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Posts with tag system-requirements

Blizzard releases system requirements for Warlords of Draenor

There are a lot of updates on the way in Warlords of Draenor, and with all the updates to models and environments and graphics and UI, a lot of players have been wondering just what they'll need to run the next expansion without a hitch. The good news is that Blizzard has finally released the system requirements for Warlords of Draenor, both minimum and recommended. The bad news is, if you're still on an older system, you might be needing an update to run the next installment in World of Warcraft's ongoing story.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords, models, and performance

We all know that Warlords of Draenor is bringing a much-desired and long-awaited feature in new character models, and understandably, there's concern about the impact on PC performance. WoW Insider reported on EU Community Manager Taepsilum's post on the forums, which has since been updated to indicate that there is no requirement to run the game on Low settings to use the old models. Instead, the toggle which has been seen in the Alpha is set to remain.

Taepsilum's assertions that you won't need a new computer are, perhaps, bold. Gamespot has picked up on them for an article, and asserts that you "probably" won't need a new machine. This is accurate, with the key word being "probably". If you're currently only able to run the game at 8FPS on Low settings, it's pretty likely that Warlords of Draenor will push your system over the edge.

Let's be realistic here. World of Warcraft has pretty amazing performance on older machines. A little while ago I asked on Twitter about players running it on low-spec systems, and it will let you run the game on some pretty archaic specs. Performance is about what you can do with the game, and is subjective. I'm happy with the graphical quality I get out of WoW on my machine, but to friends with higher level systems, it looks awful.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Character models and their impact on system requirements

One of WoW's greatest strengths, in my opinion, is that it will run on a toaster. It will launch on an old laptop I have with a really terrible processor and 1GB of RAM. When I say it will launch, I mean it won't play, I can't use it, but it will launch. I've played it on that laptop in the past, and it's worked. And now, while I have a more powerful machine, I've had to play a bit on the interim laptop, a 2GHz AMD laptop with onboard graphics and 4GB of RAM. And it works. I got this laptop in 2009, and WoW runs on it. Not just that, but it runs raids. Sure, my framerate isn't brilliant, and I'll sometimes have to point my camera at the floor, but it runs, and I can perform in whatever role I'm in.

But with graphical upgrades come greater strains on older machines. And Community Manager Bashiok has weighed in, addressing player concerns on the official forums. The answer to the questions raised, as you can see after the break, is that the devs just don't know the full impact of these upgrades just yet. You can tell the difference between Cata and Mists as far as the performance of older machines goes, and Warlords may be another step away from "backwards compatibility" for older machines. But bear in mind what else will run on these old, old machines. My interim laptop, as I call it, will run WoW and little else. What can you play WoW on? Hit the break for Bashiok's full post.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft's evolving engine

World of Warcraft's evolving engine
Some people say that World of Warcraft's visuals are outdated. The game's graphics haven't been updated since launch, they say. In terms of some older art assets, I would agree, but the overall picture is a different story. The system requirements when WoW launched were a meager 800MHz CPU with 256MB RAM and a 32MB graphics card. Today, the bare minimum requirements are a dual core CPU with 2GB of RAM and a 256MB graphics card.

Mists of Pandaria requires an expensive computer to run smoothly at the highest possible graphic settings, and yet it will still run on hardware from 8 years ago. Do you know of many other games with a spread like that?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

World of Warcraft no longer compatible with Windows 2000 in Mists of Pandaria

Community Manager Bashiok made an interesting announcement this morning -- as of the upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion, World of Warcraft will no longer run on machines using Windows 2000 as an operating system. Microsoft itself ceased supporting this version in 2010. Those who are currently using Windows 2000 should upgrade before Mists is released, if you'd like to continue playing WoW.

One of the big benefits to playing World of Warcraft has always been that it can be played on a variety of systems, from the exceptionally small and outdated to the current, top-of-the-line models. I always found that a fascinating phenomenon, and it made good sense -- after all, if you want the max number of players able to play your game, you want to make it available with the widest software and technology possible. Yet there's a drawback to this; if you want to continually make that content available for older systems, there's only so far you can go updating content.

As a game that just celebrated its seven-year anniversary, WoW absolutely needs to keep updating in order to remain competitive. With new MMOs coming out all the time, a game that is seven years old starts to lose its shine. Continuous updates make sure that it stays just as fresh as it did in 2004. You can't keep those updates rolling if you're trying to support an operating system that is now 12 years old. I think, however, we're safely in the territory where most people have moved beyond Windows 2000, so this shouldn't affect a huge majority of players, particularly when Microsoft itself has already phased out support for the operating system. What this does do, however, is make me look forward to Mists of Pandaria and what it has in store.

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Filed under: News items, Hardware, Mists of Pandaria

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

WoW Rookie: A computer to love WoW with


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

WoW Rookie has already answered the first question asked by so many new players when they realize "You know, I think I'd like to have my own characters and my own account -- but will my computer run WoW?" This week, we'll burrow into the next level: "We've been engaged for months now. I'm in love, I'm committed, I'm of legal age (level 80, baby!) and I'm ready to drop some cash. What should I be looking for in a computer system to settle down in?"

If you're not into PvP, you may have missed PvP specialist Zach Yonzon's excellent series this summer on gearing up for PvP. But wait -- this is no in-game gear guide. Surprise! It's a look at the best hardware for running World of Warcraft. Whether you enjoy PvP or PvE content, here's a look at the gear that'll deliver the eye-popping, mind-blowing, mouse-clicking madness you crave for endgame WoW performance.

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Filed under: Tips, Features, WoW Rookie, Hardware

WoW Rookie: Will my computer run WoW?

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Playing WoW is no fun at all if your system doesn't cut the mustard. If you've just started playing on hardware of questionable power, you may believe you're clicking along just fine -- only to watch your frame rate come to a grinding halt the first time you're faced with a raid or Battleground full of players moving, casting and otherwise wreaking havoc (to both the game environment and your system).

Lots of players start out playing WoW on hand-me-down computer systems. In fact, the spouse who starts playing on an old hunk o' junk, only to become hooked and then upgrade to a hotter rig than that of the established player, has become something of a gaming cliché. The thing to remember here is that a system that will run WoW will not provide the same enjoyment as a system that runs it well.

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Filed under: Features, WoW Rookie, Hardware

System requirements posted for WotLK

Blizzard has been putting off posting system requirements for Wrath of the Lich King for a while, but they've finally made a commitment, posted on the official forums. As one might expect, they're fairly forgiving given modern hardware, but they are significantly bumped from the BC requirements (which were not updated from classic WoW, aside from nominally requiring a broadband connection). Here are the minimum and recommended requirements for Wrath:

  • PC:
    • Windows XP SP3 or Vista SP1 (Windows 2000 no longer supported)
    • Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1.5 GHz (up from 800 MHz Intel/AMD). Dual-core recommended.
    • RAM: 512 MB/1 GB for Vista, doubled from same as previous. 1 GB/2 GB recommended.
    • Video: GPU with hardware transform and lighting and 32 MB VRAM, same as before. Recommended 128 MB VRAM.
  • Mac:
    • Mac OS X 10.4.11 (10.3 no longer supported)
    • PowerPC G5 1.6 GHz or Intel Core Duo. Big change here: G4s are no longer supported. This one actually affects me, since I do have some G4 machines hanging around the house. Intel 1.8 GHz recommended.
    • RAM: 1 GB, up from 512 MB. 2 GB recommended.
    • Video: Hardware transform and lighting, 64 MB VRAM. On the face of it, this rules out the integrated graphics found on MacBooks and Mac Minis, but there's been no official word on it yet. 128 MB VRAM recommended.

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Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King, Hardware

Brack clarifies graphical update plans

We heard just last week that J. Allen Brack said Blizzard was definitely considering a graphical overhaul for WoW in the future (something players have been asking about for a while), and now WorldofWar has asked Brack to clarify exactly what's going on with the game's graphics. And he's answered. He says that Blizzard's approach to updating the game's graphics will likely be very different than other games' attempts -- they want to do it organically and iteratively rather than all in one go.

Which follows with what's happened already -- Burning Crusade got a few tweaks and upgrades, and Wrath has its own. Not only will they implement that shader system we heard about way back, but the shadows for each model ingame will be updated (and real-time, very cool), and Blizzard is increasing the view distance (to help out with vehicular combat, we hope?). But other changes, Brack says, will come in waves, not all at once.

He does mention an upgrade of how the water in the game looks, though of course he doesn't say when that might happen, only that Blizzard is looking at it. But it seems like a pretty sure bet not to expect an upcoming content patch to be "the graphical update patch." Blizzard is improving the way the world looks, but they're doing it one step at a time.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Screenshots

Patch 2.4 will bring performance updates

If you've been waiting for yet another performance upgrade, you might not have to wait too much longer -- the kind folks on the test realm forums have confirmed that patch 2.4 will bring both audio and video performance upgrades with it. As we've said before, Blizzard is usually pretty kind to system requirements, but players are reporting that graphic and audio glitches are fixed when you load up the PTR for 2.4, and CMs say that those changes will move to the live realms as well.

Unfortunately, there's no more details than that on what got fixed, but it's good news, we're sure, for anyone dealing with technical problems. If our readers are right, you've only got a few more days to wait -- patch 2.4 ahoy!

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Hardware

The obvious report: Wrath will not require Vista

Just in case you were wondering (or if your friend used the mediocre Shadowrun FPS as proof that all games from now on will require Vista), no, we're almost sure that there's no way Wrath of the Lich King will require Windows Vista to run. In fact, even though Neth is only kind of certain in the thread, we'll make it 100%: you won't need Vista to run the next expansion.

Not only is Vista not exactly setting even high-end gamers' hearts afire, but Blizzard is traditionally about as lenient as it gets on system requirements. They did up the ante a little bit when Burning Crusade was released, and we do know that Wrath will require a little more of your computer with those shiny ice shaders (not too much more -- they may ask for more RAM or a faster than the current 800mhz processor). But as much as Microsoft would love what may again be the best selling expansion in the world to require Vista, it's just not going to happen -- Blizzard has too many subscribers here to lock a good number of them with an operating system that's not going over so well.

So ignore what your smirking friend tells you -- if you can run Burning Crusade, you'll be able to run Wrath on the same box.




Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Forums, Hardware

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