Thinking Outside the Box


Reflections on my time as a Multi-boxer

With the recent “criminalisation” of input automation the majority of the community has reacted with approval. However, today CZ features a guest piece by Soulharbinger, who offers a different view. /Niden I started playing EVE again about a year and a half ago. I reactivated an old account using “Hours for Plex”, then went around collecting datacores from four years’ worth of built up research (it totally accrues while your account is offline, until CCP reads this and nerfs it), and got enough to buy a PLEX (after losing some  to a suicide ganker) I looked for and found a null-sec indy corp and started mining. First with one ship, then two, then four, then eight. Eventually I rounded out my fleet with one combat over-watch, nine miners, one hauler, and one booster. My corp hooked me up with Isboxer and I started learning how to use it. There were some setbacks, and the occasional ship lost, sometimes because I was still learning Isboxer and making mistakes, sometimes I wasn’t paying attention. Months passed, my characters’ skills improved, my personal skills improved as well. I started dreaming about how cool it would be to stop running away from all the neutrals that roam through. To them us miners were like an all-you-can-eat buffet, the caribou to the leopard as it were. Dreams of killing the lone T3 cruisers and Cynabals that constantly roamed through turned into working on ship fits and skill plans. My miners were about 8-12 months old when I made the decision to start staying in the site when a neut came through. Sure, I would broadcast to have everyone align out, just in case there was a spike, but otherwise I waited for them to come to me. By happenstance this occurred at the same time that interceptors became interdiction nullified, so all of a sudden there were interceptors roaming everywhere. I straight up murdered the ever loving crap out of them; I began adding their killmails to my bio… until I ran out of room. It was glorious; PVPers who were coming to prey on the weak were having the script flipped on them. It was thrilling, but like all thrills, eventually it wasn’t enough, I needed more. The roamers stopped coming to my system by and large, they would go down the pipe and just skip my system entirely. So I devised a fleet comp that would work well with my skills, then when roams would be in the area and go down a dead-end pipe, I would reship to Tristans with remote sensor boosts and camp them (so many interceptors thought they could warp out in time and died).  I tried out Algos a little as well, and eventually worked up to Vexors. Lowlife---Militia-Mentality_layout It wasn’t always honey and rainbows. I lost plenty of ships, even had a few total fleet wipes, but I learned from each mistake and adjusted my strategies and fittings to compensate: like don’t MWD your main ship out of range of your remote reps, be wary of joining fleets with FCs that don’t understand the complexities of multi-box PvP, and above all, if something doesn’t make sense, then it’s a trap. Without Isboxer, I never would have been able to do any of this. Of course now that I have plenty of experience under my belt, I know that I can still successfully multi-box mine without broadcasting. It will take longer to set up my drones and be more of a pain in the ass to jetcan, but overall it can still be done. I won’t be able to stay and fight as much now. Only in very specific circumstances (like solid intel that it’s just a lone ship with no backup coming through). I’ll also still be able to gate camp my home system or perhaps one next door. But I won’t be able to move through gates effectively in a chase scenario. They had even all trained up to be carrier pilots as well. Drone assist nerf aside, it would still have been nice to drop nine caps into a strategic op. That is still possible one day, but with the Isboxer nerf it will only happen when you have enough bodies to cause Tidi, or few enough bodies that you can’t be primaried off the field in 30 seconds or less. I had even dreamed of moving from multi-box mining to multi-box ratting – having a carrier or two in each site, and later all supercarriers running different sites (for all of you planning to ask which system, I change out between YA0-XJ and Amamake, sometimes GE-8JV). But since you can’t squad warp from afar, and can no longer broadcast for everyone to warp out at once, there is simply too much danger involved in doing that now, so the idea is dead on the vine. NullsecOutpostServices_Header The most satisfying part of the entire experience was not the kills, or the filthy amount of isk either. It was teaching others. Taking what I learned through trial and error and passing those skills on to other multi-boxers. Eventually we had several people running multi-box PVP squads, ratting and mining. A lot of people these days are reveling in the multi-boxer tears, and casting hate at those who are different from themselves, jealous of the success of others. Not because they can’t do the same, but because they simply don’t want to. Even I’ll admit that multi-box bombing is kind of lame, but they could fix it in other ways than simply calling it cheating. Like adding a way to scan down cloaked ships, or add a module that pulses out an AOE that decloaks everything around you, but also roots you in place for a period of time (or some other negative consequence), prevent bombers from being able to warp for 5 seconds after launching, have defender missiles shoot down bombs, etc, etc. You’ll get no tears from me, if anything this will make multi-box miners wealthier. Plex prices will decrease, mineral values will increase, and those of us skilled enough to carry on will be able to earn a great deal of profit from this. I believe CCP are just making the game more cumbersome in this regard, which is not the direction a company should take a game. If they made it difficult or impossible to multi-box because of exciting additions that require coordination and fast reflexes, then I say bring it on. But to simply decide that a portion of your legitimate player base will spontaneously be considered cheaters is poor form. -Soul  
Tags: isboxer, Soulharbinger

About the author