The Fanatic Issue

The Fanatic Issue
Multiboxing to Level 80 Nirvana

Greg Tito | 3 Mar 2009 13:20
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Hardware boxing isn't dead, though. There are a few stalwarts, and their setups provide the most high-tech pictures. "Visitors have dubbed my set up 'the NASA Control Room' because I have 10 monitors with 10 keyboards and 10 mice," says Paul Howell, an engineer from Houston. Paul uses a sort of jury-rigged keyclone: one wireless keyboard sending commands to 10 USB receivers plugged into 10 computers. So much hardware belies a major drawback to multiboxing: It costs real money. "At around $400 per [computer], $100 per monitor, $10 per wireless receiver, that's about $5500 for the hardware alone. The game itself runs about $65, so that's $650 more right there. So that would be $6,150 to start up, give or take," Paul says. With the cost of keeping 10 account subscriptions active and electricity costs, Paul estimates he spends about $200/month in order to 10-box. Even multiboxing on one computer requires an investment, as running multiple windows requires an above-average graphics card and CPU - and the monthly subscriptions add up.


It's important for multiboxers to distinguish themselves from botters, farmers and anyone else who cheats when gaming. "I am very much against cheating at any game. It can have a very large impact on MMOGs," says Heffner, a scientist at a biotech firm that develops molecular diagnostics. A boxer from Belgium named Steph states the sentiment of many multiboxers: "I would never overstep the rules set by Blizzard and risk jeopardizing my accounts." Since boxing requires so much investment, they have more to lose. "I am paranoid about violations. I put a ton of work into my accounts and the thought of losing them over something stupid ... no thanks, the cost is way too great," explains Kate, a "domestic goddess" from southern Florida. For now, Blizzard is on their side. Syndri, an official community administrator, or "blue" poster, stated back in 2007 that "multi-boxing is not a violation of the Terms of Use. On the contrary, it's a fairly common practice and extremely fun to watch." But not every game developer is as lenient.

After Rob wrote Keyclone in 2006, he rolled up a group of six mage assassins, the proverbial glass cannons of Shadowbane. He came upon a player who was mining and dealt so much damage to him in so short a time that the warrior was unable to close the distance. Keyclone worked, and Rob quickly distributed it to some in his guild so that they could roll multiple characters to fight against the incoming CN hordes. The gambit was a huge success: CN's bid was defeated, and Rob's town was never taken while he was an active player.

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