Tuesday, March 10, 2009

HowTo: Guide to Laptop Multi-boxing Part 1


Two weeks ago I rolled three level 1 toons, Soulsnatcher and the Kora twins, Koramiir and Koramaar. My goal was to level all three to 60 at the same time using the Refer-a-Friend Program and multi-boxing. Having only ever played one toon at a time I researched what to do and through trial, error and a lot of helpful forums I created a software-based triple client solution on my Lenovo T61 laptop.

All three toons are now level 49 and starting off in the Western Plaguelands. I plan to have them all at 60 by the weekend. I did this while working a full time job and raiding on my main most nights as well.

Setting up this solution has been complex but not difficult. This post is the first in a multi-part series of guides on how to setup and successfully run a multi-box setup on a laptop.

The Recruit-a-Friend Program

Recruit-a Friend (RAF) is a program that Blizzard started to get more players into the game and sell for expansions by allowing them to level up at a faster rate through the old world content. With RAF you can also “refer” yourself and setup multiple accounts to get the same benefit when leveling your alts.

How RAF works:

1. The “veteran” account and the referred account are “linked” for 90 days.

2. During that time when a toon from each account quest together they get Triple XP while they are in the same group and are no more than 4 levels and 100 yards apart and below level 60.

3. For every 2 levels the referred account’s toon gains it may “gift” 1 free level to a toon under 60 on the veteran account.

4. At the end of 90 days the veteran account gets a free Zhevra in-game mount.

Using RAF and multi-boxing makes grinding to 60 very fast. There are reports of it being down in less than 18 hours /played. Powerleveling with an unlinked toon through old world instances is even faster.


This entire setup runs on a Lenovo (IBM) Thinkpad T61p laptop with the following specs:

Screen: 15.4-inch WUXGA (1920 x 1200) TFT Display,175 NIT, 500:1 Contrast

Processor: 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 (4MB L2 Cache,800MHz FSB)
Hard Drive: 100 GB hard drive (Seagate 7200.1 7200RPM)

Memory: 2GB x 1 RAM (PC5300, 667 MHz, DDR2 SDRAM) 4GB max memory

Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro FX 570M (256MB)

I use the built-in keyboard, Razer Lachesis mouse and the Plantronics Gamecom 777 headset.

Triple-boxing requires running three instances of the client. This can be done from one installation however I have chosen to copy my c:\Program Files\World of Warcraft directory two times and have created the directories WOW2 and WOW3.

While gaming I have the three clients running as well as the Ventrillo client, Mozilla Firefox Web Browser, and KeyClone.

KeyClone is the piece that makes this all possible. It is a third party application that does two things:

1. It provides windows management via Maximizer to display all three clients together, regulate frame rate, and control switching active windows on the fly.

2. It also provides key replication. It sends keystrokes to all three windows and applies filters and maps to each.

Using KeyClone I keybound macros and I can control all three toons at once.

Throughout the past two weeks I have done a great deal of research on multi-boxing. The most helpful site I have found has been the Dual-Boxing Forums. There is a wealth of info there, most of which I will try to distill into my upcoming guides.
In the next post I will detail the KeyClone setup and macros to control the toons.

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

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