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Back August 22nd, 2009 Forward
WoW isn't wowing me at the moment

This has been going on for about three weeks now, but I've just been triggered to post by this post of [info]ladynero's. See, ever since patch 3.2 came out, I've had a few problems in WoW.

It looks like this: WoW3.2

It's affecting people who play WoW on laptops (like I do), particularly laptops running Windows XP which use the Mobile Intel(R) 965 Express chipset for graphics work. Effectively, the ground textures just aren't being rendered. It's only happening since patch 3.2, and the latest update, patch 3.2.0a , hasn't changed the situation. As you can see below:


So, what are Blizzard doing about it? Well, as far as we can tell from this thread on the forums, they're ignoring it, and hoping the people with the problem will go away and stop bothering them. According to their system information, the Intel 965 card is still supported. Shyeah, right. So far the only assistance we've been given is an endorsement of a couple of user-created fixes (either set your computer to run the .exe with the -openGL flag running, or set "console fixedfunction1") both of which have the extreme disadvantage of causing the framerate in the game to drop like a lead balloon. Or alternatively (as I discovered yesterday, much to my annoyance) crash. Or both.

Low framerate has its own consequences, particularly for people who do a lot of PvP or raiding. I don't, but I've already had moments where I've been caught off-guard by something running toward me and not realised until it got the first hit in. Not fun.

The problem is, compared to Blizzard's main userbase, we're a small group. So it's possibly not cost-effective for them to fix the issue, or offer an option for people who are affected by the problem to bypass whichever new and improved ground graphics were present in the new patch, so we can keep playing. A lot of people have already cancelled their accounts. I'm paid up until November, but I have a reminder on my schedule that if this problem hasn't been fixed by the first of November, I'm cancelling then.

Now, don't get me wrong. I like WoW. It's fun. It's a nice straightforward game, and up until this last patch, I didn't have any problems at all with it. But I'm not so attached to playing WoW that I'm going to try and upgrade my graphics capabilities in a laptop which handles everything else Just Fine Thanks; even had I the money to do so. Given I'm currently out of work, and it doesn't look like I'll be getting back into work any time soon, I can't afford to upgrade either the laptop or the PC, and quite frankly, I don't fancy doing either just for one game.

I suppose my biggest issue with all of this is the lack of communication from Blizzard about the matter. There have been approximately four posts from the Blizzard rep on the entire thread in the forums, two of which were requests for information, and one of which was saying "well, we haven't noticed a huge drop in framerate when we tested this, so use the console fixedfunction fix." As far as I'm concerned, that isn't good customer service.

So, while the announcement of the Next Big Thing on WoW is all very well and good, I don't know that I'm going to get all that enthused about it. After all, if things carry on the way they are, I'll either be falling off a cliff, or running on such a slow framerate as to telegraph my punches.

Current Mood: discontent discontent
Back August 22nd, 2009 Forward