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My alt and me- a simple begginer's guide on alt use

I- Introduction

Starting with alts is always complicated, lots of tweaking, working macros and mainly getting used to the use of the alt.
To start it’s convenient to point out that an alt is mainly used for 3 things: careplanning, healing and storage, some other uses can be found but an alt is merely a support tool of your main character, I often see new players treating alts as mains and losing awful amounts of time in developing them…alts should be developed as collateral of your main character’s leveling (you can always go the other way, but it’s your time)
In this guide you'll find basics, i'll make brief reference to action building, but I won't go into the specifics of them as those are usually trade secrets of each player, so in this I recommend you build from your own experience.
It’s always convenient to start an alt once you have a few basic skills on high lvls or at least once all game mechanics have been understood, remember you'll be handling two characters and that means paying attention to both at some extent.
The current guide is intended for single alt use, but same principles can be applied for more than one alt account.
With that in mind let's get to business

II- First steps

a) Client setup

First you’ll need to make a copy of your entire ryzom folder and create a shortcut for the client’s exe file: this is mainly for 2 reasons, i) because user interface gets scrambled when the same client is used for 2 accounts, ii) for performance issues is best to have 2 clients so you can allocate them on different cores of your system.

b) Core setup:

Ryzom was created before the dual core technology was industry standard, which means it runs best in one core of the system. In current windows environments is possible to assign individual cores to certain programs, to do it you have 3 ways: i) manually select cores from the system manager ii) using an application such as Process Lasso or similar which would link the program automatically, iii) creating a .cmd file. Personally suggest doing it manually each time you start ryzom on both
accounts, since creating .cmd files can be troublesome, and process lasso does use system resources.

c) graphics and sound configuration:

entirely up to taste and computer capabilities , but for performance issues, it’s best to leave the alt on minimal graphics settings and keeping far clip at max or close to max

as for sound it’s best to turn it off not only for performance issues but also because it gets confusing if you have it also on on the main character

III- Setting up the Alt

Cardinal Rule: Keep it simple: remember what is it you want your alt for, it’s not intended to be the best character on atys, at best your sidekick or in most cases your meatbag decoy for kinchers, so in terms of actions they should fit what you do with your main.

a) Window Setup:
This is entirely up to your taste and also your computer capabilities, you can use both in full windowed mode or use the alt as an smaller window and reduce the User interface to a minimum. Personally I use both at full window as it seems to run better graphically.

if using the alt on a reduced window I suggest leaving one of the UI choices (f1-f4 keys) specially set for the alt as the alt window will take some space from your main


b) Basic controls

Directional controls should be the same you use for your main (WASD, SZXC, directional keys, etc) same goes for basic targeting, camera controls, character window, etc.

c) Action bar

Remember the cardinal rule? Well action bar (or bars) should be simple, and hopefuly not more than 2, the basic idea is that no matter what you do you never have to switch bars or if you do its only one swift motion.

I personally recommend 1 bar containing:
- 1-2 cp actions,
- 1 prospect action,
- 2 hp heals (1 single, 1 double),
- sap heal,
- stamina heal,
- 1 ele action,
- 1 general melee action (increase damage+ accuracy),
- sap, hp and focus self heals
- speed, invulnerability , mpa and enchant,
- you can also add 1 bomb heal and 1 double sap-hp heal ,some macros of your choosing but we’ll go over that on chapters 5 & 6.

As said above the aim is to get the basics of support in one bar, in my experience the above is all you'll need for almost anything pertaining the alt duties. This bar should have movable and immovable actions, for example: heals should be movable as there will be times when your alt will be healing stamina instead of sap thus moving from the bottom part of the bar to the upper part, same for cp, as sometimes you'll need full source life+ stability heal, and others just stability, also the same between ele and melee action. as for immovable actions speed, auras and self heals should remain untouched. The basic idea of this is that your alt has a few macro commands that you can remember easily at first and become reflex later.

IV- Alt+tab

This is perhaps the cornerstone of using an alt and perhaps the most complex thing to get naturally , alt+tab is what will enable you to switch between toons fast, however its use requires practice till it becomes reflex.

First the alt+tab routine is better to start it slowly, first press alt and then tab, there’s no need to punch both at the same time. Second start by doing light stuff, cping is the best for that as the source health bars take some time to move thus giving you time to perfect your alt+tab movement.
If using for grinding you can switch once your main has engaged and has its auto attack on.

Also a good placement of your macros can make the switching easier, as most get confused at first using the alt

V- Macros

Alt without macros is possible, but macroing is what makes alt use so widespread, this chapter will show 4 basic commands for macros that should cover all basics.

a) Follow macro: essential to alts is a follow macro, the layout for this is comprised of: a- target macro: macro/actions/target an entity/[your main’s name]; b- macro/chat/say to anybody/say/[/follow]


This macro is very effective but there are a few observations to it:

- The follow macro will stop working as soon as you move your character, the macro is also affected by targeting any other entity or manually targeting your main once its in use.

- If you use heals the macro will keep working as long as you don’t do any of the actions mentioned before.

- Only strike the macro once, the second time will disable the follow command

- Cping also turns off the follow command, as it requires you to target the source

- This macro can also be used as a fast way to target your main

- The macro will work in a 75mt radius if you haven’t targeted your main before, will work on a longer range if you have previously targeted your main.

b) Heal macro: this macro should accommodate to your playstyle, however it’s always better to use it for a 2 action setup for single heals (hp/hp, hp/sap or hp/stamina)

For alt use it’s always recommended you prefer single heals to double heals, as your alt is primarily a safeguard for your main, which means that it’s better to have fast low credit consuming heals than high demanding double heals that could drain your alt’s hp/sap fast.

c) CP macro: this action is rather simple to build and mainly consist of an action set to target your main, then an action to target your target (target current tartget’s target) and finally a run shortcut linked to your careplan action.

d) Attack macro: comprises of 4 parts: a- macro/action/target an entity [main’s name]; b- macro/action/target current target’s target; c- run shortcut linked to attack/ele action; d- repeat c

This action is made to activate the auto attack in melee or fire 2 ele at the target


VI- Macros and Mnemonics

Like said before alt use should be simple, thus having few basic macros well placed is the best way around, the usual strategy is place them as macros in the action bar, however it can be confusing at first.

For WASD players i'd suggest using the following setup using the directional keys:

Down= Careplan
Up = Follow Macro
Right = Attack Macro
Left= Heal Macro

Basic idea is to have all the basics at reach in one hand and far from the alt+tab, this while keeping a layout that makes easy to remember which key is which.


Always try to set your macros to a specific key in a way that can be easy to remember and access to, so after a while they become a reflex.

VII- Enchants

Enchants are intrinsically to the gameplay, not completely necessary for an alt but may come in handy for quick heals. A few tips are:

Always keep a single low cost heal as enchant on your alt amps
Your alt enchants should be placed on the same key/macro as in your main to avoid problems
Always charge up your alt amps, either by spell or crystals
Never ask a high lvl to work enchants for you, your enchants should be attuned to your stats/lvl and the same goes between you and your alt
Try out different combinations till you find one that suits you

VIII- Subbed alts vs f2p alts

Subbed alts will always be preferable, however f2p alts are pretty much all you need for support role, however the best efficiency of an alt starts at level 125. personally i’ve mastered many skills only using an f2p alt

IX- Alt training

All alts require some minimal training, as said before the idea is that your alt levels up as a side product of your own training.

The suggested levels for an alt to become useful are as follow:

- Heals: lvl 50
- Careplanning: lvl 10 (to get the basic careplan actions)
- Melee: any lvl will work as long as you know how to evade aggro, however it’s good to have good levels to get more HP
- Elemental: completely optional

Another side of alt training it’s alt trekking, as a minimum an alt should have the tps for the training, mat collecting places you use, and also respawn points.

X- Alts and costs

Alts do require dappers, and more than you'd think, before getting an alt make sure you have a way to make dappers. Some of the basic alt costs are TPs, picks, amps, armors, jewels, weapons. Bear in mind also the potential costs of mounts. (for subbed alts also packers, apartments and GH’s)

In my experience an alt won’t require more armor than a max dodge Light armor with HP boost for everything, and a set of jewels with rot, electricity protections. in amps the usual 83% excel zun amps work great however the optimal would be a set of amps with max heal speed and power(if f2p is easier to get over 90% amps)

Last edited by Astarth (4 years ago)

#2 Report | Quote[en] 

Great :)

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#3 Report | Quote[en] 

Great guide Ast! What do you do once your alt starts to take on a life of his or her own? Mine is constantly talkiing back to me and refusing to help me unless I provide him with equal gear and fresh food. This is expensive but as his quality of life went up, so did mine! If you have any advice, please let me know as I hear they are planning an uprising.

#4 Report | Quote[en] 

Bones
Great guide Ast! What do you do once your alt starts to take on a life of his or her own? Mine is constantly talkiing back to me and refusing to help me unless I provide him with equal gear and fresh food. This is expensive but as his quality of life went up, so did mine! If you have any advice, please let me know as I hear they are planning an uprising.

well cant really help you much there, you know how My alt, Erebos hates me, regardless of all the nice things ive done for her

#5 Report | Quote[en] 

Great guide Astarth, it's the kind of thing that once it's made everyone wonders why wasn't it made a long time ago :)

I would just add / note a few things..

i. My regular alt(s) have at least two mini-masters: heals and melee. The explanation is simple, heal really starts to shine after level 100 (you can actually get 1000+ hp in one enchant), and their survivability drastically increases once they have all the hp upgrades in place.

The training itself should not take a lot of time, and is certainly more rewarding than plod grind.

Aside from that, I would aim for a magic mini-master if you intend to help other people with the alt. That newbie guildmate you're helping? He *will* run into aggro, he *will* die, and it will be up to *you* to survive and rez them. Magic 125 really helps with survival.

ii. The alt will have the same alignment with me. Granted, this is not always possible or feasible, but you can lower NH stocks twice as fast if your alt isn't losing money to get transported with you. Also, this solves the money problem, with some patience they can be self-reliant and even make their own catalyzers.

Having the same religion and the same TPs is self-explanatory.

iii. Alts can be used for boss scouting, until this is deemed illegal.

Yes, they can't exactly take a stroll in Forbidden Depths, but they can check out a lot of lvl 200 regions easily, and some 250. Especially if the have a mini-master and you give them two +20 dodge daggers, they actually gain survivability. And if they die .. you don't mind the DP that much on them, do you?

Oh, and bosses are tied with having the melee mini-master. If you need extra heal from your alt, and the boss is in Abyss of Ichor (or south EI), I really hope the alt has all the hp and auras they can get, or they'll never make it there. I can't even start counting how many bosses were done by me, mini-me and just one second player.

iv. I love the second vertical taskbar, use it on all my characters. Helf-heal and auras. A character with a mini-master actually has decent speed-up, mpa and invul, this ties in with the above points - can scout, can run away from stupid team, can do a lot of things if you have the action properly set.

Also can successfully drag on unsuspecting diggers (not that I ever attempted or performed such actions..)

v. Well, that's pretty much it. Just wanted to stress I'm not contradicting Ast, only presenting my preferences and reasoning.

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#6 Report | Quote[en] 

if the alt's rebel i'm in deep, DEEP trouble.

the guide it's self is lovely and a great way to help those that are wanting to use an alt but think that it's too hard.

i'd like to stress like ast did that this isn't for a new to ryzom player to use at the start. learn the basics and get comfortable running your MAIN toon before you endeavor to take on a 2nd toon. by focusing on your main toon first, you'll learn what is useful, and what is useless, and find a good path to "power grind" your alt up fast.

nicely done guide asty, there's really not much i can add that might be of help for the players new to alts. and in the end it's all about what works best for each player how they set up things.

the "advanced" guide for running alts will likely never be wrote, because none of us use the exact same set up (though beefy's screen shot for running more then 1 alt is helpful to those that want to try to run 3 or 4 toons at once, and while it helps, a super powerful computer IS NOT REQUIRED. {before the merger i once had a full team of 9 toons running on a duel core system with 4GB of ram.})

but seriously if the alts rebel i and my family are really in some really deep nasty stuff.

talk

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Remickla (atys)
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#7 Report | Quote[fr] 

C'est un guide intéressant, mais je n'ai pas lu une partie fondamentale, le forage. Mais peut être que je l'ai manquée.

Un alt soigne les sources très bien. Avec un alt, il n'y a plus de gaz, plus d'explosions. Il y a juste besoin d'une ou deux petites macros de ciblage de source, et le tour est joué.

Le seul problème avec mon alt, c'est qu'il ne pense qu'à manger. Sinon, comme tous les alt, il est assez silencieux. Il exprime de loin en loin son appétit insatiable.
C'est le problème de fond des alts, ils n'ont aucune conversation. Moi même, je lui parle peu, si ce n'est pour réprimer sa boulimie.

#8 Report | Quote[en] 

Most modern systems will have enough resources to run at least two clients at full speed even with the resources used by Process Lasso, so that's only really an issue for older systems with lower specs.

I keep the sound on for both clients. It leads to a slight echo but, at least on my system, there is no performance gain from turning it off. It's a matter of personal preference, and I find the sound to help more than it hurts. Sometimes Gidget is half a world away as I heal someone who is training while Gidget is off... doing whatever. Keeping the sound on allows an audible notification that it's time to hit Alt-Tab.

For simplicity's sake, both clients have near-identical action bars. Since I am a healer alt, that means heal spells, "Use Item Enchantment", Invul, MPA, and Super Speed. I don't careplan; Gidget claims I get in her way, so I stand outside of her blast radius and just wait until it's time to put her back together again. I guess you could say that I CP the digger instead of the dig spot. If your digger is less of an ecological disaster than Gidget, you'll want to have a dig bar set up with a CP macro, but I'm not brave enough to do that myself.

Just as my action bar matches my expected role, so too do my stats and gear. As a caster, I favor LA, though I've been known to wear MA in tough areas, and have decent (+95%) q150 amps. I am a mini-master in Heal, and between my well-made armor and a few dozen levels of Rifle, I have enough HP to usually take at least one hit.

Speaking of well-made armor, it pays to equip your alts well. Your life may well depends on your alt, so don't be stingy with the sups. Equip your alt the same as you would equip yourself and you'll find that there are many times where that extra 1-2% Protection Factor or a few extra points of Healing make the difference between looting good mats and taking a dirt-nap. Think of it as an investment.

Macros help a lot too. I have one to target and follow Gidget, and she has one to back-heal me in the heat of battle. Since there are a wide variety of situations that require different heals, I don't use macros for that. Many times of someone other than Gidget needs a heal, I will just hit Shift and heal Gidget; the way my bar is set up, that's a Bomb version of whatever heal I'd get without Shift.

Running alts can be effective without being complicated. The hardest part is getting the timing down. But Talk is right about different people doing things different ways, so maybe what works for Idget Inc. won't work quite so well for you.

#9 Report | Quote[es] 

widget:

1- i make a note about having an amd 6350 at 4200hz cpu... that's six cores running great with 12GB RAM and 2gb gpu... running each ryzom client on separate cores does improve the game overall (benchmarked core speed and temperature, and it does improve enough to be noeticeable)

2-overall the game is poorly improved for newer motherboards and cpu's, sound being a heavy issue, it does differ depending on a LOT of issues

3- best gear is always prefferable, im just talking bare minimum (or in tech lingo required specs)

4- im merely offering suggestions

5- Mjollren... while 2nd bar is great and a must have for mains, of youre thinking of a 2nd bar for alts, then auras and self heals, are a waste of an alts 2nd bars... there are better combinations for that, yet again the guide was thought for f2p alts and new alt users (usually 2nd bar isnt a widepread common use feature)

Last edited by Astarth (4 years ago)

#10 Report | Quote[en] 

(It looks like somebody slipped out to cause some trouble.)

Astarth -

1 - I take a severe hit if I dump both clients on one core, with the temperature issues to match. And Widget is likely to be my only traveling companion due to not having the cores or RAM to support 3+ clients comfortably.

2 - I've been lucky there. I've had some slight issues with my new motherboard, but I've also seen enough other people have more severe issues (including crashes) to know that I am lucky. It truly is a case of "Your mileage may vary".

3 - Widget is spoiled rotten. She's been making a big stink over working conditions and her compensation package for months now, so I'm not surprised that she's advocating for all mains to pamper their alts. Heck, she has better amps than I do!
She has also forgotten her roots; running around in Refugee LA with an enchanted q10 staff because she didn't have the healing power to be useful until I took some time to train her up to... well, about the levels that you recommend.

4 - And pretty good ones at that. I may do things a bit differently than you would, but I think that those differences just mean that there are multiple "right" ways. You also pointed out a few things I never thought of. You did a good job!

Talk -

If an alt uprising does happen, then the only thing that would keep Widget from killing me in my sleep is the fact that my gear doesn't fit her.

Djaimse -

Comme vous avez pu le constater, certains alts peuvent être assez bavard. Alts ont beaucoup de potentiel de RP.
(As you may have noticed, some alts can be rather talkative. Alts have plenty of RP potential.)

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Do not assume that you speak for all just because you are the loudest voice; there are many who disagree that simply have no desire to waste words on you.
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