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15 Minutes of Fame: 10-boxing Karazhan, Part 1

Lisa Poisso, @@lisapoisso
September 23, 2008

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15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

This week's 15 Minutes of Fame is about a multiboxing team – but it's not that team that just ganked you in your last Battleground. Absolute Power-H of Archimonde and its team leader/main tank, Nixi, have made their mark not in Battlegrounds but in Karazhan.

Ever curious about a unique perspective of the World of Warcraft, we visited with Nixi & Co. to find out what it's like to "solo" Karazhan. This week in Part 1 of our interview, we go straight for the throat with Nixi's Kara strats. Next week, Part 2 of 15 Minutes of Fame: 10-boxing Karazhan brings you a look at Nixi's hardware setup and his top five tips for new multiboxers.

Main character
Nixi, Blood Elf Paladin

Team members
Mixi, Blood Elf Paladin
Rixi, Blood Elf Priest
Pixi, Blood Elf Mage
Vixi, Blood Elf Warlock
Zixi, Blood Elf Warlock
Thork, Orc Shaman
Rhork, Orc Shaman
Ghork, Orc Shaman
Mhork, Orc Shaman
Shatin, Troll Warrior (trash only)

15 Minutes of Fame: Nixi, we've run articles on multiboxing before, and most readers have at least an idea of what it's all about. A lot of folks out there are itching to know exactly how you 10-boxed your way through Karazhan. Can we jump right in with how you did it?
Nixi: Heavy DPS is the name of the game, pretty much. I brute-forced everything in Karazhan. My main tankaladin just AoE tanks everything in the dungeon except Moroes. I treat Kara like a big Heroic dungeon: just gather everything up and spam heals on the paladin while my DPS single target burns the mobs down.

Nixi Paladin tank. He has a standard tanking spec throughout the whole dungeon of Karazhan. During Aran, he'll switch to healing gear, but in every other encounter, he's the main tank.

Mixi Paladin Healer. She has a healing spec, and for 90 percent of the dungeon, she simply spams Flash of Light on Nixi, the tank. During Moroes, when I first started doing Kara she had to go out and respec to Protection, but on my most recent attempts, she just changed gear.

Rixi Priest healer. Once my tank is in position, I move my mouse to her screen and do healing. I use [mouseover] macros so that I just move my mouse over the units on her client. I don't actually have to make her client my active client if I don't wish to. I have tanking buttons on my mouse wheel, so often my active client is my tank, Nixi, but my mouse is on her client hovering over name plates to heal.

Pixi Fire Mage. She just brings the table (food/drink) and casts Scorch. Nothing fancy here. I used to use cast sequence macros, but when Fireballing, she used mana way faster than the 'locks, so I just went with straight-up Scorch. It's easier to manage. AoE pulls = Arcane Explosion.

Vixi, Zixi Warlocks. They are Fire Destro 'locks. Basically they use a cast sequence of Curse, Immolate, Incinerate x3, Life Tap; repeat until battle is over. For AoE pulls, they use Hellfire.

The Orcs: Thork, Ghork, Mhork, Rhork Elemental Shamans. They cast Lightning Bolt. A lot. I'll set totems down for fear-based fights and before boss encounters, but for many trash pulls I don't bother. I'll throw down Totem of Wrath if I'm specced for it. When I first started learning to 10-box the dungeon, they used totems more, but now I'll just spare time for Tremors and Totem of Wrath.

Almost all the bosses require a new macro, group comp or positioning. That's the challenge, really, preparing for the fights. Once it's started, it's a lot of spamming my big button and spot healing with the priest.

Can you summarize for readers the most common controls, functions and strategies you employ during an PvE instance run?
It's really simple, once you get all the hardware and macros in place. PvE is completely predictable, so you know ahead of time how things are going to work. It doesn't take much more than hitting one to three buttons to go through a heroic.

Big Button
  • Tanking sequence
  • DPS sequence
  • Heals (if you have a Holy Paladin spamming Flash of Light)

  • Tank throws his shield
  • Heal tank (if you are using a non-Paladin to heal)
I'm dumbing things down a bit, because to get to the point where you jam one button to clear most of the trash in a heroic, you've already farmed the dungeon enough to know it like the back of your hand. Your gear is probably good enough to decimate the place. But even without the gear or knowledge, it's still a matter of the tank tanks, the DPS pew pews and the healer heals.

It's really all about the healing. If you can keep your tank alive -- and sometimes you just need to spam your biggest heal -- then you should succeed. Now all this comes from having a Paladin tank. Warrior/bear boxing groups will have much more micromanagement getting their tanks to hold aggro. I've played a Warrior, and I traded her in favor of the Paladin. I haven't regretted it at all.

Can you share some of the special tactics and tricks you employed for some of the Kara encounters?
Warning: For every fight that requires a special macro, don't forget to rebind that key back to your original button, or your guys will not cooperate during the next pull and you'll wonder why. And then it's a wipe. ;)

  • Brute force.
  • Don't bother removing curse; just don't pull aggro during phase transition.
  • Paladin tanks both.
  • Yay, your first raid boss down!

  • Main tank targets the Shackle add.
  • Off-tank targets Moroes.
  • MT throws shield at Shackle target.
  • OT throws shield at Moroes.
  • Priest immediately casts Shackle so it hits the add after the shield.
  • Burn down adds as fast as possible while micromanaging OT to face Moroes, after getting moved around from Blinds.
  • Spot heal with Priest.
  • When add comes unshackled, burn it down and pray it didn't aggro on the Priest; if it did, then taunt it before Priest dies.
  • Hope your DPS is killing them faster than Moroes is killing you.
  • Really try to keep MT and OT facing Moroes while healing with Priest.
  • Don't forget the DOTs still ticking; loot.

  • Split Shamans so grounding absorbs her direct damage spell.
  • Make a special macro for second Paladin to cast Blessing of Sacrifice on tank.
  • Make a special DPS macro for Shamans to cast random Grounding Totem, Lightning Bolt.
  • Spend forever moving all 10 characters around the room, paying attention that Shamans are placed so that Grounding Totems will protect everyone.
  • Everyone has a button so that they all move forward.
  • On the pull, position Maiden correctly so that when you move everyone forward, you don't accidentally jam everyone in the middle, yet have everyone be in LoS to the healers.Be very careful, because it's hard to reposition 10 guys.
  • Spot heal with Priest, and when she's stunned, control Paladin to spot heal.
  • Don't let your Warlocks aggro, because the Maiden silences your Paladin and you never think of that.
Big Bad Wolf
  • Let him kill the Little Reds and hope it's not an important 'toon like your Priest.
  • Kill him before he kills you, and try not to let Warlocks get overzealous, because losing the boss is annoying with a Paladin that has a long-taunt CD.
  • Disenchant Enhancement Shaman loot.

Wizard of Oz
  • Mage gets a special macro [target=target] Scorch. Click on the Strawman and let her go to town.
  • Warlocks get a special macro [target=target] fear. Click on Roar and try to remember to press this button when Roar comes running to them.
  • Blow cooldowns (Bloodlust) to level Dorothee before she gets out of control.
  • Paladin tanks everything else and hopes that he gets enough threat on Roar so when fear breaks, Roar goes for the Paladin instead of the 'locks.
  • Kill Dorothy, Tito, Tinhead, Roar, Strawman.
  • The whirlwind doesn't do damage, so just try to keep everyone alive while burning down The Crone.
  • Take pics.

Romulo and Julianne
  • Make a special macro for interrupters.
    • /target Julianne
    • /cast Interuptspell
  • Paladin tanks both.
  • Keep Priest screen active with J as her target so you can see when the heals are coming. Just Shock when she heals.
  • Proceed to burn them down while interrupting J until you can kill them both off together.
  • Think about how cool the poison vial is with your tank.

  • Wipe for a few hours.
  • Summon repair bot.
  • Wipe some more.
  • Give up.

The Curator
  • Watch Nixi's team in action.
  • Stack everyone in a corner except tank.
  • Make a special macro.
    • /assist Tank
    • /targetenemytarget
    • /cast DPSspell
  • Pull Curator back within DPS range and start firing. Your alts will automatically target the Flares, and then as they are extinguished, the targets will go back to the boss.
  • Blow Bloodlust (cooldowns) on that last flare before he Evocates.
  • Spot heal with Priest.
  • Let clothies argue over staff.
  • Summon the Warrior to help with the Mana Feeder trash.

  • Watch Nixi's team in action against Illhoof.
  • The Warrior should be long gone by now; resummon whomever you replaced when you brought the Warrior in for clearing Mana Feeders.
  • Special macro for Warlocks:
    • /castsequence Immolate Incinerate,SOC,Lifetap,SOC (can't remember the exact sequence, but the idea is to have them doing some single-target DPS and SOC)
    • Balance this sequence with your 10-boxing group makeup; I have 2 Warlocks, so I don't need to do so many Seeds -- I need them to single-target DPS also.
  • Special macro for DPS:
    • /target Terestian
    • /target Demon
    • /cast DPSspell
    • This makes them hit the chains first and the boss second.
  • Note: When Illhoof dies, only your Warlock(s) will be attacking Kil'Rek, so don't get freaked out as to why your guys stopped firing.
  • Start the battle with Paladin tanking everything.
  • Spot heal with Priest and hope she doesn't get sac'd if Priest is sac'd; hope you are fast enough to heal her with second healer.
  • Micromanage repositioning sac'd targets.
  • Disenchant Druid loot.
Shade of Aran
  • Watch Nixi's Aran video.
  • Change clothes with Paladins; they are in FoL spam mode.
  • Main character now should be your healer.
  • Healers should be healing [target=targettarget] so that the FoL spamming always heals the target Aran is Fireballing/Frostbolting/Arcane Missling.
  • Spot heal with Priest.
  • Mass Dispel the slow effect and run from the big bang.
  • Use Bloodlust on Flame Wreath.
  • Take the Blizzard like a man; it's nice to have Shamans and Priest AeE heal during Blizzard.
  • Pay attention to what abilities he's using when he's close to Water Elemental time; you don't want to have a Blizzard going around the room when he summons them. You are in complete control of the DPS, so just lay off if it's a bad time.
  • Burn down Water Elementals ASAP.
  • Soulstone res your priest (yeah, I've never killed him without her dying during the water elemental phase).
  • Hope you still have six+ guys left and Water Elementals are dead and you still have mana. Hope that your guys can eat the Pyro and still have mana left to heal and finish him off. (I've never managed to keep his health lower than mana.)
  • Res dead characters.

Best to leave this guy in the top of the tower to do his thing.

  • Control two healers, one ranged DPS, King and another random piece.
  • Hope that you can move them outta the "Medivh cheats fire" before they die.
  • Hope that he brings his King over for you to kill.
  • Probably try it several times before it works out for you; cuss out load at how easy it finally was when he moved his King over for you to kill.

  • Watch Nixi vs. the Prince.
  • Arrange DPS by the door. Move tank into position above notch to the right.
  • Pull him into position, in range for your Warlocks' curses (don't want them to get held up on the cast sequences) yet far enough away so that the AoE doesn't wipe your guys.
  • While fighting, make sure that your Warlocks are casting and the knockback isn't moving your tank all over the place.
  • Hope Infernals steer clear.
  • Go light on the heals and maybe move your Paladin away so she's not wasting mana during phase 1.
  • Drink potions soon, because it's a long fight.
  • Micromanage another prayer for good Infernal drops.
  • During phase 2, make sure Paladin is FOL spamming and Priest is spot healing.
  • The debuff on the tank should be Cleansed.
  • Burn Bloodlusts and cooldowns.
  • Phase 3, spot heal with Priest and hope Paladin still has mana to keep tank up. (It's actually pretty easy now, if you have mana.) Keep going until he's dead.
  • Post a video on YouTube and tell all your friends how you just soloed a raid dungeon.

Read 15 Minutes of Fame next week for Part 2 of our interview with Nixi and his 10-boxing Kara team. We'll talk about Nixi's hardware setup, his multiboxing experience and his five top tips for new 'boxers.

15 Minutes of Fame: LFM Are you that player we've been looking for? Drop us a line.
  • Has your guild raced through PvE content at the speed of light? Share your turbo-progression secrets.
  • Musicians inspired by WoW: where are you?
  • Parlez-vous WoW? Did you join a guild that primarily speaks a different language than you do, specifically to polish up your language skills?
  • Does your company have a WoW guild?
  • Are you REALLY an "older" WoW player – over age 60?
  • Special interest and alternative lifestyle guilds – let us hear from you! (Remember that exposure on 15 Minutes of Fame may set you up for "interesting" reader comments, both here on WI and in game.)
  • And finally, have we profiled you in the past? Drop us a line and let us know what you've been up to lately.

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