Monday, July 22, 2013

A comprehensive guide for the aspiring botter (Softwares) Part 7


Now we've come to the time to start looking at what applications to use and which licenses to purchase.
I'll recommend what I think you should use and I'll also try to give you at least one alternative that doesn't require you to purchase a license. I will not give you definite prices or links to where to purchase required licenses as these will vary depending on your location, etc.

First of all you'll have to decide which operative system to use: 

While I think Windows XP is the best alternative at the moment I would still recommend getting Windows 7 even though it consumes more resources, simply because the v4 version of MTGO that should be released shortly will (most likely) not run properly on Windows XP. This will probably force you to upgrade to Win 7 when v4 is released which seems unnecessary.
Now this is not something we're completely sure of, it might very well work on Windows XP but from what we've heard it won't, due to some rendering issues.

Windows 7 costs quite a lot and you will need one license per virtual machine plus one for the host PC.
A virtual machine is considered by Microsoft as being a separate computer and will therefore need a separate license. There are however plenty of ways to get these licenses cheaper than normal retail price.
Consider checking if you can get a student's discount or maybe the family pack of 3 licenses, which is way cheaper than buying separate licenses. You could also try it out before you purchase by using their trial period, this gives you some time to think about which OS you want to use.
The same applies if you decide to go with Win XP, you'll still need separate licenses that you have to pay for so I would say it's better to future proof by using Windows 7.

You might want to use Windows 8 and it should work fine. There are guides elsewhere on the blog that will help you with this but it's nothing I have any experience with.

If you're on a really tight budget and can't afford paying for licenses you could always give ESXi a shot.
ESXi is developed by VMware and was made freely available a few years ago. It only requires 32 MB RAM and uses almost no resources at all. It is however not as easy to use as the Windows operative systems and will most likely require you to follow a guide to get to work. User Thrillski on this blog is writing an article series about ESXi and I would recommend checking out his articles for more information. I myself have no experience with ESXi and can't really help you with this.

Other softwares you might want to check out: 

Virtual Machine:
I would recommend using VMWare Player or Workstation to set up your virtual machines.
The reason you have to run bots on virtual machines is simply because MTGO won't run more than one copy at a time on the same computer and the bot uses the mouse to navigate.
Therefore we install separate, virtual installations of your operative system of choice on the same computer.
VMWare Player is free to use and works well for botting purposes. Workstation however requires you to purchase a license and have a lot more settings that you can use but it's not necessary.

Backup software:
I've been trying out a lot of free backup softwares and ended up using SyncBack Free by 2BrighSparks as I find it to be the most suitable and lightweight of all the backup softwares I could find.

It's always a good idea to back up your virtual machines and/or MLBot settings so SyncBack is a good sollution that won't drain your recourses too much.

I would also recommend running Dropbox if you want to keep files synchronized between your virtual machines and bots. For example you could use SyncBack Free to backup files such as CardsForAdverticement.txt and the like into your shared Dropbox folder where the other bots can use it to update their own files using SyncBack. Sure Dropbox is not the most resource friendly software but it's a breeze to use so I think it's worth it.

Other than these you'll of course need to install .net Framework 4.0 and DirectX9 to properly run Magic The Gathering Online. And then there's the bot and the game to install.

I'll be back with another article next week, and in the meantime feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comment section.

-Tom (Sitrec)
Archbot MTGO Store: ArchBot, ArchBot2, ArchBot3, ArchBot4 & ArchBot5

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