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Posts with tag dynamic

Breakfast Topic: Would Blizzard-run dynamic events work in WoW?

Breakfast Topic Would live Blizzardrun dynamic events work in WoW
Once upon a time, I served as a guide in EverQuest. Guides were volunteers who went through a training program to become essentially non-staff customer service agents. We retrieved out-of-reach corpses, plucked players from the world geometry, smoothed ruffled feathers during spawn disputes, and a whole host of other GM-ish duties.

But perhaps the most fun thing the CS team did was run loosely scripted roleplaying events. I remember my first event with great fondness, a simple scenario in which we took over the orc NPCs inside the keep of a newbie dungeon zone called Crushbone. After provoking the amazed newbies into charging the keep, we slaughtered them by the dozens (to their delight) and eventually departed as mysteriously as we had appeared. The event remains a highlight of my gaming experience. I'll never forget the astonished shouts of players trying to rally others while explaining that yes, the orcs really had come alive!

With all of World of Warcraft's emphasis on story, I adore the idea of having some tucked-away corner of a zone spring to life under GM control. Of course, with so many realms and millions of players sprawling across the world, staffing such an endeavor on any sort of regular basis would require massive manpower. Could a volunteer crew manage a dynamic events team in today's World of Warcraft? Would you enjoy participating in dynamic events? Would you want the events to focus on nudging along the main story lines or filling in the backstory, or should they stick to bringing some previously unremarkable NPCs to life? If it were possible to bring the same story to every realm, how would you react if you were offline or otherwise unable to participate when it happened?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Troubleshooting dynamic shadows on OS X and Windows

This forum thread, about the new shadow technology appearing on the Mac in 3.0.2, is confusing. There are four Blue responses in the first 10 posts, and at the end of it, I still don't have a clear idea of whether shadows work on the Mac or not. The issue seems to be this: shadows do work on the Mac, but not the highest quality shadows. Why? Because while Windows uses DirectX to do its 3D processing, OS X still uses OpenGL. And while shadows do work in OpenGL (and eventually can work just as well in OpenGL), Blizzard needs Apple to put some extensions in which aren't there yet, so the highest quality shadows aren't yet possible.

Did your eyes glaze over from all that tech talk? Let's make it simple: if you're on Windows or OS X and you don't see shadows, odds are that your settings are wrong. Open up Video settings in game, and slide the Shadows slider all the way to the right as far as it will go, and then escape out and see if Shadows appear. Note, however, that this will slow your computer down, and as we said earlier today, older computers might have trouble doing this. If you're running an older PC or Mac, you may have to forget about the dynamic shadows completely.

That said, according to the Blues, with the shadow slider flipped all the way up on a PC and a Mac, the PC's shadows will look a little better. That's not a limitation of your computer (or of Blizzard's designers), it's a limitation of the technologies that Blizzard is using to make the game. When OpenGL (the code that allows game makers like Blizzard to draw 3D graphics within OS X) gets updated, then we'll see some higher quality shadows.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Guides

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