The Fanatic Issue

The Fanatic Issue
Multiboxing to Level 80 Nirvana

Greg Tito | 3 Mar 2009 13:20
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Multiboxing isn't easy, and the challenge of playing two, five or even ten characters at one time is a great motivator. "If it's something that I feel no one believes I can do, or something that no one has done before, I'll do it completely and totally," says Nixi, an American ex-pat in China who was the first player to 10-box the raid dungeon of Karazhan. "I was relentlessly trying to accomplish something no one had ever done before, and I wanted to do it before anyone else got the hare-brained idea and did it first." Multiboxing requires more than just a working knowledge of computers. The ability to write and work with macros is a necessity. But the days of keyboards and monitors surrounding you like some kind of prog rock keyboardist and dancing your hands between mice are over.

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Which takes us back to Rob. A software developer by trade, he wrote the first draft of an application called Keyclone in a week. The program allowed keystrokes in one instance of a game to be shared with all instances running on the machine. If you had five windows of a game signed in with different accounts, pressing one key on your keyboard would be like pressing the key for all of your characters without needing to alt-tab into each window. With macros and pre-planning, Keyclone allowed boxers to run their characters using only one computer and one set of input devices. The golden era of software multiboxing had begun.

Rob made Keyclone publicly available for the nominal price of $20. He has since revised and added features to the program, including auto-resizing of game windows and an FPS throttler to improve performance. He provides support himself, often guiding one or two new boxers a night on how to set up their system, and he's also an admin at dual-boxing.com. Founded in December 2006 by longtime multiboxer Ellay, dual-boxing.com has become the knowledge repository and help center for anyone interested in multiboxing. "I got all my help from dual-boxing.com," says Nixi. "Keyclone really empowered me to take it seriously and push the limits of the play style. I never considered myself a multiboxer, or even heard of the term before I discovered it." There are other software options out there, including some freeware, but a recent unscientific poll at dual-boxing.com shows that over 75 percent of its members use Keyclone for its feature set and accessible interface.

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