I logged in last night to see we had a surprise gift from Blizzard.
It was the start of World of Warcraft’s 9th anniversary!
That is one hell of a long time to be playing a video game.
Surely I’ve seen everything there was to see, been every place there is to go after living for nine years in a virtual world, right?
I got a present, too!
Blizzard gave me a token that puts the ugliest damn tabard I have EVER seen on my character, and oh yeah, a buff worth +9% bonus XP and reputation for killing stuff!
Woot! Time to go fish up some bonus rep with Nat Pagle!
Um… so. Fishing gets me fish, but I’m not actually killing anything? What, not even the damn fish? Look, I gots this ittle club, I catches the fish and then I gives ‘em a whack behind the ear, kills ‘em dead. Look! LOOK AT ME AS I’M KILLING THESE FISH GIVE ME THE REP DAMN YOU.
Yes, fish have ears. Hey, in MY world fish have ears. And my billy club of whacking is +5 to hit against fish ears.
Don’t make me show you what a lightsaber can do to a fish. I will! Don’t think I won’t. Saber Sushi is all the rage in Northrend.
Um. What was I saying? Geez, I gotta cut down on the coffee, wtf.
RIGHT! That’s it, ninth anniversary.
Woah, sorry, flashback.
After nine years, what, Blizzard thinks I’m still focused on leveling up alts? They give me a buff so I get bonus XP when I kill stuff? Who the HECK is still leveling up characters in this game?
So, at the moment my big focus in the game is leveling up my Warrior alt, so I decided last night I’d…
….what? Yeah, yeah, whatever. So what, they got me pegged dead to rights. Alts4life.
It feels like a lame gift, but it IS only the ninth anniversary. Show me a buff item like this (and that horrible tabard, it’s almost as bad as the sweater) for the tenth anniversary, there will be some serious disappointment over here.
I’m talking sad bear eyes.
Don’t make me give you the sad bear eyes, Blizzard.
Back to my warrior, HOLD ON I said I tried something new.
I reached level 68 Sunday, so last night I started out in Northrend, having fun kicking some Scourge butt in the Borean tundra.
As I tooled around in my sporty purple vest, I thought of doing an instance. I blew through two levels in an hour, didn’t need the XP, but what the heck. Cassie and Alex both enjoy hauling my butt around instances and I take a definite joy in blowing up ALL the old content with my Warlock.
But wait! It’s the ninth anniversary of World of Warcraft.
I’ve got to do something to make this different, to make this occasion special.
Maybe I could try to run MYSELF through a dungeon!
After all, it IS an MMO. What better way to celebrate all that I love in the game but by trying to remove all other signs of human existence? Turn it into a solo excursion!
I logged my Warrior in, and then I tried to start a second World of Warcraft game on my computer, and logged in as my son’s Warlock.
They both ran side by side!
I’ve never, ever done this before. Is this dual-boxing? I always thought that meant having two computers side by side with both characters on the screen simultaneously, as if I had, dare I say it, dual boxes.
And I thought dual boxers did stuff like have keybinds and mapping and some arcane software so what their main character did the other characters would mimic. I ain’t gonna try any of that crap, I’m old.
But I can have the game running in two windows on my computer, load up both characters, and then tab between them.
So I have the warlock invite the warrior, tab out and back into the warrior and shit, not fast enough, invite timed out. Try again.
Okay, gotcha! In a group.
I fly the warrior into the Nexus, then tab over and fly the warlock in.
Get the quests on my warrior, walk up and tell the warrior to follow the warlock. Stay! Good boy. /pats head.
I tab out and back into the warlock, okay this could be a pain.
I walk forward and begin blowing up bad guys.
So far, so good.
I blow everything up, looting on the warlock (on free-for-all), and at the first boss, after it’s dead I tab out, flip into the warrior, pick up the quest item book, loot the commander, re-follow and tab back in.
But what happens when the warrior gets attacked?
It turns out that, even though the warrior got attacked once, it didn’t stop following. I really only had to flip back when I wanted to loot a boss.
Um, I did find out one sterling piece of advice I could pass on.
You know that point after the rift platform where most of us learned to jump down as a shortcut?
Yeah, don’t. Don’t do that.
But seriously, I don’t know if that was dual boxing or what but I ran myself through the Nexus and then through Utgard Keep, and it was easy as pie.
Since getting attacked doesn’t drop the follow mechanic, I didn’t even have to tab in and out all that much.
I did find out my computer can’t run two windows of WoW AND run Chrome as a browser at the same time, holy crap Chrome about took my system DOWN on a stutterfest. Closed it out and everything was fine again.
All these years of hearing people talk about dual boxing and all that stuff, all the times people talk about doing recruit a friend with themselves and leveling up two alts side-by-side, and this was the very first time I even thought to try it.
Go figure, it was kinda fun, and certainly convenient.
It will never replace Cassie or Alex running me through old content and letting me die from getting eaten by ghouls, though. NEVER.
Still, I can see those two AM drunken instance crawls, me dragging my son’s hunter alt through Molten Core for no reason other than to see how far he can aggro shit and how fast I can blow it up before he dies.
Happy ninth anniversary, everyone. I hope you all find something new and different to try out to keep it fresh and fun!