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Posts with tag memory

The game as it was, the game as it is

People do not remember the game as it was. They remember it as they think it was. Want proof? See Daxxari responding to a forum poster who is wildly mistaken about a mechanic that never existed during The Burning Crusade.
Daxxari - PvP gear penalty in pve content
Quote:
Posted by Mát
in BC a penalty was introduced for wearing pvp gear in pve content. the simple version is the more pvp gear you had the more your damage and healing scaled down while in instanced pve content.

I am not aware of any such mechanic ever having been implemented. Perhaps you're thinking of the equivalent loss of effectiveness due to Resilience having been budgeted into the item level of that gear, and thus it was less effective than an equivalent piece of PvE gear?

Now one of three things is happening here. Either Mát is misremembering (it happens to all of us), he or she is lying, or he or she has made the mistake Daxxari mentions, mistaking the fact that Resilience back then was part of the item budget and thus, PvP gear was less powerful in PvE because it spent itemization points on a stat that reduced your chance to be crit (back then, that's what Resilience did). But no matter how you look at it, the idea of this penalty introduced for wearing PvP gear in PvE did not exist - which is why so many of us wore PvP gear to PvE in. Sure, it had resil on it, but it was easy to get and often better than what we would have gotten from five mans to prepare for raiding Karazhan.

With a game as old as World of Warcraft (we're entering its tenth year) this is understandable. Not all that many people playing today have played since launch, not even since the days of BC or Wrath - heck, there are a great many people who started playing in Cataclysm and even quite a few who started during this expansion. People will tell you that the talent system that we had up until Cataclysm allowed for great customization. They may even believe it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade

Guest Post: Building an epic-level computer

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider. Today's post is the third of a three-part series on preparing your computer for Cataclysm. In our first post, we covered upgrading your current system; last week, we discussed how to assemble a hot gaming rig. Today, we'll look at building a high-end system that will last.

Today, I will cover building a high-end system for under $2,000 that will last you many expansions into the future. In this article, I will be listing specific parts as opposed to making general suggestions. Computer geek opinions vary drastically; this is just my two cents.

When you're considering a rig that will last you for years to come, you need to consider key components including the case, the power supply, the motherboard, a processor, heatsinks, hard drives the video card and more.

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Filed under: Guest Posts

Guest Post: How to assemble a hot gaming rig for Cataclysm

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to our pages. Today's post is the second of a three-part series on preparing your computer for Cataclysm. Last week, we covered upgrading your current system. Today, we'll look at building a system that will play WoW at max settings without breaking the bank.

I like my cases how I like my women -- lightweight and protective. A computer case has three purposes in life: to house all the components, to protect them and to provide good airflow to them. Owning the most epic set of plate mail ever created does you no good if you cannot move or breathe in it. However, running around in your auction house tux is also a bad idea if you're the main tank. It's important to find a happy middle ground between the two.

When it comes to computer cases, first, pick out something you like. A case should be an expression of its owner! Pick out a few different cases you like and then narrow down the search by the number of fans the case supports. Modern systems will require at least one 120mm front intake fan and one 120mm rear exhaust fan. A top exhaust fan is a nice bonus, since (as everyone knows) heat rises. You should be able to find a decent enough case for around $50 with free shipping.

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Filed under: Guest Posts

Guest Post: Is your computer ready for Cataclysm?

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

The Lich King is dead, your GearScore is 6,000+, and you have enough alts to run your own 25-man ICC. You cannot wait for the upcoming Cataclysm expansion, but along with the new instances, gear and level cap, there are also significantly increased graphics to consider. You may be ready for Cataclysm -- but is your computer?

While we have yet to hear official system requirements from Blizzard, we do know from the Cataclysm FAQ that "there will be incremental tweaks and updates to the graphics engine in this expansion. For example, we've made improvements to the way that water is rendered. We'll announce the exact system requirements closer to the expansion's release."

This is the first part of a three-part series on getting your computer up to speed for Cataclysm. Today, we will cover how to cheaply upgrade your current system. Part 2 will look at how to build a cost-effective, brand new system that will still run WoW at full settings. Finally, part 3 will focus on building a future-proof monster computer capable of soloing the Blood Queen herself!

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Filed under: Guest Posts

Samwise's best memory of the last five years of WoW

Our good friends over at the Orange Country Register have jumped in on the fifth anniversary interview extravanganza, and they've posted information from a short chat with none other than Samwise Didier, Blizzard's primary artist. They asked Samwise for a crazy memory from the last five years, and he came up with a time when he was rolling through a Pollo Loco drive-through, and the guy behind the window called him out by name and said he "liked your show." Which show? Didier is of course the lead singer of TAFKAL80ETC, a.k.a. The Artists Formerly Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain, Blizzard's in-house rock band. Pretty awesome that a video game artist is now literally a rock star thanks to this game.

The OC Register (don't call it that -- did you think I'd get through a post about them without saying that?) is also looking for memories from fans as well to be printed in their paper -- you can jump in the comments on their site and share some memories of your own. We'll also be celebrating the game's fifth anniversary here on WoW.com, so stay tuned around November 23rd for a nice look back at where this gigantic game has accomplished in the past five years.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

The limits of Video Mode Ultra


I think I've found the limits of Video Mode Ultra -- when we first hard in the 3.1 patch notes that Blizzard was adding in a superspecial video mode for high-end computers to use, I was excited. I just recently "updated" my PC (read: "it broke and I had to spend a lot of time and money to fix it"), and it's been running like butter, so I was interested in putting it to the test. The day after the patch dropped, I flipped the switch to Ultra, and had no problems -- until this past Saturday. While wandering around Dalaran, I noticed my framerate had dropped quite a bit. I lowered a couple of the environmental settings just a bit and I was fine again, but apparently even with a 2.5 GHz quad core CPU, 4gb of RAM, and a GeForce 9600GT, Video Mode Ultra is still just a little too hardcore for me.

What's interesting is that I ran Wintergrasp a few times before having those slowdowns in Dalaran, and never had a problem. But then again, Blizzard did say that they had spent a lot of time making sure Wintergrasp was streamlined enough to run huge battles with minimal slowdown, so maybe Dalaran didn't get that same makeover. And I should say as well that I had no issues anywhere else in the world -- even my Naxx run the other evening looked perfect with Ultra flipped on.

Having a "future" graphics mode on PC games is nothing new -- for most games, the highest graphics setting is usually "experimental," so there's a little leeway in terms of release time (the game looks good with current hardware, but even better with next year's gear). And Video Mode Ultra is just that -- Blizzard trying to send a shot across the bow at those who are already saying the graphics look a little dated.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Hardware

Thirteen WoW windows in 36 seconds with an SSD


This is cool, but pretty technical -- if you don't know your USB from your Firewire, it might not make much sense. But the guys at TGDaily were apparently playing around with a Fusion-io solid state hard drive at E for All last weekend, and to show off the drive, they loaded up thirteen World of Warcraft windows in just 36 seconds.

Normal hard drives, like the one in your computer (unless you've already shelled out a ton of cash for an SSD) have discs in them that spin, and they take time to find the information stored on them -- that's why, when you double click your WoW icon, it takes a few seconds (up to a few minutes if you've got a slower computer) for your WoW window to load up. But a "solid state" hard drive doesn't have discs or moving parts -- it's essentially one big block of memory -- so it's much, much faster in terms of retriving information. And what's going on in the video on their website is that they're pulling so much information from the hard drive that WoW is installed on that it's taking only seconds to load up thirteen windows' worth of WoW.

Of course, how fast all of those windows actually run depends on a lot of other things in the computer -- you'd need a lot more than just an SSD to have the video power to run 13 separate 3D windows at the same time (though TGDaily says they weren't breaking the bank at 5 instances running, they just didn't have any more accounts), not to mention the bandwidth that would come from 13 different connections. But just the startup is interesting enough -- eventually these SSD drives will become cheap enough to be used all over the place, and information will be almost instantly accessible from wherever it's stored on your PC.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Hardware

A physical limit on bag space

Just the other day, Adam suggested that more bag space was always a good thing, but now Drysc tells us that's not exactly true-- even though 20-slotters are more common than ever, Blizzard has no plans to let us replace the normal 16-slot backpack anytime soon. And the reason he cites is interesting: it has nothing to do necessarily with ingame limits, but more to do with out-of-game limits. WoW has 10 million players, and if each one of those players has easily 10 alts average and each alt has a bunch of 20-slot bags and even more items in the bank, then pretty soon you're starting to talk real amounts of physical computer memory.

We don't know what that limit is (and of course it depends on how Blizzard stores their information), but Drysc tells us that it's there. And that also gives you a little hint into just how huge their operation is-- nobody else has even come close to dealing with the problem of handling inventory and stats information for ten million players and countless numbers of characters. But Drysc says Blizzard is working on it as always-- despite the technical headaches, we may see bigger backpacks soon.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Hardware

Tweaking the garbage collector (for techheads only)

Bewarned: this post has to do with a technical, hidden process in your WoW client, something involving how your computer's memory is used and how you might be able to make it a little faster. But if you're not interested in the technical side of things, don't worry: this post is extremely skippable. The upshot is that while you can download an addon right now to possibly make your memory usage a little faster, the same functionality is coming to the regular client in 2.3. So feel free to move on to the next post if that's all you wanted to know.

If you're still reading, you probably know by now that we're talking about garbage collection. Cladhaire has a well-written thread started in the UI and Macros forum that goes over exactly how garbage collection works in your computer's RAM-- after Burning Crusade, the WoW client uses a process called "incremental garbage collection," which dynamically deallocates memory as it falls out of use within the application. The problem, as I understand it, is that sometimes the memory won't actually fall out of use, which means the garbage collector won't kick off, which means garbage will sometimes sit in memory for a while waiting to be collected. For those times, there's GCTweak, an addon which you can install that will occasionally force the garbage collector to do its thing. If you have really low system memory, this might help, but only slightly.

At any rate, while this is interesting (probably moreso to those of you comp sci majors out there), it's really a nonissue-- Slouken confirms that exactly this functionality is being built into the standard client in 2.3. If you're really good at this technical stuff, GCTweak might let you tweak your system enough to pump out a few extra FPS on a lower end system. But if you don't know RAM from ROM, and can't be bothered with all this technical wackiness, just wait until 2.3, and you'll get this same functionality anyway.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard

The Burning Crusade -- hardware upgrade time?

Back in October, Mike Schramm let us know what the Burning Crusade system requirements were going to be. Now that we're in the holiday season and the expansion is a matter of weeks away, do you plan on making any upgrades in order to get the most out of the Outlands?

I've been playing WoW on a number of systems since beta. I started on a 12" PowerBook G4, then swapped to a 1GHz Duron desktop, then to a 15" PowerBook G4, then a 20" iMac G5, and now I play on both the iMac and a recently-purchased Core 2 Duo system with an ATI x1900. Through all of those systems, the two most important factors I've found in playing WoW are system memory and the video card.

For memory it seems that 2 gigabytes seems to be the sweet spot for playing WoW on OS X, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. With only a single gigabyte, all of my systems have seemed to chug a little, relying on caching to keep everything going. If you play with Teamspeak or Ventrilo, or have iTunes running in the background, you're definitely going to want 2 gigs of ram.

With the video card situation, it's all about where you can move the sliders in your Video Options. On my iMac, I play with the default settings except that I've turned the viewing distance down to minimum, and that's with the 128mb ATI 9600 pro that comes in the system. With the PC, everything is cranked to maximum on the 256mb ATI AIW x1900. I've played around on different systems, from the AMD Athlons through the Core 2 Duo chips, and it seems like WoW's not really a system resource hog in terms of processing power.

So, what system did you start playing WoW on, way back in 2004? What do you see yourself playing WoW on in 2007? Is the expansion inspiring you to upgrade or change your system at all, or will you stick with what you've had all along?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Expansions

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