It is a challenge to play two characters at once. However, the biggest challenge with duelboxing is being two parts of a 5 man. We all know that there are three components of every 5 man dungeon which are the tank, the healer, and the DPS. Looking at these three roles, there are four possible combinations for running two characters in 5 mans. Each comes with their own challenges. There are 3 combinations that I could recommend and 1 that I could never recommend.
Combination 1: DPS/DPS – Of the 4 combinations, this is probably the easiest to play. You have someone else tank and another person heal and you just DPS. The advantage to this is if played correctly, it is easy to play. The disadvantages are you increase the risk of one of your DPS pulling something extra. This is where having the /assist macro setup will come in handy. The other disadvantage is you will have the longest LFD que times. But this could be a good thing as well if you are trying to get some quest under your belt. Also, with this combination, one of the DPS will likely be behind the other. How you set up your macros and keys will play a huge role in this. If you are able to get that combination right, your DPS won’t suffer too much.
Combination 2: Tank/DPS – This is probably the second easiest to play, but even playing as a tank, your difficulty level steps up tremendously at this point. You should have the tank as your primary screen character with your DPS as your secondary. Again, your DPS will be slightly below other DPS, but you can correct for this with proper macros and ability placement. The major advantage to this combination is almost instant ques in LFD which will yield the greatest XP gain for you and your duelboxing DPS. The disadvantage is you are watching a lot more stuff. Besides the tanking, you have to make sure your DPS character is hitting the right mob, using the right abilities, etc. Plus, you have to put up with the idiot DPS more. I can’t tell you how many hunters think their pet can tank as good as a tank and will let their bear pull mobs. It is incredible.
Combination 3: Healer/DPS – This is not an easy composition to play. It is possible, but it is tough. Remember that healers are not only responsible for the tank, but all the other players. In addition, you have to watch your key combinations with your DPS. If you put a healing spell on a button you are spamming as DPS, you could eat through mana as a healer and people will die. You also have to keep an eye out for the other party member’s health, pet’s health, dispells, etc. The advantage to this combination is you still get pretty quick LFD que times as a healer but it also allows you to do some questing.
Combination 4: Tank/Healer – I would never ever ever recommend using this combination in LFD duelboxing. It may be easy if you are questing, but there is no way that you can focus on tanking and healing at the same time in a 5 man and keep the tank up and the other DPS up. That is entirely too much for one person to do in 5 mans. In later levels, it may be possible, (5 Shaman PvP Says Hi!) but in early levels, you will want to focus on one of those two jobs and not both.
So what are the other things you need for duelboxing LFD. You will need lots of food and water. Groups don’t like to wait around and so you need to get your mana or health back as quickly as possible. I like to put the food and water on the same button so that both my characters can drink/eat at the same time. The other thing is when it comes to gearing. Do not forget about one character when trying to gear the other in LFD. For example, I’m currently looking for tank gear for my pally since I’m running a tank/DPS combination. When that blue item drops, it is easy to know whether or not my tank needs it. However, it is also easy to forget if it is an upgrade for my shaman. Remember to think about both characters when running LFD. Heck, if you get really tricky about it, it gives you two chances to roll greed on an item or one chance to roll need and one chance to roll greed.
For the last part of the series, I want to walk you through the final things you will need to know about RAF that you can use to your advantage when duelboxing.