misery set in.

Thursday 1:00: I post about the incident, a guildes read it and file multiple tickets with GMs on my behalf.

Thursday 9:00 PM: I finally get online, see the damage is done myself and open another ticket.

Thursday 10:00 PM: Blizzard responds via email saying they will investigate and restore as needed.

Friday: I level alts. Guildies take me on alts runs, donate bags, and are extremely helpful and supportive.

Saturday 10:00 AM: I log into Kora get my mail and Christmas has come early. Blizzard restored everything on all toons. The gear is even properly gemmed and enchanted.

Saturday 10:01 AM: I am very happy.

People I would like to thank:

@ Blizzard: Erin, Feryndai and Triphysic

Friends and Guildies: Cal, Boa, Tris, Slick, Seph, Bone, Chor, Soop, Mes and LTP

I made it through this as well as I did with all of your help. Thank you very much.

Until you have your account hacked you can not really understand the kind of trauma and stress it can cause. I reminded myself often that it is just a game, but the feeling of loss and violation is quite real.

Before this happened I had a very non-committal attitude about gold-selling, but now I am adamantly against it. Please don't by gold and discourage everyone you know from doing it as well. You never know the gold you get may just be mine.

In a stoke of coincidence, the co-host of one of my favorite podcasts, The Grind, just had his account hacked as well. Listen to episode 40 as Steve describes the process and feeling of this better than I can.

Now that all of this craziness is over I will get back to regular posting. Part two of my mutilboxing guide has been posted below.

Until then, remember NO DRAMA is good drama. Oh, and don't buy gold!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

All Gold Farmers Should Be Shot!

I received and email this afternoon that two of my three accounts had their passwords changed. I was at work and had no way of doing this. I remained calm and called Blizzard immediately.

I told them that my accounts had been compromised and they reset the passwords on all three. I checked the two alts on Amory and they were still wearing their gear, good sign. I checked Koramoor.

She was robbed. Everything gone except badge gear and tier token gear. The alts on the same account were all naked.

I have not logged in to chat with a GM, but I am remaining calm as I am told this can all be restored. Although it can take up to a week. That is terrible news.

The gear and the thousands of gold can be restored, but the stress and inconvenience is terrible. Stay tuned as I try to fix this issue and find the root cause. As of now I have done full scans on my laptop and nothing has showed up.

As to multi-boxing, I have done a great deal of research and I do not believe that KeyClone is the culprit. In fact I am pretty sure it is not. As soon as this is resolved I will continue to publish the other parts of the guide.

Any officer from Kora's guild who is reading this talk a look at the guild bank and document anything that was been stolen. I will be on later to figure this bullshit out.

The bottom line is that this can happen to you. Get an authenticator and be protected. I am getting mine as soon as they are no longer sold out.

Wish me luck.

HowTo: Guide to Laptop Multi-Boxing Part 2

Welcome back for the second installment of the Guide to Laptop Multi-Boxing. Since the last post I have gotten team RSD (Rouge-Shaman-Druid) up to level 55 and have been running Stratholme and Scholomance with the help of some very kind guildies. Leveling 3 toons to 55 in 13 days with a solid raid schedule as well is something I am very proud of and did not think possible. I guess you could just roll a Death Knight and just start at 55, but this gives you 9 other options.

After part one you should have a good understanding of how to setup your computer to be able to run three clients at once and have installed KeyClone. The next set in actually playing the game this way is to set up Keyclone so you can get a display like the one above and pass the right keys to all windows.

First, make sure you have your 3 WoW directories. For this guide I am assuming the directories are:

C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft
C:\Program Files\WOW2
C:\Program Files\WOW3

Second, KeyClone needs to be installed and registered. KeyClone is not freeware and costs 20 USD payable by PayPal and linked in the app. I have tried other free apps that provide similar functionality, but they do not all required functionality. The Maximizer functionality of KeyClone alone makes it worth the price.

Now that the base has been set up, KeyClone needs to be configured. When you launch KeyClone it should look like this (however, the middle area will be blank).

Click "Setup" and the "General" page of Setup will be displayed. Configure the following settings:

KeyClone name: This is the name of your computer. You can have multiple computers with KeyClone installed relay key strokes between them.
auto-add windows titled: Unchecked and the text box = "world of warcraft"
focus follows mouse: I have this unchecked because i did not like how it worked. Try it and use at your own discretion
startup command: Checked and text box = "main,alt01,alt02"
seconds: 2
Now create the commands you defined in the startup command field:

This will create the command to launch the top window.

command: main
cpu affinity: CPU0 (this assumes a dual core processor is being used)
program: C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\WoW.exe
region: region1
wow:username: checked and text box = your primary account's WoW account name.
wow:maxfpsbk: Maximum frames per second of a WoW client in the background: 15
maxfps: Maximum frames per second of a wow client in the foreground: 40

Now click the "+" button.

This will create the command to launch the bottom left window.

command: alt01
cpu affinity: CPU1 (this assumes a dual core processor is being used)
program: C:\Program Files\WoW2\WoW.exe
region: region2
wow:username: checked and text box = your second account's WoW account name.
wow:maxfpsbk: Maximum frames per second of a WoW client in the background: 15
maxfps: Maximum frames per second of a wow client in the foreground: 40
Now click the "+" button.

This will create the command to launch the bottom right window.

command: alt02
cpu affinity: CPU1 (this assumes a dual core processor is being used)
program: C:\Program Files\WoW3\WoW.exe
region: region3
wow:username: checked and text box = your third account's WoW account name.
wow:maxfpsbk: Maximum frames per second of a WoW client in the background: 15
maxfps: Maximum frames per second of a wow client in the foreground: 40

Now click the "+" button.
Next configure the "Do-Not-Pass" page.

These keys will not be passed to the background windows. This is very helpful.

I have the movement keys WASD, "R"eply, "M"ap, "B"ag, "N" - Talents, "C"haracter, "/", Enter, and Escape on my list. Feel free to experiment with what ever works for you.

The next thing that needs to be done is to setup Maximizer.

This is the part of KeyClone that sets up the three window display. I use an import file do everything is exact. To import a setting file press the "I" button and select the file. This is the configuration I use:


I also set PIP (picture in picture) to Left Ctrl + F1 for region 1, Left Ctrl + F2 for region 2, and Left Ctrl + F3 for region 3. PIP lets you switch which window is the top main. This way if you need to switch toons you are not forces to use the smaller bottom windows.

My configuration is specific for my resolution of 1920 by 1200. A large number of import files for various configurations and resolutions can be found here.

Lastly and override key needs to be configured on the override settings page. This will allow you to turn off broadcasting when do thing s in only one window, like chatting, and then turn it back on. I use the "Pause/Break" key.
Finally, click OK and close KeyClone. Now launch each instance of your client manually One at a time. On each client open the video settings and select "Windowed Mode" and set the resolution to 800x600. This will not be the actual resolution, as Maximizer will set it but this needs to be the default.

Close the client and do the same for each of the others.

Now launch KeyClone. This should spawn all three windows in whatever configuration you specified in Maximizer. The account name should be populated. Press "Pause" to turn off broadcast and click each window, enter you password and log-in. Select each toon and "Enter World".

Now click "Pause" again to enable broadcast.

Once all three toons are physically next to each other, tell the two alts to "/follow" your main.

Congratulations! You are now multi-boxing on a laptop.

In the next installment of the guide I will explain macros, addons, and general tips to make using three toons at once more smoothly.

If you have any questions please leave a comment.

Additional resources can be found here:

KeyClone Homepage Forums

Until next time, remember NO DRAMA is good drama.