LOTRO Dualboxing – How to Set it Up and Why I Prefer the term Duoquesting

LOTRO Dualboxing (Multiboxing), How to get started with DuoquestingSince very early in my adventures in The Lord of the Rings Online MMO, a rather unique feature intrigued me. That was the ability for one player to simultanously control more than one character in the game world at the same time on the same computer. The term “multiboxing” often has negative connotations, but this feature can be used positively and enjoyably. In this post on LOTRO Dualboxing, I’ll explain how to enable the feature, look at how you can use it within the terms of service and look at why I prefer the term Duoquesting. Finally, be aware that making LOTRO points only has a small mention, because for me dualboxing is about experience and role-playing.

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What is “Dualboxing”?

Dualboxing refers to running two instances of LOTRO on the same computer, usually by one person. Each instance of the client is a “box”, hence dualboxing meaning “two boxes”. So multiboxing is extending this to three or more instances.
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What Is Required for Dualboxing LOTRO?

This is really simple!

  1. Two or more LOTRO Accounts. They do not need to be VIP accounts, either. But you cannot load two characters from the same account.
  2. A computer that can run two games at the same time with little performance degredation.
  3. The Multiple Instance setting enabled in the game client.
  4. That you remember to keep the Terms of Service and Code of Conduct.

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How Keep to the Terms of Service

LOTRO Terms of Service - Click to Read Your Local One
First and foremost, remember that LOTRO exists to provide you and others with a gaming experience within Tolkien’s Middle-Earth setting. It is designed for you to play. As far as I can tell, so long as you avoid the following points, you should be fine to dualbox without breaking your contract with LOTRO:

  1. Read the Terms of Service and the Code of Conduct (which is part of the ToS). No, really, read them.
  2. Play the game: don’t try to do things AFK. Early in the ToS it states you must use LOTRO for “your own non-commercial entertainment purposes”[1]Emphasis mine.
  3. No Botting: You should be a person, playing the game. Simple.
  4. No RMT (Real Money Trading) Activity: i.e. farming of LOTRO points to make real-world money.
  5. Don’t give your login(s) to other people or third parties for any purpose, including “doing deeds for me”.
  6. Don’t use multiboxing software. Yes, I’ve seen it advertised on Twitter occasionally. It’s still against the rules[2]Code of Conduct Point 18. Plus, it’s against the “play the game” principle.
  7. Don’t Overdo It: don’t load so many characters as to cause disruption to the performance of the game for others in your region.

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Other Behaviours to Avoid

  • Lore-Master Misuse: What I call “AFK Deeding”, which thankfully I’ve not seen in ages. But historically I’ve seen Lore-Masters parked in the world, with their pets set to aggressive. When a deed-target respawns, the pet does your work for you.
  • Be a Human: No I’m not referring to the Race of (Wo)Man. Remember players are there to play. In your deeding, or questing, be considerate of other players[3]This is stated explicitly in the Code of Conduct but is also just common sense.. This is true whether you multibox LOTRO or not.

Alright, technical stuff is done! This may seem a boring way to start what is, for me, a positive blog post. But it is beyond important that you play the game in a way to bring enjoyment to you and does not disrupt others’ ability to do the same.
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How to Enable Dualboxing or Multiboxing in LOTRO

  1. Open the Game Client
  2. Click the down arrow in the top right
  3. Select “Options”
  4. Go to the “General” Tab
  5. Check “Allow Multiple Game Instances”
  6. Click “OK”

Here’s a small video showing the steps you need to take.

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Duoquesting vs Dualboxing

Personally I dislike the term “dualboxing” as it sounds practical and task-driven. That’s why I prefer the term duoquesting, because it shifts the focus from, say, earning LOTRO points, to your characters enjoying adventuring together.

Duoquesting has enabled me to let friends and life-partners journey together, emote each other and generally enjoy life together.

LOTRO was the second MMO I tried after SWTOR. I had become used to having companions, forming romantic relationships and talking with them. LOTRO only has companions for a couple of classes, so I missed this aspect. By duoquesting, you can write your own stories, friendships and partnerships. This is how I did the scene with Myrlas proposing to Lamuna on Twitter.

So above all else, dualboxing for me is about role-playing, creating a richer experience of the world for me and my characters. So I will continue to refer to it as duoquesting for that reason.

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Remember to Form a Fellowship!

When you log two characters in make sure you form a fellowship with them. Doing so allows for:

  • Loot-rolling: this is very useful for make it easy to give appropriate loot to relevant classes.
  • Tracking a ‘lost’ character if they get left behind, or are logged out in different locations.
  • Hunter Guides (and Campsite) to transport both characters elsewhere in Middle-Earth.
  • Hunters’ Find the Path ability lets non-hunters in the fellowship to run quicker!
  • Sharing deed and quest objective sharing, when available.
  • Viewing if one character has completed the same stages of a quest as the other.
  • Using Fellowship Chat, which you could use to take notes or reminders of quest objectives, for example.
  • Not being “cold-call” invited to other fellowships.

Friend and Autofellow

If you regularly duoquest the same characters, then you can get up and running quicker if you use the auto-fellow feature in-game. This automatically forms a fellowship between those characters when they initially log in. Here are the steps needed to enable Autofellow.

  1. Add the characters to both friends lists
  2. Right-click the characters’ names and select auto-fellow
  3. Ensure Step 2 is completed on both characters.

Following, Re-Following

Something you’ll be doing often in a dualboxing scenario is following and re-following. This enables the ‘non-active’ character to automatically follow the currently-active character. There’s no point duoquesting if they get separated! Following works mounted too.

To enable follow simply right click the character in-game or in-chat and select “Follow”.

However, nearly all actions of the following character interrupt the follow command, with the exception of mounting/dismounting. You just have to remember to re-follow periodically.

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You Still Need to Do Deeds (Maybe)

Bear in mind that, if you wish to duoquest beyond the Lone Lands, you will need to earn (or purchase) LOTRO points on the second account to unlock questpacks. So long as you do this while being considerate of other players this is fine. Also, while you’re in a Fellowship with the other character most deed objectives are shared, enabling you to earn points for quest packs or treats!

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Which Classes Work Well Together?

As most of my duoquesting pairs have been put together because of role-playing reasons, I have not pre-planned which classes work well together. The combinations I have in play at the moment are:

  • Hunter and Guardian, Myrlas and Lamuna, Caethir and N’wyn Glinmaethor
  • Minstrel and Lore-Master, Glirheryn and Ayrthir
  • Lore-Master and Guardian, Rhavangur and Harthatoniel
  • Hunter and Captain, Hanawen and Faeladar

From a non-RPG perspective, combat is made easier if you have one (or both) classes to be one with a pet/companion. This is because once your fellowship enters combat, the other character’s pet joins in with you, making it feel like you’re fighting together. This makes Lore-Master and Captain key candidates.
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Combat Advantages

Here are some of the handy advantages when entering combat while dualboxing:

  • You can set traps (e.g. Hunter) to help the ‘active’ fighter.
  • Any non-combat-triggering buffs/debuffs can be applied by both characters. This includes Lore-Master pet buffs.
  • Ability to heal the other character in combat.
  • Tanks can work to keep aggro away from the ‘non active’ fighter.
  • Some buffs apply to fellowships only, so you can take advantage of these.
  • Shared quest objectives: if a quest asks you defeat 10 Dourhands, then you need only defeat 10 once. It (usually) does not need repeating on both characters. The only conditions are they must be in a fellowship and in close proximity to each other. Note this usually only applied to combat-related objectives, not ‘retrieve X items’ ones.
  • A yellow-line Hunter can put up a decoy to divert enemies’ attention away from the non-Hunter.
  • Fellowship Manoeuvres can get triggered.

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Disadvantages and Advantages of LOTRO Dualboxing

Nothing in this world is perfect and games are no exception. Here I give the disadvantages and “quirks” of LOTRO dualboxing, along with the advantages of taking this approach to questing.

Disadvantages of Duoquesting

There are a few niggles, but you learn to live with them and work around them.

  • Walking/Riding Slower: With the /follow mechanism, you should not travel too fast. Where there are corners, natural barriers or a need to jump, you can ‘lose’ the other character behind a tree, building or down a cliff. Just relax and play slowly.
  • Any Action Interrupts /follow: A step forward, interacting with an NPC (etc) all interrupt /follow so it has to be reapplied very regularly.
  • Class Deeds Take Longer: Unless you’re very skilled, you can really only control one of the characters in combat. This means your “Use X ability Y times” class deeds take longer to complete. You can mitigate this by switching the active character every so often.
  • Not All Quests are for Fellowships: this is true for some quests in the Epic storyline and I’ve come across other instance-based ones too. Just see doing it twice as practice!
  • Quest Items Are Character-Specific: I’ve been caught out by this one! If a quest says, e.g. “to loot five crates” then you must remember to do this for both characters. Doing so also breaks /follow, so remember to reapply this too.
  • Accidental AFK Status: I’m not referring to AFK behaviour here. If you’ve been running a few quests back-to-back and have not switched active character, they can get the AFK tag. You likely don’t want to have one character logged out at an inopportune moment! Just remember both people need some love and attention.

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Other Advantages of Duoquesting

  • Crafting materials can be processed by both characters at the same time.
  • You can see both sets of stats at the same time, which helps if they’re set up to be able to gear each other up.
  • Exploration Deeds only need doing once, hurrah!
  • Tracking two gathering node types at once.
  • Duoquesting LOTRO Festivals is fun! As a side-bonus you earn tokens quicker than doing each character separately.
  • You can use the Trade function to move unbound items between characters[4]Though admittedly this does sometimes cause one of the game clients to crash, but this is inconsistent..
  • You may create Family ties (and titles) via the Adopt function. Your characters can become fathers, mothers, daughters and sons of each other, for example.
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TL;DR LOTRO Dualboxing – Immerse Yourself in Duoquesting and Have Fun!

With duoquesting you can enrich your experience of playing The Lord of the Rings Online. Having a second active character can bring efficiencies in crafting, gathering and festivals. But more importantly you can tell your own stories, develop characters beyond their mere appearance and gain experience of two classes at the same time. Dualboxing LOTRO is not really about earning LOTRO points, it’s about an alternative way to immerse yourself in Tolkien’s world. Remember: have fun playing the game and don’t stand in the way of others trying to enjoy the game and all will be well!

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Emphasis mine
2. Code of Conduct Point 18
3. This is stated explicitly in the Code of Conduct but is also just common sense.
4. Though admittedly this does sometimes cause one of the game clients to crash, but this is inconsistent.

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