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Posts with tag mac

Hardware check before WotLK

All right, so not only are the system requirements out for Wrath, but new MacBooks came out yesterday as well, and we're just now heading into the holiday season. So now might be a great time to do a hardware check on your computer, and see how it stacks up to how you'll be playing WoW.

So here's a quick look at who will be able to run what where in the future. Keep in mind that Blizzard is extremely kind on system requirements -- they design their games to run on almost anything (which is one reason why they have so many fans), so odds are pretty good that if you run WoW well now, you'll run it well after Wrath (though you may also have to tweak the ingame video settings a bit, and you may not get the benefit of the cool graphical touches they're adding in). But if you do want to upgrade the way you see the game, there are a few things you can do, from upgrading a few parts to getting a whole new computer.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Wrath of the Lich King, Hardware

Phat Loot Phriday: Torch of the Damned

We've been a little husky the past few weeks here at Phat Loot Phriday, so this week we're aiming to fix that, and get back to what this column is all about: gigantic spiky, glowy things that you can kill with.

Name: Torch of the Damned (Wowhead, Thottbot, Retribution)
Type: Epic Two-hand Mace
Damage/Speed: 396-595 / 3.80 (130.4 DPS)
  • +51 Strength, +45 Stamina
  • Improves crit strike rating by 38, improves haste rating by 50.
  • Great for Paladins, and any other class that uses weapon damage for certain abilities. Warning: this gets into some deep math, and you guys know I'm bad at that, so expect to see some more number crunching in the comments. Basically, Seal of Command, a Ret Pally talent, gives a chance to add 70% of the weapon's damage to any normal attacks, and since most weapons trade off speed for damage (as in, the slower the weapon, the higher the damage), slow weapons are better -- you'll get more damage output when SoC procs. And since this weapon is very slow and very powerful, you'll get more damage overall out of Seal of Command.
  • The Haste rating is also good for Paladins, not because it will help with Seal of Command (SoC is a procs-per-minute talent, so no matter how many times you hit, you can't get it to proc more often), but because it'll let you hit more often, which means more white damage. Any class that benefits from big swing damage (Windfury is awesome when it procs with a huge weapon like this) will love this mace.
  • Oh, and anytime we mention a two-handed weapon, Matthew Rossi's eyebrow twitches until we mention Titan's Grip. Imagine seeing a Warrior wielding this baby... and something else at the same time. Yeah.
How to Get It: Drops from the Essence of Anger, which is part of the Reliquary of Souls in the Black Temple (which, trivia for you, was influenced heavily by Sinistar, an old arcade game). Essence of Anger is the third phase, so get your 25 man raid up to that point, be one of those silly Ret Paladins (silly Paladins -- DPSing is for Hunters, Locks, Mages, and Rogues!), and spend your DKP or win the roll, whatever you need to do. Then you too can haul around this big purple spiky Mace, swinging it at will and bringing your enemies to their knees with just one proc.

Getting Rid of It: You probably won't, for a while. But it does disenchant into a Void Crystal, and vendors will buy it back for 18g 43s 86c

Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Phat Loot Phriday, Bosses, Classes

Testers wanted for new iPhone Armory application

Elad Shahar, a student at University of Massachusetts Lowell, has developed a web interface that will allow you to search the Armory on your iPhone or iPod touch's MobileSafari. He's released a new version today, polished to the point where he's looking for people to help him test the application and to offer ideas and suggestions.

iArmory lets you do the searches you'd expect -- by player or guild -- and serves up results in a clean, Apple-like format that's designed especially for the iPhone's screen. The one catch is that the Armory has been stripped of its images, including items, tooltips, and fancy borders. What you get is a simple text display of the information you searched for. You can see images of the interface on Elad's website, Omen of Clarity.

So, if you are, you know, hip enough to own an iPhone or an iPod touch (which I'm, uh, not), and you are reading this post (which means you probably play WoW), then get your Armory-lovin' self over to Omen of Clarity's contact page and volunteer your services as a tester. Git, I said!

Filed under: News items

Wowhead releases Mac OS X download client

Wowhead announced today that it has released a download client for Mac OS X. Now the denizens of the cult of Mac can contribute to the collective WoW knowledge base that so deliciously feeds our need for data on lewtz. Just like the Windows version, the new OS X client installs Wowhead Looter, an addon which tallies up information in the background as you play and populates the Wowhead database with stats the game's items, drop rates, quests, and all sorts of other goodness.

Just remember that you need a Wowhead account before the Looter can upload information back to the database. Otherwise, you've just got yourself an addon that's all dressed up with no place to go.

[Thanks, Toras.]

Filed under: Items, Add-Ons, Quests

Patch 2.4.1 available for download

Extended Maintenance has begun, and it looks like a small patch has come with it. Patch 2.4.1 is less than 5 megabytes, and looks to mostly fix a few bugs with the combat log (including that annoying one where no settings were saved), sound, and shading, as well as a bug with Tranquilizing Shot. There might be more undocumented changes, of course, but we'll have to wait until the servers come up to see that.

Patch notes after the break!

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, News items

Fear of hackers may make me play WoW on a Mac full-time

I use a Mac as my production machine. I don't want to get this too much into a Mac v. PC war, so lets just leave it with this: I find I am more productive with my workflows in OS X, and I have the added bonus of not worrying too much about what nasties are included in my downloads. I've been drinking Apple Kool-Aid from a sippy cup for over 10 years, so for me playing WoW on the Mac isn't some life-altering decision. My PC is nothing more than a game/media conversion console. But this whole hacking thing is making me think seriously of playing WoW on the Mac full-time. Sure, I've had WoW sessions of a decent length on my Mac, but not complete PC abstinence. In full disclosure mode, I've worked in IT for over ten years, and many of those years with a dotted-line relationship helping out our Security group. So, I've got a decent understanding of How Not Do Stupid Things On Your PC.

Back in my EverQuest days, we had "hacking" problems, but usually those could be traced back to someone doing stupid with his or her account: they used a powerleveling service or gave their password to a brother or guildie who then did something bad. With WoW, though, it seems much more nefarious. Sure, you give your password away you don't have much of a leg to stand on; I'm not going to say anyone deserves anything, but you've got no moral right to get indignant. Am I just reacting to this with a "oh noes, the sky is falling!" paranoia. Maybe. But when you hear of guild websites getting hacked to install keyloggers, peripherals shipping with keyloggers/viruses installed, it's tough to blame the user. There are always two sides to every story, but I'm getting the feeling there are a lot more true innocents in this battle, including our own Amanda Dean.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

Reminder: Give your video card drivers a little love

Theflamecrow on WoW LJ provides us with our quarterly reminder: it's probably time to update your video card's drivers, if you haven't done it in a while.

If you're on a Mac, you don't need to worry about this (Software Update's got you covered, and the latest graphics update already helped your framerate). For PCs, Nvidia card drivers can get the latest version here, and ATI card owners can grab the latest files here. If you're not sure what kind of video card you've got installed, you can just follow along with this simple guide from the last big video card reminder, or one of the many other driver update guides available.

I should warn you: 99% of the time, updating your video card drivers will fix all kinds of problems-- it'll usually help your framerate, if it needs it, and it will often clear out problems with artifacts and other graphics glitches. But doing any system activity like updating drivers has the potential to harm your system, so always follow all instructions (like turning off all other programs and restarting the PC when asked) and, if possible, have a backup ready when you update. I've never had a system problem while updating graphics drivers, but if you're not careful, it could happen.

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends, Hardware

Mac OS X 10.5.2 brings big FPS gains

Ever since a few WoW patches ago, many of us Mac users have been, honestly, suffering with much lower framerates than we should be seeing, given the hardware we're on. Fortunately, it looks like the just-released 10.5.2 system update will give a lot of help in that department, along with many other system fixes. Tipster Jason went from 27.5 FPS to between 45 and 60 FPS on his iMac after installing 10.5.2 and the Leopard Graphics Update (which also just came out today and requires 10.5.2), and our own Adam Holisky went from 30 to 50 FPS on his own first-gen Intel iMac. I didn't have the presence of mind to test my WoW before updating, but it's certainly running silky smooth now on my MacBook Pro. Go now, good Leopard-using readers, and run your Software Updates (always a good idea to back up before major updates, though). Those of you who have updated, are you seeing performance benefits?

Filed under: Patches, Tips

Brunch Topic: What's the most beautiful weapon?

Now that we have 3D renditions of items on, I've been playing with them a bit, and it really does give a completely different sense of what a particular item looks like. Since I'm on a Mac, I've never had a chance to play with the WoW Model Viewer before, and I imagine such a web-based version is pretty fresh and interesting for many other players as well.

Since there are so very many new 3D models to choose from, let's narrow the choices a little bit and just talk about weapons. Have a look at all the different weapon models, copy your favorite link into a comment, and then tell us why you think it looks the best so that we can go check it out for ourselves!

Filed under: Items, Breakfast Topics

Fix your Exposť keys

Mac-based WoW players have been dealing with an odd little bug for quite some time. (More than one, actually, but I'm just going to talk about one here.) Whenever WoW is launched, it clears your Exposé hotkeys (by default, F9–F11). Oddly, it doesn't clear my Spaces hotkey, which is set to F12, just Exposé. I was hoping this bug would be gone in Leopard and/or patch 2.3, but apparently that's not in the cards. Going back into the Exposé & Spaces preference pane and resetting them isn't that hard, but it is annoying to have to do it every time.

Fortunately, the official forums have provided me with a solution. Temari of Kil'jaeden wrote a simple Applescript which sets your Exposé hotkeys back to their default settings. Run it after you quit WoW, and everything is once more as it should be. Here's the application version of it; if you want to tinker or investigate, here's the source code [edit: links fixed]. The script's creator suggests adding it to your dock next to WoW. I don't use the dock much (Quicksilver forever, baby), but that's probably a good idea for those of you who do. By the way, this is apparently an Apple bug, so don't blame the blue.

Edit: Please stop posting your platform war comments. Whether they're pro-Mac or anti-Mac, I don't care; don't post them please. I don't want to have to start deleting people.

Filed under: Bugs, Odds and ends

Leopard: plays well with WoW, not so well with Vent

For those of us who are both Mac users and WoW fans, there are two very important types of software release: a new patch for WoW and a new version of Mac OS X. Patch 2.3 may not be out yet (although we can always hope for next Tuesday), but Mac OS X 10.5, AKA Leopard, is released today! This is no place for a comprehensive review of the OS refresh (you'll have to head over to TUAW for that), but I would like to talk a bit about how 10.5 and WoW interact.

To put it bluntly, it's exactly the same. On my MacBook Pro, I'm not perceiving any difference between 10.5 and 10.4. The good side of that is that there are no crashes, stability issues, incompatibilities, or anything like that (at least not that anyone's come across yet). The bad side is that I'm not seeing any performance increase, which is a bit of a disappointment, since 10.5 apparently comes with a new version of OpenGL. There have been mumblings in the WoW Mac Tech Support forum that this update might help some people for a little while now, but at least for me, that does not seem to be the case. It still plays fine, certainly no worse than it did under 10.4. And the "stuttering" issue reported by players with the NVIDIA 8600 graphics card is, according to multiple forum reports, gone.

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Filed under: News items

Ask WoW Insider: What's the best of Ask WoW Insider?

Fridays are a time for early happy hour quiet contemplation and reflection upon the past, and in that spirit we're taking a look back at some of the best posts from over the lifespan of Ask WoW Insider. Now that we're all older and wiser -- who *did* end up being the top PvP classes at 70?
  • Best duo for PvP or grinding
    "What team of classes make the best duo for PVP or for grinding?"
  • Top PvP classes at level 70
    Just after Burning Crusade came out, we speculated on which classes would dominate in PvP. Were we right? Would you change the answer you gave then?
  • Best ways to make money in Burning Crusade
    "What are some good ways of making money for levels 60-70 in Burning Crusade? Are there people making money from jewelcrafting yet, should I pick that up? What about good mobs to grind or drops that sell well to vendors or on the AH?"
  • Best way to get instance invites
    "What are your tips and tricks for convincing a group you've got the goods despite not having seen the inside of the dungeon?"
  • Why are you overpowered?
    "Dig deep, self-examine and admit it: what makes your class overpowered?"
  • How's WoW performance on a Mac?
    "I play Wow on a PC, and am looking towards a new computer purchase. One thing that influences my purchase is how well WoW will run on my new computer. I'm leaning towards a Mac, but how well does WoW run on a Mac?"
  • Best way to power level alts
    "What's your strategy for the quickest power leveling? How do you maximize your time with your alts?"
  • How would you design your own battleground?
    "What if you could design your own battleground? What would you do different or better than what is currently in the game?"
  • When is it fair to upgrade an epic?
    "All DKP ideas aside, when is it fair to upgrade an epic over an epic?"
  • Best healing class
    "Which class would you roll for a purely healing role? Which would you roll for a powerfully healing hybrid who might want to take on other roles from time to time? Relatedly, which healing class is the worst?"
  • Best DPS class
    "Which classes can dish out the most DPS and which ones make the least amount of DPS?"
  • Favorite WoW podcasts
    "There are a ton of WoW-themed podcasts out there now -- which would you recommend? What are your favorites?"
  • Great ding stories
    "Any fun or interesting stories to tell about hitting the level cap? Or more generally, any memorable or unusual dings at any level?"
We see that look in your eye, and we know it means you want to send us questions. Ask WoW Insider needs 'em -- send them to us at ask AT wowinsider DOT com!

Filed under: Podcasting, PvP, Instances, The Burning Crusade, Ask WoW Insider, Leveling, Classes, Making money, Alts

Respec: a talent calculator for the Mac

If I'd had this tool a couple weeks ago, it would have made my last Build Shop much easier. Respec is a desktop talent calculator for the Mac (10.4+, Intel/PPC), and it works great as far as I can tell. In addition to talent-calculation basics, Respec has the following features:
  • Save specs for later tweaking/reference
  • Import from the Armory
  • Export to Blizzard's calculator
You might argue that in this day of a web tool for everything, working on every platform, desktop tools like this are somewhat superfluous -- but that's only until you don't have internet access. Now you can play with talent specs on the plane! It's good to see someone developing WoW tools for the Mac, too. One feature request: export to Wowhead's calculator. Much cooler than Blizz's, in my opinion. By the way, what do you all think of the spec above? I was thinking of taking my warlock out of mothballs to try out that cool-looking Felguard that's always stomping me in PvP.

[thanks, Mike]

Filed under: Fan stuff, Talents

WoW 2.2 Mac client in-game video capture

It really seems like Blizzard is taking leaps and strides in their efforts to support some of the fun things we've been doing outside of the game and putting them actually *in* the game.

When I read the patch notes and saw that the Mac client was getting in-game video recording, I immediately started my PTR client download. I was not to be disappointed.

With the new "Mac Options", I can choose the resolution to record at (600x400 in this case), the framerate, and the compression. I left these as defaults, but chose to turn off the UI, cursor, and sound.

Click through for a little more about the process for making the video, or just watch the video above to get an impression of what in-game recording is like.

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Filed under: Patches, Machinima

Danger Will Robinson!

[Ouch. Nuke & pave might be overkill, but at least you know you're pretty much safe after this.]
I saw this screen shot last night on the WoW LJ community, and I have to admit, it took me by surprise. This is the first time I've ever actually seen the World of Warcraft launcher/load screen come out and point-blank warn people about the presence of Trojans on their machines. As there are a lot of variants of this particular Trojan out in the wild, that specific name doesn't surprise me.

Considering the fact that two Blue accounts were recently compromised, it looks like it's a good time to once again make sure your systems are patched, your virus scanners are up to date, and that you've got some good lines of defense against these Trojans. (Personally, I'm a huge fan of FireFox and some of the browser extensions that have come out for it.) Or, as some of my friends have told me, I could just get a Mac, and not have to worry so much about these kinds of things either. I keep telling them I'll happily switch when they buy me one.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

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