Isboxer - Almar's Interface
Out of all the boxing guides I have written this one is my absolute favorite. This page is going to be the bread and butter for anyone out there looking for interface ideas or ways to setup Isboxer. If you couldn't already surmise - this page here breaks down my entire Everquest Interface and how I play. The idea behind this page isn't for you to copy me but take my ideas and make them your own. If you would like to see parses of this setup in action as well as some videos scroll down to the bottom of this page for more info.
The screen shot below shows you my entire Everquest Interface - you'll need to click on the picture to enlarge it to see basically anything in enough detail. I'm going to break my entire interface down piece by piece in much smaller portions below as it's probably a bit overwhelming at first glance.
My glorious interface! Many many hours went into crafting the entire interface and I am going to break down the entire thing for you little by little explaining each part, what purpose it servers and all of that fun stuff. The very first thing I need to explain though is my choice of Keys and my initial setup.
First off if you haven't already figured it out I have a very esoteric playstyle of using the Numpad and the right side of the keyboard rather than using WASD and the left hand side. I started with this playstyle when I first started EQ in 2001. WASD wasn't even what you used to move your characters in Asheron's Call or EQ in those days, the arrow keys were. I've stuck with playing like this throughout the years primarily because I enjoy playing this way. I bind all of my primary abilities to the Numpad and the 6 keys just above the arrow keys (Delete, End, Page Down, Insert, Home, Page up).
You of course don't have to copy me and use the arrow keys but you have to copy my basic ideas. First off - you need to have BOXING Specific keys as well as CHARACTER specific keys. My Numpad controls my box team - Delete, End, Page Down, Insert, Home and Page up control the character I am playing. If you look at my warrior above he doesnt have ANY abilities on the first hotbar. They're all macros that are color coded to show you (and me) what pressing that button will do.
Below that hotbar, the one on the very bottom of the page - that's where you can see the different abilities he has bound. You need to copy this same logic to your playing; set your characters up to have at least 6 of their own abilities separate from the buttons that control your box team. You can kind of ignore this part for anyone except your tank. You absolutely need to have some buttons that you can hit on your tank which don't effect the rest of your characters at all.
If what I am saying confuses you - Delete, End, Page Down, Insert, Home and Page Up are NOT bound in Isboxer for me. They're only bound in Everquest. What I am saying is you need to have some keys that you don't bind in isboxer for you to use on each character -- especially your tank.
Let's take a closer look at these two hotbars since we keep talking about them!
The top hot bar that you see is all Isboxer keybinds; the hotbar on the bottom is all character specific keybinds with the exception of NPad. at the very start. To explain this again in a more simplistic way - every button on the top hotbar I went into Isboxer and made into a Mapped Key. If you follow the steps on that page you'll know exactly what I mean by Mapped Key.
Delete, End, Page Down, Insert, Home, Page Up as well as the two you can hardly see Npad- and Npad+ I did not put anywhere in Isboxer. They were strictly bound in Everquest and Everquest only. Hopefully everyone gets this by now. With that out of the way let's break down my actual hotbuttons!
Npad1 - Group Spirit of the Cheetah (I forgot to add a macro for it in my picture but I use Movement Speed buffs for 1)
Npad2 - My Assist Macros
Npad3 - Pet Attack Macros
Npad4 - Heal Macros
Npad 6 - Mini Pet Macros // Clickies
Npad9 - Fade Hotkey
Npad . - DPS Keybind/DPS Macro Key
These are the NON Isboxer Keys which are shown in the screen shot above:
Delete - This is the button that I use on my warrior to fire off all his abilities without triggering my box teams DPS. I also have every ability he spams bound to Npad . -- however sometimes you want to DPS on your Warrior but NOT on your characters - hence the character specific key too.
End - This is bound to Flash of Anger one of the more important warrior Discs.
Page Down - This is bound to Blast of Anger. Sometimes I use it to pull otherwise I just use it to get agro.
Insert - Warlord's Resurgence. It's a small heal but I like it bound to a key as it's come in handy a few times and saved me on pulls.
Home - This is Area Taunt and one of my more handy dandy keys.
Page Up - This is bound to Warlord's Grasp - another ability that I use on the fly.
Npad - - This is bound to Rampage (one of the Warrior AAs that deals AoE damage)
Npad + - This is bound to Stormwheel Blades (one of the Warrior Discs that deals AoE damage)
With the first Hotbar out of the way, let's dive into the second one I use in the screen shot above. This hotbar is 100% Isboxer Keybinds and as you can see is nothing but different colored macros. I guess that it's time for me to explain my color coding system since it's gotta be bugging you by now. It's a bit seizure procedurey!
Red = Combat Macros/anything relating directly to fighting
Green = Out of Combat 'friendly' macros
Purple = Utility Macros (semi combat related)
Yellow = Utility Macros (unrelated to Combat)
Blue = Regenerative Macros (Mana or Health)
All of these macros that you see on my hotbars are empty except on the characters that utilize those slots. Also - I only make these macros on my Warriors. I use them as a way to remember what is in those slots and I strongly recommend that you do something similar. It will help you remember your keybinds.
Now, let's break apart these two hotbars little by little with what each of them does... Remember each and every one of these buttons on the hotbar you see above is set up as a Mapped Key in Isboxer.
F1 - Burn Macros
F2 - Burn Macros
F3 - Invite Macros
F4 - Usually changes, sometimes a quest item.
F5 - Follow Off Macros
F6 - Follow Macros
F8 - Short Burns (Burns that are under 10 minutes that are used more commonly)
F9 - Pet Macros (Summons Just your pet)
F10 - Pet Summon & Buff Macros (Summons and Buffs your pet)
F11 - Forceful Rejuvenation
F12 - Mana Macros
Ctrl 1 - Lesson of the Devoted (AA Ability Veteran Reward)
Ctrl 2 - Succor/Evac spells
Ctrl 3 - About to Pull Macros
Ctrl 4 - Cauldren of Endless Bounty (Mage Spell/Object)
Ctrl 5 - Changes/Available
Ctrl 6 - Auto Inventory Macros
Ctrl 7 - Lag Reduction Macros
Ctrl 8 - Summon Mod Rod Keybind
Ctrl 9 - Currently Blank
Ctrl 0 - Rez Macro (Clerics Only)
The hotbars shown above are the final two hotbars that I have Isboxer keys bound to. On the top you have my Buff/Utility hotbar. This hotbar is bound to Ctrl F1 - 12. It's only used for out of combat type of abilities since holding down Ctrl and hitting the F keys isn't something that's really comfortable to do during combat for me.
Under the first hotbar you have my second one. This hotbar is usually blank/has random things thrown on it for all of my characters. Sometimes I put quest items on this hot bar that way I can easily track how many of them each member of my group has. Sometimes I put random macros on this hotbar as I take them off other keys while doing quests. I also put non cool down abilities on this hotbar such as Gate, Bind Affinity and Teleport Bind.
As you can see in the screen shot above it has additional Num Pad . binds. The reason for this is my tank has many more abilities that need to be spammed - much like every other melee class in this game. It's not efficient to put abilities that need to be constantly mashed into a macro (in particular melee abilities and mixing alt acts with /discs and /casts in a spammable macro is also a bad idea). I may write a guide one day just to go over this exact thing. It's a lot of info and i could ramble for paragraphs on it. The TL;DR summary is when you spam macros - especially two macros at the same time not all your abilities will fire all the time.
Here is the breakdown of my final hotbar:
Ctrl F1 - Buff Macros
Ctrl F2 - Buff Macros
Ctrl F3 - Buff Macros
Ctrl F4 - Buff Macros
Ctrl F5 - Kissassist Start
Ctrl F6 - Kissassist Stop
Ctrl F7 - Blank/Available (I used it for Ports on the TLPs before PoK)
Ctrl F8 - Fellowship Insignia
Ctrl F9 - Primary Anchor
Ctrl F10 - Mirror Fragment of Anashti Sul
Ctrl F11 - Navigate to Target
Ctrl F12 - Navigate to Tank
There you have it - my entire Isboxer Interface! I recommend you follow each link I have available to learn more about what that button does and more details about the abilities I use and things like that. There's a TON more information on each page! For those of you out there who find this kind of overwhelming I recommend you first read my Getting Started with Isboxing in Everquest. This will hold your hand and teach you how to box one small step at a time.
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Now that you know how I play, you're probably wondering what I am capable of. Here is one parse from a 6 box team of mine doing the Cactiikii RoS mission. If you've never seen a parse of anyone before this so you have no basis of comparison then I recommend you take a look at the Valhallah Guild's parse on Droga for comparison. This is a raid guild on my server that has members who raid in both this guild as well as RoI (the best guild in the game).
My characters are not in raid gear nor are they raid buffed so Valhallah has an advantage over me in how much DPS they are capable of. Despite this massive advantage though, you'll notice that I do more DPS than the majority of their members. Here is a video of a different Cactiikii fight than the one you see on the parse above but I do similar DPS during it.
I have parses of many more fights as well as videos of many more fights than just the one you see above. If you'd like to see these parses and videos head on over to my Kissassist DPS Comparison page. This page was originally designed to compare the DPS Kissassist does to the DPS you could do by manually attacking/burning but it also will give you a good idea of how much DPS I can do with my box team and give you a baseline to aim for.