New PC - Settings, Configurations, Questions

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by SunDrake, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. SunDrake Augur

    Background:

    After a decade of using some combination of laptops, tablets, and smartphones for all my online needs, I have decided to build another desktop. I was in middle school when I built my first PC and the primary need was to run EQ. 20 years later, not much has changed in that regard. Outside of EQ I have a pretty mundane set of PC needs. Mostly just news, browsing, and light streaming. In the past I have recorded, archived, and collected mostly live lossless music [FLAC, SHN] - but this is a realm where I feel comfortable that I know what I need. In terms of gaming I like old school RPGs, Strategy / Civ type games, and indie games with no real PC requirements to speak of. 95% of my gaming time is EQ. I haven't played any AAA graphic intense titles in a long, long time and really don't see myself being interested in future gaming that requires that level of hardware. I do not care about greater than 1080p for EQ, so no concerns there. I will include PC specs for reference, as I had initially planned on asking for advice in that regard. I ended up figuring out most of the answers I sought, but people can still make recommendations if they see something that they consider worth mentioning. Most of my questions now just surround how to set up EQ in order to best run 3+ clients.

    I came back to EQ for the launch of Coirnav and mostly just played a single character, a Cleric. I leveled to max and never really established any sort of box partner or box set up. I was active in groups and raids and always found myself slotted in to someone else's set up. Having just returned to the game that was my preference anyway. I had an alt account that I leveled some after the fact, but the True Box style of using two laptops at every sitting was offputting and I never did much with it. I'd park my Cleric next to a character and make sure they didn't die, but that was kind of the extent of it.

    I wasn't used to the TLP boom and bust cycles, but the exodus upon Mangler/Selo launch kinda left me without some key folks that I had relied on as a non-boxer. Post PoP regular grouping partners kinda broke down and I found myself as a solo Cleric with a lot of odd hour play time and little to accomplish without heavy reliance on other folks, which became increasingly difficult. So after GoD I migrated to live.

    I am far from being a top tier boxer, but I have begun utilizing up to 3 characters now with a limited Alt Tab setup that leans heavy on Hot Keys, but could use work even within that context. So I am looking for advice to get set up with a comfortable way of boxing 3 characters on live [Bristlebane, FV] servers. Goals are primarily just to do old progressions that I missed, flesh out viable max level characters, and then I am open to raiding or whatever from there.

    Hardware:

    Case: Corsair Obsidian 750D Full-Tower Airflow Edition
    PS: Corsair RM850x
    MOBO: MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon WiFi Mobo
    CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600x
    GPU: ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1650 Super
    RAM: Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3600Mhz
    SSD / SSHD / HDD: Samsung Evo 970 500GB M.2 SSD / Seagate FireCuda 2TB SSHD

    Are there things that I automatically need to do when setting up EQ on a new system? Core processor uses, etc? So many small things I have read that you do. I can't tell if you have to perform those actions, or if you perform those actions in the event that you experience issues.

    For those who run multiple game clients, what are your set ups? I have run into some questions regarding SSD / HDD set up.

    Regarding SSD/HDDs: I believe my plan at the beginning would be to utilize two storage devices. One SSD, One SSHybridD or HDD. The motherboard has M.2 slots for SSDs. I ordered a Samsung EVO 970 M.2 SSD, but will also have a 2TB Firecuda SSHD for storage.

    Now, given there is one SSD and one SSHD/HDD in play, how are game clients ideally installed? I believe you want Windows to boot from the SSD? I have read in passing that the ideal is an individual game install for each client you run? Is it most optimal to have one client run per storage device if there are multiple SSD and HDDs in use? With three client installs I imagine this means I just create 3 different Desktop launches and launch each window from a separate launcher? So each install requires map packs, etc? Do I just throw these on the SSHD/HDD, or do I install them all on the SSD? In terms of RAID setting, if future space isn't anticipated as an issue - I set these on RAID 1 rather than 0? Is there anything regarding performance of contemporary storage devices that I should know? My only previous considerations were 5400 vs 7200 RPM, vs SSD. It's been a lot of years since I have kept up with PC hardware.

    Software: GAMParse, GINA, [Unmentioned 3rd Party Software], etc.

    I have more questions here than anywhere else. I'll attempt to keep it brief, as it's not the primary focus for me right now. I have never used GAMParse. Never used GINA. I love seeing the numbers, but just always relied on people providing those and then only being able to use them on a momentary basis. Do I just install each of these and follow the prompts? Do I ask any raiders I know to just share their settings and go from there, or is it best to learn and create your own triggers / settings?

    Boxing specifically: I will have two 24" monitors from Day 1. They are both set up next to a 60" 4k that I don't necessarily plan to utilize as a monitor for EQ, but could. I have my laptop, a trusty Lenovo ThinkPad [that presently runs 3 instances of group content EQ just fine] that sits on a side table next to the desk. I'm thinking this just sits here as an info box, but it is screen space that I wouldn't have to use if I wanted to pull up quest info and leave sitting to the side. The GPU supports up to 4 displays. The MOBO has one display connection that runs on processor graphics, but I am not sure I see a scenario where that gets used outside of replacing the laptop if I just wanted a window for keeping browsers open. I could easily piece together the max 5 LCD screens + laptop with what I have around the house, but that isn't what I am going for unless its justified.

    So - What does software offer? I don't believe this is a no-no to ask now? I am not looking to bot, heh. I have two full screens for two characters, with the option of displaying a third if needed. Even just utilizing something simple like Windows 10 Extended Desktop I can manage two characters with clicks to each window, full screen windowed. Put the two non-driver characters on one shared screen and that's my whole group. Even from basic reading up I understand that one thing software offers is keybinds that send to all game clients? Does this literally just mean setting up compatible multi binds and having it hit that key? IE, Tank Taunts, Healer Heals, DPS kills? Utilizing pauses and stuff, is this the essence of what you expect from software usage, or is this grossly oversimplified? Is the functionality of software something that can be replicated with more complicated macro creation that can be launched with keyboard / mouse?

    What I am also neglecting to understand here is where you gain greater utilization of each character. For example, presently boxing I get far less than optimal performance per character for each exceeding one. The third character is even less of a performer than I manage on the second. Do you come to expect more from each contributing member over time? Or, do you need to find a way to improve your usage of additional characters? I'd guess that alt tabbing I am able to achieve the results of two semi-competent players using 3 characters, so that doesn't really touch the level of competency I've seen in some community members.
    I enjoy the flexibility. I enjoy the complexity of understanding the way different roles come together and kick . This also seems to come at the cost of game time feeling FAR more cumbersome and exhausting, to me. The idea of a quick, easy 30-90 minute session is now less attractive given how much is involved in getting that ball rolling. The perks of using software to streamline this process, even logging all accounts in at once, etc. is something I'd like to know more about.
    The only reason I made a lengthier post is that I myself used a bunch of old posts to gather info, so any public record might prove helpful to folks in the future.
    If I don't understand what I need to, you don't have to fill in all the gaps if you don't prefer. I've had a fun time over the last few months trying to piece together all the info to feel like I have a working grasp on things. However, there are just so, so many components that have been added over the years. Some are useful, remain functional, and are highly important. Others are near useless, with little present function, and are of no importance. You do not know which of these things are which, and the ability to discover that in-game is.. poor. It's been part of the fun for me, but the mountain of information that you need to do well in this game is staggering, and it's all spread across multiple sources and must be collected bit by relevant bit.
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    Feel free to share any tips that make controlling multiple characters more pleasant. You can message me or reply, or I have Discord.
    Thanks :)

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