Multiboxing (also random streams)

So I bought 3 more accounts and started multiboxing about a week ago. Raids have slowed down my leveling progress quite a bit but my 4x paladin team is cruising at 82 already. The 3x experience bonus from RAF combined with heirlooms means really really really fast levels until Catalcysm content. Yesterday I also setup a stream with vods available as well (don't watch the first BRC run, it went horribly horribly wrong ;] Watch the second one instead!).

Why start now and not wait until closer to Mists of Pandaria? Honestly you probably shouldn't start now if you want to multibox considering there's still ~6-7 months until MoP is going to be released. RAF bonus lasts 3 months though and you'd definitely want to take advantage of that as much as possible to level up your teams. But apart from raiding I haven't actually played much WoW in past year or more so I felt the itch to do something. I have tried multiboxing before. Almost exactly 3 years ago in fact when I leveled 3 shamans up to ~50 or so. But no real prospect of what to actually do with those characters put me off from it.

I also regularly play Eve-Online with 3 characters at the same time though multiboxing in Eve is very different from WoW. Most importantly if you only multibox 2-3 characters in Eve they usually have very different tasks from each other. For those that know anything about Eve I usually camp gates with a sabre + vaga/cyna/rapier and a hound as scout. Lazei usually plays with me and he brings a vaga/cyna + falcon. But basically this means that I don't clone my key strokes to each client. 1 of my alts is always scouting so we don't get killed and that means he simply sits cloaked and I use him to spot if there are more evil dudes coming. That only leaves me with 2 characters that I actually play with though I still have to pay a lot of attention to the scout.

Back to WoW though.

Now I'm armed with a good set of goals which are:
- Complete at least normal mode raids in MoP. Hopefully some easier heroics.
- Complete all 5 man heroics and whatever the hardest scenarios or other new stuff that MoP is going to bring (if there are any relevant rewards).
- Play all characters at at least 85-90% efficiency which means that I will not be satisfied unless I can dish out the at least 85% of the DPS what a normal player playing only 1 character could.

- Must be able to use dungeon finder (to level and gear up easier) and only 2 roles at the same time so that pretty much restricts me to tank + 3 dps or healer + 3 dps.

As you can see it's pretty PvE oriented. I have had enough of WoW PvP and nowadays rather login to Eve to kill stuff.

The question of the day in the stream's chat was "why 4 paladins". Keeping mind the goals above we must consider the complexity of each class, rotation, resource system etc. There's also a question about hybrid vs pure DPS but in quite a bit different way that you might imagine. Blizzard simply doesn't seem to care if pure DPS classes have "useless" specs in certain environments (frost mage in PvE, arcane in PvP etc). That means that you can't wait for 1 specific spec to always be useable in PvE environment on a pure DPS classes. But on hybrids, that only have 1 or 2 DPS specs, you can be sure that if one is under performing then it's going to get a buff. If not by a hotfix then at least in the next patch.

But let's review the classes:

Warlocks are instantly out simply because I have played one as my main since 2006.

Feral druids have randomness with combo points, too many DOTs, and positional requirements. I don't know much about the eclipse system on moonkins but basic logic says that playing 3 moonkins would be quite difficult if eclipse isn't fully synced on all of them.

I can't imagine managing combustion well on fire mages. Frost mages require mouse broadcasting to shoot freeze which is honestly quite annoying. Also both specs rely a lot on procs. Arcane is a bit weird. Randomness with mana could lead to unsatisfactory burn phases and DPS. Still I think mages could be useable and might level a set during RAF.

Shadow priests have too many DoTs for my taste, randomness with shadow orbs, primary filler is a channeled spell.

Rogues rely too much on combo points and managing them isn't really going to happen while multiboxing.

Warriors could be useable but fury warriors requiring 2 weapons is just too much when you are already gearing up 3 characters.

That leaves these 4 classes that I could consider multiboxing:

Hunters have quite stable resource system and syncing up focus and rotation shouldn't be too difficult. I think they have potential but ultimately aren't my first choice (or second or third).

I think DKs are quite popular class to to multibox. I honestly don't know why except maybe because they start at level 55. The double resource system seems hard to manage but it's a solid class overall. I'm fairly certain that I will level DKs but not before the 2 classes below.

(elemental) Shamans. The most multiboxed class by a massive margin (just a guess but I bet I'm right). They have pretty much anything you might want: ranged interrupt, ranged targetable CC (as opposed to hunter's traps which can't be targeted on NPCs), relatively easy rotation, no resource system to speak of as mana seems endless. Other highlights include being the only class to use INT mail, sharing tier pieces with warriors and hunters which are usually the least wanted from my own experience anyway. An elemental shaman team will definitely be the second one I level up. I just haven't been able to decide if i'm going to level as 1 resto + 3 ele. Or 1 tank, probably a warrior, + 3 ele. Then use my paladin as their tank when gearing up in 5 mans and LFR.

Paladins. So why paladins? Why NOT paladins? A class with some ridiculous DPS cooldows. Ranged targetable CC, HoJ, LoH, WoG, raid wide shield wall, immunity, good defensive CDs, auras, blessings and hands, interrupts, good enough AoE, plate armor. Only 1 tank and 1 DPS spec guaranteeing you won't be respeccing and that both specs should stay viable. Paladins have everything you might ever want for PvE anyway.

There's one downside and it's a big one. Holy power. But I believe it's going to be manageable and I have picked up some pro-tips from Maat, probably better known as Caleb from Ensidia. You can check out his stream here.