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12-31-2009 @ 9:06AM
In addition to what other people have said about the engine, I want to point out that although I can appreciate the desire for pretty, it's not what I play WoW for -- and if they were to upgrade to a higher end engine (like the one in Aion, for example), I would have to stop playing.I was able to play WoW reasonably capably (outside 25-man raiding) on an Intel GMA 950 chipset. I've upgraded since (for other reasons), but I'm still below the minimum requirements for something like Aion, despite having a brand new computer. (I did demo Aion once; it wasn't just a 'requirements on the box' thing, it really was unplayable.)I'm pretty sure that Blizzard is pretty aware of the computers that their 11 million subscribers (or insert any number of millions you want) are using, and is making sure the game continues to be playable for the majority of them. Gradual upgrades to poly counts are the way they're approaching it, and I think it's working well.
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