The Dual Box Save

Over the past two weeks or so, I have been taking the opportunity to dual box my VIP and Premium accounts.  If you aren’t sure what “dual boxing” is, it is simply playing two different accounts at the same time.  It is also called “multi-boxing.”  The primary reason I wanted to do this was to help in my questing efficiency with some of my characters.  In particular, I figured it would save me time by having two characters of similar level across these accounts gathering slayers and completing quests on elite (saving a lot of time for my premium characters who would not have to run them on normal, hard, and elite to obtain the maximum amount of favor).  I was doing this fairly often a year or so ago and then kind of faded out of it for reasons I can’t remember.  I believe the problem was that I didn’t have any characters on VIP account that were within the same level range as those on my premium account.  However, this is no longer the situation as my premium characters: Stoorage (Fighter) who level 12, Suppply (Paladin) who level 9, Crawlller (Ranger) and Containment (Cleric) being level 7 can pair up quite well with Cannock (Druid Level 7), Berann (Barbarian Level 8), Cantlin (Sorcerer Level 12), Kanndar (Level 12 Paladin), Lorrikk (Monk Level 13), and Harrgon (Favored Soul Level 11) who are characters on my VIP account.  So I should be able to dual box with these characters for a little while.

However, something a little unexpected happened last night while I was dual boxing with Kanndar and Stoorage.  I had taken them into the Necropolis to tackle the Tomb of the Shadow Lord and Tomb of the Shadow King on elite when I ran into an interesting situation.  I took them through the Shadow Lord without any major issues at all (and noted that another plus to dual boxing here is that it allowed be to do quests that requires a split with the party a little easier).  However, in Tomb of the Shadow King I had some complications.  Since I was scheduled to play Kanndar last night, I was primarily playing him and advancing him through the quest when he gathered just a little too much attention while making it to one of the torches.  When I got Kanndar to the torch he had gathered a small army or shadows, wraiths, specters, umbral worgs, umbral gargoyles, and phase spiders.  To make it worse, I had the named phase spider Dimmet.  Well, Kanndar was overwhelmed, I basically underestimated how many enemies I had to deal with (or course once I noticed the orange dungeon alert it should have dawned on me).

 photo Kanndar being swarmed in Shadow King_zpsr1yrbqhr.jpg

Kanndar making his way through the Shadow King before he got in over his head.

The benefit I inadvertently discovered is that I can use my second account to bail out my primary account.  As I pondered what happened to Kanndar, I realized I still had Stoorage in the dungeon.  I then switched over to Stoorage and made my way to where Kanndar had perished and retrieved his stone as well as his hireling’s stone and made my way to the shrine where I raised Kanndar and his hireling back up.  I then switched back to Kanndar and was able to complete the quest primarily playing him.

So, I guess you can say I was saved by dual boxing.  It kept me from having to recall, hreal up, and rush back to the quest to avoid it being reset.  I never really considered this to be a primary benefit of dual boxing but I do now :).  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

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Breaking Down and Completing it On Epic Normal

The last few times I had played with Kolll (Level 22 Ranger/Shiradi Champion) I had tried to take him through Haywire Foundry (VON 4) on epic hard.  The first time I tried to take him through it, I believe I tried to run through it a little faster than I should have.  I wound up gathering way too much attention and basically got overwhelmed.  The second time I had tried to do it, I ran out of time and my hireling healer had run out of mana and had already used the first shrine.  I was making my wife through the second area of the Foundry to release the second switch when I finally was killed in that attempt.

So, this time I decided to run the Haywire Foundry on epic normal instead.  This is actually quite interesting because a new post popped up on the DDO forums that was centered around whether the game still holds any challenge.  The biggest issue here is defining what constitutes a challenge?  As I took Kolll through Haywire Foundry on epic normal, I realized how much easier it was to complete.  On epic normal, I didn’t run into any issues with taking down the vast numbers of warforged with help from my hirelings (onyx panther, owlbear (level 17), and healer hireling).  While making my way through the quest, I had my imbued smiting arrows active and I was using my Stay Good Shiradi Champion Stance in conjunction with a icy burst wounding bow of pure good (as well as a myriad of various arrows that my other characters always send his way).  Using these with my various arcane archer shots (dispelling shot, inferno shot, shattermantle shot, and arrow of slaying).  This combination worked very well in epic normal.

 photo Kolll staying out of the FIrewall_zpsyekhhia5.jpg

Kolll staying out of the enemy firewalls in Haywire Foundry.

However, looking back at epic hard, this combination of activities didn’t work out nearly as well.  I surely believe that this due to a number of reasons.  Primarily due to the equipment that Kolll is currently using.  Right now he is not “epic” equipped as he is still gathering those items.  Couple that with the enemies being stronger on epic hard (higher damage output, more hit points, higher saves, etc.) makes this particular quest on epic hard much more of a challenge for me while playing Kolll.  So for me, DDO still has a lot of challenging aspects.  But, if I had stronger equipment and/or if I was in an actual group, I could easily see how the feeling that no challenge exists in DDO.  This is definitely a intriguing problem that the DDO developers have to tackle and it is just complicated more by the various methods of game styles the playerbase uses to play this great game.  I don’t think there is any right answer to this question and I wonder how the proposal of the “Reaper” difficulty will impact this.

In short, DDO probably doesn’t hold a very large challenge to those characters that have been “properly” equipped for their level but for other players who are more casual such as myself, and who happen to primarily “under” geared, there is still definitely a challenge to this great game.  It is hard to find an answer to question when that question varies from one player to another.  I give kudos to the developers for trying to maintain that happy medium.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Vault of Night!!

Light Weekend of Questing, Quest Runs September 25 to September 27

Well, this past weekend was extremely light for me.  This was because I didn’t do any questing on Saturday.  Each month, usually the third Saturday of the month, is spent as a weekend date night with my wife where we just spend the night relaxing.  Most of the time she has to work during the day on Saturday so I usually get a run or two in before she gets home but this time she had the entire day off so we went off on a mini-trip which resulted in no playtime on Saturday.  But, I did do some more dual boxing between my accounts and in fact that is the way I started the weekend out.  I was scheduled to take Berann (Level 8 Barbarian) out into Tangleroot Gorge.  Since Berann was heading out there, I decided to log on with Containment (Level 7 Cleric) and to join them together because Containment is also working in that area.  The maximum level to gain full experience in Tangleroot Gorge is level 7 but because Berann was only a single level higher than Containment, Containment still was able to credit for the slayers and rare encounters.  So I took them out prior to heading to work and accumulated more slayers for both characters.  In the afternoon, when I got home from work, I logged on with Erdrique (Level 20 Rogue/Fury of the Wild) and took him back into the Vale of Twilight and attempted to complete Let Sleeping Dust Lie.  The last time I was in there with Erdrique I killed too many of the Crimson Foot Hive spiders.  Well this time, I literally ran out of time.  I couldn’t find the second journal entry in a reasonable amount of time so I had to give up and call it for the afternoon.  However, I made it up that night.  I logged back on with Erdrique on Friday night and grouped up with Ohuatewontoo and we tackled the Vale of Twilight together.  We completed Let Sleeping Dust Lie, Rainbow in the Dark, and Running with the Devils on elite and collected a plethora of slayers, explorer, and rare encounter experience as well.  We called it a night after we made it through Running with the Devils.

 photo Berann watching the spider go againt the wolf_zpsuo4icy1y.jpg

Berann watching the fiendish spider and wolf battling.

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Erdrique making his way through the Vale of Twilight.

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Erdrique fighting the Twilight Giant Rats in Let Sleeping Dust Lie.

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The party gathering in the Vale of Twilight.

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Taking down one of the ogre magi bosses in Let Sleeping Dust Lie.

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Battling the elementals in Rainbow in the Dark.

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Battling Tolarn in Running with the Devils.

On Sunday, I took opportunity to do some more dual boxing.  I was scheduled to take Suppply (Level 9 Paladin) through the House Deneith Depths quests.  Well, Berann also needed these four quests and since Suppply is on my premium account and Berann is on my VIP account and I logged them both in and paired them up and took them into depths quests.  We started from the beginning and knocked out Depths of Despair, Depths of Darkness, Depths of Discord, and Depths of Doom.  I was actually quite glad for this because Berann was able to open up these quests on elite.  This saves me from having to run them all on normal, hard, and elite with Suppply because Suppply doesn’t have that option yet.  So definitely a time saver.  After I finished the four Depths quests, I called it a night.

 photo Supply fighting an earth elemental in Depths of Despair_zpsrwke3rdu.jpg]

Suppply battling an earth elemental in the Depths of Despair.

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Climbing the ladder to deal with the hobgoblin casters in Depths of Darkness.

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Suppply looking for Landslide in the Depths of Discord but finding trolls instead.

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Suppply fighting the ogres of the Depths of Doom.

It was a nice weekend of questing even being a relatively light weekend.  I was able to continue to do some dual boxing and I was able to take Erdrique through some of the Vale of Twilight quests.  Hopefully this next week will continue to be as productive.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Vale!!

Thinking about the Prey of the Crimson Foot Hive

This past week, I took Erdrique (Level 20 Rogue/Fury of the Wild) into the Vale of Twilight a few times to run the quest Let Sleeping Dust Lie on elite.  Let Sleeping Dust Lie is a level 16 quest on normal and it centers around liberating the Crimson Foot Hive from the rhakshasa and their ogre partners.  The Crimson Foot Hive are actually a hive of large and powerful spiders.  Their queen has been captured and as a result the hive is under control of the rakshasha.  The quest fails if you kill more than five of these spiders after you reach a certain point in the quest.  However, these aspects of the quest isn’t what caught my eye this past week.  Instead I wondered about some of the other creatures that are also hiding in this quest.

 photo Erd taking on the rats of Crimson Foot Five_zpsatl82iwb.jpg

Erdrique battling these twilight rats and wondering…

In particular, I wondered about the Twilight Giant Rats.  You come across these vermin throughout various alcoves in the quest but I can’t figure out why these creatures are actually here.  You can tell, even in the screenshot I have above, how the Crimson Foot spiders have made their presence known by seeing all of the webs.  So I’m wondering why the Crimson Foot spiders haven’t made a meal of these large rodents.  Surely these powerful spiders would enjoy feasting on these large vermin, wouldn’t they?  And why would a rodent come anywhere near where there are super large spiders?  On an ecological sense, this confuses me.  What type of benefit do these critters get by being associated with each other?  I don’t see it.  So, if the spiders won’t take care of them, I guess I will :P.

What does everybody else think?  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting out in the Vale of Twilight.

Enemy Profile-The Elusive Commander Errulf

It has been a little while since a did an enemy profile and it also took me a while to finally track down Commander Errulf with Hamllin (Level 17 Fighter) in the Sands of Menechtarun to finish my rare encounters in that fun adventure area.  When I finally came across him I thought it might be a good idea to write up a profile on him.  Commander Errulf is an extremely vicious gnoll who makes his home along the base of the Burning Mountains in the Sands of Menechtarun.

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Hamllin finally coming across Commander Errulf in his hunting of rare encounters in the Sands of Menechtarun.

Commander Errulf belong to the Firebrand Gnolls who occupy a extremely large portion of the Burning Mountain and who guard the entrance to Queen Lailat’s Court.  He is most likely the highest ranking officer of the Firebrand Gnolls who are found outside of the Burning City.  He is an extremely brutal fighter.  He is heavily armored with red gleaming full plate armor as well as an extremely strong and red steel shield.  He typically wields a wickedly curved scimitar as his primary weapon.  He also has a few other attacks at his disposal (according to the DDOWiki these include shield bashing, improved trip, sundar, and a longbow for ranged attacks, and a bite that can inflict Bobdish Rot).  Being pure evil, he is susceptible to pure good and holy weapons.  However, being a part of the Firebrand clan, he is resistance to fire based attacks as all of his fellow kin.

Commander Errfulf is located along a ridge off of the Burning Mountain chain.  You can get to the ridge by following a pathway that winds it way through a number of Firebrand protectors.  He is actually located above Vorvand Darkfur.  He is typically located within the same hut on that ridge.  He is heavily guarded by other Firebrand Gnolls including other warriors (commanders, etc.), rangers, and casters.  However, he is not always present on the ridge.  Whenever he is absent on some type of raiding party he leaves his lieutenant, Lieutenant Ayurro)  in his place to keep an eye on the troops.  This makes coming across him that much more challenging.

The Commander is known to have some interesting loot in his presence though.  You can obtain the Firestorm Greaves when he is defeated from his personal chest.  Although actually finding these can be quite challenging.

So if you come across this ridge, be prepared.  The Commander will attack as ferociously as he looks.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting out in the Desert!!

Experimenting This Week, Quest Runs September 21 to September 24

My questing activity this week has actually been really active.  This has been primarily because I have started to “dual box” with my accounts.  I wrote about my experimentation yesterday actually.  I was actually dual boxing when I first created my premium account but for whatever reason I stopped (can’t really remember why).  In any case, I decided to start it up again and see if I could make my questing in DDO a little more efficient.  So far things have been going well with it.  Now, to start out the week I was scheduled to bring in Containment (Level 7 Cleric) for my Monday morning slayer run.  Containment is a character on my premium account and is working on Tangleroot Gorge currently.  After he was logged in, I brought on Cannock (Level 7 Druid) from my VIP account and I took them both out into Tangleroot Gorge. Now Cannock is much further behind in his slayer runs because I started him out at level 7 so he still needs to complete Cerulean Hills and Waterworks but I went ahead and brought him with Containment to get an early start in Tangleroot Gorge.  So I had both characters in a group but I really taking Containment through the area collecting the slayers.  I did get a rare or too and brought Cannock up to get his free loot.  Cannock now has a small start in Tangleroot Gorge.  In the afternoon, I logged on with Erdrique (Level 20 Rogue/Fury of the Wild) and I took him into the quest Acid Wit.  Acid Wit was one of the last two level 15 quests he needed to complete on elite.  I didn’t have any problems taking on the acid-skar troglodytes or their acid-stone elementals.  Now I just need to complete Litany of the Dead and I’m done with the Level 15 quests on elite.  On Monday night, I had another opportunity to dual box.  I logged on with Crawlller (Level 7 Ranger), another character on my premium account, who was working on finishing up the Catacombs.  It turns out, that on Sunday, I had taken Cannock up to the same exact sequence that Crawlller was on.  After Crawlller was logged on, I logged in with Cannock once again.  I then paired the two up and took them into the Catacombs and completed Setting the Wards: The Lower Cathedral, Setting the Wards: Patriarch’s Crypt, Endgame: Marguerite, and Endgame: Archbishop’s Fate.  Now they both have the story arc completed and on elite.  I called it a night after that run.

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Containment waiting for Cannock to loot the quest in Tangleroot Gorge.

 photo Erdrique making his way through Acid Wit_zpsdzmuqzcl.jpg

Erdrique making his way through the acid scar troglodytes.

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Crawlller fighting the undead in the Catacombs to ward some crypts against Marguerite.

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Crawlller making his way to ward the crypts.

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Crawlller making his way up the Catacombs after confronting Marguerite.

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Crawlller dealing with Arkasic Dryden in the Catacombs while Cannock watches :P. 

Tuesday, I was schedule to start the day by taking Charlock (Level 15 Fighter) into the Red Fens for my daily slayer run.  Unfortunately Charlock still has quite a ways to go before he finishes that area out.   For my afternoon run, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 17 Fighter) and took him into the Sands of Menechtarun for some slayer runs as well.  Hamllin was trying to track down one more rare encounter and is working on 1,500 slayers for the gnolls and 750 slayers for the undead and scorrow.  After not finding Commander Errulf, who was my last rare encounter, I recalled and logged out to take care of dinner and to spend some time with my wife before my nightly questing.  That night, I did some epic questing with Larrs (Level 21 Larrs Bard/Fatesinger).  Larrs was working on the Sentinel of Stormreach Series and I was able to complete Storm the Beaches and The Tide Turns on epic normal.  Working my way through Storm the Beaches was pretty interesting and I wrote about that here.  I did get them both done and now I’m ready to move on to the Red Fens with him.

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Charlock collecting his slayers in the Red Fens.

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Hamllin collecting some slayers in the Desert.

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Larrs and his hireling gang taking on the Blood Tide inside the base on Mistral Island.

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Larrs coming upon the Crimson Moon in The Tide Turns.

On Wednesday morning, I had another opportunity to dual box as I was scheduled to take Lorrikk (Level 12 Monk) out into Sorrowdusk Isle for my morning slayer run.  Well, Stoorage (Level 12 Fighter) who is another character on my premium account, is also working on Sorrowdusk Isle.  I logged them both in and paired them up and took them out into Sorrowdusk Isle.  I ran Lorrikk through zone collecting slayers for himself and for for Stoorage.  In the afternoon, I logged back on with Erdrique and I started the Vale of Twilight Quests.  After I ran to Meridia, I decided to work on Let Sleeping Dust Lie on elite.  I usually can make it through Let Sleeping Dust Lie with little problems however I was trying to make it through the quest a little more quickly than normal which led to me not being as cautious as usually am.  In the end, I killed to many of the Crimson Foot hive spiders.  So I’ll try to redo that quest this weekend!!  I called it a day after that afternoon run to spend date night with my wife.

 photo Lorrikk watching Stoorage by dual boxing_zpsahdutvsg.jpg

Lorrikk waiting for Stoorage to get his loot in Sorrowdusk Isle.

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Erdrique making his way through the Vale of the Twilight for the first time during this reincarnation.

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Erdrique killing too many Crimson Foot hive spiders but swears to return in Let Sleeping Dust Lie.

Thursday I kicked off the morning by dual boxing with Crawlller and Cannock once again.  I was scheduled to take Crawlller into Tangleroot Gorge so I logged on with both characters and had Cannock tag along with him.  I didn’t stay in their long as Crawlller only need about 20 or so more slayers to max the area out.  After Crawlller maxed the area out I took both characters over to Three Barrel Cove to start that area.  In the afternoon, it was Hamllin’s turn to run into the desert once again for his slayers and he finally came across Commander Errulf during this run and now only needs the slayers to max the area out.  That night, I was scheduled to log on with Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul).  Harrgon is furiously working on trying to catch up on his lower level quests and I headed out to House Jorasco to hit up some of those level 6 quests on elite out there.  I also decided to to bring Stoorage with me, so I was dual boxing once again.  However, this time I was grouped up with two guildies, Khamellock and Eeickthegray who were playing their mid level warlocks, level 12 and level10 respectively.  So we headed off into Delear’s Graveyard and completed Dead Girl’s Spellbook and then we knocked out Redwillow’s Ruins and Mirra’s Sleepless Nights on elite.  I was playing Harrgon through this series of quests while leaving Stoorage parked at the entrance to each quest.  I did run into one problem in Dead Girl’s Spellbook where an armored wight just destroyed me with a single hit and I’m still unsure what he hit me with.  The only other issue I had was running Stoorage at the end of each quest to get the chests.  Especially in Redwillow which has a plethora of chests in it.  After we completed Mirra’s Sleepless Nights, we called it a night.

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Through the eyes of Cannock, Crawlller waits for him to catch up and get his loot in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Crawlller makes his way through Three Barrel Cove.

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Hamllin battling the entombed slave in the desert and noticing the mummy trying to hide off in the distance.

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Harrgon coming upon Valak’s dreadful tomb in the Dead Girl’s Spellbook.

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Harrgon and the Crawlers making their way through the giants in Redwillow’s Ruins.

 photo Making our way into Parthicar Tower Crypt_zpsvfcboz9x.jpgHarrgon opening up the doorway into the Parthicar Tower Crypt to finish Mirra’s Sleepless Nights.

As you can tell, it was quite a busy week!!  My dual boxing has been going pretty well.  The only problem I’m having is moving my other account to all of the chests, which is more time consuming than I would like but I’m not going to pass up free loot :).  I’m hoping that my dual boxing will help both my accounts, especially in the various slayer zones and with knocking out quests on elite for my premium account.  I hope everybody else had a great week and I hope you all have a great weekend as well.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Playing Around With Dual Boxing

Awhile back, shortly after I created my premium account, I had read up on how to play two different accounts for DDO on one computer at the same time, better known as dual boxing.  I wanted to try to get involved in this to help level the characters on my premium account and to quickly gain experience.  At the time, to be able to do this, you had to have two different directories set up with two different DDO launchers pointing at the respective directories.  So, I went ahead and set up the directories/folders and started to dual box and kept up with it for awhile but for one reason or another I just stopped.

Well relatively recently, DDOGamer mentioned on how he accidentally stumbled on the ability to have multiple launchers of DDO running without having to worry about the multiple directory/folders.  It was mentioned in the comments that developers had allowed this ability in one of the updates awhile back and this refreshed my interest in working with dual boxing once again.  So, starting this week, I began dual boxing once again.  I actually started with my Monday morning slayer run.  I was scheduled to log in with my cleric Containment (Level 7) who is a character on my premium account.  So after I got him loaded in, I then started another instance of the DDO client and then logged in on my VIP account and brought my character Cannock (Level 7 Druid) on.  I then used Containment to send an invite to Cannock (which I accepted) and then I took them both out to Tangleroot Gorge.  I essentially parked Cannock at the beginning of the slayer zone and took Containment through the area collecting slayers and rares.  By doing this, I was able to collect those slayers counts for both characters.  Whenever I came across a rare encounter, I would park Containment and then move Cannock to the chest to get the loot.  The only issue with doing this is type of dual boxing is not being able to move both characters at the same time but that is a real minor issue.

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Containment waiting for Cannock to loot the chest.

I then did some more dual boxing that night.  I logged in with another character from my premium account, Crawlller (Level 7 Ranger) and then brought Cannock back on.  Ironically, both Crawlller and Cannock were at the exact some point in the Catacombs Story Arc.  Crawlller had already run the quests on normal and hard and was working on closing out the chain on elite and Cannock had just started the chain on Sunday.  In either case, I created a party with Crawlller as the leader and took both characters into the Catacombs and completed the rest of the story arc.  Whenever I encountered a chest, I would move Cannock up to it so that he could loot it but I really completed the quests with Crawlller.

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Crawlller finishing up the Catacombs story arc and draggoing Cannock along with him (back at the door).

By dual boxing, I was able to save some time in getting some quests completed.  Now the next time I log in with Cannock I won’t have to worry about completing the Catacombs story arc and I can move forward in my list of quests.  Not to mention, I was also able to gain more guild renown than normal because I was getting renown across two characters instead of just one, and that was nice.  Dual boxing also allowed me some more chances to get loot because I was playing two characters.  One downside to dual boxing though is that I didn’t really play the second character.  This could be a problem because one of my main concepts for having a bunch of characters it to get a feel for how each class works.  However, I think this will be minor overall.  I could also divide the “play” time between the dual boxed characters if I need to.

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Crawlller waiting on Cannock to get to the chest…what a slacker..

In either case, I have had fun so far dual boxing.  I find it interesting and I hope I can continue to keep up with it.  I have had some issues running two instances of DDO however.  This is primarily telling me I need to upgrade my computer!!  We’ll see how that progress.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting and dual boxing in DDO!!