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Posts with tag textures

Breakfast Topic: A love letter to WoW's texture artists

Blizzard texture artists -- you are my heroes. Prepare yourselves for a sappy love letter to whom I believe are the hardest-working people behind some of the most intricate content in the World of Warcraft.

My love and appreciation for the WoW texture artists began with one texture. This one texture made me appreciate what textures were capable of. Love at first sight. The gates of Orgrimmar, to me, are the single most beautiful texture in World of Warcraft. The sense of depth and scale that the gates of Orgrimmar convey are absolutely astounding for what the actual object is made up of. The wall itself is flat. Going up close to the wall is like pulling back the magician's robe -- the trick is just a trick. Looking at the Ogrimmar gate from afar is the real magic.

If you haven't seen the gates of Orgrimmar, it is practically a giant rectangle polygon wrapped with this extraordinary texture. Back in 2004, I (like many fervent WoW fanatics) was engaged in wars of internet-epic proportion on forums and message boards about how terrible and cartoony World of Warcraft looked compared to Everquest 2, the graphical competition at the time. Every time the graphics argument came to a head, my answer was always the same -- WoW's texture artists make this game ooze with flavor, style and depth, and Orgrimmar's gate was my proof. WoW's textures compensate for many of the engine's flaws, even in the midst of complaints of new models' being needed for many of the races.

With Cataclysm approaching sooner rather than later, and with my boy Garrosh Hellscream taking over my capital city, I am losing my favorite texture in the game. I am losing my ace in the hole, and it will be sorely missed. Thank you, WoW texture team, for putting out the best art in video games.

The art in WoW has obviously affected me in and out of the game. What are some of your favorite textures or art pieces in the world that actually have crossed the game's boundaries? Have you ever been amazed at how textures in WoW can make a five-year-old engine look this good?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Reader UI of the Week: Gerzroz' UI

Each week, WoW.com brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send your screenshots, along with info on what mods you're using and some background information, to readerui@wow.com.

Happy belated Mother's Day, moms. That's about the best I can do for mothers as the addon/UI columnist, unless someone develops a mom addon. Anyway, another week and another reader's user interface. This week we get to take a look at some simple art, give some castbar recommendations and tips, and talk way too much about minimap placement. Let's get to it, shall we?

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

The Queue: Nobody expects the Druid Inquisition!


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Allison Robert will be your hostess today.

Adam and Alex are busy packing for BlizzCon, so I've sneaked into the Queue offices to answer some questions this evening. There's no consistent theme here, folks; we're all over the map today with BlizzCon, lore, and player textures. If you don't see your question here, I still have a few in mind from the last post to answer tomorrow.

Smapdor asks...

There are 3 historical scenarios that can be found in Yogg-Saron's "brain room"...What is the Shadow Vault event? I would guess that it is something as important lore-wise as the (other) two, but I have no idea.


It's widely believed that the Shadow Vault "memory" depicts a very recent and very unfortunate occurrence that took place (without player knowledge) after the Wrath Gate event. The NPCs in question are thought to be the souls/spirits/incorporeal whatsamajiggies of Saurfang the Younger and Bolvar Fordragon, who perished in the fight, victim to the Lich King and the Royal Apothecary Society respectively. The Wrath Gate cinematic implies that the Arthas has at least Saurfang's soul to toy with (which would explain the Orcish Turned Champion), but the identity of the Immolated Champion is less clear. Bolvar is by far the most likely possibility -- after all, the Immolated Champion is wearing the same armor Bolvar wore going to his death -- but nothing's been confirmed. Bottom line? Expect to see both Saurfang and Bolvar show up in the Icecrown Citadel raid in some capacity.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Queue

Fixing FPS issues with patch 3.1

A few people are experiencing slowdown issues with patch 3.1, and since our last bit of technical help went over so well, we figured we'd do a little troubleshooting for you on this one, too. If your computer is running slower since you updated into patch 3.1, the first thing to do is check your video options -- Blizzard has tweaked a few things in there, and chances are that by tweaking them again, you might be able to fix your problem (or at least make it a little better). Specifically keep an eye out for the new Video Mode Ultra setting -- that specifically is not designed to be used unless your computer is current and top-of-the-line. Shadows also are quite a drag on the video card and CPU, and turning them down won't affect gameplay that much.

If your options are already low, the next thing you might do is check your videocard's make and driver version (scroll down to the "manually" section there -- you don't need to run Intel's program). Nvidia, who makes the common GeForce series of video cards just updated their drivers to version 182.50 on April 2nd, so if you have an earlier version than that, running the update will probably help. If you have an ATI card, you can find the drivers over on their site.

And of course if all of your software is set up and you're still having issues, there's always the possibility of updating your hardware. That can be quite an ordeal, though, so if you're not so sure on how to install new RAM or can't recognize the difference between SATA and IDE, you might want to enlist a friendly techie for a little help. WoW is still very forgiving, but Blizzard has been slowly adding on the graphical goodness, so if you've been playing with the same PC since launch four years ago, it might just be time for an upgrade.

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

Bugs show a little emotion


Sorandra over on Livejournal has an interesting bug happening when she runs WoW in Vista-- her female draenei is showing a different skin in different situations. Out of water, she's got the face you see up on the left. But in water, a different face appears. It looks like her toon just really hates water.

Of course it's just a texture error (a known one, at that), most likely fixed by updating her video drivers. But it does kind of make you wonder a little bit why Blizzard doesn't bother implementing something like this for real, and making characters actually show facial animations. Sure, the mouths move, but we can't actually frown when we /frown or smile when we /smile. If it's this easy to change the face textures, it seems like it would be just as easy to show displeasure for real.

The only obstacle might be that they'd have to design different textures for each gender and race, which would take a bit of time (time probably best spent on the actual patches and expansions). Still, a little more emotion would be fun to have. If Blizzard ever gets around to doing a graphics overhaul (much like Dark Age of Camelot has done with one of their expansions), hopefully something like this will be on the list.

Filed under: Bugs, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

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