Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Cost of Fiveboxing

It's my dream to fivebox. I like having alts, lots and lots of alts, an army of alts of awesome. With my car paid off, me getting older and costs like insurance going down, the upkeep cost doesn't seem too much but the starting cost doesn't seem that appealing.

You can RAF and the RAF person can upgrade their account and have the accounts still be linked. I defiately want to start with at least BC so I can make me some paladins.

It is to my understanding that RAF people can upgrade to classic for 20 dollars.
Electronic upgrades to BC and Wotlk are ?? to me because both my accounts have said upgrades so I can't view the option to purchase them.

In retail box, classic costs 20 dollars and BC costs 28 dollars.

I can get the WOW Battle Chest from Amazon.com for 37 dollars (who knows what extra cost for tax is).
I can get WoTLK from Walmart for 32.82 or from Amazon.com for 32.99. I'm left wondering if my local Walmart sells the Battle Chest and for some amount less than Amazon and it's just not on the Walmart site. I guess I can always go down and check.

Not considering tax, I can get a whole account set up for $70 dollars, and three of them for $210 dollars. Ouch.

Now, to get this started, I'd want to transfer a character from my main account to each of my new accounts. 3x25 for the transfer is $75.

$285 plus whatever tax. Ouch.

The upkeep cost for the additional three accounts is 15x3: $45 (but it's cheaper if I opt to pay for longer intervals, like quarterly, and I can always stagger it where account 1 pays for a quarter one month and then account 2 pays a quarter the next month. Of course, each of those accounts (and I think my normal account) get 1 month free game time, I think that may add up to between 4 and 6 months free time. That's a $60 to $90 discount.

Why would I want to transfer characters from my main account?
So I can transfer BoA items to each of my new accounts to boost leveling even more.

Now BoA items can be gained in two ways: Heroic Badges and Stone Keeper Shards. Just what items do I want to transfer?

Plate Melee Shoulders - Ret Paladins, Warriors, and DKs can all benefit from this.
Leather Melee Shoulders - Hunters, Enhancement Shamen, and Feral Druids can benefit from this.
Cloth Caster Shoulders - Mage, Priest, Shaman, Caster Druids, Caster Shamen, Caster Paladins can all benefit from this.

120 badges x 3 = 360 badges.

And then there's weapons:
Devout Aurastone Hammer 50
Charmed Ancient Bone Bow 65
Dignified Headmaster's Charge 65
Bloodied Arcanite Reaper 65

245 x 3 = 735 Badges

To be honest, I'm likely going to play casters as I think multiboxing several melee can be annoying, though I might have one melee as the "lead" for each team to hold threat off the army of casters.

I find myself interested in playing:
Paladins to tank or Heal with.
Priests to melt face or heal with.
Druids to superchicken or heal with.
Shamen to spam lighting bolt and heal with.
Mages to fireball.
Warlocks to dot.
And Hunters, partiularly male belf hunters, so I can do synchronized feign deaths.

Priests, Druids, and Shamen can all share a weapon. Mages, Warlocks, Priests, and Druids can also share a staff (technically shamen can too).

The end badge total is 1095 badges. Minimum.
At the rate of 3 badges per heroic run, I can get enough badges in 365 runs, or if I run heroics that drop four badges I can do it in 274 runs. If I did 3 heroics a day I could do it in 122 to 92 days.

Of course, the amount of time it takes to get what I need is technically a lot less because Stone Keeper Shards also allow Bind on Account items, so I may wind up with enough Stone Keeper Shards to get some of the equivilent items from Wintergrasp.

For each boss kill where I get Wintergrasp Shards in heroics I get 4 shards.
If Horde has Wintergrasp for 50% of the time, I'll get 2190 Stone Keeper Shards. If we have it 25% of the time I'll get 1095 Stone Keeper Shards. That's five sets of shoulders or a few weapons.

The cost to start is a lot at first, but if I consider how much I was paying for a car payment (350 dollars a month) which I no longer have to pay, the cost to start isn't that much. Considering that I'd have to run tons of heroics to get all the bind on account items, I can save up an amount of money to get going. I could even secure a copy of battlechest or wotlk periodically and just let it sit on my shelf of awesome until it's time to go.

The best time to start multiboxing with RAF and BoA stuff would probably be during the midsummer festival when you can spin on the may pole and get the buff to increase the XP you get while leveling. Sadly I don't think I'll have gotten all the BOA items by then. We'll see.

Paying for more than one WOW account per month may seem expensive at first, but the way I look at it is a little different:
The cost per day of one WOW account is $0.50, a simple 50 cents. Two accounts is a dollar a day. Four accounts is two dollars a day. Five accounts is $2.50 a day.

Do I get $2.50 a day worth of entertianment from the WOWcraft? Can I afford to spend $2.50 dollars a day on myself for fun? I'd like to think so.

My biggest concern would be buying five copies of the next WOW expansion, but there's nothing stopping me from putting a jar on my windowcill and chucking chump change and random dollars in there once in a while. By the time the next Expansion comes out I'll have enough chump change saved up that the sting of extra copies might not be too bad.

Perhaps five boxing is viable after all.

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